Game 6 of 48
The Red Wings welcomed a tired Stars team into Detroit on Tuesday, then sent them home with a 4-1 loss. This is a game the Red Wings should have won and they did so by weathering Dallas' energy and just keeping on them. The end was great, but getting there could have been prettier.
The refs had the type of performance that makes it very difficult to make adjustments for. The standard was not consistently upheld. A hold in the first was not a hold in the 2nd; the same was true for interference. Out of 11 total power play chances, Detroit scored 1 on their 6 while holding Dallas off the board for 5 tries.
Jimmy Howard wasn't challenged a great deal, but he made some very good saves. I felt he looked a little shaky early on with rebound control, but he held his composure and was a positive factor in the Wings' victory. Kari Lehtonen held out as long as he could and outright robbed the Wings a couple of times. The head-to-head is much closer than the scoreboard makes it look, and will be even. Overall, I felt Howard's play deserves a +1. Based on the timing of Dallas' best chances when the Wings were struggling to score, Howard's biggest saves came at the neediest times.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
2nd Period 10:22 - Dallas Goal: Loui Eriksson (wrist shot) from Cody Eakin and Jaromir Jagr
A really easy neutral zone play turns into a 2-on-1 and eventually a goal, as Eriksson gets to a rebound off a smart Cody Eakin shot and puts it past a sprawling Howard. Kronwall is going to get a coverage minus. He steps up at the blue line and gets beaten by an insanely easy-to-make pass. Datsyuk is also going to get an extra minus (half-turnover, half-coverage). He gets the puck at center and has a cross-ice pass immediately blocked, then doesn't get back to cover when the puck goes by him. Filppula and Bertuzzi will be cleared of minuses.
2nd Period 13:14 - Detroit Goal: Valtteri Filppula (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk
Datsyuk teaches Jordie Benn a lesson in how to turn the puck over to Pavel Datsyuk and then feeds Filppula out front for the goal. Datsyuk will get a bonus plus and a bonus assist on this play. Pure Datsyukian on this. The play develops quite a bit earlier than this though, as Jakub Kindl has an impressive play on a Dallas clear to stop transition and create a turnover that leads to the re-entry and eventual goal. Kindl will get an extra plus on this. Filppula does too much work on this shift not to get an extra plus and half an assist.
2nd Period 19:36 - Detroit Goal (PP): Henrik Zetterberg (slap shot) from Patrick Eaves and Niklas Kronwall
Detroit finally gets a PP goal after a lengthy 5-on-3 shooting gallery as Zetterberg fires a one-timer over Lehtonen. Z does a lot of the work on moving the puck around during this PP and will get a self-assist. Cleary will also get a screener's assist on this one.
3rd Period 06:15 - Detroit Goal: Damien Brunner (tip in) from Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg
Franzen and Brunner show that good things can happen when you throw the puck at the net, as Mule chucks it from high in the zone and Brunner tips it past Lehtonen. Zetterberg will earn a half-plus on this play, as he makes a clever positioning move while the Wings are breaking out to help things along. Jonathan Ericsson will get a half-assist (third) for the zone entry maneuver that establishes control in the Stars' end. Finally, on a shift change, Kronwall goes off for Quincey while this play is developing. Quincey will lose the plus and Kronwall will get it back.
3rd Period 06:38 - Detroit Goal: Valtteri Filppula (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi
23 seconds later, Detroit extends the lead on a cross-ice feed from Datsyuk to Filppula that Flip finishes quickly. Smith will get the third assist and a half-plus on a good midair knock-down to break the Wings out. Filppula will get another self-assist, as he controls the breakout pass from Datsyuk while transitioning and helps make sure the Wings get in with numbers. Datsyuk will get another bonus assist. The combination of the breakout and the cross-ice no-look is incredible.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
1st Period 06:14 - Drew Miller (interference): Minus to Miller on a needless pick run against Trevor Daley entering the Wings' zone.
1st Period 10:57 - Niklas Kronwall (holding): Kronwall holds up Jamie Benn away from the puck as Benn drives the net. Kronwall will get a minus.
1st Period 16:55 - Jakub Kindl (tripping): Kindl is going a good job fighting Morrow on the boards, but get his stick into the feet and takes his man down. Kindl will get a minus.
+1.5 to Pavel Datsyuk: Datsyuk was positively dominant in this one. His work on Dallas' 5-on-3 was huge and he drove the puck the right way the entire night.
+0.5 to Todd Bertuzzi: Honestly, Bert was about quarter-plus worth on both of Flip's goals, so here we are. I liked his positioning and willingness to use his size.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen, +0.5 to Damien Brunner: This trio played very well. Zetterberg did most of the defensive heavy lifting while Franzen was physcially engaged and playing smart. Brunner forced the play and did a good job to constantly pressure towards the middle of the ice.
+1 to Justin Abdelkader, Drew Miller, and Jordin Tootoo: I thought these three were oustanding at providing constant pressure on the Stars. Seems every time they were on the ice, the Stars were pinned.
+0.5 to Patrick Eaves and Cory Emmerton: Like the three above them, but only good instead of really good.
+1 to Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl: Who would have thought we'd see this? Kindl used his chance to shine very well and had a solid physical game. Ericsson was once again the more-solid guy on his pairing and even made some very good confident step-ups in the neutral zone to kill some rushes.
If Kyle Quincey weren't already at an adjusted +2, he'd have gotten a positive adjustment to get it there. I really liked his game. Dan Cleary didn't look good early, but played well as the clock ticked.