Detroit took their perfect 1-0 record on the young season into Carolina to challenge the Hurricanes in a battle of wits and also hockey in the Canes' season opener. Detroit responded by playing kind of a sloppy game, but getting their stuff together long enough to come back from a 2-0 deficit for an overtime victory.
For the most part, the referees let the teams play. I think the penalty calling was deservedly balanced and the standard was consistent. Yes... I mean that. The Wings went 0-for-3 on the power play that didn't look nearly as dangerous as it did on Wednesday. The PK finally allowed a goal after their 7/7 performance in the opener. Carolina went 1-for-3 in their chances. Overall, Detroit outshot the Hurricanes 38-25.
I thought both goalies played well. Ward was tested more and had less chance on all of his goals allowed (Howard could have played the first better), but overall it was a good performance. Jimmy kept the Wings in the game during several key points of what was an ugly third period.
1st Period 13:30 - Carolina Goal: Radek Dvorak (deflection) from Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk
The Canes get on the board first with a dump-in pass that gets into no-man's land between Quincey and Howard. Dvorak gets there just in time to tip it one-handed over Howard's shoulder and in. The play starts as Andersson gets double-teamed on the half-boards and loses the puck in the offensive zone. Bertuzzi and Cleary are both playing net-front and a little behind the play as Faulk, Skinner, and Dvorak head up the ice on a 3-on-2 rush. Smith closes off Skinner at the blue line while Quincey takes the middle lane (he has to respect Faulk might drive the net, even though he turns off for a change). Skinner dumps it toward the front of the net over Smith's stick and just out of Quincey's reach. The timing couldn't be more perfect as Howard attempts a poke-check just a split-second after Dvorak's stick comes in to poke it over his shoulder. This is a weird series of mistakes here. Quincey is probably two feet off of the line he should be skating here while Smith's mistake is playing more aggressively than he should (although he does a good job to eliminate Skinner, he needs to recognize that Bertuzzi isn't back yet and take a lane that allows Quincey to play a different angle). Quincey and Smith will each pull an extra half-minus. The bigger problem is the odd-man rush caused by both Bertuzzi and Cleary playing net-front while Andersson doesn't have room to make a play. By line setup, the job is positionally supposed to be Cleary's, meaning Bertuzzi should have been higher in the zone to prevent this. I'm going to give Bert an extra minus and eliminate Cleary's minus. Andersson gets double-teamed here, but he still turns the puck over, so he'll keep his minus.
2nd Period 18:11 - Carolina Goal (PP): Nathan Gerbe (wrist shot) from Justin Faulk and Jay Harrison
The Red Wings give up the second goal on a power play, as a turnover sets up the Hurricanes' power play for them. Quincey squeezes off Skinner on a dump-in to free the puck for DeKeyser behind the net. DK is pressured on the backside immediately, but either tries a completely missed pass to Andersson or a bad weak clearing attempt off the boards. Harrison picks it up at the point and moves it to Faulk in the middle at the blue line. Faulk shoots while the traffic in front coalesces around the middle. The puck bounces off of DeKeyser and right to Nathan Gerbe on the doorstep to put it over a sprawling Howard. The first mistake is DeKeyser and the turnover which will earn him a minus. Quincey ranges a bit too high on his coverage. Quincey should be closer to Gerbe and will also pull a minus for missing this coverage.
3rd Period 00:42 - Detroit Goal: Justin Abdelkader (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Jonathan Ericsson
The Wings break the shutout on a bit of a lucky bounce of their own as a pass deflects to a wide open Abdelkader with room to shoot 5-hole on Cam Ward. The Canes turn the puck over in the neutral zone and the Wings are allowed to move the puck across their own blue line and start the rush right away on a Carolina line change. Ericsson hits Zetterberg in the middle of the ice for the zone entry. Z is pushed to the left side of the ice by the coverage of Justin Faulk while the Hurricanes collapse to cover. Stephen Weiss drives the center lane, tailing off to the left, which pulls Alex Semin and Andrej Sekera over to his side. Meanwhile, Abdelkader crosses over on a completely open right wing. Zetterberg tries to throw it to the front of the net, but the puck deflects off Faulk's stick and goes straight to Abdelkader, who snaps it through Ward as he slides over to square to the shooter. No adjustment on this play. The turnover that earned the Wings' possession back was not forced and the bounce to Abby was kind of lucky. I'll take it though.
3rd Period 19:43 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen
Detroit ties it with 17 seconds left after a huge scrum in front of the Carolina net with Jimmy Howard on the bench thanks to a Henrik Zetterberg double-effort from the low slot with Cam Ward down and out. After a hiccup gaining the zone, the play really heats up as puck movement collapses all the Hurricanes into a small box around their net. Zetterberg makes a good pass from behind the net to Alfredsson at the bottom of the circle for a shot that deflects back behind the cage and to the opposite post. Datsyuk lifts Sekera's stick and spins it right back to the front of the net where Franzen and Aflie get another whack at it. Ward gets over to stop a couple of point-blank chances while Weiss collapses in to help and Z finishes his wide circle from around the back to the high slot. As the puck pushes behind the net, Alfie spins and chucks it to the middle of the ice where Z stands wide open. Hank collects it on his backhand and tries to throw it over Ward, but Sekera gets there to block it. The puck bounces right back to Z, who spins back around and chucks it into the net for the tie. The only defensive play that really contributes to this goal is where Datsyuk prevents Sekera from getting to the puck at the side of the net. This will earn Pavel a plus. I don't think Ward sees either Zetterberg shot on this sequence thanks to Johan Franzen's net-front positioning. I'm going to give Franzen a screener's assist as well.
Overtime 03:13 - Detroit Goal: Stephen Weiss (thundercock wrister) from Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall
The Wings win on a rebound goal in front of Cam Ward thanks to a good push to the front and an even better follow-up by the game-winning goalscorer Weiss. The play starts as Danny DeKeyser collects a loose puck at center and bounces it off the boards where an oncoming Franzen picks it up. Mule skates into the defensive set in the neutral zone before chucking it off to the right wing where Kronwall is rushing through center. Kronner gains the zone as Bellemore ranges over to challenge as the Canes take up a diamond formation. Mule skates into the middle of the diamond where Kronwall feathers a pass that he tries to tip past Hainsey as they both collapse towards the goal. Hainsey blocks it, but Mule is able to kick it skate-to-stick right in front and force Ward to make a good save right in front of the net. Ward uses the leg to keep it out, but Hainsey has to watch Franzen while Bellemore isn't quite back yet. This gives Stephen Weiss room to cut through the forward coverage of Eric Staal and Alex Semin to pick up the loose puck and put it home. I'm going to give Franzen a bonus plus for a few good decisions to help this play develop like it did. The neutral zone pass and the way he finds a soft area in the defense really makes this happen.
1st Period 02:21 - Jeff Skinner (hooking): The Canes' Skinner moves up ice trying to split the Wings' D, but Smith and Quincey squeeze him off the puck effectively. Smith jabs the puck off Skinner's stick and then establishes good body position while tying up the man's stick. Skinner responds by hooking Smith to free the puck up. Smith will earn a plus for his work on this play.
2nd Period 06:46 - Eric Staal (tripping): Good forechecking and a pinch by Brendan Smith leads to a turnover in the Cane's zone. Abdelkader gets good position heading to the loose puck and Staal brings him down. Abby will get a plus and Smith will get a half-plus for helping create the turnover.
2nd Period 09:35 - Jonathan Ericsson (boarding): Riggy goes off for hitting Eric Staal in the numbers in the corner boards of the Wings' zone. This one's cut-and-dry. Minus for Ericsson. Simply can't do this.
2nd Period 16:28 - Brendan Smith (holding): Smith loses position on Jeff Skinner and grabs him as they go into the Red Wings' zone. Minus for Smith.
3rd Period 03:00 - Justin Faulk (holding): Zetterberg does a great job holding the puck on the boards in the Carolina zone with Faulk draped all over him. Eventually, Faulk slips up and uses a free hand to help contain Z, which gets him whistled for the penalty. Zetterberg will earn a plus here.
3rd Period 10:16 - Daniel Alfredsson (hooking): A lost board-battle at the Carolina blue line leads to a penalty as Alfredsson gets the stick parallel and yanks on Semin (heh). Minus for Alfredsson.
-1 to Daniel Cleary: Danny had a disappointing game, doing just about nothing on the scoresheet. He's getting the adjustment to match the overall minus the whole line deserved.
-0.5 to Joakim Andersson: Jester had one really good backcheck to eliminate a chance and two bad defensive zone turnovers. He seemed to be running around a bit much.
+1 to Jonathan Ericsson: He was much too solid to end the night as an overall minus because of the (dumbshit) penalty he took. Riggy moved the puck well and kept the Canes to the outside. He really was the only one of the Wings' defenders who didn't have trouble with Carolina's size and speed at forward.
Kindl and DeKeyser had another quiet game. They played decently, but both had their fair share of mess-ups which counterbalance. Quietly effective is a good standard early, but I'm going to expect more of them later in the season, as they face third line competition. Datsyuk might have earned an additional adjustment, but he had kind of a bad third period up until he helped set up the game-tying goal.
Current Game Chart
Season Totals Chart
Screener's Assist Totals
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