Brendan Smith seen here temporarily growing to seven-feet tall.
The Red Wings proved on Sunday that they were capable of losing 2-1 against Chicago no matter which city hosts the game. I'm less worried about the loss of the two points than I am about the losses of Jakub Kindl and Jimmy Howard in the first period though. Hopefully those injuries aren't serious.
The Wings went 0-for-4 on the power play and gave up one goal to Chicago's man advantage in three tries. There should have been more penalty calls in this one, but I'm not confident that would have led to a better result. Detroit outshot Chicago 24-18 as both teams played tight defensively. Chicago just capitalized on more chances.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 03:17 - Chicago Goal (PP): Patrick Sharp (slap shot) from Marian Hossa and Nick Leddy
The Penalty - Kyle Quincey (interference): Quincey ties up with Viktor Stalberg in front of Howard. Stalberg goes down easy, but Quincey does indeed interfere with him. Minus for Quincey.
After an early clear, Chicago gets set up on the power play with a dump-in and 50-second zone cycle culminating in a Patrick Sharp goal. The Hawks utilize a ton of movement around the perimeter to keep the Detroit PKers honest, which makes it very hard for them to pressure. I do feel there's a time about 40 seconds into the penalty when Darren Helm could have charged in on Nick Leddy at the point when he mishandles, but aside from that, it's a lot of good passing. Finally, Marian Hossa gets a pass in the high slot that he one-times and forces Howard to make a very tough toe save. Leddy recovers at the far-side half-boards, skates to the point, and dumps it back down to Hossa following him up. The PKers get on Hossa quickly and force him to outlet to the far side point where Sharp is standing. Sharp has the room to tee up a slap shot that deflects off Nik Kronwall's skate up front and past the goalie. The only adjustment I'm going to make is a half-minus to Helm for not recognizing an opportunity to step up on Leddy and get a clear almost 30 seconds prior to the goal.
1st Period 06:03 - Detroit Goal: Niklas Kronwall (slap shot) from Darren Helm and Brad Stuart
A few minutes later, Helm makes up for the PP goal against with some excellent work. The Hawks top line sets up a cycle in the Red Wings' end which is broken by some great defensive work. Everybody keeps their coverage assignment very well. The play ends when Kyle Quincey knocks Andrew Shaw down behind the Detroit net. Shaw gets it to Patrick Kane skating up the boards being watched by Helm. Kane gets to the point and tries to feed it into the middle for Keith Seabrook to cut in low. Fortunately, Brad Stuart is in the perfect spot on the second level and pokes the puck off of Seabrook's stick, taking it out of the zone and passing off to Darren Helm to enter on the wing. Stuart peels off to change (along with the rest of that line) while Helm dekes around Kane to make time and space. Next, Helm shoulder fakes Seabrook to make a bit of space for himself. By now, the change behind him is complete. Helm turns at the half-boards and finds Nik Kronwall skating to the point. Helm gets Kronwall the puck for a one-timer that beats Emery and ties it. First, I have to correct the pluses for a line change again. White will give his plus back in favor of Quincey and Stuart while Hudler/Filppula lose theirs to Franzen and Miller. Stuart and Helm will also pull a bonus plus apiece for their fantastic work to create this play. Kronwall keeps his plus for scoring the goal
Penalty Adjustment: 12:24 into the first period, the Wings' first line gets rolling with a great offensive shift culminating in Patrick Kane taking a hooking penalty on Henrik Zetterberg. This could have been any one of three hooks to Wings players on this shift. Filppula and Zetterberg do most of the work in the zone here and will each get a full plus. Hudler helps on this as well and will earn a half-plus.
Penalty Adjustment: about 3:15 into the 2nd period, the Wings draw another call when a pass from Kronwall to Hudler threatens to give the diminutive Czech a break into the zone if not for a trip by Dylan Olsen. Hudler and Kronwall will each earn a plus.
2nd Period 18:41 - Chicago Goal: Patrick Kane (backhand) from Patrick Sharp
Chicago dumps one in that Brunette chops away from Stuart in the corner for Filppula to pick up behind his own net. Hossa and Kane bear in from opposite sides and FIlppula passes up to Kronwall standing at the bottom of the faceoff circle to Joey MacDonald's right. Unfortunately, Kronwall can't get a handle on the puck and has to push it to the corner to keep from losing it in an even worse place. Hossa gets to it first in the corner and Kronwall takes it from him to try and outlet to Stuart in front of the net. This time, the unfortunate thing is that the puck hits off Filppula's skate as he's crossing this play and leads the puck right back into the corner. Hossa bumps it low around Kronwall and goes to chase, but Stuart gets to it first. Here, Stuart plays it very weakly up the boards where Patrick Sharp gets it behind the net just outside the trapezoid. Sharp turns it to Kane right in front of the net and all alone. Joey MacDonald goes down to block a one-time shot, but Kane is very patient and brings it around the outstretched netminder to pot the game-winner. It's an unfortunate turn here. Zetterberg and Hudler will have their minuses cleared. The big mistake is Stuart turning the puck directly over to Sharp; a mistake for which Stuart will get an extra minus. Filppula and Kronwall have some bad luck happen to them as far as pucks getting in skates, but they also work to make sure that those little things don't end up as scoring chances. They'll each keep their minuses, but won't get anything extra.
Penalty Adjustment: 7:15 into the third, Detroit takes a too-many-men penalty, as Duncan Keith grabs a loose puck just inside his own blue line and throws it back out of the zone. Kyle Quincey grabs the puck immediately off the bench and Detroit takes the penalty because Nik Kronwall hadn't gotten off yet. This is a mental mistake by Quincey, who has to know it's too early to play the puck. Quincey will get a half-minus. Unfortunately, I can't see the entire play on replay and can't tell whether it was also a case of Kronwall loafing to the bench.
2nd Period 08:13 - Duncan Keith (roughing): Keith goes apeshit on Filppula after a whistle, because if there's any player as infuriating and dangerous in the NHL as Valtteri FIlppula, it's almost everybody except Valtteri Filppula. Duncan Keith is dumb.
2nd Period 11:10 - Danny Cleary (cross-checking): The Wings are threatening in the Chicago zone when Danny Cleary pushes Sami Lepisto down. The ref sees this as a cross-check, but the benefit of replay reveals that it's not.
2nd Period 16:42 - Brendan Smith & Andrew Shaw (fighting): Shaw is mad that Smith had wrecked Patrick Kane earlier in the period. It's stupid that Shaw didn't get an instigator for this.
2nd Period 19:54 - Bryan Bickell (boarding): Bickell is upset at a clean check by Nik Kronwall on Patrick Sharp and boards him for it. Stupid play by Bickell here.
-0.5 to Johan Franzen: Mule took a step back in this game. He had his feet moving for a good portion, but his focus wasn't there. Too many pucks bounced over or slid under Franzen's stick in this game.
-0.5 to Drew Miller: If Franzen or Miller could have had each other's skillset, Miller would have scored. As is such, he was not good enough in this game and I felt he cost them chances.
+1 to Brendan Smith: I continue to be impressed by Smith, who played more than 17 minutes in this game and caught Patrick Kane with a big open-ice check in the 2nd. That's a lot harder to do than it looks.
+1 to Ian White: Detroit's leading skater in ice time for the third game in a row, White has deserved positive recognition. The last two games were about even for shaky play and good stuff, but I felt in the 27 minutes he gave Detroit in this game, he played very well.
+1 to Darren Helm: Easily the most-noticeable forward on the ice for Detroit once again. Helm's effort is never in question.
The Zetterberg-Filppula-Hudler line was again Detroit's best, but just drawing calls falls short of expectations in a game where they needed to be bigger for Detroit. I also thought the Bertuzzi-Cleary-Abdelkader trio had a decent game, but I think I'd actually like to see what Jan Mursak could do in Cleary's place, seeing as how he continues to play like a scorer.
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