Detroit faced off against a young Colorado Avalanche squad playing their second game in as many nights and with their backup goaltender in net and found a way to be outhustled through most of the competition, ultimately losing in a shootout. Colorado outshot Detroit 38-28 on the night. Among the bright spots were the Detroit power play, which went 1-for-1 (yeah... ONE power play, all night), and the penalty kill, which killed off all four of Detroit's penalties, even adding a shorthanded goal.
Howard stopped 34 of 38 shots. He didn't play poorly, but he lost the opportunity to win this game for the Red Wings. Definitely not fair to hang this loss on him, but I'm faulting him for two weak goals, both the third and fourth on the night for Colorado. There are certain mitigating circumstances,but short-side over the shoulder and five-hole are simply shots that need to be stopped. To his credit, I also give Howard credit for three big saves, so his overall goalie plus/minus is +1.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump.The Goals
1st Period 2:34 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (snap shot) from Todd Bertuzzi
Immediately following an offside faceoff outside the Colorado zone, Todd Bertuzzi jumps on the Avalanche defender, Kyle Quincey and causes a turnover, playing the puck off the boards to Johan Franzen. Franzen beats Budaj low to the far side for the first goal of the game. I know the play doesn't happen like this if Filppula doesn't lose the faceoff cleanly to Phillipe Dupuis, but I'm not crediting him with a full plus rating for getting beaten that badly. No plus rating for Filppula
1st Period 16:56 - Colorado Goal: David Jones (wrist shot) from John-Michael Liles and Mark Olver
Modano gets cute on Colorado's blue line instead of making the simple play to get it deep and forecheck, leading to a turnover that has Colorado going the other way. He almost makes up for it with a good bit of backchecking, but slaps the puck off Mark Olver's stick and onto John-Michael Liles', who finds David Jones without Jakub Kindl covering him closely enough. Jones walks it low, gets a shot off, gets his own rebound, and pushes it home. Modano gets an extra minus and Kindl a half-minus for failing to do their jobs. As a side note, if I were doing CSSI for Colorado, I'd take the assist away from Mark Olver.
2nd Period 2:50 - Detroit Goal (PP): Pavel Datsyuk (tip-in) from Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom
The only power play goal of the night, the Wings have the man advantage thanks to great board work down low by Dan Cleary. Zetterberg wins the ensuing faceoff with Holmstrom getting the puck high to Kronwall. Kronwall and Listrom pass back-and-forth a couple times while transitioning to an umbrella setup. Lidstrom receives the puck on the half-boards and gets it across to Zetterberg, who finds Datsyuk in the high slot with a half-slap-pass to Datsyuk for the redirect in behind Budaj. Kronwall gets a half-assist fr helping change the angle on the defenders and Cleary gets a plus rating for drawing the penalty that put the Wings on the power play.
2nd Period 13:01 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (snap shot) from Valtteri Filppula and Todd Bertuzzi
This play starts in the Detroit end, where Nick Lidstrom uncharacteristically throws the puck away leading to a very good scoring opportunity by Colorado and a big save by Howard. Bertuzzi fights to get the puck out of the zone, completing the simple play that Modano failed on earlier, in the process getting it to Franzen for a cross-ice pass to Filppula. While Bertuzzi goes to the net, Franzen stays on the far end and receives a cross-ice return pass from Filppula where he snaps it past Budaj. On this play, Howard gets an assist for kicking the puck to Filppula on the big save the exact same way Osgood did in the Chicago game. Also, Lidstrom loses his plus for the defensive gaffe; Bertuzzi earns an extra half-plus for his effort on the play in getting the puck out and drawing defenders to him to open an hole through which Filppula made the pass to Franzen.
2nd Period 19:11 - Colorado Goal: Ryan O'Reilly (slap shot) from David Jones
After a shift in which Detroit's third line kept Colorado pinned in their own zone for 40 seconds, to the tune of three quality scoring chances, Jiri Hudler and Jakub Kindl have a miscommunication on the blue line. Ryan O'Reilly punches the puck off Hudler's stick and heads the other way, skating to the top of the faceoff circle and unleashing a slap shot that beats Jimmy Howard above his pad next to his left hip on the far side. Kindl and Hudler keep their minuses, Modano, Cleary, and Salei do not.
3rd Period 4:43 - Colorado Goal: Daniel Winnik (snap shot) from Adam Foote
Doug Janik misses Franzen with an outlet pass in the neutral zone. Foote quickly moves the puck up ice to Daniel Winnik, who tips the puck around Niklas Kronwall stepping up on him at the blue line. Now with the puck and the inside track, Winnik walks the puck low and roofs it off of Howard's shoulder. Bertuzzi and Filppula have their minus ratings rescinded while Kronwall picks up an extra half-minus. This would have been a full minus if Winnik had done something more impressive to have beaten Howard, but as it stands, this is a weak one for the netminder to give up. Janik and Franzen keep their minuses for their collective failure to connect on the pass that led the puck to Adam Foote's stick.
3rd Period 7:52 - Detroit Goal (SH): Patrick Eaves (snap shot) from Darren Helm and Nicklas Lidstrom
With Ruslan Salei in the box for taking a bad holding penalty, Colorado wins a faceoff in Detroit's end. Quincey throws the puck low for a redirect that Lidstrom defends perfectly before getting the puck and tossing it up ice in such a way to cross up J.M. Liles. Helm pounces on Liles and pokes the puck to center ice, where he turns on the jets to create a 2-on-1 situation with Patrick Eaves. Helm victimizes Quincey with a cross-ice pass to Eaves who finds the open net to give Detroit back the lead. Lidstrom earns an extra half-plus for his work defending the Quincey shot. If Lidstrom doesn't have his stick in perfect position, Colorado likely scores and the play that follows doesn't happen.
3rd Period 11:24 - Colorado Goal: David Jones (backhand) from Brandon Yip and Matt Duchene
Duchene carries the puck out of his own end up ice where he dishes off to Brandon Yip inside Detroit's blue line. Yip finds Jones in the high slot, where he receives the puck and turns for a backhanded shot that gets through Howard's five hole. The only Red Wings player who catches a break on this play is Kronwall, who has his minus erased. Modano had opportunity to attack Yip better and defend the pass to Jones, Janik needs to step up on Jones much sooner and keep him from getting that shot off, Howard needs to stop the shot, and Hudler/Cleary could have prevented the entire rush had the two of them not lost a battle on the boards behind Peter Budaj.
+0.5 to Pavel Datsyuk. Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg: Another night, another good performance. Datsyuk and Zetterberg were noticeable in all three zones and created great scoring chances. Holmstrom was at his mucking-and-grinding best.
+0.5 to Todd Bertuzzi: Aside from his work on the third Detroit goal, I thought Bertuzzi played standout defense on the 2nd line. In a Red Wings game marred by trying to make too-fancy plays, Todd Bertuzzi consistently made the simple and effective decision.
-1 to Doug Janik: I don't know why the hell he and Cody McLeod decided to fight in the first period, but the scrap completely killed a Red Wings rush up ice. On top of that, Janik got his ass handed to him. Colorado is not well-known for being a great physical team, so it's not like they needed a message sent at that point either. Complete waste of time on Janik's part.
On an aside, Brad Stuart quietly put up another +2 rating tonight. While having a good rating isn't enough to give him an extra bonus rating, it's excellent evidence of how well he's played in the three games this season for Detroit.
Next game is Thursday in Dallas. I hope Modano has a better game for that one.