Hey, a shootout win!
After losing two straight games, you would imagine that the Wings would head into this game with a ton of energy and motivation. While we may not have dominated the Oilers, we did win, which was very important.
Here's how it all went down:
- Teemu Pulkkinen made his Red Wings' debut today. He didn't see a ton of ice time, which is understandable, yet he still managed to play a good game. Can't wait to see more of the best Teemu in the years to come.
- The first period was for the most part quite bland. The Oilers had some good chances early on, while the Wings had a PP midway through the period. Despite this, not much in form of goal scoring chances were had, and it seemed like it would remain tied until...
- With a little over six minutes to play in the first, Riley Sheahan scored to give the Wings the lead. Assists went to a glove-less Tomas Tatar and Drew Miller.
- Luke Glendening had a breakaway towards the end of the period. He skated past the Oilers' defense, and it seemed as if he was about to dangle past Viktor Fasth before Luke pulled a Helm and whiffed on the shot. Seriously, can we send Glendening and Helm on a little "vacation" next summer with Datsyuk. They could learn so much!
- The game seemed to pick up a bit of steam in the second period. Detroit and Edmonton each had a PP, but, it did seem as if the Oilers did have a bit more control in the play towards the end of the period. Either way, the period was score-less, and Detroit headed into the intermission up by a goal.
- And then it happened. Brendan Smith turned the puck over to Ryan Smythe, who would score, tying the game up.
- The Wings, and the Oilers to a lesser extent, seemed to regress in their play as the game went on. The play was at times sloppy, and both teams seemed to lack energy.
- Towards the end of the third period, the Wings found themselves on a PP. As I suggested in this morning's Quick Hits, the Wings did in fact use Pulkkinen at the point on the PP. He took two shots from the point, and oh boy, those were some hard shots. Can you imagine him and Anthony Mantha on the same line? Holy slappers.
- Despite the Wings' late effort to retake the lead, the deadlock could not be broken, and the game headed to OT.
- The Oilers took a delay of game penalty midway through the overtime period. The Wings, of course, didn't manage to capitalize, thus sending the game into the shootout.
- Jimmy Howard played great today, there is no doubt about that. Howard saved 21 out of the 22 shots that he faced. He said this yesterday:
- "We got to win games. There's nothing else you can say. Got to go out there and execute"
- And he executed. Howard stopped all of Edmonton's shootout attempts, while Tomas Tatar scored the lone-goal for the Wings, giving Detroit a rare shootout victory. Whew!
Overall, the Wings played a sloppy, messy, and bizarre game. The team didn't play poorly, but I can't say that it was a great game either. Despite our victory, we did play one of the worst teams in the league, and quite frankly, should have beat the Oilers with a more dominating performance. Either way, a win is a win, and that is something that we have to be happy about now-a-days.
The Wings now have 73 points with 16 games left to play this season. The Wings are still outside of the final wildcard spot for the playoffs,
but, the Washington Capitals, who currently hold that spot, have played 3 more games than the Wings. The Flyers actually hold the final wildcard spot, and they have played one game less than the Wings. In other words, the Wings still have a very good shot at making the playoffs, assuming, of course, that they win those games that they have in hand.
Next up for the Red Wings are the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.
Let's Go Red Wings!