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Philly's strong second period is too much for Wings

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In lieu of a game photo, here's the highlights.

You couldn't escape the "the Flyers haven't won in Joe Louis Arena in 21 years" talk throughout this game and if you believe in curses and jinxes, you can believe that's the reason. This game's outcome is rooted more in the fact that the Red Wings were out-worked and out-shot during the second period by the Flyers and the deficit was too much to overcome.

The first period was relatively calm but the majority of the action happened about 5 minutes into the period. With Danny Briere in the box, Claude Giroux batted a loose puck over the glass from the defensive zone to give the Wings a 5-on-3 in the first period. Unfortunately, they were unable to score on the 5-on-3 and then Johan Franzen took a holding penalty to end the power play and eventually give the Flyers one. Brad Stuart did a great job of clearing the puck out of the zone while on his rear. After a few good chances set up by former Red Wing Ville Leino, Johan Franzen's penalty ended and he made a great bankshot pass to Darren Helm. Helm was in alone on Boucher but was unable to put it in the net.

The Wings found themselves in a hole under a minute into the second period as James van Riemsdyk took a shot on net from Jimmy Howard's left. The puck deflected off of both Brad Stuart and Valtteri Filppula's stick and up and over Howard's shoulder.

The rest of the recap and analysis is after the jump.

As if a double deflection wasn't enough, the Flyers scored the second goal of the game on a triple deflection. Daniel Carcillo had a chance in front of Howard and drug the puck across the crease to try and get an open shot but Howard stayed with the play. The puck eventually kicked back out to the point and a shot deflected off a Red Wing stick and then two Flyers' sticks before getting past Howard. Carcillo was credited with the goal as he was the last to touch the puck.

Scott Hartnell gave the Flyers a big 3-0 lead at the 14:24 mark of the second period by roofing a shot to the right of Jimmy Howard as a Red Wing and Flyer skated in front of Howard, screening him. The Flyers out-shot the Red Wings 19-11 in the period and the three goals tilted the ice heavily in their favor.

The Wings inserted Chris Osgood into net over Jimmy Howard to start the third period and it may have paid off as Osgood had a big stop early and got some energy going. Valtteri Filppula put the Red Wings on the board early in the third period as he toe-dragged around Andrej Meszaros and fired a shot past Brian Boucher to the glove side. Later in the period, Osgood took the NHL's dumbest penalty for a trapezoid rule infraction and the Flyers were on the powerplay. However, Osgood drew a penalty to even it up a few seconds later as Drew Miller and Ville Leino ran into him in the crease. Leino went to the box and with the left over time on the power play the Wings got a goal from Henrik Zetterberg to cut the lead to one. Zetterberg deflected a Nicklas Lidstrom shot on goal that Boucher initially stopped. He picked up the rebound and banked a shot off Boucher's mask and into the net for a power play goal and his 14th tally of the season.

Detroit's rally effort fell short in the third period despite some great chances as the period closed. The Wings fall to 24-10-5 on the season and will play the Oilers on Tuesday.

***

  • Mursak had a nice centering feed to Abdelkader in the first period but Abby got tied up and was unable to get it cleanly. Mursak had a few good heads up plays throughout the game and I like what he's been able to do. I think both he and Tomas Tatar have bright futures at this level.
  • Assist to the bench in the first period for helping Valtteri Filppula avoid certain death as he had his head down as Mike Richards barreled down on him.
  • The Flyers had a 2-on-1 breakaway with close to five minutes left in the first and it looked like a very formidable scoring chance but saving the day as always was Nicklas Lidstrom. He didn't have to make the toughest play in the world to break it up as he just put his stick down on the ice as he was skating backwards but the fact that he consistently makes the play is what has made him the best in the league.
  • Despite the first Philadelphia goal that went in off his stick, Filppula played a pretty good game. He had a goal and won 71% of his faceoffs while creating quite a few chances late in the game. He was also pretty solid defensively and forced turnovers and bad passes in both the defensive and neutral zones. I think he's starting to step up in the absence of Pavel Datsyuk.
  • Speaking of Datsyuk, I think the Wings are missing him more and more in these games that are close in the third period. He's one of those players that can absolutely take over a game and create scoring chances, no matter the situation. I think his playmaking ability is something that is invaluable at those points of the game.
  • Here's to hoping that Brad Stuart is okay after taking a shot off the back of the helmet. Stuart has been a strong defensive player for the Wings and he left the game after going down to block a shot.
  • Darren Helm had one heck of a game and was close to capitalizing on numerous occasions. Even though he didn't score, he provided some great chances the other way as well as playing solid in the defensive zone. this is where you insert the standard comment about him getting hands and becoming a complete player.
  • I feel bad for Jimmy Howard after that game. He allows three goals and had zero chance on all three and gets yanked at the start of the third period. Hopefully that was more of a firestarting move or a confidence saver than Babcock being displeased with Jimmy. That being said, Ozzy was solid in the period and I think he did give the Wings a bit of a spark with some of his saves.