Detroit played their last game before the Olympic Break in the hopes of keeping up with a group of teams who all won tonight. Despite outplaying the Bolts through two, the Wings were overcome with their own mistakes and the Lightning's aggression, losing the match 4-2.
Eh, I don't have anything new to say about the reffing standard. The Wings had a chance to let their special teams win this game and they went 0/3 with the advantage, also allowing Tampa to go 1/2. Shots were 33-28 in favor of Detroit.
Jimmy Howard stopped a penalty shot and was named one of the three stars of this game, but one of the goals he allowed was quite bad. Howard didn't lose the game for the Wings; I'd say he played about as well as the team in front of him played.
1st Period 17:18 - Detroit Goal: Daniel Alfredsson (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk
The Wings win an offensive zone faceoff and a few seconds later Alfie pops it into the top corner off a behind-the-net feed to make it 1-0. The faceoff comes off an icing which catches the Malone-Johnson-Crombeen line out thanks to some good offensive/neutral zone work by Miller, Andersson, Glendening, and Lashoff. Thompson initially beats Helm on the faceoff, but Helm reaches around the player and tries to sweep it back to Datsyuk. The puck bounces off Gudas' stick and angles back to the near post where Carle is standing. Datsyuk cuts directly in from the left wing to step around Gudas and pressure the puck. Matt Carle tries to poke it off his own net to the corner, but it doesn't bounce and instead lays there as Datsyuk picks up the loose puck and lets his momentum carry him behind the net. As Datsyuk clears the far post, Alfredsson steps away from Ryan Malone in the strong-side corner to the right side of the slot. Pavel's pass gets around Malone's stick and finds Alfie's blade while Helm ties up Thompson in front. Bishop is in the middle of sliding to his left post when Alfie roofs it to the right. This is good hustle by Datsyuk which will earn him a half-plus. Additionally, the line which created the icing faceoff and allowed Babcock to get this matchup will get kudos. Half-pluses will go to Glendening and Miller while Andersson and Lashoff (as the more-actively-involved two on the play) will get full pluses. I'll also note that Smith was on the ice while the line was creating the icing and was playing in good position, but the puck never came near him.
2nd Period 01:44 - Tampa Bay Goal (PP): Ondrej Palat (wrist shot) from Martin St. Louis and Victor Hedman
Tampa ties it on the power play as the PKers coast too high and Palat is given room to get his own rebound to put home. Darren Helm gets a clear early on the PK and bothers the Lightning for a bit before going off for a change. Purcell carries up ice through the middle and is able to get through Joakim Andersson's area before he can fully get into the play. This gives Purcell just enough room to cross the blue line as it forces Lashoff to back off. Immediately across the line, Purcell throws it to the right point for Johnson. Kyle Quincey takes a diving stab at this puck, but misses, making room for Purcell to get the return pass from Johnson at the half-boards. Lashoff moves over to help and Andersson pinches down a bit, but neither prevent Purcell from tossing the puck out to the other point where Hedman waits. Miller is the only guy on this side of the ice and he's helpless to do much as Hedman passes it off to St. Louis low in the left faceoff circle. Quincey ranges over to challenge St. Louis coasting down to the side of the net, but he misses the angle and gives up the lane to the slot. St. Louis finds Palat there for a snap-shot. Howard is able to get down on the shot and keep it out, but Quincey misses the rebound and Palat is able to pick it up and put it in. The zone entry here is just something that will happen sometimes, but Quincey is going to earn himself a minus for unnecessarily leaving his feet and missing the attempt to stop the pass. This puts pressure on his teammates that collapses the rest of the play. Andersson will get a half-minus for not recognizing that he needs to be more concerned with the passing lane to Hedman here as well. Lashoff is doing the best he can here and Miller at least tries to get Palat's stick lifted in the process of trying to make up for another mistake, so they won't get punishment. However, Quincey will pick up another minus on mistake #2 which allows the St. Louis pass to Palat in front of the net.
2nd Period 11:19 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Jurco (backhand) from Riley Sheahan and Danny DeKeyser
The Wings retake the lead on the continuation of a power play in which Jurco gets some room to drive a nasty backhander over Bishop's shoulder. The power play ends with Sheahan and Jurco working to clear the puck in the left wing corner of the zone, which they eventually do when Sheahan throws a backhand pass to the middle for a Tatar one-timer that's kicked to the right-wing corner where Jurco is able to hustle over and body off Barberio to keep possession. Sheahan again comes in and tries to center it to Tatar, but this time it's blocked. Crombeen gets a clearing attempt partially blocked by Tats and DeKeyser holds it in at the point. DK fires a slapper that hits Crombeen's skate in the high slot and bounces up toward the blue line. Jurco is there to keep both Crombeen and Thompson from playing it out of the zone, poking it slightly deeper to Sheahan. Salo races up to meet Sheahan in the slot to prevent him from getting a good scoring chance; this move takes him out of the right side protection, leaving a gap for Jurco to step into and receive the pass from Sheahan as he cuts in on the net. Thompson drapes himself on Jurco as he makes this move and Bishop tracks the puck, but the goalie moving laterally makes him dip his shoulder slightly, which Jurco exposes as he roofs the backhander. This play happens after a PP ends, but it's 19 seconds after, so all the pluses will remain. Datsyuk will earn back the plus that Ericsson gets for stepping on mere seconds before the goal. Pavel is a crucial part of the zone entry which leads to this play. Jurco and Sheahan will each earn a bonus plus for their dogged puck pursuit in making this play happen. Tatar plays an important role as well in making sure the Crombeen clearing attempt doesn't have enough mustard on it. This will earn Tatar a half-plus.
2nd Period 17:14 - Tampa Bay Goal: Tom Pyatt (backhand) from Sami Salo and J.T. Brown
At the expiration of a power play, Tampa gets a harmless rush which turns into a goal on a deflected backhand that gets through Howard overplaying it to the near post. Pyatt wins the draw, which Salo clears to the point where Brown challenges Ericsson, effectively ending the last few seconds of the PP by falling over the puck. Both Zetterberg and Nyquist are nearby to help, but they take the lane up the wall, leaving space for Salo to come in from lower in the zone and pick up the puck on the interior side of this small scrum. As Salo moves through center, he feeds it to the wall to beat Zetterberg moving over and then takes the center lane drive as Pyatt streaks in up the wing. Kronwall is back and directing traffic as he holds off Salo pushing to the front of the net. Ericsson gets back enough to deny Brown the chance to cut across the front of the net and Abdelkader is able to meet him as he hits the lower interior quadrant of the faceoff circle. From here, Pyatt just chucks a backhand at the net. Abdelkader gets a piece of this, but not enough and the puck knuckles through Howard. This is a bad goal and will clear the minuses of Abdelkader, Nyquist, Zetterberg, Ericsson, and Kronwall. Howard takes an awful angle and is caught leaning forward on this shot for no reason. The tip has no bearing on this being a bad goal, as even the tipped puck should have hit Howard in the chest if he had played this right. However, Ericsson, Zetterberg, and Abdelkader will all earn their minuses back. Riggy can't lose this battle, Zetterberg can't lose his man, and Abdelkader can't be this late to get back.
3rd Period 16:49 - Tampa Bay Goal: Alex Killorn (wrist shot) from Teddy Purcell and Tom Pyatt
Tampa takes advantage of sloppy in-zone play by the Wings and earns what will be the game-winner when Killorn puts in a loose puck at the side of the net. The Bolts gain possession as they effectively out-man Alfredsson and Datsyuk entering the zone, turning it over at the blue line for Purcell to pick up and move through center before dumping it on the backhand up the left wing side. Ericsson takes a couple steps to interfere with Purcell and prevent him from getting to the puck first, but Killorn is able to fight off a check from Alfredsson and escape behind the Wings' net with a bit of space. As Killorn comes out from behind the net at an angle which does not suggest a net-front trajectory, Ericsson moves out from the net-front area to chase him off to the corner, leaving Kronwall to watch the net front with Alfredsson's help. Killorn pushes it down the boards where Pyatt leaves the near post to grab the puck. Riggy backs off to stay with Killorn as Alfredsson heads down to challenge Pyatt moving back into the corner. Meanwhile, Purcell and Kronwall battle for position in front of the net. Pyatt centers into the developing mess from the corner where it bounces off Purcell's skate and hits Howard. The puck bounces out to the right side of the net where nobody is covering and only sits there for a half a second before Killorn gets his stick on it to put it in after having lost Ericsson in the Kronwall/Purcell meat-mass. Helm will have his minus cleared and Datsyuk's will be halved (Pavel is just behind the goal-scorer, but up until the puck is right there, he's in the lane he should be. He'll keep a half-minus for being a half-second too slow to realize he needs to leave his position to cover up for somebody else blowing a coverage). Alfredsson will pick up an extra minus on this play as the cleanly lost board battle and the slow chasing leads to this goal. Kronwall is in the center of this play and will keep his minus, but the only thing he does wrong is to not be amazing. Ericsson will get an extra minus for blowing the coverage on Killorn.
3rd Period 18:57 - Tampa Bay Goal (EN): Ondrej Palat (wrist shot) from Tyler Johnson and Sami Salo
The Bolts ice this one as Detroit does a terrible job of chasing a dump-in and their opponents make three simple passes to get out of the zone. Zetterberg wins the defensive zone faceoff with 1:36 remaining, but thanks to a blue line stand by Hedman, they don't gain the zone to pull Howard until there's 1:16 left as Alfredsson tries a soft-dump that he goes to chase down himself on the right side. Salo holds off Alfredsson, allowing Johnson to come down the wing and pick it up with room to sweep around behind his own net and turn up ice. Nyquist chases, but doesn't get to him in time, as he makes a cross-ice pass to a wide-open Palat on the same side that Alfredsson had just dumped the puck. Abdelkader chases over to Palat and Datsyuk goes back to try and cut off the angle, but neither gets there in time to prevent him from gaining the center stripe and firing it into the empty net. Kronwall will be cleared here, as he honestly is doing everything right when the rest of the play goes to hell. Alfredsson simply keeps his minus, as Salo makes a very smart play on the angle for the puck. Abdelkader also merely keeps his minus, as a guy slightly caught by good play rather than his own mistakes. Datsyuk will get an extra minus on the play here, as he cheats over to the wrong side of the ice and is the reason Palat has the space to receive this pass and then skate 50 feet up ice to the center line. Zetterberg is on the boards when Johnson escapes from behind the net and I feel he should be more-aggressively skating up to cut off this angle. This will get Hank a half-minus. Nyquist will earn himself a full minus on this play, as his initial dump-in is bad and then he's slow to react when Alfredsson dumps it. He should also be chasing as hard as he can up the boards instead of waiting for a pass that doesn't come.
1st Period 09:54 - Niklas Kronwall (high sticking): Kronner gets his stick up in BJ Crombeen's BJ Crombeener, going to the box for his trouble. This will earn Kronwall a minus.
2nd Period 01:09 - Tomas Jurco (boarding): Jurco pops Radko Gudas in the right shoulder (his lead shoulder as he turns with the puck) and the big dirty ape pretends to be hurt to draw a penalty called not by the ref ten feet away but by the one 100 feet away. No adjustment; this is a bad call.
2nd 09:00 - Nate Thompson (high sticking): The Wings are cycling around the boards in the zone when Helm beats Thompson to a puck behind the net. Thompson tries lifting the stick, but ends up catching Helm in the face instead. No adjustment. This is just carelessness with the stick.
2nd Period 15:10 - Matt Carle (tripping): After an air-puck is knocked over in the Wings' zone and the players battle to keep it from getting deeper, Tomas Tatar is able to win the puck and push it around Carle. Tatar threatens to step around and create an odd-man rush, which is short-circuited when Carle sticks his butt out to take Tatar down. Tatar will earn a plus for the good hustle.
3rd Period 05:55 - Teddy Purcell (tripping): Pavel Datsyuk fights to make room in the offensive zone, getting the defenders to chase him around. Purcell follows to the top of the zone and pushes Datsyuk's knee out from under him in an attempt to bring him down, going to the box for it. This will earn Datsyuk a plus.
3rd Period 18:24 - Brian "Penalty" Lashoff (holding on a breakaway): Nikita Kucherov gets behind Lashoff for what should be a breakaway except that Lashoff recognizes how much trouble he's in and immediately grabs onto Kucherov. Howard bails him out on the breakaway, but Lashoff will get a minus.
-1 to Joakim Andersson: Joker was the only player whose adjusted plus/minus didn't make sense. He was part of the icing that led to the Alfredsson goal, but other than that, he was a black hole for possession at even strength.
-1 to Brian Lashoff: He settled more as the game went on, but never was able to overcome a pretty terrible first period, especially on the play where he got burned by Brown.
Special shout-out to the whole team for giving us this piece of shit to think about for the rest of the month.
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