The Wings came home from a three-game road trip last week to welcome the Ottawa Senators into their abode. After a strong second period gave them a big lead, the Wings were able to hold on for a 4-3 victory that shouldn't have been that tight.
The referees called a guy for diving without calling the other player for something in a very rare showing of good officiating. They didn't have a great start to the game though. Detroit went 2/6 on the power play and Ottawa 1/4. Overall shots were 43-26 for the Wings, which is funny considering the Sens nearly doubled their shot output in the third period.
Jimmy Howard had a save percentage below .900, but without him playing as well as he did, the game could have gone aggravatingly different, especially thanks to a huge last-second glove save to seal the victory. Craig Andersson was very good at the other end as well, allowing four goals and still dropping a sv % of .907.
1st Period 05:19 - Ottawa Goal (PP): Kyle Turris (slap shot) from Erik Karlsson and Bobby Ryan
The Sens get on the board on the 5-on-3 with a cross-ice pass for a one-timer from the top of the circle. I'm not going to waste a lot of time on this one. Ottawa gets the puck after scrambling a faceoff that they know they can because it's 5-on-3 and then slowly back the defenders down while the points crush in. Turris' one-timer gets past a Glendening block and finds a favorable bounce through Howard as the netminder slides across his crease. No adjustment.
1st Period 16:45 - Detroit Goal (PP): Gustav Nyquist (wrist shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall
The Wings fail to score on a 5-on-3, but make up for it with a regular 5-on-4 goal off a rebound into the slot. After a frozen puck, the Wings gain possession on an in-zone faceoff that Z wins cleanly back to Kronwall. Kronner immediately walks the puck to the middle, drawing defenders over to him before passing back to Zetterberg on the point. With plenty of space, Zetterberg fires a slapper from the top of the circle that Anderson gets his glove on through an Abdelkader screen, but he can't hold the puck. Nyquist is Johnny on the Spot for the rebound out front as he pokes it in past Anderson looking behind his own net for the puck. Justin Abdelkader will earn a screener's assist on this, as Anderson has no idea what's going on. Zetterberg will get a half-plus for the great faceoff win.
2nd Period 02:24 - Detroit Goal (PP): Riley Sheahan (snap shot) from Tomas Tatar and Jimmy Howard
Sheahan gives the wings a 2-1 lead on a big rebound from a shot right off the zone entry. Ottawa clears the zone on a rebound from a Kindl shot that gets pushed all the way down the ice. Howard leaves it for Tatar skating behind his own net with Stone in tow. Tatar pushes it out front and then turns the corner to get away from Stone with speed to spare up through the middle. With both Helm and Sheahan on the right side of the ice, Lazar has to respect the passing lane and the defenders have to respect the speed, giving Tatar an easy zone entry. Cowen holds his ground inside the top of the circle as Tatar races in on him, but can't get his stick on the Tatar slapper from there. This puck is aimed low to the far post, which is important when Anderson kicks out the rebound that goes to the opposite side faceoff dot. Sheahan is the first on it with Lazar trying to block the shot. Without hesitation, Sheahan throws the puck back at the net as Anderson dives over. The puck hits off the inside of the near post and goes in. I really like both the rush and shot decision by Tatar on this sequence and will give Tatar a plus for it.
2nd Period 13:34 - Detroit Goal: Stephen Weiss (wrist shot) from Kyle Quincey and Danny DeKeyser
Stephen Weiss gets his first goal in forever and the first even-strength goal of this game as a rebound hangs around in traffic for Weiss to find and put top shelf. Ottawa ices the puck on a pass to a guy who falls down at center ice. Detroit gains possession on the faceoff thanks to Helm winning it straight back to the middle of the zone. DeKeyser gets to it as two defenders head to the top of the zone and the other three try to keep Helm and Jurco from getting cleanly to the net front. DK passes over to Quincey at the right point for a one-timer shot that hits off Gryba and Helm battling in front of the net. Cowen angles Jurco away from the rebound as they skate by and Helm holds up Gryba to keep him from getting it out of his feet. Weiss has zero hesitation to the front of the net as he gets in front of Turris and is able to win the race for the loose puck, shoveling it over a downed Anderson. Helm is going to earn a plus for his work winning the faceoff and tying up his man in front.
2nd Period 17:52 - Detroit Goal: Stephen Weiss (backhand) from Darren Helm and Tomas Jurco
Nice for Weiss to score twice in this period, as he finds yet another rebound that he pops home. The Wings gain possession as Quincey chases down Hoffman behind his own net and disrupts him enough for Jurco to swoop down and steal the puck off him to turn up ice. As Hoffman and Stone chase Jurco to pinch him off, he hits Weiss with an outlet to get out of the zone. Weiss goes to Helm on the left wing side to enter the Ottawa zone while he drives the middle lane and Jurco trails behind. Helm drags it into the zone and then pulls up across the blue line as Weiss drags one defender to the back post and Jurco draws one to the near post. With a bit of space and the other three defenders up near the top of the zone, Helm wisely just chucks a backhand toward the front of the net. Anderson tries to kick this save out behind the net-front traffic but instead paddles it right to Weiss battling with Cowen in front. Weiss just swats the rebound back to the net and it gets in before Anderson an get over to adjust. Quincey and DeKeyser will get their pluses back from Kindl and Ouellet, who jump on behind this rush. Quincey will also get a bonus half-plus for his defensive work to free up the puck behind his net. Jurco will get a half-plus for smartly reading the opportunity to steal it from Stone as well. Weiss will get a plus for taking the Jurco pass and turning it into a good entry while also drawing defense away from that entry and then finally winning the net-front battle. Helm will also get a half-plus for his good work on this play to read the weakness in the defense and take advantage.
3rd Period 02:43 - Ottawa Goal: Erik Karlsson (wrist shot) from Kyle Turris and Jared Cowen
The third period starts out pretty much all Senators and Karlsson finally notches the team's 2nd goal on a nice feed that gets him a shooting lane between the circles. Helm knocks a puck to center after good pressure to allow the Wings to get a change as Wiercioch chases back into his own zone. Turris builds speed through center to get it in for Chiasson, who holds before dumping it back in behind the net. Quincey ties up Turris at the near post, but MacAurthur picks it up and takes it to the corner with Miller in tow. Miller hands off coverage to Andersson as MacArthur hits the half-wall and goes to Cowen at the point. Cowen goes back down the boards to Turris skating up ice. Turris tries to turn immediately to the inside, but he doesn't handle the pass cleanly. Here, Turris recovers as he moves it toward the high slot and Andersson, DeKeyser and Quincey reach toward him to try and prevent a good scoring opportunity. Instead of shooting it into one of three sticks, Turris just leaves the puck as he skates by, allowing Karlsson to step into it and change the angle slightly. Karlsson fires from here and beats a screened Howard. I'm not going to clear any minuses, as everybody is involved in this play to some degree. I'm going to give Quincey and DeKeyser each a half-minus on the coverage miscommunication that leaves Karlsson open for a shot and an uncovered Chiasson in front to screen. I'm also going to give Andersson an extra half-minus. I think he had a few opportunities to play the body and instead focused too much on trying to cover three different people in his area.
3rd Period 19:26 - Ottawa Goal: Mike Hoffman (snap shot) from Zack Smith and Patrick Wiercioch
Ottawa pulls within one as they get the Wings' defense all tuckered out before Hoffman gets the shot off from a scoring area that finds its way into the net through traffic. Ottawa gets the puck in with 1:11 to play as Stone carries up the right wing and drops it back to the point for Wiercioch to pick up and get deep as Zetterberg steps up on him at the top of the circle Odddick loses it to the corner, but Stone is there to feed Hoffman for a good scoring opportunity that goes just wide. From here, Ottawa is able to recover the loose puck and start a cycle that keeps the Wings chasing for the next 26 seconds. Smith gets a puck to Hoffman in the slot that ends up with a shot getting blocked out front. Kindl gets his stick on this rebound, but gives it back away as he tries to feather one high out of the zone which doesn't get nearly that far. Ceci recovers at the top of the zone and goes to Abnormalwang at the half-wall for a step near the dot and shot that Howard blocks behind the net. Smith is the first one on it with a bit of space left over from Ouellet stepping up to challenge Unusualrooster. Smith turns and throws the puck back toward the front of the net just as Ouellet gets there to challenge. The puck goes through Kindl as Hoffman backs to the slot and receives the puck. Abdelkader is nearby and goes down to try and block the shot, but Hoffman fires it inside the far post as Jimmy Howard tries to see the puck through Zetterberg and Neil battling in front. No minuses cleared here. Glendening will get a half-minus on coverage as he's playing too far to one side, which allows the clean entry (stronger lane discipline lets Zetterberg get to Unexplainedpenis earlier and probably defuses this play. Abdelkader keeps watching the same patch of ice as three shot attempts come from there and he blocks precisely none of them. This will earn Abdelkader an extra minus. Zetterberg misses one loose puck and then doesn't play the job of the net-front sweeper very well. Zetterberg will get an extra half-minus for this. The turnover on the best clearing opportunity they had will earn Kindl a minus. Ouellet kicks a puck deeper into his own zone and then fails to block a shot and a pass. This will earn Ouellet an extra half-minus.
1st Period 04:15 - Tomas Tatar (high sticking) against Chris Neil: Tatar is forechecking and trying to slap at a puck before it can be cleared up the boards and gets careless with it. Tatar will get a minus for not controlling his lumber.
1st Period 04:58 - Kyle Quincey (holding) against Mark Stone: Q puts the Wings down by two when he grabs onto Stone to slow down a zone entry. Stupid stupid stupid stupid play. I'm going to give Quincey a minus-and-a-half. Just absolutely unforgivably stupid play.
1st Period 08:05 - Chris Neil (hooking) against Johan Franzen: The Wings get a power play after some offensive zone pressure. Franzen comes in on a lane change and bull-rushes the net to create problems. After getting the puck behind the cage, Neil slows him down with a hook and goes to the box. Plus for Franzen.
1st Period 14:30 - Alex Chiasson (holding) against Jonathan Ericsson: The Wings get another power play as Chiasson grabs hold of Riggy behind the Wings' net. This is more of a dumb forechecking play, but Ericsson will get a half-plus for establishing good body position to help make this happen.
1st Period 15:58 - Mark Borowiecki (tripping) against Henrik Zetterberg: The Sens get the puck just across the blue line on a Wings' kill and Detroit turns it immediately back in. Hank has it at the blue line when Gorbachevski sticks his leg out to take him down. Zetterberg will earn a plus.
2nd Period 00:30 - Craig Anderson (tripping) against Gustav Nyquist: The Wings win a faceoff and start the cycle only to have it interrupted when Anderson puts his stick into Nyquist's feet. No adjustment here. This is just the goalie trying to help out his team and getting caught.
2nd Period 08:42 - Kyle Turris (embellishment) against Henrik Zetterberg: As Hank & Turris skate back to a puck leaving the Ottawa zone, they get together a bit. Turris grabs Hank's stick and takes a fall to try and draw a penalty. Good news, it worked! No adjustment. Turris does this a lot.
2nd Period 09:31 - Gustav Nyquist (interference) against Milan Michalek: Goose dangles into the Ottawa zone and gets stopped up before he gets a shot off. Trying to ward off the backchecker, he plays stick position, knocking Michalek's stick out of his hands very easily. This is a soft penalty caused by a guy not holding his stick tightly enough. The ref doesn't even bother to call it a slash. No adjustment.
3rd Period 05:24 - Clarke MacArthur (hooking) against Tomas Jurco: Miller, Helm, and Jurco cycle dangerously in the Ottawa zone to get the Sens chasing around. This ends when MacArthur corkscrews Jurco to the ice at the half-wall. Jurco will get a plus for good work here.
3rd Period 16:25 - Justin Abdelkader (hooking) against Bobby Ryan: The Sens get another good rush and zone time that leads the Wings to have to chase around. Justin Abdelkader loses a step on his man and reaches out with his stick to slow it down. Abdelkader will earn a minus. Hooking is bad.
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Tatar absolutely took advantage of Michalek-Smith-Neil, and especially Jared Cowen. It was good to see Weiss get good results and positive possession numbers. His most-common matchup was Zibanejad, so he wasn't terribly sheltered either.
[Edit: I've removed the faceoff chart for this game. It was not correct]
The NHL.com summary only has center draws, but we can use it well enough considering the lines were pretty solid. The Glendening line didn't take a single defensive zone faceoff at even strength in this game, which is odd. Nobody on the team got fewer than 50% zone starts though because the Wings had a 23-14 advantage in offensive zone draws versus the Sens.
Good game all around marked by some pretty fair boneheadedness. Despite the score, the game wasn't really that close. I'd like to have seen Kindl buckle it down better late, but he did a good job. The Ericsson-Kronwall pairing remains way too scary at times.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca