The Wings took their one-game winning streak into Calgary for a Friday tilt against the Flames. The Wings got a bit of luck after a flat 2nd period, but earned a 4-3 victory. It wasn't a pretty game, but a win's a win.
Detroit got outplayed in stretches, but it certainly feels in this game like score-effect reffing was the story of the officials. All of the Wings' penalties were earned, but it took Pavel Datsyuk asking the refs to call something before they finally remembered they're allowed to. Neither power play scored, as Detroit went 0/3 and Calgary put up a 0/5 in a game where they outshot the Wings 25-22.
Goaltending wasn't a strong part of this game, as neither netminder managed to put up even a .900 save percentage. Jimmy Howard had one really big save and a few dandy stops, so did Joey MacDonald. The difference is that MacDonald had two that he'd probably like to have back while Howard didn't have much chance on any of the three which got past him.
1st Period 10:57 - Detroit Goal: Pavel Datsyuk (wrist shot) from Todd Bertuzzi and Jakub Kindl
The Wings strike first on a cleanup rebound goal by skill guys. The Wings collect the puck off a dump-in that's blocked by DeKeyser and taken by Datsyuk, who goes cross-ice to Kronwall. Kronner quickly turns and gets it to Zetterberg just shy of the Calgary blue line. Brodie steps up on Zetterberg as Bertuzzi approaches. Z dumps it in on the backhand and Bert chases down to the corner to fight Butler for the puck. Bert lifts the stick and fights off both Butler and Glencross, pushing the puck behind the net just between Glencross and Brodie. Zetterberg pokes it beyond Brodie to the corner where Stajan waits for it. Fortunately, Datsyuk is there to lift Stajan's stick and feed it immediately to Kindl at the point with zero pressure. Kindl walks to the center of the ice while Bert goes to the net front. From here, Kindl blasts a slapper into traffic. MacDonald saves it, but can't control the rebound. Datsyuk swoops in from the right corner side to pick up a puck that Bert pokes over his way and puts it home. This is a great play from everybody involved. At first, I'm going to give Lashoff's plus to DeKeyser. Danny DK is involved in creating the transition and then changes for Lashoff, who isn't involved in the play. Bertuzzi will get a screener's assist. He's not blocking MacDonald directly on the goal, but Joey Mac's inability to see and control the rebound is because Bert is planted in front when the Kindl shot arrives. Bert will also earn a plus for the forechecking work, as will Zetterberg and Datsyuk. Each one of them essentially creates a steal to keep the puck moving for the Wings.
1st Period 17:15 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk
The Wings go up 2-0 on a scrambled faceoff and a great blind backhand pass from the master of the blind backhand pass. Joe Colborne wins the faceoff, but Bertuzzi crosses behind tied up with Wideman and prevents anybody from getting the puck cleanly. Datsyuk fights through Colborne as Bert kicks it to the corner unable to get his stick on the ice thanks to a hold by Wideman. Finally, Datsyuk gets good position as Wideman separates from Bert to help out his teammate. This frees up Bertuzzi to receive a pass from Datsyuk off the boards just below the faceoff circle. Bert wastes no time settling the puck and immediately firing a backhand pass across the ice to Henrik Zetterberg standing just at the top point of the trapezoid all alone. Russell and MacDonald try to prevent the inevitable put-away, but Z is too quick for them. Datsyuk will earn a plus for his great work to create space while Bertuzzi's immediate action on the pass is good for a half-plus.
2nd Period 10:15 - Calgary Goal: Chris Butler (slap shot) from Jiri Hudler
Calgary breaks the shutout on some bad in-zone play by the Wings and a lucky deflection. An Eaves shot bounces into the slot just past two onrushing Wings. Monaghan picks it up and outlets to Hudler carrying in alone on Kindl. The Wings' D-man initially makes a good denial in the low circle, but Hudler steals it back away from him and is able to throw a backhand pass all the way up to the blue line where Butler picks it up and is able to walk into the high slot with it. Butler fires a slapper that deflects off Andersson's stick and into the net. The turnover by Kindl will earn him a minus. Abdelkader is supposed to be covering here, but is instead standing where Andersson is already covering. This will earn Abby an extra minus. Andersson adjusts the Abdelkader mistake in trying to block Butler's shot, but he doesn't complete the job. If you're not going to block the puck, deflecting it into your own net is the worst thing that can happen for you. Andersson takes too shallow an angle here too and will get an extra half-minus. Smith is actually holding off his man in front and does nothing wrong on this play (for a change). Minus cleared for Smith. Miller is in position to have his stick in the lane for the Hudler pass, but misses it. He'll keep his minus here.
2nd Period 12:47 - Calgary Goal: Sean Monahan (wrist shot) from Mike Cammalleri and Kris Russell
The Flames' very next shot goes into the net to tie it off more Keystone Kops defense by the Wings. Detroit struggles to get a clear and can neither keep possession nor get it deep as a step-up on Alfredsson at the Calgary blue line creates the change of possession. Russell carries to center ice and dumps it hard on the left side. Lashoff takes a path straight to the boards on the far corner, but doesn't get there in time. Cammalleri, who came in just above Lashoff is able to deftly pluck the puck off the boards and bring it to the middle of the ice after having shaken Lashoff. Monahan quickly recognizes the advantage here and follows to the middle of the ice. Franzen comes in to challenge Cammalleri just below the dot, but he can't block the pass to Monaghan in even better position. The Flames rookie quickly fires it over Howard's glove and we have a tie game. Eaves will have his minus cleared here. He just stepped on the ice and isn't part of the problem. DeKeyser is right in front of the net, but after looking at this, it would have taken either superhuman reflexes or an irresponsibly aggressive play, which creates more problems. DeKeyser will have his minus halved. I think he should try getting his stick in the shooting lane, but he has to cover for a lot of possibilities and not screening his own goalie while blocking the far side of the net is a good play. Cleary is low to help Lashoff, but gets let down by Cammalleri getting the puck so easily. His ultimate coverage responsibility here is Wideman at the point, not Monaghan. I think Cleary could maybe take a good penalty here, but this isn't really his fault. I'm going to halve Cleary's minus as well. Franzen is responsible for Monaghan, but again is let down by the unexpected Cammalleri escape, which pulls him out of position. Still, Mule has to trust that DeKeyser has the cross-crease if Cammalleri tries it and should be between Monaghan and the goal. Franzen will get a minus for this coverage mistake. The big mistake here is on Lashoff. Failing to either get the puck or to keep Cammalleri on the boards creates an entire set of problems for his teammates and leads to this goal. Lashoff will get a minus and a half.
3rd Period 01:25 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Tatar (deflection) from Joakim Andersson and Niklas Kronwall
Garbage fluke goals are awesome when they happen for your team. Abdelkader steals the puck from Mike Cammalleri as he enters the Wings' zone. Defeated and embarrassed, the Flames change lines while Detroit cycles in their own zone, eventually feeding to Tatar to build up speed heading through the neutral zone. Tatar crosses into the zone with Abdelkader on his right and Andersson driving the middle lane. Monaghan chips it off Tatar's stick just inside the line, but Abdelkader is right there to chip it deep into the zone. Tatar bounces it past O'Brien and into the corner where Joakim Andersson gets to it with a little bit of space. Andersson gets clever here and throws it from behind the goal line immediately toward the front where Abdelkader is headed. On its way, the puck takes a lucky bounce off Tatar and changes direction just enough to bounce under MacDonald and into the net off his leg pad. Abdelkader will earn a plus for the steal and smart play. Tatar will get a half-plus for the quick movement and clever play to get it past O'Brien.
3rd Period 16:36 - Detroit Goal: Justin Abdelkader (insane snipe) from Niklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser
This one turns out to be the game-winner on an amazing snipe by Abdelkader. The Wings get possession as a TJ Brodie pass through center hits Stajan's skate and bounces to Andersson, who quickly turns it up ice to Tatar. David Jones and Brodie combine to take it back off Tatar, but the young Slovak pesters Brodie, driving him all the way back into the Calgary zone and behind his own net. Here, Justin Abdelkader steps up at the far side of the net and takes it away, setting up an in-zone cycle for the Wings with a pass back to Tatar, who quickly goes up top to DeKeyser. The next pass goes point-to-point and onto Kronwall's stick. As he's pressured, Kronwall dumps it back behind the Calgary net to reset the cycle. Abdelkader picks it up behind the net with no Flames around him and, thanks in part to Tomas Tatar's established net-front positioning is able to carry to the corner before turning back in to the low circle. From here, Abdelkader fires a jaw-dropping top-corner-seeking missile just over Old MacDonald's shoulder and into the net. E-I-E-I-Oh boy this is a shitty joke. I'm equally impressed with Abdelkader and Tatar's work on this play and both will earn a plus. Tatar harries Brodie and then sets up position to help make room for his teammate and Abdelkader's great forecheck takes the puck from Brodie to reset the cycle.
3rd Period 19:50 - Calgary Goal: Curtis Glencross (wrist shot) from Matt Stajan and Jiri Hudler
The Flames get a meaningless late goal that I have to write up and you have to read. Thanks a lot, jerks! A cross-ice dump sets up a low-corner cycle for the Flames as Stajan gets it past DeKeyser onto the stick of Glencross, who tries to feed Hudler standing on the doorstep. Instead, the puck bounces off Kronwall's skate and into the net. This is kind of bad luck here, but Glencross can't be allowed to have an easy attempt to the net-front like this and that's Zetterberg's responsibility here. I don't care about this goal as much as others, but DeKeyser and Zetterberg each make mistakes which lead to this goal and will each get a half-minus. I'm not going to clear anybody's minus though.
1st Period 01:27 - Johan Franzen (high sticking): Careless stick by Franzen on the forecheck will earn Mule a minus.
1st Period 01:39 - David Jones (high sticking): Pretty much the same thing here, except by the Flames. Lazy stickwork more than any great play by the victim Kronwall. No adjustment.
1st Period 12:27 - Joakim Andersson (holding): Andersson and Brendan Smith combine to get driven down by the Calgary forecheck. Andersson ends up holding up Bouma and going to the box for it. Minus for Andersson with a half-minus for Smith. There's a bad pass from Andy to Smith that brings it back into the zone and then both of them lose positional battles.
1st Period 17:57 - Niklas Kronwall (interference): The Wings are defending in their own zone shortly after the 2nd goal. Galiardi drives the net and Kronwall steps into him, pushing him into the crossbar. It's a battle for position here, but Kronwall lost the battle and pushed his guy too much. Minus for Kronwall.
2nd Period 04:32 - Detroit Bench (too many men): The Wings' fourth line is interrupted changing for the first by some Calgary pressure. They get a chance to finish off the change, but Eaves doesn't jump off when Bertuzzi jumps on. The Wings had their defensive coverage in place here. This is on Eaves, who will get a minus.
2nd Period 14:08 - Mikael Backlund (boarding): Backlund sees Weiss' number 90 protecting the puck on the boards and finishes him anyway. Stupid play by the guy, but no adjustment.
3rd Period 04:00 - Jakub Kindl (interference): Galiardi beats out Kindl for position in the Wings' zone and Jakub interferes with him. Galiardi flops, but it's definitely penalty-worthy by Kindl, who gets a minus.
3rd Period 07:35 - Mike Cammalleri (hooking): After Datsyuk specifically asks the refs to start calling hooks, Cammalleri lazily gets his stick on Weiss clearing the puck out of the Detroit zone. Weiss is standing in the exact position he should; this is just a lazy play by Cammalleri. No adjustment.
+1 to Stephen Weiss: Some great penalty killing in this game by Weiss earns him most of this plus while his even strength play was also very good. He wasn't particularly dangerous offensively, but he created much more offensive zone time and pressure while playing good defense.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk: Yes, it seems like they get this just about every game. When they stop dominating so much on both sides of the ice, they might stop being credited as the best players the Wings have on any given night. Don't hold your breath. Both Pavel and Hank played decent PK time and were able to stymie the opposition as well.
-1.5 to Brendan Smith, -1 to Kyle Quincey: Brutal performance by this pairing tonight as far as handling the forechecking pressure by the Flames. They weren't credited with any giveaways, but I counted three very bad ones for Smith and two for Quincey.
-1 to Brian Lashoff, Jakub Kindl, and Danny DeKeyser: Turnovers by each of these guys led to scoring chances. This was not a strong night for the Wings' defenders not named Niklas Kronwall.
Dan Cleary had one very good noticeable backcheck, which he then turned back over. Not a bad game, but not great by any stretch either. About midway through the second, it looked like Lashoff stopped a goal, but on the replay, it showed that both Cammalleri and Colborne just missed it.
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