The Wings stole two points from the Penguins on Thursday night and then turned around and gave them back to the state of Pennsylvania as they handed those two points back in Philadelphia on Saturday, dropping a 4-2 decision.
Hard to blame the refs on this one, who were consistently inconsistent. Soft calls helped both teams and then the whistles got swallowed, which wouldn't have mattered because the Wings can't score on the power play. Detroit lost the special teams battle as their perfect PK finally allowed a goal, which turned out to be the game winner. Philly went 1/5 and Detroit 0/3 on the power play. Overall shots were 37-17 for the Wings.
Despite a blisteringly bad-looking .813 save percentage, Gustavsson didn't look awful. He wasn't great or anything, in fact he was downright awful at handling the puck behind his own net, but I'm not mad at him for failing to get the win nearly as much as I'm disappointed in his teammates for being unable to get more traffic in on Emery.
1st Period 15:33 - Detroit Goal: Riley Sheahan (wrist shot) from Andrej Nestrasil and Tomas Jurco
The Wings get on the board first on an aggressive zone entry which creates a bit of chaos, leading to a beautiful Nestrasil feed for his first NHL point. The Flyers win a faceoff in their own zone, but can't get it deep as the Wings take back over and then struggle themselves to get it up ice. Eventually a dump-in is stopped by Gustavsson and left for Ericsson behind the net. Riggy holds it for a second before hitting Nestrasil up the boards in his own zone. As Nesty skates and the Flyers' defense approaches, he goes cross-ice to Jurco on the far wing picking up speed. As Nestrasil enters coming from the left wing to the middle and Sheahan comes in just behind him, Jurco makes an aggressive move against Grossmann to try to get around him into the middle. Grossmann stops Jurco in his tracks, but the puck gets behind both of them and rolls toward the net. Nestrasil is the first one on it with two Flyers draped on him. Without looking, Nesty quickly backhands the puck to the front of the net where Sheahan is all alone to lift it over Emery's pad and into the net. Jurco is going to get a bonus plus for the aggressive play which creates chaos among the Flyers' defense and allows Sheahan to get open.
2nd Period 18:21- Philadelphia Goal: Nicklas Grossmann (wrist shot) from Chris VandeVelde and Michael Raffl
The Flyers tie it up on their eighth shot of the game nearly 40 minutes in. The Flyers get the puck into the zone on a Wings' line change as Raffl pushes up the boards against Kronwall and is helped out by VandeVelde. Quincey momentarily blocks a centering pass after Kronwall is dispossessed of the puck, but Bellemare prevents a clear and Raffl is able to get it in the corner with space as Datsyuk and Kronwall watch him and VandeVelde. A quick crossover play by Raffl takes Datsyuk out of the lane as he drops the pass for Vanderbilty, who turns his butt to the boards and rifles a pass to the back door where Grossmann deposits it behind Gustavsson. Of the five guys on ice, Helm will have his minus halved (Raffl picking up the puck that Bellemare deflects is kind of on him, but Helm has two teammates helping and a responsibility to watch the point here). The combination of Quincey failing to get the clear and failing to be better positioned in front of the net will earn him an extra half-minus. He's partially responsible for Bellemare in front, but he's too high. Datsyuk keeps his minus for letting the Flyers win the battles along the boards while Kronwall will get an extra minus, half for turning the puck over and half for not stopping the centering pass. Finally, Tomas Tatar will pick up an extra minus for blowing the coverage on Grossmann. That's his point-man sneaking in and he doesn't pick him up.
3rd Period 06:01 - Philadelphia Goal: Michael Raffl (wrist shot) from Jakub Voracek and Michael Del Zotto
The Wings fall behind in the third as they let Raffl in on a breakaway from the blue line and he pops it over Gustavsson's shoulder to put the Flyers ahead. The Flyers spend a long time cycling back against a relatively soft Red Wings' forecheck in order to move it up ice. Eventually that happens with a quick passing play of Schultz-Giroux-Del Zotto-Voracek moving the puck from the half-wall on one side of the ice in the Philly zone all the way up to the opposite-board Red Wings' blue line. Ericsson and Abdelkader chase Voracek down, but nobody has Raffl entering the zone in the middle. Voracek finds him and that's all she wrote. I'm not clearing any minuses because the entire team let the Flyers set up this play, but the extra blame is going to fall on Justin Abdelkader's shoulders. Kronwall is behind the play because he made a blue line step-up on the pass to Giroux to try and slow down the transition. Abdelkader is well aware of this and is already back patrolling at center ice. When the pass gets to Voracek, Abby completely forgets that he's supposed to be covering for Kronwall (who is hustling to get back but has no chance). This is going to cost Abdelkader an extra minus.
3rd Period 06:43 - Detroit Goal: Pavel Datsyuk (backhand) from Darren Helm
The Wings pull even again with good in-zone pressure culminating in Darren Helm getting to a loose puck and finding Datsyuk all alone in front. Pavel doesn't miss from here and it's tied. The fourth line almost evens it up immediately, but can't get it past Emery, coming off the ice to allow the Datsyuk line to come on. Kyle Quincey steps up on a pass through center to turn it over for Darren Helm coming on. Helm almost gets it through three Flyers before he's finally forced to just try a dump-in play that Read pokes past Datsyuk entering the zone. Blair Jones tries to bat it up ice out of mid-air but ends up bunting it to the middle of the ice inside his own blue line. Helm has the speed and takes the right body position to steal the puck from behind and whip it up ice to Datsyuk standing all alone behind a stickless Gostisbehere. Pavel finishes and it's tied. Quincey is going to get a bonus half-plus for the step-up at center that turns the puck over. Helm will get an extra plus for the backcheck to keep the puck in and get it to Datsyuk.
3rd Period 11:05 - Philadelphia Goal (PP): Brayden Schenn (redirection) from Jakub Voracek and Mark Streit
The Flyers finally break the perfect PK with a quick redirect of a pass from the half-wall that sneaks in through a screen. The Wings' PK is doing a good job keeping the puck to the outside until it gets dumped behind the net from one low corner to Giroux at the half-wall. This finally sets up the umbrella for the Flyers with Streit at the top. Abdelkader forces him to go to Voracek along the boards, which backs Smith off and forces Abby to chase him. As Voracek spins at the wall, he immediately throws it to the middle where it finds Schenn's stick and deflects in. This is actually a perfectly-executed powerplay setup that took advantage of a bit of luck. Smith has to respect Voracek going to the front and Ericsson has to watch Simmonds and they still almost get to Schenn. No adjustment. The puck moves faster than the players. Boo hoo.
3rd Period 19:29 - Philadelphia Goal (EN): Michael Raffl (slapshot) from Michael Del Zotto and Claude Giroux
Empty net magic ends for the Wings as Raffl finds the empty net. The Wings get a few good chances, but it ends when Brendan Smith has a wrister that doesn't get through the slot and is cleared. Smith recovers, but has his attempt to dump it back in blocked. Raffl pins Jurco to the boards and Giroux plays it back to Del Zotto, who goes back up the ice to Raffl after he sheds Jurco (by pulling him down). Raffl pops it in from just across the center stripe. I'm not clearing any minuses here and I'm going to give an extra one to Smith. The failure to get the initial shot to the net is troubling, but the failure to get the puck back into the Flyers' zone is the problem.
1st Period 05:35 - Henrik Zetterberg (holding) against Mark Streit: Streit pulls the puck into the wings zone watched by Z. As Streit turns back at the boards, Zetterberg reaches out to touch him and Streit's elbow flares out at the same time, making it look like Zetterberg held him. This is a bad call. No adjustment.
1st Period 07:47 - Matt Read (high sticking) against Darren Helm: Helm pushes through after a faceoff to threaten getting into the Flyers' zone with speed. Read gets his stick up trying to lift up Helm's. Usually high sticks aren't drawn, but Helm's hustle makes this one happen. Plus for Helm.
1st Period 11:10 - Kyle Quincey (holding) against Wayne Simmonds: The puck gets deep into the Wings' zone and Quincey takes the wrong angle at first, only realizing his mistake when Wayne Simmonds gets in front of him. Quincey grabs onto Simmonds and heads to the box. Minus for Quincey. Easy call here.
2nd Period 10:03 - Claude Giroux (slashing) against Henrik Zetterberg: Giroux is following up on a Voracek shot when Zetterberg comes in to cover him. Claude pops Zetterberg's stick out of his hands with a slash and goes to the box. No adjustment.
2nd Period 15:13 - Jonathan Ericsson (hooking) against Jakub Voracek: The Flyers get a good scoring opportunity off a couple of Red Wings misplays. Ericsson is battling behind the net and loses the positioning battle, putting his stick in the midsection of his opponent to slow him down. Voracek takes a fall and Riggy goes to the box. Minus for Ericsson. Flat-footed and stick at the waist is no way to go through life, son.
2nd Period 18:54 - Andrej Nestrasil (hooking) and Brayden Schenn (diving): There's barely a hook by Nestrasil in the Wings' zone and Schenn drops like he's the president of the Brad Marchand fan club. No adjustment.
3rd Period 01:47 - Joakim Andersson (faceoff violation): Joker plays the puck with his hand off the faceoff and goes to the box because that's been illegal for more than one year already. Minus for Andersson.
3rd Period 03:21 - RJ Umberger (tripping) against Danny DeKeyser: DK does good board work against the Flyers' PK, pushing the puck up ice and threatening to get a clear when a stick by Umberger comes down on his feet and brings him down. Plus for DeKeyser on the good PK work.
3rd Period 09:59 - Niklas Kronwall (holding) against Claude Giroux: The Wings get caught running around in their own zone and Kronwall holds up his man trying to slow Giroux down in the corner. Minus for Kronwall. Another easy call.
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I don't have the relative figures or the relative numbers because War-on-Ice is down, but this was a dominant game by the Wings ruined by an ability to finish chances and eliminate the dumbest possible mistakes.
Here are some stupid numbers:
- Henrik Zetterberg played almost 9 minutes against Sean Couturier and had a 100% Corsi (11-0).
- Datsyuk was 6-0 against the same person in 7 minutes of play.
- Shayne Gosisbehere was the second-closest Flyer to being even in attempts at a -2. The Flyers overall were -42.
Need to find a way to score. Tatar is more than overdue at this point, but every other line was dangerous. Even the defensemen were generally good. The Wings shot themselves in the foot. Now they've got a few days to readjust their aim.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca