The Detroit Red Wings got another shot at an Ontario team as they welcomed the Ottawa Senators to Joe Louis Arena tonight. A much maligned Red Wing got his chance in the lineup and made the most of it.
Careless penalties put Ottawa on a long two-man advantage early, and they cashed in for a 1-0 lead off the stick of Kyle Turris. A period full of choppy movement started to get better for Detroit when the Senators cut their own trail to the penalty box. Gustav Nyquist put the Red Wings on the board off a rebound from a Henrik Zetterberg shot.
A quick power play for the Red Wings early in the second, Tomas Tatar took a breakout pass and skated up the left side of the ice. He wound up for a slap shot, fired, and forced a huge rebound right to Riley Sheahan who buried the Red Wings' second power play goal of the game. Then Red Wings' nation got all the feels.
A faceoff win in the Ottawa zone got back to Kyle Quincey, who fired it toward the net. Craig Anderson gave up another rebound, and who else would pounce on it and bury it but Stephen Weiss, playing his second game this season and first since re-injuring his groin on a conditioning stint with Grand Rapids. Weiss wasn't done, as a few minutes later, Weiss fed a zone entry on the rush and went straight to the front of the net. Darren Helm put it on goal, and another rebound took a fortuitous bounce off Weiss' stick and ended up in the net for his second of the game and a 4-1 Red Wings lead.
These are professionals, no matter how silly a notion that might seem sometimes, so there was still a third period of consequence to play. And Ottawa made the Red Wings sweat in the third. Erik Karlsson cut the deficit to 4-2 early in the third on a wrist shot from the point. The Senators got a late power play and failed to convert, but with 35 seconds left, Mike Hoffman brought the Senators back to 4-3. But some failed stretch passes led to icings and killed some clock, and Jimmy Howard made one last incredible save as time expired to preserve the win.
- Ain't no burying the lede here. Stephen Weiss got his opportunity tonight, and he potted two goals off juicy rebounds. More than the scoring, he finally put his speed on display and made an impact on the backcheck, on the forecheck, all over the ice, being "
JohnnyWeiss on the spot." How can you not be happy for the guy on a night like this? Now let's see his play continue, and hope the results will come.
- Pretty much all the Red Wings' offense tonight came off second chances from rebounds. J.J. mentioned some time last season, I think, that Detroit would have a better chance of capitalizing if they had people out in the slot a little higher than right in front of the net. Plenty of success to be had, and the Red Wings found it tonight.
- Tomas Tatar officially has a new nickname: Fire Hydrant.
- Two power play goals tonight. The FSD broadcast said the power play started off 2/30, but since then have gone 13/50. Tack on another 2/6 tonight, and I think we can officially say the power play is riding hot?
- Still, can we please kill the dumpster fire known as the neutral zone drop pass with a different dumpster fire?
- Weiss wasn't the only player to draw into the lineup tonight. Jakub Kindl also took a turn on the blue line for Brian Lashoff. I'll admit, I really didn't notice Kindl very much. He had power play time where he tried to fire pucks at the net, and he was no more or less responsible than anyone else on the team for the third period, though he was on the ice for Ottawa's 4-3 goal.
- The penalty kill had been riding a 12-consecutive-kill streak going into tonight, and the Red Wings decided they'd had enough when they took two quick penalties to give Ottawa that two-man advantage. Detroit actually had more power plays tonight, so they probably learned their lesson quickly about being better disciplined.
- Gustav Nyquist became Detroit's first double-digit goal-scorer on the season with his 10th. Who else but Tomas Tatar is right behind him with nine.
- You know what I like about the Red Wings' wins this season? Eleven wins on the season, and all 11 have come in regulation or overtime. FSD mentioned that Detroit had secured points in nine of the last 12 games, so make that 10 of 13 and third place in the Atlantic.
Red Wings fans can go to sleep happy about the game tonight, with the win and with Weiss building his confidence. Four goals in three games between his two in two AHL games and his two tonight has to have him feeling good going into another game. Just imagine, a healthy Weiss and a health Pavel Datsyuk both producing? Watch out, Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia on Wednesday. Let's head into the holiday on a high note.