Welp, that was a shitty way to lose a game. 2-1 Habs.
Even before the fateful waved-off goal that cost us the opportunity to see if Detroit could hang onto a two-goal lead, I thought the reffing standard was pretty awful, but awful in favor of the Wings. Montreal ended up with only one power play to Detroit's three (neither team scored with the man advantage). The game itself was pretty exciting, but both fanbases are not happy with how the men in stripes did their job. Shots ended up 36-28 in favor of the Habs.
I thought Jimmy Howard played incredibly strong to keep the Wings tied and then to hold onto the lead for much of the game and I think he was let down by his defense on the two goals allowed. I feel like a brat for saying it, but I just wish he had found a way to track the puck on the Galchenyuk goal better.
2nd Period 13:41 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Danny DeKeyser and Pavel Datsyuk
The Eurotwins break the tie as Hank gets a pass through center and gets a bit of a fortunate bounce to ensure he gets the goal instead of Justin Abdelkader, who follows up the play smartly and puts it back in for good measure. Quincey gets a puck behind his own net and throws a saucer pass up to DeKeyser in the corner to beat the forechecking pressure. The puck gets by DK, but Pavel Datsyuk backchecks in to cut off Desharnais and get DeKeyser some space. DK gets to the top of the circle and goes up-ice and cross-wing to Zetterberg in stride. Z and Abdelkader enter the Montreal zone 2-on-2 with each taking a lane to a faceoff dot. As Hank curls in from the right side, Abdelkader drives to the front of the net with Subban draped on him. Zetterberg fires a shot that Price kicks out, but the puck bounces off Subban's skate and into the net. This is a really good pass by DeKeyser which forces the Montreal defense to back off far enough to get Zetterberg space. Datsyuk helping make the space for the pass is also crucial. DeKeyser will get a bonus plus and Datsyuk a half-plus.
3rd Period 16:51 - Montreal Goal: Alex Galchenyuk (wrap-around) from Alexei Emelin and Tomas Plekanec
Montreal pulls even at 4-on-4 as a faceoff win and net-front battle win gets Galchenyuk free for a quick wrap-around goal. Plekanec wins the offensive zone faceoff cleanly back for a quick shot by Gilbert that goes wide. As Plekanec and Z chase to the opposite corner where the Habs' center does a quick stop-up against DeKeyser to give himself a bit of space (which could be called interference since he hadn't established control of the puck yet). Plekanec gets it up to Emelin at the point where he threads a soft shot through Datsyuk up top that finds its way into a wrestling match between Quincey and Galchenyuk. Quincey loses the positional battle, his man, and his stick as Galchenyuk very quickly picks the puck up behind the net to Howard's right and has it wrapped in just about the time that Howard realizes that's where he's going. Even though I'm not happy with how Howard played this, nobody is getting a minus cleared, as everybody shares some blame. The simple kept minuses will belong to DeKeyser, who gets interfered with, but could have taken a better angle, and to Datsyuk, who let the shot through from the point. Zetterberg will pick up an extra half-minus for the clean faceoff loss. Quincey will pick up an extra full minus for completely blowing the net-front coverage.
Overtime 00:56 - Montreal Goal: David Desharnais (backhand) from Max Pacioretty and PK Subban
The Habs win it in overtime on a net-front scramble that Desharnais shovels over a downed Howard for the win. After an attempt by Nyquist to get the puck in a good shooting position in front, Henrik Zetterberg is outmanned along the boards in the corner of the Habs' zone. Pacioretty gets it off the boards and immediately outlets to a hard-skating Desharnais up the ice. Kronwall is out of position after a very brief loop a bit too far below the blue line hoping that Z can find him. Instead, he's lucky that the puck is pushed too far in front of Desharnais to turn it into a breakaway. Kronner's luck here doesn't help though as Desharnais gains full control at the outside hash marks and takes an angle to the near post that forces everybody back while giving himself room. Markov and Pacioretty follow into the zone with Ericsson covering the net-front and the passing lane to Markov on the back door while Zetterberg marks back on Pacioretty. Desharnais circles back and passes to Subban jumping in just above the circle while Nyquist takes up position to cut him off. With his route to the net taken away, Subban skates back up above the circles where he's joined by Markov having completed a loop around behind the net and now in shooting position in the center of the ice (still watched by Ericsson). Zetterberg and Pacioretty are in the opposite faceoff circle, and Kronwall is leaning on Desharnais low to Howard's right. Subban throws the puck toward the far post hoping to get a Pacioretty redirection, but instead the puck goes off Howard into the middle. As Pacioretty and Desharnais cross in front of the net with Zetterberg and Kronwall chasing them, Pacioretty gets to the puck first and has his first shot attempt blocked by a diving Zetterberg. The puck comes back to Pacioretty who puts it back on goal only to hit the sprawling Howard. However, in the confusion, Kronwall starts looking for the puck instead of worrying about his man. This is all the space Desharnais needs in front to get his stick on it and shovel it into the net. It's brutal it had to end this way and nobody will get a minus cleared, but I'm going to give Kronwall two extra coverage minuses. The blown coverage coming out of the zone creates the problem where the defense has to over-collapse, which gives plenty of space to create this, then the bad coverage on Desharnais in front finishes the game.
1st Period 06:45 - David Desharnais (hooking) against Jonathan Ericsson: Riggy takes up good body position behind his own net and is able to get the jump on a loose puck that comes through. Desharnais hooks him and the refs make the call. Ericsson will get a plus. This was a good shift for him.
2nd Period 01:50 - Max Pacioretty (closing hand on the puck): The Wings get some great pressure and a few scoring chances that end when Kyle Quincey puts a puck into Pacioretty standing behind Price. Patches catches the puck and throws a hail mary out of the zone, which is a football thing and therefore illegal. I'm going to give a plus to both Nyquist and Tatar, who were each a huge part in the 50 seconds leading up to this eventual call.
2nd Period 05:34 - Brendan Gallagher (goalie interference) against Jimmy Howard: The Habs get it in the Wings' zone and try for a timing play where a lobbed puck meets Gallagher at the net-front when they arrive at the same time. Howard stops the puck, but Gallagher runs over Howard and goes tot he box. No adjustment. This one is just on Gallagher.
2nd Period 17:28 - Kyle Quincey (roughing) against Alex Galchenyuk: Jimmy Howard makes an incredible stop on a cross-ice pass right in front and that frustrates the Habs. Kyle Quincey clears the net-front of Galchenyuk, who fights back and doesn't get the even-up penalty because the refs have been bad to this point and so they're trying to make up for having been bad in favor of the Red Wings. No adjustment. This should have been called on both and I don't mind Quincey battling at the net-front.
3rd Period 15:45 - Luke Glendening (slashing) and Max Pacioretty (diving): Super-soft call that should have only been a dive on Pacioretty as two players brush at center ice and one falls down. No adjustment.
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The overall possession battle was going well until the team faded late, a troubling carryover from previous seasons. The Kid line was buzzing and creating good chances, but remains snakebitten. The Third line performed admirably as well, but did so more on the strength of their defense than by creating chances. The top line should not be beaten in possession; I don't expect it to happen often as Datsyuk finds his stride. The 4th line again looked like fun to watch and bit the bullet like they're supposed to on tougher starts.
For line matching, Therrien was happy to push each of his lines with the same level competition on the other side, so the 1st line lost to the Desharnais line while the 4th line didn't take advantage of the Malhotra line.
Off ZS %
Zone starts-wise, I'm happy with the Kid Line going back to getting a bit more sheltered in the offensive zone. They're a lot of fun there, where they're still sometimes a dangerous adventure in their own end.
This was the Wings' game to win and they didn't do so because they faded after the first 40 minutes. Detroit needs to find ways to put games away sooner when they get opportunities like they did in this one.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca