Detroit took its four-game winning streak into Phoenix for a clash with the four-game point streak Coyotes. Everyone's and J.J.'s favorite player Mike Ribeiro extended his scoring streak to six games with two goals to lead Phoenix to a 5-2 win.
If you missed the game
The Red Wings started with authority. The puck found Henrik Zetterberg in the corner, who took a second and found Pavel Datsyuk back door for a 1-0 lead 4:47 into the game. Todd Bertuzzi doubled the lead at 8:02, hounding the Phoenix defensemen on a one-man forecheck. A Zbynek Michalek outlet pass off the skate of Kyle Chipchura went to Oliver Ekman-Larsson's skates. Bertuzzi hounded Ekman-Larsson for the loose puck and created a breakaway which he didn't miss. The Red Wings dominated for most of the opening period, and Phoenix's only signs of life came from their two power plays.
Second period woes continued for the Red Wings. A stretch pass gave Shane Doan a breakaway which made Brendan Smith hook him and surrender a penalty shot. Doan tried and failed miserably to imitate Zetterberg; Jimmy Howard stuffed Doan on the one-hand attempt. A strange sequence followed: Datsyuk took a shot after which Phoenix goalie Mike Smith planked on the ice in apparent pain, leaving a wide open net for Brian Lashoff. The "goal" was immediately waved off, but Smith stayed in the game. Detroit appeared to survive the second until the 19:00 minute mark where Antoine Vermette scored off a 2-on-1 break with Ericsson caught pinching.
The third period proved just as unfriendly. A cleanly lost faceoff in the Red Wings' defensive zone got Derek Morris the puck. He fed MIkkel Boedker who threw the puck at the net and created a juicy rebound which Ribeiro put home for a tie game. Two minutes later, an attempted zone entry by Zetterberg went off the linesman and Phoenix took advantage in transition, feeding Martin Hanzal for a breakaway he finished for Phoenix's first lead of the night. Ribeiro tacked on insurance at 13:14 off a blocked David Moss shot attempt which went straight to Ribeiro. Mike Smith called in a dump truck of salt in the wound by scoring an empty net goal with 0.1 seconds left on the clock.
Danny DeKeyser started the game in Niklas Kronwall's place on the top pair, and Jakub Kindl moved onto the first power play. I can't say either looked terribly out of place, but Kronwall was definitely missed on the power play.
- Brendan Smith was a -3 on the scoresheet. He started off well enough not being noticed, but once his name started coming up, I noticed more of the same: generally good offensive instincts and not taking care of the puck in his own zone.
- Mikael Samuelsson apparently played 10:43.
- The power play looked impressive early with the top unit, but the Red Wings couldn't capitalize, especially late in the third period. I really wish the first unit could stay for the full two minutes.
- The second power play unit and the second line were barely noticeable.
Luke Glendening on the penalty kill. I like that.
After Further Review
- Fox Sports Detroit showed a graphic that the current iteration of the top line with Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Alfredsson combined for 25 points in the last 5 games. They generated a lot of chances but ultimately came up with just 2 points from Datsyuk's goal.
- During the game, I really didn't know what to make of the Mike Smith "injury" that led to the disallowed goal. If that were Howard in that position, and he ended up staying in the game, I think I'd be kicking myself if the Red Wings gave up a goal in that situation, but I'd be fine with it rule-wise. All I'll say is that I wish the referees had noticed and decided on it sooner instead of waiting for a puck in the net.
- I'm really glad we don't have to see Phoenix again until next season. That said, I will miss going to our home away from home.
- Going into tonight, the Red Wings were 6-0 when I watched any portion of the game and 0-2 when I missed it entirely.
Phoenix's point streak continues, and the Red Wings have their four-game winning streak snapped. It's another showdown with a Pacific Division foe on Monday night when the San Jose Sharks come to Joe Louis Arena to make me forget Detroit actually moved to the Eastern Conference.