The Red Wings finished out a season full of doubt with a game that finished out a week's worth of answering questions. Could Franzen perform? Could Howard shut the door? Could the PK do their job? The Stars would have loved to have played spoiler to the Red Wings, but Detroit wouldn't be denied as they won 3-0.
Detroit outshot Dallas 37-17 in a good all-around effort. The only downside is the Detroit power play went 0-for-4 on the night.
Jimmy Howard only had to make 17 stops to get the shutout in this playoff-clincher. One of those saves was a shorthanded breakaway and a couple of them were on very good Jamie Benn opportunities. Despite not getting nearly as much work, Howard won the head-to-head. Overall, I'm going to give him a +1.
1st Period 18:17 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Justin Abdelkader and Pavel Datsyuk
The Wings get on the board first as Zetterberg wins a physical battle in the corner with Brenden Dillon to get room to make a pass out front intended for Abdelkader. Goligoski's skate prevents it from getting to Abby by virtue of the puck deflecting into the net off the boot. This goal happens about 30 seconds after a faceoff in the Dallas zone and is mostly due to great forechecking pressure by Zetterberg and Datsyuk, who will each get a bonus plus and a half. Z will get a self-assist, Datsyuk will get a half bonus assist, and Abdelkader will get a half bonus assist to go with a bonus plus. This is great battling by the three forwards on this line.
3rd Period 01:57 - Detroit Goal (SH): Henrik Zetterberg (backhand) from Pavel Datsyuk
The Wings finish a penalty kill with authority as Datsyuk breaks Z out for a shorthanded breakaway that the Wings captain finishes with backhand through the five hole. Z will get a bonus plus for the anticipation of the turnover while Pavel will get a bonus plus for knowing that's exactly what Z is doing. I'm also going to give pluses on this play to Kronwall, Emmerton, and Andersson. They're a big part of the PK prior to the change that gets Pavs & Hank out there.
3rd Period 06:30 - Detroit Goal: Jonathan Ericsson (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg
Detroit sticks the dagger in as Datsyuk feeds Ericsson in the high slot for a goal through traffic. Abdelakder will get the screener's assist as Bachman has no idea the shot is coming until the red light is already on. Ericsson will get a self-assist for a few good decisions starting with him helping the breakout and finishing with him keeping the cycle going.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
2nd Period 09:44 - Niklas Kronwall (holding): Jamie Benn forces Kronwall into a bad spot and draws a penalty as Kronner uses a free hand improperly. Minus for Kronwall.
2nd Period 10:10 - Erik Cole (interference) AND 2nd Period 11:37 - Brendan Smith (tripping): Smith pulls a half-plus for strong play against Cole on the power play but earns a full minus for bringing down Benn in front of the net.
2nd Period 20:00 - Brendan Smith (roughing): Smith gets another full minus for his part in an end-of-period scrum with Vernon Fiddler. Frankly, he deserved the extra penalty.
+1 to Damien Brunner, Gustav Nyquist, and Joakim Andersson: This line did some fantastic forechecking work. Each of these players were responsible for at least one good offensive zone takeaway and they all played well defensively.
+0.5 to Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, and Daniel Cleary: Not as dominant as the first or third lines, these three still carried play, did defensively well, and deserve praise for things that didn't show up on the scoreboard for them in this one.
+1 to all six Detroit Defensemen: Smith's penalty troubles got him adjustments above, but every Red Wings' D-man played very well as part of the reason Dallas notched only 17 shots on goal and didn't get to any rebounds. This was a well-played game for the Wings' blueliners.
+0.5 to Kyle Quincey: Just some extra kudos for him. this might have been the best game Quincey played in a Wings uniform. Imagine how much better it could have been if he had the ability to get shots on net.
There's nobody left to honorably mention. I guess I should say that the reason the top line didn't get bonus mention was because their great plays resulted in goals, which got adjustments.