After a bad game on Thursday in San Jose, the Wings were looking at two more games against California juggernauts over the weekend. Thankfully, they were able to bear down and beat the Kings on the power of two fantastic performances.
The reffing standard for this game was inconsistent and the Kings' only goal came after two calls which I feel were technically right, but could have gone either way and didn't. Detroit went 0/4 on their power play while the Kings got one goal on four chances. Overall, Los Angeles outshot Detroit 45-26.
Jimmy Howard made 44 saves to earn the victory. Just the shot numbers themselves tells us a story of a goalie under siege holding up amazingly well. Watching it live, the story of the game agrees with that assessment. Howard kept the Wings in it when it was 1-1 and made damn sure to keep them ahead late when the pressure was on. This was probably his best game of the season.
1st Period 14:10 - Los Angeles Goal (PP): Drew Doughty (slap shot) from Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards
The Kings get a 5-on-3 goal with a cross-ice pass for a one-timer with Dustin Brown in front bothering Jimmy Howard just outside the crease. Not much point in going over this one in detail. No adjustment.
1st Period 17:11 - Detroit Goal: Riley Sheahan (backhand) from Tomas Tatar and Brendan Smith
The Wings pull even late in the period on a great move by Tatar to make space in front and an even better job of collecting the garbage in front by Sheahan. On a wide shot in the Wings' end, Brendan Smith dispossesses Dustin Brown along the boards and gets it to Sheahan, who quickly pushes it to Tatar heading up ice along the boards in a 2-on-3 rush with Bertuzzi joining. Richards covers the middle, so Regehr is able to try and pinch Tatar off entering the zone, but he doesn't do a good enough job and Tatar gets it deep, then gets around to recover it first with Regehr and Richards switching off coverages here. Bert crosses over from the center to the right-hand side to give Tatar just enough room to curl up the boards and drag Richards along with him. While this is going down, Riley Sheahan comes in late and sets up shop in front of the net. Tatar gets to the top of the circle and cuts to the middle of the ice. Richards isn't ready for this and as Tatar gets to the slot, the former Flyers captain hooks Tatar, but can't prevent his shot on net. Quick makes the save, but Sheahan gets to the rebound first and backhands it in around the goalie. First, Smith and Kronwall will get the pluses instead of Lashoff and Kindl, who come on behind the play after the original pair did defensive work to set up the clear (and one of them did enough to actually get an assist on this goal). Tatar is going to get a bonus plus and a penalty plus on this play. There was a pending call coming when the goal happened. I'm also going to give Bertuzzi a half-plus for making the space that Tatar uses to cut to the middle. Sheahan will get a half-plus for his puck movement to get out of the zone combined with the net-front play.
3rd Period 12:06 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Tatar (wrist shot) from Riley Sheahan and Todd Bertuzzi
The Wings take the lead on a rebound goal off a rush scored by the most-deserving player on the Wings, Tomas Tatar, who finished it up by honoring his recently-passed father in a touching move. The play starts with Lashoff getting a rebound in the corner up the boards around Lewis and Fraser where Bertuzzi picks it up already moving up ice with Tatar alongside him against Martinez and Regehr. Sheahan and Fraser are trailing behind, but Fraser has no stick and is calling for a change as he races back. As they move from covering mostly the left side, Bertuzzi hits center ice near the faceoff dot and Tatar establishes the right wing lane. Bert drops it for Sheahan coming up the left side in what is now a 3-on-2 rush. Martinez keeps up the inner lane on Sheahan to keep him from driving straight to the net-front while Regehr watches Bert in the middle and Clifford races back to try and close the passing lane to Tatar uncovered on the far wing. As Sheahan enters the faceoff circle, he fires a hard wrister aimed 5-hole on Quick that the netminder stops, but doesn't control. With Bert bearing down hard, Quick snow-angels with the puck on his feet. This leads to Quick kicking the puck directly out front where Tatar is cutting in toward the net. The young Slovak collects the puck and fires it into the net. The Wings get a bit fortunate that two Kings players lose their sticks on this play, giving them an odd-man rush. I'm not going to make an adjustment. This is good decision-making on a textbook breakout though. I do want to add that there was not a single player on the ice who deserved the game winning goal more than Tomas Tatar and I'm incredibly glad he ended up with it.
3rd Period 17:26 - Detroit Goal: Daniel Cleary (wrist shot) from Luke Glendening
Glendening pops a guy behind the Wings net and takes the puck to feed it out front for an easy goal for Cleary. The Wings get a line change after heavy Kings pressure and set up a 1-2-2 trap as they come up ice, forcing a dump-in that's retrieved and cleared. A pass from Eaves to Cleary misses in the neutral zone, leaving Muzzin to chase it down into his own end with Glendening chasing him. Muzzin thinks he has room to use the net to help wipe Glendening off his ass, but he ends up with a stinky finger when Luke punches through that bullshit and knocks Muzzin over. The loose puck rolls to the opposite corner where Drew Doughty is first on it with Patrick Eaves in tow. Doughty tries to cut back up between Eaves and Glendening to the front of his own net, but Glendening pokes it off his stick and lets him glide right by. With space at the side of the net to wait for the play to develop a little bit, Glendening holds the puck until Eaves sets up at the net-front with both Stoll and Doughty watching him. The gap between these two and the two remaining Kings' forwards is very wide and Dan Cleary takes advantage of this by skating up through the slot to receive the pass from Glendening before firing it stick side through traffic and into the net. This play is all Glendening's forecheck. I'm going to give Glendening a bonus plus for ruining Muzzin's plans to transition and another bonus plus for stealing the puck from Doughty.
1st Period 06:08 - Kyle Clifford (tripping): Clifford and DeKeyser race for a loose puck dumped into the corner of the Wings' zone. Both players are jockeying for position up ice, but DeKeyser keeps in front of his man. In response, Clifford takes out DeKeyser's leg and makes him slide awkwardly into the boards. Plus for DeKeyser. He does good work keeping position on this play.
1st Period 13:08 - Kyle Quincey (hooking): The Wings get running around in their own zone and, surprise surprise, Kyle Quincey takes a penalty. Minus for Quincey. Hooking is bad.
1st Period 13:45 - Joakim Andersson (holding the stick): Joker blocks a shot at the top of the zone and tries to get around Doughty for a break. Doughty puts his stick in front of Andersson, who responds by grabbing onto the shaft (heh) and going to the box. This being only one penalty is weird to me, but Andersson not holding the stick is a better play. Minus for Andersson.
2nd Period 03:12 - Drew Doughty (cross checking): Abdelkader and Doughty race after a puck in the Kings' end with Abby winning the race and getting planted into the boards for his trouble. Plus for Abdelkader. Gaining position creates this penalty.
2nd Period 07:09 - Henrik Zetterberg (cuppin' da puck): Jeff Carter gets a chance to try and step in front which Hank beats by sprawling to take the puck. He VERY briefly covers the puck with his hand and goes to the box. Zetterberg will get a half-minus and Abdelkader will get the other half-minus for the turnover which creates this play.
2nd Period 09:46 - Brendan Smith and Colin Fraser (roughing): The refs take one from each team on a post-whistle scrum by the Wings' net. No adjustment. Just some dudes sticking up for other dudes.
2nd Period - Jeff Carter (goaltender interference): After Howard makes an amazing save at 4-on-4, Carter takes him down with a push to his knee, drawing the whistle immediately. No adjustment. Dumb play by Carter.
2nd Period 18:31 - Jake Muzzin (hooking): The Wings' top line creates havoc, eventually drawing a hooking penalty on Muzzin as he tries to interfere with Nyquist driving the net on a scoring chance. Nyquist will get a plus for drawing the penalty directly. This really is a shift-drawn call with the great movement though. Zetterberg will also get a plus while Abdelkader and Kronwall will each get half-pluses for their work in getting the Kings to run around.
3rd Period 08:22 - Todd Bertuzzi (hooking): Bert loses a step on Doughty chasing him around the Kings' net and hooks him obviously. Minus for Bertuzzi. This is an infuriatingly dumb penalty to take.
+1 to Brendan Smith and Niklas Kronwall: The two best Red Wings defensemen. Kronwall had a quietly solid performance while Smith was a bit flashier and moved the puck well.
-1 to Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff: These two got brutalized by the forecheck in this game and didn't exit the zone cleanly Too many turnovers.
+1.5 to Joakim Andersson: The penalty he took was the only bad part of Andersson's game. I thought he controlled the puck well and did a very good job stifling the Kings' transition when he was on the ice.
Kyle Quincey was well on his way to an overall minus had he not had a very solid third period for the Wings. Mikael Samuelsson actually did a few good things, but he also killed a couple rushes.
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Season Totals Chart
Screener's Assist Totals
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