I thought the Wings did a better job in this game of reacting to the reffing standard by spending less time wishing that interference would be called and spending more time just committing the same kind of interference they've watched go unpunished all season. Still, the Holmstrom penalty was stupid. I won't complain about the 3-1 PP advantage for the Rangers though, because it absolutely did look like they won just about every loose puck battle and that's kind of important for drawing penalties.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 03:36 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Ian White and Gustav Nyquist
Zetterberg tries a shot right off a faceoff that just misses wide to the far side. In that corner, Ian White steps up on the play and with the help of Nyquist, the Wings are able to free the puck to Zetterberg low in the corner. Z tries feeding it to Doug Janik sneaking down low on the far side, but the puck won't settle and bounces off Janik's stick back to Z behind the net. Z again tries to go out front to Nyquist for a jam-in shot, but the puck again finds its way to Z's stick. Now, Zetterberg steps to the other side of the net and feeds it back to White at the point. White skates backwards a couple of strides to pull the high defender out of the way before feeding it back to Z circling from the top outside of the circle back into the center of the ice. Zetterberg throws it on net through the traffic out front and it finds its way through Lundqvist to give Detroit the lead. Zetterberg will get a self-assist and a bonus 1.5 on this play. So much of what happens here is dependent upon him doing his job right. The White step-up to keep it in will earn him a bonus half-plus here as well.
1st Period 14:58 - New York Goal (PP): Brad Richards (wrist shot) from Henrik Lundqvist
The Penalty - Detroit Bench (too many men): The Wings get caught in a terrible line change here. Jiri Hudler jumps on well before his guy gets off and quickly realizes his mistake, jumping back into the bench. Unfortunately, this tie-up slows down the parade into the open door by Cleary and Abdelkader. Meanwhile, the puck goes past this ruckus as the Rangers try to get into the zone. Kyle Quincey stops the rush by kicking the puck back out of the zone, but he kicks it straight to Todd Bertuzzi fresh off the bench to catch the Wings with six. Minuses here will go to Bertuzzi, Hudler, and Justin Abdelkader, who fails to change first when he should.
The Wings' PK gets an early clear all the way down to Lundqvist, who leaves it at the side of the net for Brad Richards. New York's center picks it up, skates around behind his net, and then leaves his own zone unimpeded through the middle. Once Richards hits the blue line with no pressure, he turns it up a gear and the play essentially becomes a one-on-one against Nik Kronwall by the time he hits Detroit's line. Richards puts the puck behind Kronwall's sweep check and outmuscles him to it before sliding it under Conklin to tie it. Kronwall is put in a tough spot as having to be the only defender in a spot to stop last year's top free agent with speed through the middle, but he's still going to get a half-minus for failing to do it. Pavel Datsyuk is at fault for letting Richards build this speed. Pavel is hanging out too close to the boards at center ice when Richards comes through. It's Datsyuk's job to funnel the play into the defense, but he doesn't do this. Datsyuk will get a minus.
Penalty Adjustment: 9:43 into the 2nd period, the Wings earn their first power play as the defense is doing a good job keeping a tough Rangers forecheck to the outside in their own zone. As Jan Mursak gets a step on Mats Zuccarello, he gets his legs chopped out from under him. It's more a careless stick by the Rangers player, but Mursak will get a half-plus.
Penalty Adjustment: 8:20 into the third, Kyle Quincey goes off for holding. Ryan Callahan backchecks on Bertuzzi and Datsyuk as the Wings exit the zone, creating a turnover which eventually leads Brandon Dubinsky with a decent lane to the net and good positioning on Quincey. The Wings' d-man does have possession of the inside, but it's fairly tentative. Quincey tries to improve this position by wrapping up his man; Dubinsky feels the hold while protecting the puck and goes down a little easy. Still, it's an easy hold to call. I'm going to give Quincey a half-minus for taking a penalty when he was put in a bad position by a neutral zone turnover by Datsyuk and Bertuzzi. Pavel will also get a half-minus while Bert will get a full minus. Pavel does lose the puck to Callahan, but it's a bad pass to him in the first place by Bertuzzi which causes this.
Overtime 02:42 - New York Goal: Ryan Callahan (snap shot) from Michael Del Zotto and Brandon Dubinsky
The Wings lose control in the offensive zone as a pass from the half-boards to Cleary behind the net fails to connect and gives the Rangers room to build a breakout. Del Zotto and McDonagh play keep-away before getting it to Dubinsky at the top of the Rangers zone to skate through center with Dubinsky taking the middle lane flanked by Callahan to his right and Del Zotto joining on the left. The Wings have three men back as Kronwall watches the middle, Stuart has Callahan's side, and Datsyuk watches Del Zotto, but as Dubinsky approaches the Detroit zone, Datsyuk abandons his coverage to pinch on Dubinsky. The pinch fails and the Rangers' forward passes around Datsyuk to Del Zotto on the wing. Stuart stays in his lane where he's marginally protecting against the return pass to Dubinksy driving the net while Kronwall steps into Del Zotto's shooting lane and Callahan backs off his charge to go to the middle of the ice behind the driving Dubinsky. Datsyuk steps toward Del Zotto, who passes around his stick to a wide-open Callahan in the high slot. Captain Ranger makes no mistake as he roofs the puck over Conklin for the game-winner. Fault here lies solely at Datsyuk's shoulders and the total of three mistakes he makes on this play. Pavel will get two extra minuses. He'll get 1.5 for the blown coverages and another half-minus for what was a bad play to turn the puck over in the Rangers' zone.Hudler steps on for Cleary behind this play after all is said and done. I'm going to give Hudler's minus back to Cleary, as he's partially responsible for the turnover as well, but that doesn't mean Hudler's off the hook. He's supposed to watch high in the zone, but if he's a bit quicker to realize what's going on, I feel he has a chance to make a play on Callahan. Of course, he'd also be leaving a spot wide open for the fourth Rangers player to sneak in and make the exact same play with everybody out of position, but Hudler will get a half-minus for not taking that chance.
2nd Period 11:54 - Tomas Holmstrom (goaltender interference): Homer gets pushed into Lundqvist and never gets the benefit of the doubt. If they're going to make it illegal to stand there then they should hurry up and fucking do it, but the shitty Homer standard is sickening.
-1 to Pavel Datsyuk: Pavel just had a bad game overall. He did not have his legs moving well and was not able to elicit a single giggle moment in this game. That's troubling.
-0.5 to Brad Stuart: Stuart played big, tough minutes and had a very hard job, but he struggled more than he should have with it, especially with puck control.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula, +0.5 to Gustav Nyquist: Goose was good, but his linemates were better. The Wings were only credited with 5 takeaways in the game and these two accounted for 60% of those.
-0.5 to Doug Janik: Dougie struggled clearing the puck in his own end and didn't make up for it with any of the thirty offensive zone chances created for him.
I thought the third line fared well, but they, along with White, Quincey, Kronwall, Hudler, Bertuzzi, and a few other guys had as many bad plays as good ones in this game. Just about everybody trended towards a plus, but not enough took the extra step to earn one.
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