Detroit ended the Boston Bruins ten-game win streak with a shootout victory on Friday. This game was perhaps the most entertaining non-playoff game I've witnessed in some time as two very well-matched teams played an intense 65 minutes before going to the skills competition to see who would get the arbitrary third point.
Neither team was able to capitalize on their power play opportunities (3 for Detroit, 2 for Boston). There were a few missed calls as Boston played a very physical style, but overall the refs did a decent job. The Wings won one more faceoff than the Bruins, but were outshot 43-31 thanks in large part to an 18-10 advantage in a third period which was very heavily-tilted for them.
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Jimmy Howard made quite a few good saves of the 41 he stopped, but I feel he hurt himself in turning the puck over on Boston's first goal and that he directly caused a handful of secondary scoring chances with his rebound control. Despite doing what it took to get the win, it seemed like he was fighting the puck. If he doesn't hand the opposition a goal, he probably gets a positive mark in the head-to-head, but that error was bad enough to run the head-to-head rating down to even. On the overall, I think the number of saves makes the performance look better than it was. He had a positive impact on the game, but his overall rating is +0.5 for this one.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump
Penalty Adjustment: 08:46 into the first, Jonathan Ericsson goes to the box for interference on Chris Kelly. It's too bad, as right before this, he had actually made a good defensive play. That doesn't make up for the dumb penalty though. Ericsson will get a minus.
1st Period 12:43 - Detroit Goal: Valtteri Filppula (tip in) from Henrik Zetterberg and Ian White.
The Bruins are putting on pressure in the Detroit zone in the first period. Patrice Bergeron tries feeding Seguin out front. Filppula prevents the pass from connecting, but the ensuing battle in the middle for the loose puck ends with it getting swept up to Johnny Boychuk who throws the puck on net from the point. Howard stops it, but the rebound comes right out front. Fortunately, Ian White is there to quickly throw it out of danger off the boards. As the Wings set to leave the zone, Zetterberg has an angle on the puck, but is covered by Tyler Seguin. Instead of trying to escape his coverage, Zetterberg takes body position and lets the puck go through his legs to Val Filppula for an uncontested carry up ice in what's essentially a 3-on-2 with Seguin not far behind. Flip carries through the middle of the ice into the Bruins' zone, forcing Andrew Ference to move and make a play on him and giving him room to pass it to Zetterberg on the wing. Z collects skate-to-stick and immediately throws the puck back toward the middle where Filppula tips it in. Filppula is going to get a self-assist on the give-and-go, as well as a half bonus plus for the defensive play in front of his own net on the Bergeron pass. Zetterberg will also get a half plus for recognizing the Seguin coverage and instead letting it go to Flip for the carry.
Penalty Adjustment: 17:34 into the period, the Wings' third line is doing the same good job pressuring as they had to that point in the game. The Bruins break out and the Wings are on them immediately in the neutral zone. Unfortunately, in the process of separating Benoit Pouliot from the puck, Jiri Hudler gets his stick in on the guy and goes to the box for hooking. This will earn a minus for Hudler.
2nd Period 04:05 - Boston Goal: Daniel Paille (backhand) from Nathan Horton
Chara dumps the puck from his own blue line so Boston can get a change in the 2nd period. Paille tips it from Detroit's blue line and Howard retrieves behind his own net. While Ericsson covers one end of the boards and Kronwall covers the other, Nathan Horton cuts off his pursuit of Kronwall to cut behind Howard and intercept his no-look pass meant for Ericsson. The puck tips to Paille coming out front and he slides it into the net before Howard can get back. This is a bad goal for Howard and each of the skaters will have his minus cleared for it. This includes Ericsson, Kronwall, Datsyuk, Franzen, and Holmstrom
2nd Period 04:40 - Detroit Goal: Pavel Datsyuk (wrist shot) from Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen
Boston doesn't get to enjoy the tie long, as on the very next shift Detroit gets one back. The play starts behind the Detroit net as Lucic tries to make a pass from the low corner to Horton out front. Bertuzzi is in the passing lane and the puck deflects off his skate and up ice to Franzen. Mule carries out of the Wings zone and skates off to give his linemates a chance to catch up. From here, Mule throws a cross-ice pass off the boards to a streaking Bertuzzi on the far Wing. Bert establishes the zone on the wing and waits for the defense to come to him. While this is developing, Datsyuk is shadowing behind Bert in his wake. When Bert pulls up, Datsyuk goes to the middle. Bertuzzi feathers a pass straight through Chara's legs to Pavel, who is behind the coverage of Krejci. Pavel cuts across the front of the net, kicks a bouncing puck from his skate to his stick, and slides it under Rask. The play is started by a good defensive play by Bertuzzi, who will get a bonus plus.
Penalty Adjustment: 11:38 into the period, Rich Peverley and Jonathan Ericsson are battling in front of the Detroit net. Ericsson gives Peverley a shot and feels the brunt of the retaliation right in the naughty bits. It's more a dumb play by Peverley, but the battling to earn to retaliation will get Ericsson a half-plus.
Penalty Adjustment: During the Holmstrom penalty, Seidenberg gets the puck at the top of the zone and breaks his stick on a shot attempt. Stuart picks up the loose puck and skates it up ice. David Krejci is behind him the whole time trying to get the puck off him. As a result of his efforts, Krejci gets his stick into the hands of Stuart and takes a hooking call. This will earn Stuart a plus.
3rd Period 07:52 - Boston Goal: Patrice Bergeron (wrist shot) unassisted.
Boston clears the Detroit zone accidentally on a tough pass from low-to-high. Corvo keeps it from going all the way down the ice and dumps it back in to reset the Boston forecheck. Kronwall collects and the Wings start their breakout. Tyler Seguin is first on Kronner, forcing him to go to Zetterberg in the faceoff circle opposite where Kronwall is set. Zetterberg stick-handles irresponsibly here and ends up losing the puck as Bergeron comes in to pressure. The Bruins' forward picks up the loose puck in the low slot and ramps it up off Howard's shoulder to tie it. This mistake is all on Zetterberg, who will pick up a minus-and-a-half on the cardinal sin of turning it over in the middle of your own zone in transition. The rest of the skaters will be cleared of their minuses: Kronwall, Ericsson, Abdelkader, and Filppula will not receive minuses.
2nd Period 12:21 - Tomas Holmstrom (hooking):Trying to retrieve the puck from a corner off a rebound during a Detroit PP, Holmstrom is cut off and interfered with by Seidenberg, who grabs his stick and then takes a fall. No minus.
3rd Period03:38 - Dennis Seidenberg (kneeing): Shitty move by Seidenberg going knee-on-knee with Emmerton, but not worth an adjustment.
+2 to Pavel Datsyuk: Datsyuk was by far the best player on the ice in this game. He won more than 50% of his faceoffs, actually got credit for a takeaway in Boston, and laid three hits (including one on Chara which knocked the big asshole off the puck). Incredible game by Pavs.
-1 to Henrik Zetterberg: As good as Datsyuk was, Zetterberg wasn't. He struggled throughout the game and didn't move his feet enough.
+1 to Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, and Brad Stuart: These three were defensive stalwarts for the Red Wings against a very tough and physical Boston forecheck. They did a good job keeping scoring chances to the outside and clearing rebounds.
+0.5 to Jonathan Ericsson: It seems as the first thing he does in the game sets the tone for what people are going to say about him. Well 18 seconds in, he failed to keep a puck in the offensive zone and took on the role of heel Ericsson. Despite this, he had zero giveaways and also played well in his own zone.
+1 to Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, and Jiri Hudler: The Wings' third line did their job very well in this game playing a physical style while getting the puck to the middle for shots and driving momentum in the Wings' favor.
Ian White was incredibly impressive on the boards, twice winning impressive board battles in his own zone against the much larger Lucic. Unfortunately, he also had two dropped coverages in his own zone which very easily could have led to goals. Bertuzzi and Franzen had a decent time of moving their feet, but it felt like they were running beneficiaries of Datsyuk's great play.
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