The Red Wings had three days off after plastering Ottawa 6-1 and came out against the Devils less healthy than they were before. In the game, they lost another player to injury too as Darren Helm didn't play the third period. Also, the Red Wings lost 4-3.
The reffing in this game fit the standard narrative reffing. I thought that the late 2nd period was pretty bad as far as the calls went, but overall the standard was mostly consistent. Detroit went 2/4 on the power play and New Jersey went 1/3. Shots were 29-23 in favor of the Devils.
Jimmy Howard gave up a goal in the first minute of two out of the three periods and another in the last minute of the third. He wasn't the reason the Wings lost, but he had an opportunity to be the reason they won and didn't capitalize.
1st Period 00:27 - New Jersey Goal: Adam Henrique (backhand) unassisted
The Wings start the game with their clownshoes on and give up a goal on the very first shift with awful puck-handling by their defenders. Elias dumps a puck into the corner of the Wings' zone where Alfredsson outmuscles Henrique to get an opportunity to start the puck the other way. While still fighting off Henrique and by now Elias, Alfie tries to feed it to the interior to start it up ice. Elias' stick interferes with the pass and instead of hitting either Helm or Kronwall moving up ice through the circle, it hits Helm's skate and gets behind both of them. Ericsson is coming out of the corner behind the play and has the first opportunity to get to it, but Henrique lifts his stick and deftly turns it back to himself behind the D cutting in on goal. Howard stops the first opportunity, but Ericsson isn't able to haul down his man before he gets a second attempt which he finishes. Justin Abdelkader will be cleared as he has nothing to do with this goal. Alfredsson, Helm, and Kronwall will each pick up an extra half-minus on the turnover. All three need to make better plays to prevent this. Ericsson will pick up a minus for the turnover and a half-minus for the positioning problem he put on himself.
1st Period 11:26 - Detroit Goal (PP): Johan Franzen (wrist shot) unassisted
Detroit pulls even on the power play with an amazing effort by Franzen to create havoc and snipe the top corner on Brodeur. After early trouble, the Wings' power play gets into the zone and establishes their presence with some very crisp perimeter passing to shrink the PK box. The setup changes looks a few times, going from umbrella to two-man high until Franzen is able to find a lane to move to the dot thanks to a give-and-go with Nyquist leaving the slot to cover. Mule's shot is stopped, but Bertuzzi does an excellent job trying a jam play and then keeping the PK from clearing the zone. This delay pays off as the puck comes out to Zubrus down low in the circle. Zubrus isn't able to control it before Franzen cuts between the player and the puck to steal it heading to the corner. Mule dipsy-doodles Greene to get the puck back above the goal line before snapping it high to the far post on a crouching Brodeur. Franzen makes a good play to take the puck from Zubrus and will get a half-plus. Bertuzzi is going to earn a plus on this play as well, as he makes a good zone entry play and then does a great job of creating problems around the net leading up to the goal
2nd Period 07:03 - Detroit Goal: Brendan Smith (wrist shot) from Justin Abdelkader
Brendan Smith gives the Wings a lead on a beautiful pass from Abdelkader behind the net. The play starts on a New Jersey rush where Alfredsson loses a puck to Zajac to the middle of the ice and the Devils almost get a great scoring chance which is broken up by a bad kick-pass and then trying to get too fancy with the puck. Zubrus passes the puck from the slot straight to Abdelkader to move up ice with Alfredsson joining. As Abby gains the zone on the left wing side, he catches Fayne a bit flat-footed and is able to get the puck by him around behind the net without getting pinched off. This pays off when Abby keeps control around the other side of the net sweeping back in front to a dangerous area which draws all sorts of attention (while Alfredsson draws plenty of his own setting up at the top of the crease). While everybody watches Abby work, Jagr forgets he has to cover the slot. This turns out to be a bad choice for Jagr, as Abdelkader threads a pass to Brendan Smith jumping up into the play. Smith snaps it past Brodeur to make it 2-1. Abby will get a half-plus for burning Fayne around the boards, Alfredsson loses what bonus he might get for tying up the defense because the Wings very nearly gave up a goal on a mistake by him in the defensive zone just moments earlier. Glendening and Lashoff will lose their pluses for stepping on behind the play. DeKeyser will earn the plus back as he had a solid shift before this one and stepped up on Zubrus during the dangerous scoring chance to prevent him from turning with the puck.
3rd Period 00:41 - New Jersey Goal (PP): Marek Zidlicky (deflection) from Damien Brunner and Patrik Elias
The Devils pull even early in the third on the power play as Jimmy Howard has the puck knocked out of his glove and into the net. Elias dumps it in from the blue line and wins the race to his own pass, ringing it up to Brunner at the top of the zone just past the stick of Kronwall. Brunner feeds it across to Zidlicky for a one-timer from the point that Howard gloves as Elias gets in the goalie's grill. Howard catches the Zidlicky blast and tries to raise his glove out of harm's way, but a stick-lift attempt by Ericsson on Elias pokes the puck out of Howard's love where it flies up in the air and lands in the goal. This goal is infuriating. A goalie has to be able to trust his own defense to not jam pucks out of his glove an into the net, but here we are. Ericsson will get a minus for essentially what is an own-goal. I will also say that Kronwall not getting to the Elias dump-around is not excusable either and I'm going to give Kronwall a half-minus.
3rd Period 06:30 - New Jersey Goal: Travis Zajac (backhand) from Jaromir Jagr and Ryane Clowe
New Jersey pulls ahead on a good rush to the front and a rebound that catches Howard sprawling. Bertuzzi makes a hook-and-ladder pass at center to Sheahan trying to get the Wings in to the zone while bodies change behind the play, but Clowe steps up on Sheahan at the blue line and prevents him from getting it deep. Zajac picks it up in stride to move up the right wing with the puck trailed by Jagr. The change means that Zajac gets in cleanly and is able to drop it to Jagr with plenty of space while Jurco and Ericsson come across the ice trying to get into position. As Zajac circles around behind Jurco just below the dot, Ericsson is frozen by Jagr getting to the top of the circle for a shot. Howard shuts the 5-hole in time, but the puck kicks out front to the weak side just as Zajac is completing the loop. Dragging Jurco and with Kronwall watching the slot instead of racing back to the far post, Zajac collects it and shovels the backhand over the sprawling Howard. Tatar is the only minus cleared here. Ericsson is put in a rough position by the change, but I feel he has some space to challenge Jagr at the top of the circle instead of freezing for a shot block, so he'll keep his minus. Jurco is victimized by not being able to interfere with Zajac and being left out to dry by the back-post defenseman, but the puck does get through him into the goal on a man he was shadowing, so he'll keep his minus. Sheahan will earn a tunover minus. He can't give the puck up at the blue line here and instead needs to dump the puck. Kronwall's failure to cover the back post will earn him a minus as well.
3rd Period 09:43 - Detroit Goal (PP): Todd Bertuzzi (tip-in) from Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist
Mule says "relax" and ties up the game midway through the third period with a great shot from the middle of the ice just 17 seconds into the power play. Franzen wins the power play and they get set up in the zone with an umbrella look that starts on the right side of the ice and then moves over to the left on a pass from Kronwall up top to Nyquist at the top of the circle. The quick passing draws Elias too high in the zone while Bertuzzi's setup in front keeps Salvador too low. This pays off as Franzen gets to the slot to receive the pass from Nyquist. Mule turns and tosses a shot into the Bertuzzi screen. The puck gets through the goalie and in after a small deflection off Bertuzzi's leg. Great power play setup. Franzen will get a half-plus for the faceoff win and setup. I don't traditionally give screener's assists to guys who screen on their own goals, but this one for Bertuzzi almost feels like it should come with one. I'm going to leave this up to you guys in the comments to make the decision on that. [Edit: Yes, Bertuzzi is getting the screener's assist, as it is designed to track the benefits of preventing the goalie from seeing a puck. I don't believe the system is hurt by giving a guy an assist on his own goal as much as it's helped by accurately counting the screens.]
3rd Period 19:23 - New Jersey Goal: Stephen Gionta (tip in) from Mark Fayne and Dainius Zubrus
With 47 seconds left, the lesser Gionta gets the heart-breaker as he tips in a point shot. The Devils gain the zone as Jagr backs the defense just inside their own blue line with a rush and then passes it to Gionta coming in. They play give-and-go with Jagr getting a good shot off that Howard has to stop. Jagr bulls his way to the rebound and gets it in the corner, passing up the boards just before Abdelkader comes to seal him off. With all the Wings defenders collapsing to the middle and Abby playing center behind his own net, Zubrus comes in at the half-boards to push the puck along to Fayne wide open at the right point. Sheahan moves up to cover Zubrus from also having been down low playing center while Gionta steps around DeKeyser to establish position in the slot. As Abdelkader also comes to help cover Gionta, Fayne wrists it to the front where Gionta tips it over Howard for the game-winner. Tomas Jurco will be cleared here as he's covering the opposite point. Kyle Quincey does a good job defending other than letting Jagr's shot get on goal (although he severely cuts down Jagr's aiming points). He also is effectively boxing out the big guy at the side of the net when the puck is tipped in. I'm going to halve Quincey's minus on the play. DeKeyser can't let Gionta out-position him here and will get a coverage minus. Sheahan will keep his minus as he's involved in the play, but not any more to blame than just the single minus for not stopping the goal. Abdelkader makes a mistake aggressively chasing low here and it bites him when Fayne gets wide open for the shot. This will earn Abdelkader a minus.
1st Period 07:12 - Kyle Quincey (delay of game): Put the puck over the glass because you're trying to turn up out of your own zone and run out of options, then miss the simple play? That's a penalty. Quincey gets a minus.
1st Period 10:03 - Bryce Salvador (boarding): The Wings get their first power play of the game when the Devils' captain cheats, hitting Tomas Jurco in the numbers along the boards. This is a shitty decision by Salvador, who never sees anything but numbers when he pushes Jurco awkwardly. It's not dirty or anything, just dumb. No adjustment. This one's on Salvador to not do it; not a forced penalty.
2nd Period 00:35 - Mark Fayne (holding): Early in the 2nd, the Wings get another power play as Darren Helm zips in after a dump in and wins the race. Fayne responds by grabbing on to him to prevent him from escaping out front with the puck. Plus for Helm. Good hustle play. Alfredsson will also earn a half-plus as he turns the puck over to start this rush and is the one who perfectly dumps it in for Helm to get to.
2nd Period 15:23 - Ryane Clowe (boarding): Clowe gets dumb and drives Quincey's head into the boards in the corner. Dumb play by Clowe, but not forced. No adjustment.
2nd Period 17:56 - Kyle Quincey (high sticking): Briefly after Daniel Alfredsson finishes picking his own teeth off the ice thanks to a high stick, Kyle Quincey gets his stick up on Patrik Elias in the same spot on the ice. This time he goes to the box for it. The shitty standard might give a bit of relief here, but Quincey has to control his stick whether or not the refs suck at their jobs. Minus for Quincey.
2nd Period 19:39 - Brian Lashoff (roughing): The Devils get the 5-on-3 that Detroit should have gotten earlier when Eric Gelinas interferes with Lashoff, then holds his stick, falling down when Lashoff tries to separate himself from the guy. No adjustment here. This is an embarrassing call.
2nd Period 20:00 - Luke Glendening and Adam Henrique (roughing): Things get chippy at the end of the period as Glendening makes Henrique mad and then takes a punch to the face. Because Glendening has such a hard face, he also takes a roughing penalty for what must have hurt Henrique's poor fist. No adjustment.
3rd Period 09:30 - Eric Gelinas (interference): Alfredsson is forechecking aggressively when he's brought down by Gelinas. The Wings go to the power play and Alfredsson gets a plus.
+1 to Luke Glendening and Drew Miller: I thought these two played a very good defensive game and created good chances from the 4th line with heavy defensive usage.
-1 to Joakim Andersson: While Franzen made the most noise on the power play and Nyquist was a bit quiet, it was Andersson loudly being outmatched by his own linemates which quieted down what should have been Detroit's best line. Just one shot on goal and a high number of misplays which ended the Detroit cycle in the offensive zone.
+1 to Danny DeKeyser: I thought the defensive pairing mix-ups that put DeKeyser out with Kronwall helped calm down what was a bad night for Kronwall.
Brutal night for Kronwall and Ericsson which showed up on the scoreboard as they were -4 and -4.5 respectively. Sheahan's adjustment numbers show he struggled as well. Overall, the depth played pretty well, but this team was missing a lot of top end talent and that made it harder on everybody.
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Season Totals Chart
Screener's Assist Totals
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