Detroit finally got their playoff series underway in Boston on Friday night against a very tough Bruins team. At the end of 60 minutes, the Wings found themselves up 1-0 in the series thanks to a beautiful Pavel Datsyuk goal.
Both teams were held off the scoreboard with the man advantage. The Wings got two and the Bruins only one. The refs generally let them play and the game was...ehhhh....mostly clean, except for Milan Lucic getting away with chopping Danny DeKeyser in the nards. Shots ended 25-24 in favor of the Wings.
Jimmy Howard got a shutout. Smooch my farthole.
3rd Period 16:59 - Detroit Goal: Pavel Datsyuk (pure snipe) from Johan Franzen
Datsyuk scores the game's only goal on an amazing effort to get through the neutral zone and a beautiful snipe past Rask. 30 seconds before this goal, the Bruins nearly score on a pretty redirect by Lucic out front that Howard gets enough of. Helm gets a clear and the Wings get a change at 16:40. Chara quickly pushes it back up ice, but the Bruins have to dump it in while they complete a change of their own. Datsyuk leaves it for Abby at the half-wall, but he nearly loses it as Bergeron pinches him off effectively. As the puck comes off the boards, Abby sweep-checks it away and allows Franzen to pick it up skating back into the zone and using Datsyuk to make space for a turn. Franzen gets to the blue line before he's pinched off by Reilly Smith and Bergeron at his own blue line and tries to pop it around both, only to lose the ability to do so by Reilly Smith's backcheck. Fortunately, Datsyuk is there already moving up ice to extend his stick way behind him and pull it up to himself through his own legs moving through center. Chara and Hamilton are back, but they have to give up the blue line as Pavs and Abby cross side-by side. Datsyuk slows up just enough to let Abby drive to the middle and pull Hamilton a bit farther back, which gives Datsyuk space in the middle just above the circles. From here, Datsyuk snipes it through traffic and it beats Rask low to the glove side for the game-winner. Abdelkader and Datsyuk will each earn a plus for creating both the transition and the lane for the shot. What a play.
1st Period 17:08 - Zdeno Chara (boarding): Brendan Smith gets the puck into the zone and takes it to the corner while his teammates join. Chara goes to finish him and hits him in the numbers, heading to the box. I'm going to give Smith a half-plus for the good zone entry, although the decision to board him was a bad one by Chara.
2nd Period 15:58 - Torey Krug (holding): The Wings create good zone time and a bit of a chance in front that's ended thanks to Krug completely trapping Franzen along the boards. Krug holds on too long and goes to the box for it. Franzen will get a plus for fighting through this hold.
3rd Period 05:17 - Tomas Tatar (interference): The Wings are trying to create in the offensive zone when Tatar gets over-excited and skates directly into Krejci away from the puck after a pass. I think this call has more to do with the fact that Boston hadn't had a PP opportunity yet. No adjustment.
+1 to Niklas Kronwall, Brendan Smith, Danny DeKeyser and Kyle Quincey; +0.5 to Brian Lashoff and Jakub Kindl: The Wings' defense in this game was good. They weren't perfect, but it was damn close. Kronwall and Smith took on the hard defensive starts and matchups and held their own. DeKeyser and Quincey moved the puck well (Q had the puck a lot in the offensive zone and did well with it). Kindl and Lashoff benefited from playing behind a dominant kids' line, but I really thought they helped out. Kindl played a very calm third period and Lashoff protected the net front wonderfully.
+0.5 to Pavel Datsyuk: His entire line ended up adjusted higher than the others, but Datsyuk drove that more than his wingers. He really had a good game.
+1 to Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, and Gustav Nyquist: Playing second-line minutes, the Kid Line dominated possession and created the lion's share of chances. I was very happy with how intelligently they protected the puck and thought their speed gave the Bruins a lot of problems.
+1 to Darren Helm: The center of the third line was the most-noticeable. I thought Helm did very well to win his matchup and protect the puck well. It's just a little thing, but Helm protecting the puck up ice while his team changes behind him is an unsung play he does so well. Also helped he killed 36 seconds of the Tatar penalty.
+1 to Drew Miller and Luke Glendening: Defensively, these two shone. At even-strength, they turned more defensive zone draws into offensive zone draws than anybody. Miller had a fantastic shot block at the end of the game to clear the zone and then Glendening smartly ate the dump-in on the corner boards to kill the rest of the clock. Brilliant play by these two.
Alfredsson and Jurco held their own, but both had trouble putting it all together in the offensive zone. I did like how Alfredsson backchecked, but the performance wasn't overall good enough to warrant a plus. Legwand forechecked well in this one, but I want more out of him than he provided, considering he spends time on the power play and doesn't kill penalties.
Current Game Chart
Playoffs Totals Chart
Screener's Assist Totals
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