Detroit > Alberta.
The Wings positively dominated this game. I didn't have any problems with the reffing (obviously), but I do think a few kind of dangerous plays were let go. The Oilers didn't score on any of their three Brendan Smith advantages and the Wings only went 1/5 on their chances. Detroit outshot the Oilers 31-14, despite playing for more than 54 minutes up by two goals.
Petr Mrazek had an incredibly easy night in putting up 14 saves for the shutout. He made a couple of good saves, but was hardly tested. Edmonton got some bad luck in goal with Bachman going down, but there were a lot of problems with the Oilers' game in this one that happened before the puck got on their overworked netminders.
1st Period 05:09 - Detroit Goal: Darren Helm (wrist shot) from Daniel Cleary and Daniel Alfredsson
Holy shit, he's alive. The play starts with Jeff Petry gaining the Wings' zone and floating a puck toward the goal. With no traffic in front, Mrazek calmly kicks it to Alfredsson on the far side, who has plenty of room to make a play. Alfredsson tries to hit Cleary coming out of the zone, but the puck bounces over his stick and out of the zone. Just shy of the center line, Petry tries to make a play on the puck only to have it bounce over his stick and right to Darren Helm, who is already jumping on his horse to enter the zone. On a clear breakaway, Helm skates to the slot and wrists it past Bachman to put the Wings up. It's a bit of luck, but Helm is playing perfect positioning to take advantage of this mistake by the Oilers. Helm will get a bonus half-plus.
1st Period 05:36 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Tatar (snap shot) from Joakim Andersson
The Wings quickly get another on a good rush and rebound pickup. A Tatar cross-ice pass in the neutral zone fails to connect, but he's there when Petry's attempt to transition misses everybody. Tatar carries into the zone on the left wing side with Abdelkader joining on the right side. Tatar curls across the center of the ice, drawing Petry to the middle while Smid follows Abdelkader to the far post. From here, Tatar drops it back to Andersson filling the space he just left with a bit of room to walk it in. Andy gets just above the faceoff dot before firing a puck in on Bachman. The low shot is stopped, but kicked straight to Tatar crashing the net in the middle of the ice for the easy rebound goal. The shot selection by Andersson is brilliant here, knowing that he's got guys going to the net. Andersson will get a half-plus while Tatar gets a full plus for the setup and follow-through.
2nd Period 06:55 - Detroit Goal: Jakub Kindl (slap shot) from Daniel Alfredsson and Pavel Datsyuk
A great cross-ice pass leads to an absolute blast through the goalie from the top of the circle. After a bit of a long tough shift by the Wings' first line, they turn the momentum when Datsyuk sets up Kindl for a good chance stepping up on the play. LaBarbera stops it, but the Oilers are forced to try a high dump clear. Datsyuk is back and jabs the puck back towards the Oilers zone. Arcobello misses the puck and Alfredsson gets to it first just inside the zone. Alfie gets to the half-board and pulls toward the center of the ice while Cleary drives to the front of the net. From the left side of the high slot, Alfie passes over to Kindl stepping into the pass on the other side for a laser of a one-timer that finds its way through. The only adjustment here will be to give Datsyuk back the plus that he loses when he changes for Weiss. Weiss will lose his plus.
3rd Period 07:54 - Detroit Goal: Joakim Andersson (wrist shot) from Drew Miller and Justin Abdelkader
Great work by the bottom six creates another easy goal. After Quincey gets pasted in the numbers by Ryan Jones, the Wings catch a break when Philip Larsen loses the puck at the top of the zone allowing them to get a clear. Weiss dumps it from center and the Wings finish a line change. Belov collects behind the net with Miller coming in to pressure him. Here the D-man overskates in what I think is an attempt to be tricky which really just lets the defense set up. With Miller draped on him, Belov makes a pass up ice to the near-side boards which gets picked off by Joakim Andersson. Andy feeds Abdelkader in the slot for a scoring chance that LaBarbera blockers to the far side half-boards where Miller holds off Larsen and pokes it to Abdelkader to carry behind the net with Belov in tow. A quick reversal behind the net shakes Belov enough for Abby to be able to step out into the low circle where he tries a backhand shot that's deflected into the corner. Switching men on the coverage, Abdelkader outraces Larsen and throws it behind the net to Miller leaving Belov at the net-front. Miller wastes no time getting around to the far side of the net for a wrap-around attempt. LaBarbera seals the post, but the puck comes out the other side where Andersson sneaks in behind the coverage of Nugent-Hopkins for the easy goal. This is great cycling work by all three forwards on this line. I'm going to give a bonus plus to Abdelkader, Andersson, and Miller here.
3rd Period 09:43 - Detroit Goal (PP): Todd Bertuzzi (one-timer) from Henrik Zetterberg and Jakub Kindl
Beautiful setup on a power play goal for the Wings puts another mark on the scoreboard against Edmonton. The Oilers kill off the first shift of the man advantage by the 2nd PP unit, bringing on the first as Kindl carries the puck out of the Wings' zone. Just into the neutral zone between the faceoff dots, Kindl hits Bertuzzi in stride heading into the zone on the left wing. Bert sees Petry get over to angle him off, so he circles back at the point and finds Zetterberg cutting in from the middle to to the left behind Petry. Smid goes down to prevent a high-quality scoring chance from Zetterberg, so Z takes it behind the net. As Hank circles behind, he's got his head up looking at Alfredsson coming low on the right wing and then at Datsyuk cutting in through the middle. His momentum carrying him out of the trapezoid behind the net, Zetterberg quickly turns and fires a pass to the back-door left wing side where Bertuzzi sits. LaBarbera has no chance on Bert's shot here and it's 5-0. The Oiler's PK is a bit discombobulated here, as Smid gets up and sees that Datsyuk is wide open in the middle because Petry has ranged way too far over watching Zetterberg behind the net. The panic by Smid to cover Datsyuk leaves the lane for Bert open. Zetterberg really sells this by keeping his head up and all of his passing options open. This cleverness will earn Zetterberg a half-plus.
1st Period 00:53 - Brendan Smith (holding): Smith has a shot blocked at the point and has to chase his man down the ice to prevent a breakaway, ultimately holding on to slow him down. Bad play by Smith, who gets a minus.
1st Period 05:59 - Anton Belov (hooking): Drew Miller forces his way into the Oilers zone along the boards and is getting ready to step around Belov, who puts his stick parallel to slow Miller down. It's a dumb play, but the feet keep moving and Miller will earn a plus.
1st Period 15:38 - Andrew Ference (tripping): Pavel Datsyuk embarrasses Ference behind the Wings' net with a clever steal. Ference responds by taking Datsyuk down and going to the box. Datsyuk will get a plus for earning this one.
2nd Period 08:35 - Ben Eager (cross checking): The Wings' fourth line gets a great shift in the offensive zone, eventually drawing Eager into taking a dumb penalty. It's not exactly drawn, but so much zone time tends to cause things like this to happen. Quincey has three keep-ins on this sequence. Helm and Samuelsson also do good work on puck retrieval and movement. I'm going to give Quincey a plus and I'm going to give half-pluses to Samuelsson and Helm.
2nd Period 11:50 - Brendan Smith (hooking): Henrik Zetterberg turns the puck over at the offensive blue line and the Oilers immediately turn it back up ice. Smith gets caught flat-footed as Hemsky steps around him, forcing a hook. Smith will get a minus. Zetterberg will get a half-minus for the turnover which puts his teammates in a bad spot.
3rd Period 05:01 - Ryan Jones (holding): The Wings get a clear on a simple dump by Abdelkader which turns into a penalty as Jones moves over to interfere with Abdelkader. Abby keeps his feet moving and the ref has no choice but to call it. Plus for Abby on the good hustle.
3rd Period 08:47 - Boyd Gordon (tripping): Daniel Alfredsson carries through center and makes a quick cut which surprises Gordon at the blue line. In response, Gordon pokes the skates out from under the puck-carrier. Alfredsson will get a plus.
3rd Period 17:06 - Brendan Smith (roughing): Completing the trifecta, Smith gets his third penalty of the night for roughing on Yakupov. He initially gives Nail a bit of a shot just after a pass in the Wings' zone and is the recipient of a retaliation. Both of them kind of jostle, but Smith gets the last shot in far too long after it's all done and he goes to the box for it. Smith is just racking up the penalty minuses here, huh?
3rd Period 19:19 - Brendan Smith & Will Acton (Wrasslin'): Just two guys who don't like each other very much trying to kiss each other with punches. No adjustment.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg: He didn't get his pluses directly, but he was too good to just be even on the night. Eight attempts on goal for Z in this game against the Oilers' top line.
+1 to Stephen Weiss and Todd Bertuzzi: Weiss had another very solid game as a complimentary center who forechecked and backchecked very well.He still only got one shot on net, but he set up his teammates for some good chances. Bertuzzi moved with a ton of energy and smarts again.
+1 to Brendan Smith: I'm tempted to give him a +2 and bring him back up to even on the night because I think that outside of penalty trouble, Smith had a very solid game, perhaps he best in his own zone all season. Still, he put his teammates in position to have to kill penalties three times, so I think leaving him at a -1 overall is appropriate.
+2 to Kyle Quincey: I have absolutely zero qualms about this one though. Quincey downright embarrassed the Edmonton forecheck and disrupted the cycle. He got shots through and kept the zone offensively as well. He was all over the scoresheet in good ways.
+1.5 to Danny DeKeyser, +1 to Niklas Kronwall: These two had a quietly dominant game as the shorthanded ice-time leaders for the Wings and the pair that had to face the toughest competition. I hardly noticed them, but I noticed their competition even less.
Each ended up an overall +2, which is where I feel they belonged, but I want to make sure to say that Lashoff and Kindl had a good game. They were the only D-Men with more defensive zone starts than offensive and played very well.
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