Merry Christmas, jerks; the Red Wings won. Thank the Zetterbeard.
For as much as the refs wanted to get the Islanders game over with, they certainly didn't seem to have anywhere else to be in this one, as the teams shared 11 power play opportunities between them. Detroit went 2/5 and Florida 1/6. The Panthers outshot Detroit 33-31.
Jonas Gustavsson had an average game by numerical standards and got bailed out by his teammates a couple times, but he also made some incredible saves on amazing shots. This was a good performance by the Wings, including Gustavsson.
1st Period 03:47 - Detroit Goal (PP): Daniel Alfredsson (snap shot) from Niklas Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk
The Red Wings get on the board first on a quick power play goal as Alfie gets a shot off from a great scoring position and finds the net. Datsyuk loses the in-zone faceoff, but pressure by Bertuzzi and a pinch from Alfredsson keeps the puck in the zone. Alfie feeds it to Datsyuk in the middle of the ice, but the puck is just behind him, so instead Datsyuk just pokes it back to Kronwall at the point so the power play can get set up. Kronner skates to the right point and goes back to Alfie at the top of the left circle to set up the umbrella. One step into the circle, Alfredsson snaps a shot through a Todd Bertuzzi screen into the net. Bertuzzi will get a half-plus and a screener's assist on this play. Alfredsson will get a plus for his work in recovering the puck in such an effective way.
Goal-Saved Adjustment - 06:41 (Daniel Cleary): After the expiration of a Florida power play, the Panthers get a shot on the doorstep before the fifth Wing can get back in the play Matthias gets a puck directly on the doorstep and is the process of turning around to put the puck behind Gustavsson when Cleary gets in and not only gets his skates in blocking position, but attacks Matthias' stick to keep him from getting it down on the puck cleanly and then he's the one who clears it from the net-front. Cleary will get a plus on this play for stopping what is almost certainly a goal against if he does things differently here.
1st Period 14:29 - Detroit Goal (PP): Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk
Detroit goes 2-for-2 on the power play with a great keep-in and cross-ice pass to catch the Panthers assuming a clear, which gives Zetterberg all the room he needs for a snipe from the right side. After a bit of cycling 90 seconds into the power play, Zetterberg feeds a puck from behind out to Datsyuk in the slot that Pavel doesn't handle cleanly. As the pressure gets on him, Pavel tries to feed it off to Kronwall at the left faceoff circle, but the puck gets through him and Olsen gets it at the boards with a chance to clear. Through Kronwall pressuring and Datsyuk hustling, the backhanded clearing attempt is held in at the blue line. Datsyuk holds for a brief second to let the play develop before saucering a pass cross-ice to Zetterberg at the right dot. Z walks toward the goal while Bert battles in front. Clemmensen goes down to take away the bottom of the net and Zetterberg makes him pay by snapping it over his shoulder on the short side. No adjustment. Datsyuk's keep-in is great, but the need for him to make such a great play comes from a mistake he makes.
2nd Period 12:52 - Florida Goal (PP): Sean Bergenheim (backhand) from Brian Campbell and Aleksander Barkov
The Panthers get on the boards on a power play rush where Bergenheim gets behind the defense and lifts it up over Gustavsson. Drew Miller gets a clear and forces the Panthers all the way back into their own zone where Campbell gets the puck from Barkov and skates all the way into the zone. Cleary comes on for Miller behind the play, but this gives Campbell room to walk into the zone in the middle of the ice with Glendening collapsing and DeKeyser covering behind him. Cleary gets back enough to pester Campbell, but has to back off to watch his spot. This gives Campbell room to skate almost to the faceoff dot while Bergenheim, who entered the zone on the left wing side where Campbell is coasting is now coming off the boards to loop around behind the defense. Dekeyser is watching Cambell because he's too far over for Glendening to have covered and Glendening is between Campbell and Bergenheim trying to worry about two passing lanes. This proves a fatal mistake when Campbell saucers it to Bergenheim at the bottom of the circle. The Panthers' D-man stops the puck and shovels it on the backhand over Gustavsson. DeKeyser and Glendening will each receive a half-minus for being unable to stop this pass.
2nd Period 14:59 - Florida Goal: Nick Bjugstad (wrist shot) unassisted
Florida ties it up on a brutally bad turnover which gives Bjugstad a breakaway from center ice that he converts by freezing Gustavsson and sliding it in around him. DeKeyser stands up on the Panthers at his own blue line, poking the puck out of the Wings' zone (thanks to Bertuzzi jumping behind him to cover the step-up). Jurco is coming back from his high-backchecking duties just in time to pick the puck up and head the other way, gaining the zone on the right-hand side and pulling up to set up the play with Datsyuk joining in the middle, Bertuzzi crossing at the left boards, and all five Florida players back behind the blue line. Jurco tries to catch the Panthers over-collapsing with a pass across the blue line to Quincey coming into the zone late on the left side, but this falls apart when Bjugstad blocks the pass moving up into this lane. DeKeyser is caught flat-footed by this turnover, having already established the point position, so he can do nothing about Bjugstad heading off to the races for the breakaway goal. This one is all on Jurco getting his pass intercepted. Datsyuk, Bertuzzi, and Quincey will be cleared. DeKeyser will be halved, as he's also victimized, but if he recognizes immediately what's happening, he's actually in position where he could dive and pull out Bjugstad's legs. I'd prefer a penalty shot to a true in-game breakaway because there are significantly fewer things for the goalie to worry about on such a play. Jurco will get a minus for the turnover and a half-minus because part of the coverage problem here is that Jurco is high enough in the zone to be partially responsible for preventing breaks the other way.
3rd Period 00:42 - Detroit Goal: Brendan Smith (slap shot) from Kyle Quincey
Detroit takes the lead early in the third on a one-timed blast from the D through Clemmensen. The play starts as Huberdeau tries to skate in on three defenders and has the puck knocked off his stick by Smith at the top of the zone. Abdelkader gets on the loose puck and turns up ice, feeding Zetterberg, who rolls around Kulikov to get a lane to the front of the net. Clemmensen stops the Zetterberg point-blank chance and Alfredsson doesn't get much on the follow-up try, having that blocked by Kulikov, who tries to throw it out of the zone up the middle in a panic. Quincey races onto the ice from the bench and picks off the attempt inside the blue line, squaring to the net to freeze the defense rushing out to meet him. As the lane to the net is closed, Quincey feeds it to Smith at the half-wall for a one-timer which rips right past Clemmensen's ear as he moves over, putting the Wings up 3-2. Smith will get a plus for helping start this play back in the defensive zone. Q will get a half-plus for a great head's up play coming off the bench. If he doesn't square to shoot, the room doesn't materialize for Brendan. Zetterberg makes a great turn to collapse the defense on the in-zone rush. Z will get a plus and Abdelkader a half-plus. He creates the pass to Z and some net-front havoc here.
3rd Period 01:20 - Detroit Goal: Gustav Nyquist (wrist shot) from Jakub Kindl and Tomas Tatar
38 seconds later, the lead is two as Nyquist picks up a rebound at the side of the net and puts it in. Andersson wins an offensive zone faceoff which is helped to the point by Tatar stepping in from the middle. Kindl gets the puck at the point and quickly throws the puck at the net as Gomez rushes to challenge him. Andersson ties up with Petrovic in front of the net as the puck bounces off Clemmensen and lands in the blue paint. Nyquist is just coming in from the right side to pick up the loose puck and jam it home. No adjustment. This is a great set play helped out by Petrovic partially screening his own goalie, leading to the rebound that Nyquist gets to.
3rd Period 04:27 - Florida Goal: Sean Bergenheim (wrist shot) from Dylan Olsen and Marcel Goc
The Panthers make it 4-3 on good in-zone pressure leading to an open Bergenheim getting time to find a hold through a sliding Gustavsson. The lineseman waves off an icing that he shouldn't have waved off and the Wings get caught a bit out of sorts. Quincey goes to Nyquist on the half-boards trying to come out of the zone; Goose tries the quick button-hook pass to Jurco coming up out of the zone through the middle, but that pass is picked off by a pinching Goc. Nyquist deflects the Goc shot from the boards to the front of the net, but it bounces right to Olsen pinching in on the left side corner. Olsen throws it back on net, where it hits Gustavsson's pad as he slides over and kicks right out to the slot. Bergenheim is standing right there with tons of room as Andersson had just skated right by him to take up his position at the net-front and Nyquist is getting over from the boards. This gives Bergenheim all the room he needs to throw a shot through Gustavsson into the net. Quincey will be cleared of blame on this play, as his pass to Nyquist is a good one and the coverage doesn't get back around to him. Jurco will keep his minus for not stepping into Goc on the intercept. I'm going to give DeKeyser a minus here I think he needs to skate harder to get the icing call on this play. Andersson keeps his minus as he should be higher in the coverage here and able to get to Bergenheim. Nyquist will get an extra minus for turning the puck directly over.
Goal-Saved Adjustment - 09:38 (Brendan Smith): The Panthers almost pull even as Tatar turns the puck over inside his own blue line to create a 3-on-1 rush on Gustavsson. Boyes gets the shot off, which is stopped by Gustavsson way out of his own crease challenging. Bergenheim gets to the loose puck and throws a backhand on the net around Monster, which is destined for twine except Smith is back covering the net-mouth and he plays it away. This will earn Smith a goal-saved plus. I'm also going to give Tatar an overall minus for this turnover. He can't pull this, despite having an overall good game.
1st Period 03:35 - Dmitry Kulikov (hooking): Dan Cleary gets behind Kulikov at the Florida blue line, leading to a lazy hook by the Florida D-man. Cleary will get a plus.
1st Period 04:37 - Henrik Zetterberg (hooking): The Panthers get quick transition on a blue line turnover thanks to a missed drop pass by Abdelkader. Zetterberg hooks his guy on the fly-by and feels shame. Zetterberg and Abdelkader will each get a minus. This is an awful pass by Abby here, but Z has to be more careful not to hook.
1st Period 08:54 - Todd Bertuzzi (hooking): The Panthers get a quick rush on a weird turnover. Florida misses the scoring chance, but gets a power play on a supremely weak hooking call on Bertuzzi. Despite the weakness of the call, Bert does a couple things that make this call happen, including the turnover in the offensive zone and getting his stick parallel needlessly near the hands. Bertuzzi will get a minus.
1st Period 12:45 - Alex Petrovic (holding): Daniel Alfredsson draws a penalty with some great battling on the boards behind the Florida net, which draws Petrovic into obstructing him. Plus for Alfredsson.
1st Period 14:51 - Kyle Quincey (tripping): The Wings go shorthanded for the third time in the period as Kyle Quincey trips a guy low in the zone and since that's against the rules, Quincey will get a minus. Seriously, Quincey just chops the guy's legs out from under him.
1st Period 16:07 - Sean Bergenheim (hooking): The Panthers end their own power play early thanks to a penalty in the offensive zone. This one is fairly soft, as Smith gets body position on Bergenheim, who holds his stick parallel and gets whistled despite not really impeding Smith at all. No adjustment here. Smith is playing good defense, but this call is too soft to give him credit for drawing one.
2nd Period 01:37 - Tomas Kopecky (high sticking): The Wings get an early 2nd period power play on a rush play for a rebound in front of the net where Kopecky ends up getting his stick up on Datsyuk. It's not completely drawn, as high-sticking calls rarely are, but Datsyuk and Jurco will each get a half-plus for good work to make this play happen.
2nd Period 06:05 - Nick Bjugstad (boarding): Cleary earns his 2nd Red Wings power play of the night with some good board battling which ends with Bjugstad hitting Drew Miller from behind. The penalty itself is more a dumb decision, but the work to get to the dumb decision will earn Cleary a plus.
2nd Period 12:16 - Brendan Smith (tripping): The Wings take the next penalty as Smith gets the gate for tying up a guy's stick in front and having the guy fall down. In a game full of soft calls, this one is downright bad. I want Smith playing tie-up defense in front just like that every time. No adjustment.
3rd Period 05:04 - Brian Lahshoff (holding): Shawn Matthias drives the side of the net and Lashoff takes a hand off his stick to push him over, taking a holding penalty in the process. Minus for Lashoff.
3rd Period 14:00 - Kyle Quincey (high sticking): Quincey misplays a loose puck behind the Wings' net and accidentally high-sticks Fleischmann in his recovery. Minus for Quincey. What a boneheaded penalty.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk: He wasn't game-stealingly magical, but he had two takeaways in the offensive zone which led to great scoring chances.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg: The Wings having two legitimate top six lines really helped in this game, even if they were beaten on possession. Z made a difference for his team in this one.
+1 to Joakim Andersson and Drew Miller: Very good penalty killing from these forward stalwarts.
+1 to Niklas Kronwall and Danny Dekeyser: Some good play by DeKeyser mixed with a few mistakes leaves him an overall minus for the game, but I don't think he was as bad as the numbers said. Kronwall had a silently solid game on his blueline and absolutely deserved to be a plus for this game.
Tatar's big turnover cost him an overall plus, but he had a pretty good game again. I liked Andersson more at 5-on-5 than I usually do. Nyquist had one big mistake that cost him, but I thought he did generally ok in this one. Abdelkader struggled through the first, but looked up to speed by the third. I like this team more with more players healthy.
Current Game Chart
Season Totals Chart
Screener's Assist Totals
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