Detroit welcomed San Jose to the Joe on Monday night in one of only two games these teams will play head-to-head this season. With nobody on the defense over 30, the Wings played a safer, more defensive game and held the Sharks off through 65 minutes of play, ultimately falling in the shootout.
Obviously neither team scored on the power play. San Jose had three chances and the Wings had two. I thought the ref was consistently absent, but I also think the Wings got away with the most-egregious non-call of the game, so I'm not complaining. Shots ended up 27-24 in favor of the Sharks.
If I may go out on a limb, I'd like to say that this was a good part of the game, as both goalies combined for a 51-save shutout of each others' teams. Niemi made a ridiculous save to win the shootout and had to play his hardest in the 3rd period, but Howard showed great rebound control and instincts. There really weren't any acrobatic saves throughout the game, which is more a testament to two goalies playing solid positional goaltending. Also, 51 shots is something the Sharks have done once this season all by themselves.
Goal-Saved Adjustment: 2:16 into the 1st period, with the Sharks on the power play, Tommy Wingels gets a rebound behind the Wings' net with Howard flat on his butt against the post. Wingels tries to wrap around the far side before Howard can adjust, but Danny Cleary is there to sweep it off his stick. I'm not wholly convinced Howard can't stop the completion of the wrap attempt, but I know that Cleary's action prevents me from having to know for certain. I'm going to award Cleary a half-plus for a goal saved.
1st Period 00:30 - Pavel Datsyuk (interference): Just 30 seconds into the game, Datsyuk goes to the box as he's tripped by Marleau, gets up, and then interferes with his man. I don't like the non-call on Marleau, but Pavel can't just interfere with people. Minus for Datsyuk.
1st Period 06:53 - Tyler Kennedy (holding): The Wings get their first PP opportunity of the night on a breakout that Kennedy cheats on by grabbing Zetterberg. Z does a good job here to prevent a turnover on a bad pass from his defense. Zetterberg will get a plus. Good job keeping the feet moving and stickwork clever.
1st Period 12:12 - Todd Bertuzzi (slashing): Bertuzzi gives the puck away in his own zone and then has to make up for it with a slash. Minus for Bertuzzi.
2nd Period 03:40 - Kyle Quincey (slashing): Right off a faceoff, Quincey slashes Couture's stick and it breaks, sending him to the box. This is about the fourth stick slash by Quincey to this point in the game. Minus for Quincey.
3rd Period 15:03 - James Sheppart (interference): The Wings get a power play late in the third as the game is getting more wide-open. Sheppard and Zetterberg tie each other up coming out of the Wings zone and Sheppard is the one who gets called. This one is pretty soft and could have gone either way. No adjustment.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk & Henrik Zetterberg: The Wings' best players were also their most dangerous, creating most of the danger while limiting chances.
+0.5 to Tomas Tatar and Daniel Cleary: I thought these two had a very good game as far as moving the puck to the right end of the ice. Tatar was the more-dangerous player, but Cleary played more in his own end.
+1 to Xavier Ouellet: The single most-sheltered player on the ice for the Red Wings, Ouellet played like he could have taken on tougher competition. He was very solid in this one.
+1.5 to Danny DeKeyser, +1 to Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith, Drew Miller & Joakim Andersson, +0.5 to Brian Lashoff: Penalty-killing pluses for these guys, based on how much and how well they did their jobs. DeKeyser led the team in shorthanded ice time and played like a seasoned vet. Q, Smith, Miller, & Andy each had very good plays to help kill off penalties. Lashoff was solid enough to drive the play away from his side on the PK.
-1 to Jakub Kindl: The leader in ice time for all Wings players tonight had the toughest game. Only credited with two giveaways officially, I counted four of them, including three defensive zone turnovers which lead to scoring chances.
That was easy to write.
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