The Wings played the second of back-to-back on a road trip against what could be the West's worst team and escaped in overtime with a victory that was a hell of a lot of fun to watch. This was the last intra-conference game between the Avs and Wings we'll see for the foreseeable future. It's almost fitting that it was a tight-fought game.
The reffing standard in this one was inconsistent and I think that benefited the Wings more than it did the Avs. Detroit went 1-for-4 on their power play chances while Colorado had an 0-for-3. Shots in this barn-burner were 35-31 in favor of the Avs, who especially poured it on in the third.
Jimmy Howard will be even in the head-to-head. He faced what seemed like tougher shots, but he also made work harder for himself with a few turnovers. I thought Giguere did a better job controlling rebounds right up until he let one by him. Kind of an odd goaltending duel, but I'm not comfortable giving a clear-cut win one way or another. Overall, I think Howard deserves an even rating as well. The game could have gone very poorly for the Wings with substandard goaltending, but like I said, Howard made his own job harder with some of his puckhandling decisions.
1st Period 08:27 - Detroit Goal (PP): Pavel Datsyuk (wrist shot) from Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg
The Wings get into the zone cleanly and Zetterberg breaks an aggressive PK with a pass to a streaking Franzen, who finds Datsyuk in front for a quick move and a goal. Datsyuk's going to earn a self-assist for making the pass to get the zone entry. I'm going to give Franzen a half-plus for a good reaction to prevent Datsyuk from taking him offsides with a blue line dangle and for jumping in quickly to help Zetterberg out when the pressure gets there.
1st Period 11:36 - Colorado Goal: Mark Olver (backhand) from David Van Der Gulik and Aaron Palushaj
The Avs tie it with a good breakout which catches Quincey on a pinch and turns a 2-on-1 into a breakaway which Olver finishes. Quincey's step up is only a part of the problem on this play and it's not the worst mistake (I'm in favor of Wings D-Men being more aggressive in situations like these with the catch that it needs to work). Quincey will pull an extra half-minus for letting the puck get behind him so cleanly, but Tootoo will draw the full minus for waving at it as it goes by instead of hustling back to cover the point. Eaves is the only player to get his minus cleared. Emmerton takes a dumb angle which helps create the breakout, but isn't something terrible enough to get him extra blame. Kindl will get an extra minus. He's waving his stickk at David Van Der Fuckthisguy'slastname instead of recognizing that he's the man back on a 2-on-1 and worrying about the passing lane.
1st Period 11:49 - Detroit Goal: Gustav Nyquist (wrist shot) unassisted
13 seconds later, Gustav Nyquist puts the Wings back ahead as he picks up a turnover by Duchene and makes Giguere look dumb. Nyquist will get an extra half-plus. This is mostly on McGinn and Duchene for a too-hard pass and an inability to handle that, but I feel that it's partially caused by Nyquist taking a good angle and speed on his forechecking responsibility.
3rd Period 06:29 - Colorado Goal: PA Parenteau (tip-in) from Jamie McGinn and Matt Duchene
The Wings get hemmed in their own zone and pay for it as McGinn chucks the puck from the half-boards onto Parenteau's stick on the back door out of mid-air. Tootoo is going to get a turnover minus and a half coverage minus. This is an awful shift for the guy who simply can't get things done. Quincey will get a coverage minus. He turns to face Parenteau right as the shot is coming to him. Quincey can just knock this puck down and takes himself out of position. Eaves will have his minus cleared. The play doesn't really come through him.
Overtime 04:44 - Detroit Goal: Pavel Datsyuk (just the tip) from Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall
Holy shit am I glad this goal happened. Just a simple toss to the front of the net by Z that Pavel follows up and pokes in. Pavs is going to get a bonus plus and a self assist while Zetterberg will get half a bonus-plus. This is brilliant play by these two. Kronwall's secondary assist came on a pass that took place 17 seconds before the goal was scored.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
1st Period 18:44 - Justin Abdelkader (boarding): Abdelkader will earn a minus because you're not supposed to hit people in the numbers and that's what he did.
2nd Period 14:18 - Johan Franzen (interference): Mule slaps the stick out of Mitchell's hand off a power play faceoff and goes to the box. This is a stupid penalty because that guy should have a better grasp of his stick, but Franzen is going to get a minus, because they've been calling that stupid soft shit for years now.
2nd Period 17:43 - Patrick Bordelau (tripping): Kronwall gives his forechecker a little shoulder-fake and then suffers the consequences of tricking the guy by getting his feet knocked out from under him. It's a dumb play by Bordello, but it's partially-drawn by the fake. Half-plus for Kronwall.
3rd Period 08:31 - Pavel Datsyuk (holding the stick): Despite how long it took the refs to make this call the right way, it's a good call. Datsyuk grabbed the stick and will get a minus.
+1 to Gustav Nyquist: Nyquist looked every bit like he belonged in a top six role in this one as he dinged two off the post to go along with his beautiful goal.
+0.5 to Joakim Andersson: Andy nearly ended the game with a forecheck in OT which led Zetterberg in on a breakaway.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Niklas Kronwall, +0.5 to Justin Abdelkader and Jonathan Ericsson: This line was beastly in this one, outshooting their opposition by double-digits and being Detroit's only group that could consistently break pressure.
Tootoo, Emmerton, & Eaves' rough night got caught in the Avalanche goals coming with them out there making mistakes. If not for that, they'd have pulled extra minuses. Drew Miller was good again. I liked Franzen as a center.