Playing their third game in four nights, the Red Wings played like a Ewan and couldn't put it all together in their home opener. While they had some decent jump in the first, they were consistently outplayed and lost...because it's hard not to lose when you get outplayed.
I thought the refs let a lot more go than they had in the previous two games, but I also think that the Wings benefitted from the overall standard again. Then again, getting a power play isn't a good thing for the Wings anymore, so perhaps they should stop calling penalties altogether.
Detroit outshot Dallas 40-32, but Jimmy Howard put up an absolutely stellar performance. If it weren't for a late flurry of activity from Kari Lehtonen trying to keep his shutout alive, Howard would have won the head-to-head. As it stands, I'm going to give Howard an Even rating head-to-head and a +2 for overall game performance. Without Howard making some absolutely fantastic saves, the Wings might lose this game by six.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 05:41 - Dallas Goal: Michael Ryder (wrist shot) from Cody Eakin and Brenden Morrow
The Wings fail to get the puck out of their zone in the face of a tough Dallas forecheck and that costs them as Ryder gets a shot off from the slot that beats Howard high. First off, only Cleary is getting cleared of a minus here. The play happens away from him and he's keeping good position. Quincey will get yet another minus (half-turnover, half-coverage). He loses a board battle and doesn't block the Ryder shot. Abdelkader and Miller will also get extra half-minuses for coverage, as they too lose board battles.
3rd Period 05:34 - Dallas Goal: Michael Ryder (snap shot) from Ray Whitney and Cody Eakin
A broken clear and a good bounce on an accidental shot block leads the puck to Ryder's stick again in great scoring position and he fires a puck past Howard on the back door for what would be the game-winner. Drew Miller will get a turnover minus, as he has a chance to clear the puck and ends up losing it to Eakin for the first scoring chance. Lashoff will get an extra half-minus for the coverage after he blocks the shot. The puck bounces straight to Whitney, but Lashoff is slow to recover and get into the lane that the pass goes through for the Ryder goal. Cleary's minus will be cleared again, as the play develops on his off-side. Datsyuk and Quincey keep their minuses. There were chances when the puck came through their areas and they didn't act sufficiently to stop the play.
3rd Period 19:56 - Detroit Goal: Damien Brunner (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg
Both teams are skating 4-on-4, but Detroit has the goalie pulled, so it's basically a power play (although the pluses will remain, since it wasn't a power play). Brunner skates hard to get the puck deep where Cleary helps him dig it out. Two passes and a shot later, Datsyuk finds Brunner on the back door for the easy put-away. Brunner will get himself a bonus plus and self-assist. Cleary will get a third assist for his work to free up the puck.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
1st Period 14:45 - Brendon Dillon (interference): Danny Cleary with a smart dump past the Stars' D-Man and a step that makes the guy get in his way. Cleary will earn a plus.
2nd Period 03:36 - Damien Brunner (tripping): Brunner gets a minus for yanking a guy down in his own zone.
2nd Period 04:31 - Kyle Quincey (tripping): Quincey takes out Roy while the Wings are on a PK and puts them down by two men for 5 seconds. Minus for Quincey.
-1 to Pavel Datsyuk: He didn't have it in this game and the turnovers were maddening. He wasn't skating much and looked lethargic.
-1 to Johan Franzen: Aside from never having his stick on the ice when he was in front of the net, Franzen did not play a very inspired game.
-0.5 to Drew Miller: Miller stood out as playing poorly. His positioning was off on a great portion of his board battles.
+1 to Damien Brunner: The late jump was just a continuation of the whole game. Brunner's hustle was very good.
+0.5 to Jordin Tootoo: two hits (one very big) and two takeaways in his 8:29 of ice time. I liked what he brought in this game and would have liked to have seen more of him.
+1 to Justin Abdelkader: Abby had a very good game outside of the one bad shift. His PKing work was pretty stellar.
+0.5 to Henrik Zetterberg: 9 shots on goal. 9. He drove possession very well and played solid defensively.
Filppula played decently, but not special. Nyquist was fairly invisible, but got a lot of time against the bigger and highly-skilled Jagr. I liked Emmerton.
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