Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Game 28 of 48
I like hockey again, even if I didn't like a great portion of that game. The Wings got some luck on their side to pull out of the doldrums and Pavel Datsyuk got rewarded for playing hard. Jeff Petry probably feels really bad.
Detroit won the special teams battle by allowing 0 power play goals on three Edmonton attempts while going 1-for-5 on their own man advantages. The standard was fairly inconsistent again in this one.
Jimmy Howard will win the head-to-head battle against Devan Dubnyk, though just barely. Howard made a number of great saves which helped Detroit stay in the game. Dubnyk wasn't as challenged through the first two periods and I don't think he made as many "robbery-type" stops as Howard did. Overall, I think Howard deserves a +1 rating. He was definitely a positive factor in this victory.
1st Period 03:34 - Edmonton Goal: Taylor Hall (wrist shot) from Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky
Hall breaks into the Wings' zone in the middle of the ice and five guys stand around with their thumbs up their asses while he drives the center lane and scores on Jimmy "Five-Hole" Howard. Nobody will have a minus cleared, as everybody has a chance to play just a little better. Ericsson will get blame and an extra minus for releasing on Hall and not blocking the middle (Z covers the wing while Kronner is watching Horcoff). Filppula will get an extra half-minus as he's already committed to collapsing and doesn't get in on Hall.
2nd Period 16:18 - Edmonton Goal: Sam Gagner (wrist shot) from Nail Yakupov and Taylor Hall
Hall out-battles Ericsson and Gagner beats Kronwall for positioning on Edmonton's 2nd goal, a rebound goal. This is another play where everybody has enough blame to at least keep their minuses. Ericsson will get a turnover minus and Kronwall a coverage minus on the mistakes they make. Emmerton will also pick up a minus here, as Yakupov is his man and he takes an irresponsible angle around the Ericsson/Hall jumble which allows Yakupov to escape to a scoring area with the puck on his stick.
3rd Period 04:27 - Detroit Goal: Valtteri Filppula (backhand) from Henrik Zetterberg.
Zetterberg dogs the puck deep in the zone, creating a loose puck for Filppula to pull off the boards and walk to the dot with, where he chucks a backhand over the blocker to open the scoring. Z's good hustle on Schultz will earn him a bonus plus. Brunner will end up with a full assist after getting half a third on the opening of the play and half a screener's assist. Dubnyk is leaning to his left when Filppula releases the shot and this is partially because Brunner goes to the front of the net..
3rd Period 14:07 - Detroit Goal (PP): Niklas Kronwall (Jeff Petry) unassisted
Nobody gets an assist on this one officially because Kronwall's rebound gets put into the Edmonton net by Jeff Petry. I'm going to give Zetterberg and Datsyuk the assists they deserve on the setup here.
Overtime 03:39 - Detroit Goal: Pavel Datsyuk (the stuff unicorn boners are made of) from Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall
Detroit goes end-to-end and Datsyuk wins it with a snipe past Dubnyk. Kindl will get a non-touch assist for a clever play to free up some room in the Wings zone for Kronwall to get to a loose puck away from the forechecker. Datsyuk will get a self-assist on the original outlet to Franzen. I'm also going to give Datsyuk a bonus half-plus here on being awesome. His hustle throughout this whole play makes it happen.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
1st Period 12:47 - Ladislav Smid (hooking): Pavel draws a hooking call as he enters the Edmonton zone. Plus for Datsyuk.
1st Period 16:27 - Daniel Cleary (boarding): This isn't actually a boarding, but Cleary has his elbow up. Minus for Cleary.
+1 to Pavel Datsyuk: Even before the game-winner, Pavel was the player of the game.
-1 to Jakub Kindl: The best way I could describe his game in this one was "nervous". He struggled with the Edmonton forecheck in his own zone and did not once have the confidence to step up on a 50/50 puck in the offensive zone, even when he had a forward there to back him up.
-0.5 to Joakim Andersson: For a guy his size, he simply can't pass up as many opportunities to play the body as he did in this game. I don't want him taking runs at people, but he's got to hit.
-0.5 to Johan Franzen: Mule was a step behind the play just about all night and he still didn't end up too badly. I think this was more focus than effort, but I'd like to see him think a little quicker out there.
Zetterberg and Brunner are still a bit snakebitten, but it looks like their timing is incredibly close to catching right, which could be huge for them. I thought Drew Miller stood out among his linemates with some good rushes up ice. Ericsson got punished pretty heavily in the actual adjustments, but he deserved it. The guy struggled.