Detroit came off a "moral victory" against Chicago on Sunday (read: a loss) after holding on for a while and then not being able to hold on. Detroit tried to do something similar against the Avalanche, but the Avalanche are not nearly as good as the Blackhawks and Detroit came away with a 2-1 victory that was much closer than it should have been.
Easy game to call from a penalties standpoint, as the refs let them play. What did get called was fairly random, so there aren't going to be any penalty adjustments from this one.
This may have been Jimmy Howard's finest performance of the season and he got screwed out of a shutout in the last 90 seconds as his team couldn't handle the 6-on-5. Howard will earn a +2 overall after making some monumental saves. His biggest came early in the third as John Mitchell got a puck all alone out front and Howard stoned him. JS Giguere had a pretty good performance, but Howard will win the head-to-head battle for not kicking a puck into his own net.
2nd Period 07:00 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (breakaway snipe) from Damien Brunner
Franzen blocks a shot at the top of the zone with his stick and anticipates that the Wings will get to it first. He's right, as Brunner picks it up and hits him in stride for a breakaway. Mule snipes it over Giguere's catching glove to put the Wings on the board. Franzen will get a self-assist and a bonus plus on this play.
2nd Period 17:32 - Detroit Goal: Niklas Kronwall (JS Giguere's Skate) from Jonathan Ericsson and Pavel Datsyuk
Kronwall gets the puck at the top of the zone without a shooting lane, so he tries the "lively boards" at the Joe with a slapper wide that comes off the end boards to bounce off Giguere's skate and into the net. Cleary will pull a screener's assist. He's blocking Giguere's view on the shot and makes him kind of have to panic on the rebound.
3rd Period 18:30 - Colorado Goal: Paul Stastny (backhand) from PA Parenteau and Matt Hunwick
Parenteau feeds Stastny out front for a great chance from the slot that Howard stops. Unfortunately, the rebound comes right back to Stastny, who snaps a backhander through to get Colorado on the board. Pavel Datsyuk is going to pull a coverage minus on this play. It's his responsibility to stop the pass from Parenteau and he doesn't have his man covered. Johan Franzen will also get a turnover minus. It's a long shift for him, but he's got a chance to get a clear directly before the puck gets back to Parenteau and he doesn't get it past Hunwick.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
+1.5 to Kyle Quincey: Easily one of Quincey's best games of the season. Q played aggressively in both teams' zones and was incredibly effective, leading the team in Corsi by a fair margin in his 19:01 of ice time.
+0.5 to Henrik Zetterberg, Damien Brunner, and Johan Franzen: This forward line was Detroit's best. They carried play in this one and created the team's best chances. I really liked Brunner's hustle especially.
+1 to Brendan Smith: Smith's skating and body position were very strong. I think he was the best D-man for the Wings in terms of escaping the Colorado forecheck.
-1 to Dan Cleary: Abby is the one who got pulled off the line, but I think Cleary was the less-effective of Datsyuk's wingers in this one. He had one turnover that led directly to a break for the Avs in the Wings' zone and he just flat-out fell down on an outlet pass from Datsyuk. Like, no reason at all. Just fell down.
Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall played the tougher minutes among Detroit's D-pairs and did decently throughout the game, but the PA Parenteau breakaway that they screwed up on just about turned them to minuses in this one. Kindl was hot-and-cold and almost ended up a minus as well. I don't remember very much about Lashoff at all, other than I saw he was playing in his own zone a lot. More than just the missed coverage on the goal, Datsyuk didn't have a strong showing.