The Red Wings and Blackhawks gave NBCSN a Rivalry Night game more than befitting the title. This was probably one of the more entertaining hockey games I've seen the Wings play in a while. It certainly helps that it came in the form of a shootout victory over one of the league's best squads.
The refs seemed to call this game more on the score than on which teams were actually cheating more at any given time, but I think both teams got away with just about as much. Both teams got four power play chances, but only Chicago scored on one of them. Shots were 35-31 for the Hawks.
Jonas Gustavsson still kinda terrifies me in net and I may never get over that. He played well enough to get the win in the end, but I wouldn't call this game a goaltending duel. Todd Bertuzzi bailed him out in the shootout after he bit hard on a Jonathan Toews deke and then allowed a glove side shot by Patrick Sharp to beat him that I think he should have stopped. Fortunately, Corey Crawford was slightly worse and he got the victory.
1st Period 08:41 - Chicago Goal: Marian Hossa (tip in) from Jonathan Toews and Johnny Oduya
The Hawks catch the Wings scrambling low in their own zone and Hossa shins the puck in. After some time in the Hawks zone, Chicago gets a clear and Handzus dumps the puck in for Bickell to chase while the Hawks change. Bickell checks Smith into the end boards and is able to come away with the puck, trying to feed it to Hossa coming off the bench and cutting through the middle. Bertuzzi blocks the pass to Cleary, who tries to get it around Hossa up the boards, but ends up passing it to Oduya at the point. As Oduya looks up, he sees Toews alone at the bottom of the right faceoff circle with a lane to pass to him. Toews gets the pass, but has to collect as Gustavsson slides side-to-side on him. Instead of shooting it, Toews passes back across the grain where the puck bounces off Hossa's shin and into the goal. Of all involved, Bertuzzi is the least to blame, as he blocks the initial pass, but is let down on the turnover and can't get up to cover on Oduya thanks to his teammate's turnover. Bert will be cleared. Zetterberg is coming on late and is essentially playing as a winger here with a responsibility to watch Hjalmarsson at the top of the zone. Toews isn't his job, but it might be worth it to panic and collapse on him here. Helm's minus will be halved. Cleary will get an extra minus for the turnover here, Lashoff will get a minus for slow coverage. He comes over to help after Smith is beaten by Bickell, but should race to cover Hossa on the back door and instead gets there slowly. Smith will get a half-minus for the turnover and a full minus on the coverage. He doesn't get to the net-front area quickly enough and it's his responsibility to make sure this pass doesn't get to Toews to set everything up.
1st Period 10:27 - Chicago Goal: Andrew Shaw (backhand) from Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad
Chicago makes it 2-0 by outworking the Wings down low in front, paying off when Shaw punches a loose puck into an open net. The play starts as Danny DeKeyser throws a puck at traffic forming in front of Crawford. Andrew Shaw picks the puck off in the slot and starts up ice with it, feeding it in front to Saad as he tries getting behind DeKeyser. Saad is able to control into the zone, but never gets a step on DK, getting taken down as he attempts to muscle around the corner for a good chance on Gustavsson. As DK and Saad slide behind the goal, Gustavsson reaches for the loose puck, but can't grab it as Kane comes in and is able to take it away and make a bit of space to the side of the net to attempt a short-side shot which rings off the post and comes to rest on the far side of the crease behind Gustavsson. Shaw already has body position on Bertuzzi and is able to push it in on the backhand. Helm and Cleary will be cleared on this play, as they're already deep on the turnover and are covering back where they should be. DeKeyser will keep his minus. The shot selection isn't great and it puts him in non-ideal position to cover Saad coming back. He plays the backcheck very well and exactly how he should, but he's recoving from behind a half-step behind because of his own doing. Quincey will earn an extra minus. There's not a lot he can do after he overskates the puck on the backcheck and misses. This puts him out of position to make an adjustment if he's quick enough to realize Kane has taken the puck out from under him and is about to put it on net He either has to get the clear or knock somebody down and he does neither. Bertuzzi will pick up an extra half-minus. He comes to the wrong post on his backcheck. Bert should be tracking the far post from the get-go and this allows Shaw to get back.
1st Period 11:14 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Tatar (wrist shot) from Brendan Smith and Tomas Jurco
Detroit gets on the board with a good step up in the offensive zone and a rebound goal for the Wings' hardest-working forward. After the Shaw Goal, the Glendening-Miller-Eaves line plays a bit in the Chicago zone to draw a faceoff. Sheahan loses it, but hustle by Tatar, Jurco, and Sheahan helps the Wings regain possession when Johnny Oduya can't handle a pass cleanly. Jurco feeds a puck from the half-boards down to the corner where Tatar has just a bit of room to make a play thanks to Sheahan moving out to play behind the net. Tatar skates up the boards and feeds it out to Brendan Smith stepping up on the play. Smith gets off a half-slapper from just above the circles as Sheahan takes up the net-front, Jurco ranges into the middle, and Tatar comes to the dot. Crawford stops the Smith shot, but kicks it right to Tatar, who fires it back on net. The puck tips in off Oduya's stick, beating Crawford 5-hole. The hustle by Tatar and Jurco will earn each a plus. Sheahan will get a half-plus and Smith will get a half-plus for smart plays.
1st Period 17:40 - Detroit Goal: Patrick Eaves (wrist shot) from Justin Abdelkader and Henrik Zetterberg
The Wings tie it on an aggressive forecheck, a brilliant kick-pass, and a wonderful snipe. The Wings get a clear as Jonathan Ericsson outmuscles Toews in the corner and Eaves comes in to help out, eventually making space for Riggy to get it behind the net and start the breakout to Zetterberg moving up the weak-side wing for the outlet. Hjalmarsson steps up, but Hank dumps it off the boards out of the zone. Hossa gets body position on Eaves at center, but Eaves takes a good angle, forcing Hossa to fail on his pass to reset the rush. Zetterberg gets the loose puck at the Chicago blue line and crosses in on the left side with Abdelkader joining him on the far right and Eaves trailing in from the same side as Z. Hank gets to the half-boards to allow Eaves to streak in through the middle while Abby ties up the D-Man on the far side. Here, Z throws a pass/shot to the front. This deflects off Hjalmarsson's skate and bounces off the far side boards to the top of the faceoff circle. Abdelkader turns to race Oduya to the loose puck and has his stick slashed out of his hands by Hossa. Still, Abby is able to win the battle with a sliding kick pass that knocks the puck past a reaching Oduya and right to Eaves, who turns at the dot and snaps it top shelf past Crawford to tie it. Ericsson and Kronwall will get back the pluses that go to Quincey and DeKeyser on this play, as they're more involved than the late-coming D-men. Additionally, Ericsson will get a half-plus for smart play to get the puck and the clear. Zetterberg and Eaves will each get a bonus half-plus on this transition play while Abdelkader's forechecking will earn him a full plus.
2nd Period 05:03 - Chicago Goal (PP): Patrick Sharp (slap shot) from Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane.
Quickly off a power play faceoff win, the Hawks get a slapper in through a screen to make it 3-2. Helm loses the faceoff as Kane gets the puck behind Toews and feeds it to Keith at the point. As both Helm and Cleary race to pressure Keith, neither takes an angle to get to Sharp at the right point. Keith feeds it over and Sharp has room to step all the way to the top of the circle while Shaw takes up position in front of Gustavsson in a territory battle with Kronwall. As Sharp's slapper gets through Gustavsson, the goalie never sees it. The problem here is that Helm loses the faceoff cleanly and also that both forwards chase Keith while neither covers Sharp. The second mistake is Cleary's (and he pays for it by not having to kill another second of penalties the rest of the game). Helm will get a turnover minus and Cleary a coverage minus.
2nd Period 06:20 - Detroit Goal: Kyle Quincey (wrist shot) from Gustav Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg
The Wings pull even again on a beautiful snipe by...Kyle Quincey? Ok, sure. Hell yes. After the Hawks ice the puck, the linesman waves it off because Versteeg gets a better angle on it than DeKeyser in the corner of the Wings' zone. DK plays it well and takes the puck away from Versteeg, feeding it to Zetterberg coming back and then turning up ice with Abdelkaer helping. The Wings cross Chicago's blue line three abreast with Z in the middle flanked by Abby to the left and Nyquist on the right. Kyle Quincey is joining the play about ten feet behind them while the Hawks have Oduya and Hjalmarsson back with Bickell being the third. Immediately across the line, Z feeds it to Nyquist on the right wing side and continues his push to the front of the net. Nyquist draws Oduya over as he glides to the top of the circle and stops. From here, Bickell has over-collapsed, leaving a lane for Quincey to pick it up just above the slot and step closer to the net uncontested. As both Hjalmarsson and Bickell freeze on Quincey, he rifles a shot between them that rips past Crawford and ties the game. DeKeyser will get a half-plus for a great job on Versteeg to strip him cleanly of the puck. Quincey stepping up to force the odd-man will earn him a plus as well. Zetterberg will get a screener's assist on this play. He's just crossing the net-front as Q lets this go and the momentary eclipse is the reason he doesn't see the shot on time.
2nd Period 11:14 - Detroit Goal: Gustav Nyquist (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader
Great forechecking sets up a pretty tic-tac-toe goal for the Wings' top line. The Hawks get a shot that hits Gustavsson and takes a weird bounce which ends with Keith getting the puck at the point under pressure. To keep it in, Keith tries a backhand lob to the middle of the ice. Kronwall picks it off and shovels a backhand pass out of the zone to the right wing side just out of Abelkader's reach. The puck is dumped well enough not to be an icing as Abdelkader races Seabrook to the puck. Seabs gets it in the faceoff circle, but some great forechecking work on the dogged Abdelkader bounces it off his stick and allows him to take possession cleanly when the puck hits the boards in the corner. From here, Abby feeds it to Zetterberg following the play wide open at the bottom of the circle. As everybody turns to fear Z with a great shot at the net, the Wings' captain wastes no time immediately feeding it to Gustav Nyquist on the back door for the easy put-away. Kronwall makes a smart play to clear the zone and will get a half-plus. Z and Nyquist play smart here, but the hero on the play is Abdelkader and the great forechecking job he does to embarrass Seabrook. Abby will get a plus and a half on this one.
3rd Period 05:12 - Chicago Goal: Marcus Kruger (wrist shot) unassisted
Marcus Kruger picks off a shitty pass attempt and ties it with a snapper past Gustavsson. The Wings' backpressure forces a weak dump in along the boards that Smith gets to first being pressure by Bollig. Smith has DeKeyser as an outlet in front of the net, as he can't go back to Bertuzzi up the boards because of Ben Smith covering him. Helm is coming back through the middle and that's where Smith decides to go. Unfortunately, he misses the pass and ends up feeding it straight to an on-rushing Marcus Kruger, who has his momentum going the right way. Helm is circling the wrong way and DeKeyser is ranging toward the far corner to play safe outlet for a dump-around when the turnover happens. Both try to get back in the play as Kruger steps into the middle, but it's too late. Kruger gets to the right side of the slot and snipes it past Gustavsson off the post and into the net. This one is all Smith, who simply can't make this turnover. Bertuzzi, Cleary, Helm and DeKeyser will be cleared. Meanwhile, this turnover will be egregious enough to earn Smith two minuses. What Smith does here could be a clever play if it works and could end up earning the Wings a strong rush up ice on quick transition, but the risks are high and Smith pays for screwing up the pass.
2nd Period 04:57 - Drew Miller (interference): Miller and Andrew Shaw skate in on a loose puck, leaning on one another. Randomly, Miller is the one who gets a penalty. Miller will get a minus. Shaw sells it, but Miller moves into his path, which you can't do.
2nd Period 16:28 - Brandon Saad (hooking and slashing): The Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco line creates some havoc in the Hawks zone, eventually leading to a Brandon Saad hook to prevent a scoring opportunity on a loose puck in front. Later on the same play, he gets another penalty for slashing Jurco's stick. Jurco, and Tatar will each earn two pluses while Sheahan will get +1.5. They deserve this, having drawn both penalties with great hustle.
2nd Period 19:10 - Dan Cleary (interference): Cleary takes the Wings off the power play by running a sloppy, obvious pick on Brent Seabrook to give Henrik Zetterberg room for a zone entry. This is a brutally stupid penalty and Cleary will get a minus for it.
3rd Period 02:30 - Kyle Quincey (tripping): After playing a puck to the corner in his own end, Quincey is called for tripping when Brandon Saad flies in and falls over a stick which has recently contacted the puck. This is a bad call. No adjustment.
2nd Period 05:22 - Danny DeKeyser (interference): Bickell skates into DeKeyser going into the Red Wings' zone and falls down, drawing an inteference call. No adjustment. This one is significantly worse than the Miller penalty earlier. DK is skating his line and Bickell skates into contact with him before diving. Embarrassing.
3rd Period 07:03 - Marian Hossa (cross-checking): Lashoff does battle with Hossa in front of the net on a Hawks power play. Lashoff plays a bit rough and Hossa retaliates. This will earn Lashoff a plus. He's playing good D and Hossa loses his shit.
3rd Period 14:53 - Duncan Keith (interference): Duncan Keith runs a pick on Zetterberg to spring Toews for a good chance. Fortunately, the refs see it and blow the whistle. No adjustment. This is just a dumb play by Keith.
+2 to Luke Glendening: 19 minutes played, including 2:27 shorthanded. He mostly played against Patrick Kane's line, taking only 2 offensive zone faceoffs versus 7 in the D-zone at 5-on-5. Despite that, he still had a 67% corsi for rating. That's a wonderful performance by Glendening in a shutdown role.
+1 to Drew Miller: He also played above 19 minutes in shutdown. He wasn't dominant like Glendening, but I think he earned his way out of the overall hole he was in after the penalty. This will get him back to even.
+1 to Jonathan Ericsson: Heavy usage in his first game back against top competition for the Hawks and Ericsson shone. Solid performance by the guy who hadn't played since December 23rd.
+1 to Danny DeKeyser: Calm, cool, and collected on the blue line for the Wings. DK made some very good defensive plays during his 23:06 on the ice.
Bad game for Brendan Smith, who started 10 more times in the offensive zone than the defensive zone and still barely pulled above even on possession. Helm made too many mistakes, despite getting cleared on much of the scoring against him.
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