The Red Wings had one of those "measuring stick" games against the Blues and they measured up well, coming away with a 5-3 win on the strength of a Henrik Zetterberg hat trick. It wasn't always pretty, but it's a win.
My oh my the reffing standard in this game was garbage. Both teams allowed two power play goals, but neither fanbase should really be happy with the way that game was called.
Jimmy Howard didn't have a great game by any means. He made enough stops to get the win and he outplayed St. Louis' goaltending to win the head-to-head battle. Overall, I felt he put in an average performance and will get an even rating.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
1st Period 06:12 - Detroit Goal (PP): Henrik Zetterberg (snap shot) from Damien Brunner and Niklas Kronwall
Damien Brunner finds a seam on the 5-on-3 to hit Henrik Zetterberg for a quick snapper over the shoulder and into the net. This is a great piece of zone time with 42 seconds from faceoff to goal. The key play here happens before Kronwall gets the puck for the pass that would turn into the 2nd assist. Datsyuk has a puck bounce to the boards and he takes up position to keep Steen away long enough for Z to dig it and move it quickly and cleanly. Datsyuk (non-touch) and Zetterberg (self) will each get a half-assist on this play.
1st Period 08:07 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (backhand) from Jonathan Ericsson and Johan Franzen
Jonathan Ericsson hits Zetterberg with a beautiful outlet pass to send Z in on a break that he capitalizes on as he crosses in front of Halak and slides it through the 5-hole. This play is created with some great transition thanks to aggressive skating by Franzen on the backcheck. Mule chases Pietrangelo from the faceoff dot to the blue line and gets to him just in time to force a dump in. Mule's work lets Kronwall get position to keep Pietrangelo from getting to his dump-in. This lets Franzen pick up the puck and get it to Ericsson, who has enough time to find Z streaking. Franzen will get a bonus plus, Kronwall will get a non-touch assist, and Ericsson will get a bonus plus for such a great use of the stretch pass.
1st Period 09:50 - St. Louis Goal (PP): Kevin Shattenkirk (wrist shot) from Alex Steen and Andy McDonald
Kevin Shattenkirk picks a rebound off the half-boards and walks it to the dot before snapping it past Howard to break the shutout. Breakdowns here are by Datsyuk, Ericsson, and Filppula. Pavs lets Steen have too good of a shooting lane from the point, which creates the rebound for Shattenkirk. Datsyuk will get a half-minus. Filppula is responsible for keeping Shattenkirk from stepping off the boards into a shooting position here and fails, earning Flip a full minus. Ericsson is also respecting the passing lane a little more than the shooter and will get a half-minus.
1st Period 13:04 - St. Louis Goal: Matt D'Agostino (wrist shot) from Vladimir Tarasenko and Roman Polak
D'Agostini collects an outlet pass behind Kronwall and fires a wrister past Howard from the slot to tie it. Kronwall will get an extra minus for letting his man by on this play. Miller and Huskins won't get minuses. Huskins is just stepping off the bench by the time D'Agostini gets it behind Kronwall. Miller dumps the puck in and is covering his lane. Tootoo and Abdelkader keep their minuses for allowing the transition to happen relatively quickly thanks to some iffy positioning.
2nd Period 04:30 - St. Louis Goal (PP): Patrik Berglund (wrist shot) from David Backes and David Perron
David Backes tries a sharp-angle shot that gets kicked right back to him. He then throws the puck back into the crease on the backhand where Berglund pops it out of the air at shoelace-height to put the Blues in the lead. Abdelkader, Cleary, and Kronwall will all get coverage minuses. The three of them focus on the zone entry by Oshie which doesn't get stopped. If they're all going to be playing basically the same position, one of them needs to stop the puck from coming to Perron and creating the 2-on-1 against Ericsson. Kronwall also has to lift Berglund's stick here and doesn't.
3rd Period 04:31 - Detroit Goal: Jonathan Ericsson (snap shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen
While on a delayed call advantage, Zetterberg throws a nutty backhand pass to Jonathan Ericsson sneaking in on the back door. Riggy steps into the dot and fires a half-slapper through Elliott to tie it. Zetterberg will get a half-assist (bonus) and a half-plus for the great work making this play happen and the fantastic pass. Franzen will get a bonus plus for another great hustle play to get to a loose puck and keep the play going. Brunner will get a bonus plus and a half-assist (non-touch) for a step-up on Shattenkirk in the neutral zone to relieve him of the puck and get the play moving the other way.
3rd Period 11:55 - Detroit Goal (PP): Pavel Datsyuk (snap shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen
Datsyuk steps into the same circle to Elliott's left from where Ericsson scored and finds a small hole through a screen and the goalie to put Detroit on top. Franzen will get the screener's assist and will also get a half-plus for a nifty move at the blue line to guarantee the zone entry.
3rd Period 19:47 - Detroit Goal (EN): Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk
Zetterberg chases down TJ Oshie for a loose puck with an empty net. Oshie does his best to drag Zetterberg down and prevent a goal, but can't stop the awesome as Z slides it across the line from his backside. Both Zetterberg and Datsyuk will pick up bonus pluses on this one. Datsyuk picks a pocket to get it out of the zone and Zetterberg hounds Oshie until he scores. Love it.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
1st Period 09:04 - Cory Emmerton (tripping): Emmerton loses control of his stick (and the puck) and jabs at D'Agostini in the offensive zone. Easy call to make. Minus for Emmerton
1st Period 10:26 - David Perron (hooking): Brendan Smith earns a half-plus for a good step-up and body positioning on David Perron to force a hook.
2nd Period 03:57 - Kyle Quincey (tripping) - Just a dumb stab at the puck and a trip. Quincey gets a minus.
3rd Period 17:49 - Daniel Cleary (interference): This one isn't as bad upon review as it originally looked (Cleary continues skating straight ahead and Pietrangelo skates into his path). What will earn Cleary a minus is the fact that he extends his arm to push Pietrangelo after contact, which turns this into interference.
+1 to Valtteri Filppula: Flip played good minutes and didn't deserve to be an overall adjusted minus. This will get him back to even.
-1 to Danny Cleary: Cleary may be playing his way out of the lineup. He had a bad performance in this one.
Datsyuk played well, but overall was behind Zetterberg, who had a great game and was rewarded on the adjustments board well. Todd Bertuzzi was a bit hit-and-miss. He seriously could have gone either way. Jakub Kindl has big noticeable mistakes and big noticeable good plays. It's almost worth giving him a plus and a minus just to even each other out.