The Red Wings finally won a game that was their third game in four days by getting thoroughly outplayed by the Los Angeles Kings and getting away with it to steal a point from the team that led in shots 47-31.
Speaking of things that seems like only happened forever ago, Detroit went a whole game without allowing a power play goal against. It helped that the refs let them get away with all of that interference Ed Olczyk was crying about all afternoon. They also scored on the power play. All of the Red Wings' power play goals have come at the Joe Louis Arena.
Jimmy Howard was the first star of the game, absolutely earning the head-to-head +1. Merely average goaltending would almost certainly have led to a loss for the Red Wings. I don't do this often, but I'm going to give him a +2 overall rating. Just incredible.
1st Period 05:44 - Detroit Goal (PP): Pavel Datsyuk (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall
Zetterberg hits Datsyuk cutting into the middle of the ice as he crosses the blue line and Pavel splits the defense before snapping it over Quick's glove hand. Damien Brunner is going to get the third assist. He picks up a deflected pass and wisely re-sets the cycle to Kronwall so Detroit can get their PP unit moving in the right direction.
1st Period 17:28 - Detroit Goal: Damien Brunner (snap shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Ian White
The Wings allow a scoring chance, get possession, let a line change happen, and then watch as Zetterberg and Brunner make room for a Brunner snipe from just above the faceoff dot to Quick's left. Kronwall will get the third assist. He rags the puck just inside his own zone while his team changes and then makes a good pass to change the angle on the lone forechecker Justin Williams. Kronwall will also get the plus back from the line change that goes on behind the play when he comes off for Ericsson, who will lose his plus.
1st Period 19:19 - Los Angeles Goal: Anze Kopitar (wrist shot) from Rob Scuderi and Slava Voynov
The Kings get the puck back on a forecheck and create traffic in front for a shot aimed low to the far side. Kopitar gets on the rebound at the side of the net and pushes it in. Kronwall, Lashoff, and Filppula will have minuses cleared. Each are playing the positions they should and are playing the bodies as they should. Datsyuk will keep his minus for failing to block the Kopitar-to-Scuderi pass that leads to the shot. Cleary will get two minuses: the first will be a turnover minus for giving the puck to Kopitar on the boards and the second will be a coverage minus for failing to tie up Kopitar on the rebound.
GOAL-SAVED PLUS: 2nd Period - 14:10 (Niklas Kronwall): The puck gets behind Howard and is on its way into the net when Kronwall gets his stick in and holds it in front of the goal line. Kronwall will get a plus.
3rd Period 19:07 - Los Angeles Goal: Alec Martinez (backhand) from Kyle Clifford
Sustained pressure leads the Kings to a late game-tying goal as Martinez gets a rebound in-stride and carries it just beyond Jimmy Howard's reach to put it into the net around him. Despite him not being on the ice for the goal, I'm going to give Jonathan Ericsson a turnover minus and a coverage half-minus. He messes up three chances to clear the zone which could have led to a full line change (which they did not get). Later, a small coverage mistake helps the Kings' cycle in the zone. Drew Miller is part of Ericsson's failure to clear, but he doesn't do a great job himself and will get an extra half-minus on turnovers. Finally, as the net-front coverage man, Kyle Quincey lets himself get pushed out of position by Jeff Carter and isn't there to clear the traffic. Quincey will get a minus. Andersson and White are chasing to eliminate passes and keep their minuses for simple failure to prevent the play.
3rd Period 19:55 - Detroit Goal: Jonathan Ericsson (act of god) unassisted
As time winds down to bonus hockey, Jonathan Ericsson collects a loose puck on a weak clearing attempt by Drew Doughty and fires it through Quick and into the net for the game-winner. First off, Johan Franzen will get a half-plus. He creates an offensive zone faceoff after a long shift by flipping it high into Jonathan Quick's glove and then following that up by skating straight at Quick to make sure he gets a whistle. I'm going to give Dan Cleary an assist (non-touch) and a half-plus on the goal by rushing to forecheck on the faceoff loss. Val Filppula will get a bonus plus and an assist (non-touch). He doesn't do as much work as Cleary on the boards, but he rushes to the front to be a nice distraction for Quick as the puck gets on him. Pavel Datsyuk makes a smart positional play to block off Stoll and cause Doughty to make a terrible clearing attempt. This will earn Datsyuk a bonus half-plus.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
1st Period 03:11 - Niklas Kronwall (high-sticking): Kronwall and Gagne are battling by interfering with one another. Kronwall gets his stick up carelessly and takes a penalty. Minus for Kronwall
2nd Period 00:35 - Pavel Datsyuk (holding): Datsyuk uses the free hand to hold Kopitar right in front of the ref. This is an easy call to make. Minus for Datsyuk
2nd Period 09:47 - Dan Cleary (hooking): Cleary could have taken a penalty for any combination of hooks and holds on this shift. It happens the specific one that made the refs' arm go up was maybe weak, but he deserved a penalty. Minus for Cleary.
+1 to Damien Brunner: I thought Brunner was one of the best backchecking forwards in the game today and consistently moved the puck in the right direction.
-0.5 to Brian Lashoff: For as good as he was against Edmonton, I thought he struggled versus the Kings. He had a couple scary turnovers and got caught chasing around a bit more than he should have.
+0.5 to Ian White: As pointed out in the comments, Ian White led the team in ice time and was aggressive at both ends of the ice.
I don't think Datsyuk's and Filppula's struggles can all be blamed on Cleary. They were very good at times and also quite unimpressive at others. Johan Franzen was just as hit-or-miss.