Well it was the Red Wings' third game in four nights, their second in consecutive nights, and a game against the Devils. Naturally, this game just screams 7-4 result.
Both teams got their fairly-allotted three power play opportunities in a game that was probably even in amount of deserved penalties, even if the figures of those actually called was lower than it should have been. Detroit was the only team to score a power play goal, but New Jersey potted a shortie, so I'm going to say the Devils won the special teams battle in a tiebreaker for which type of goal is more embarrassing to give up. Shots were 33-25 Detroit.
CSSI Methodology Explanation here
Jonas Gustavsson magicked seven goals into the other team's net while only allowing four, so that's good for a win.
1st Period 13:43 - Detroit Goal: Brendan Smith (slap shot) from Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist
The Wings get on the board first with an absolute bomb from Brendan Smith coming off the bench. The Wings doggedly pressure the puck as the Devils fight to move it out of their own zone. Finally a cross-ice pass hits Jagr , who tries to feather it across the Wings' blue line to Zajac only to have it blocked by Franzen and turned up ice. A few passes at center and two changes of possession later, Nyquist gains the zone with a bit of room for a drop-pass to Franzen swooping over to the left wing side. Mule goes down to the icing line watched by Fayne before turning back up ice. The whole time, he keeps a healthy distance from the boards to keep his options open. Nyquist drives the middle lane and sets up at net-front while Glendening also jumps into the middle off a change while Franzen is heading back up the zone. All this movement draws all five defenders below the tops of the circles at a time that Franzen is crossing that very threshold. from about 10 feet into the zone, Mule feeds a pass off into the middle that Smith steps into coming off the bench. Schneider has no chance on the bomb as it hits the net. Franzen will get a plus and a half for the blue line steal and the smart cycle. Nyquist will get a plus for good work making sure the Wings got the puck in and then drawing defenders to him. I'm going to give a half screener's assist to both Glendening and Nyquist here. Goose prevents Schneider from seeing the Franzen pass and Glendening masks the release of the shot.
2nd Period 05:34 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (deflection) from Gustav Nyquist and David Legwand
Detroit makes it 2-0 on a good passing play for a zone entry and a clever shot that deflects in off traffic. The Devils get a 2-on-1 rush as Jagr blocks a Kronwall pass in the neutral zone and then Clowe takes him out of the play with a check. Nyquist pushes back hard to keep Jagr on the backhand where he shovels a shot wide of the far post. The puck rings up the boards where Franzen picks it up at his own blue line already picking up steam up the right wing. The Devils are completing a change behind the play, so there's room on this side as Franzen drops the puck for Legwand at center and takes the center lane while Legwand enters the zone along the boards. With Clowe watching him, Legwand cuts toward the middle well above the circle. Kronwall jumps in on the play as the guy trailing in Franzen's wake (Mule drags both defenders low enough that Kronner could have at least reached the top of the circle for a shot). While the defense adjusts to the Kronwall option, Legwand instead drops it back to the right point where Nyquist skates into the puck. Gionta gets over to keep him out of the slot, but Nyquist gets to the circle and gets off a wrister just as Franzen clears out from directly in front of Schneider to take up the near-side post. As Schneider goes down, the puck hits Franzen in front and gets into the net. I'm going to give Franzen and Legwand each a half-plus on making plays which specifically drive the defense back and creates options to the middle of the ice. I like Kronwall's step up on the wing, but I'm going to cancel the bonus he would get because the Jagr shot on the 2-on-1 was on a turnover he committed. Nyquist will get a plus on the backcheck and then recognizing that he was last man back on that side and a shot was the best option for him.
2nd Period 09:23 - New Jersey Goal (SH): Patrik Elias (slap shot) unassisted
The Wings' power play creates the wrong kind of goal on a turnover which leads to an odd-man rush and a slapper into the back of their net. The Wings' 2nd unit has the traditional umbrella set with Legwand on the left half-boards trying to set up Tatar on the opposite side for a one-timer after a pass from Kindl at the top. The pass gets through to Tatar, but he mis-times it and has to try to control the puck instead of firing it. Unfortunately, it bounces off his skate too far for his stick and he's unable to regain it before Elias picks it up and heads the other way with Henrique joining in a 2-on-1. Kindl turns to take away the pass to Henrique, but it doesn't matter as Elias slaps it past Gustavsson from the interior top of the left circle. Jurco and Sheahan will be cleared here as victims of circumstance. Legwand will keep his minus for the pass being a bit hot, but won't get extra punishment. Tatar should be able to take this pass without turning it over. Tats will pick up an extra minus. Kindl is the last guy back and leaves the shooter to the goalie, but I don't like how much room he gives Elias. A slapper from the scoring area is something that's going to get by a goalie sometimes, but Kindl let him get it off from between the dots and honestly, if Elias wanted to pull the fake and make a breakaway move, Kindl had given him room. This will earn Kindl an extra half-minus.
2nd Period 10:20 - New Jersey Goal: Jaromir Jagr (wrist shot) from Marek Zidlicky
Less than a minute later, the game is tied on a powerful move from Jaromir Jagr that gives him a shot from the middle that he snaps over the glove. The last 24 seconds of the Wings' PP ticks off uneventfully and a puck goes out of play to get a change for the Devils. On a scrambled faceoff, Jagr and Clowe get it up ice and into the zone. Gelinas jumps up to get the puck and carry up the wing, throwing it to the front where it hits off Ericsson's skate and heads to the corner. Miller picks it up and tries to float it out to a streaking Abdelkader, but he can't get it past Zidlicky outside the blue line. Jagr receives a cross-ice pass and re-enters just before Clowe touches up (it's an extremely close call that the linesman doesn't get right). With the defenders still back just above the circles from having collapsed on the previous chance and Glendening up top, Jagr makes a move to the middle that Kronwall tries to cut off wit a hip check that barely moves the huge Jagr. Ericsson had backed up to the mid-slot because of the Kronwall move (and because Clowe is driving to the net-front from the right side), and this gives Jagr just enough room to snap it in from the high slot. Abdelkader will be cleared as he's trying to create offense when the turnover happens. Miller will get a minus for failing to get the puck through Zidlicky. Kronwall will get a minus for whiffing on Jagr. Glendening and Ericsson each keep their minuses for failing to prevent the goal, but won't get extra because their inability to stop Jagr was caused by their other responsibilities.
2nd Period 11:44 - New Jersey Goal: Adam Henrique (wrist shot) from Mark Fayne and Andy Greene
Detroit can't stop the bleeding in the second period as they find themselves down a goal off what should have been a harmless play. At the end of a long shift, the Wings get a change as Kindl dumps it behind the net and everybody gets off. Greene gets it from Schneider and quickly moves it up the left wing side (opposite the benches) to Henrique to gain the zone while Detroit's defense sets up. Quincey holds Henrique up from gaining the middle while Tatar moves over to help. DeKeyser sets up on the opposite side and gets back into the circle by Elias threatening to dive the lane. Jurco takes the middle and Sheahan re-enters the zone after coming off the bench to forecheck in case Greene didn't make the pass up-ice. Stuck by Q and Tatar, Henrique pulls up and throws a high saucer pass to the opposite point where Fayne skates into it with room to skate it to the half-boards before Jurco gets back over to cover him. Fayne throws the puck back to the front of the net where Henrique meets up with it after stepping around Quincey. The eventual goal-scorer tips the pass in on Gustavsson, who lets it get through his arm where it drops behind him in the crease. Henrique is completing his cut across the front and has his stick in perfect position to poke it in. Sheahan and Tatar will be cleared; the one is doing is job to forecheck and is never involved and the only involvement Tatar has is helping force Henrique into making a weird play to a point that should be covered on his way to his own defensive responsibility. DeKeyser will also be cleared. He has to back off here and then cover Elias on the back door. Jurco will get a minus for not covering his point as quickly as he should and Quincey will get a minus and a half for both failing to eliminate Henrique's stick twice and failing to box him out. He needs to do either here to help stop a goal and doesn't.
2nd Period 13:47 - Detroit Goal (PP): Johan Franzen (slap shot) from Todd Bertuzzi and Gustav Nyquist
Mule evens it up again on a great pass from Bertuzzi to find his man open in the slot for a quick snapper over the shoulder. Jersey clears it after a blocked shot and Kronwall picks it up behind his own net to start the rush, passing to Nyquist at center to draw the defense into the middle and allow Bertuzzi to step around Fayne along the wall before feathering a pass to him. With both Fayne and Henrique now behind the play, this turns it into a 3-on-2 with Elias responsible for covering the middle of the ice where Bert can either feed across to Alfredsson on the back door or up to Franzen gliding into the slot. Greene has to stay in front of the crease to prevent Bert from driving directly there. As Bertuzzi hits the bottom of the circle on his way to the net-front, he drops it to Franzen who one-times it over the shoulder. Bert and Nyquist will each get a half-plus for making this play happen with a great entry set to take advantage of Fayne.
2nd Period 15:05 - Detroit Goal: Gustav Nyquist (wrist shot) from David Legwand and Jonathan Ericsson
Detroit retakes the lead with a good outlet and zone entry which gets Nyquist into the middle of the ice for a shot that squeaks through. The Wings win a defensive zone faceoff but get into a half-board battle as the forecheckers step up on Nyquist. Riggy comes in to help as Legwand watches to the inside low and Franzen watches inside high (Kronwall keeps is post as the net-front responsibility. Clowe and Jagr fight for it, but Nyquist does great work to stymie them both. Finally Clowe simply dumps it back behind the net to reset the forecheck. Kronwall heads back to pick it up and use the net as a screen to let the Wings set a breakout. Both Clowe and Zajac skate toward the far post and are beaten when Kronwall goes back to Ericsson in the near-side corner. Riggy quickly turns and fires it to Legwand turning up the middle behind Jagr and just like that it's a 3-on-2 rush. Franzen holds the attention of Fayne on the left side while Legwand drives up the middle just far enough to bring Greene in and make room for Nyquist streaking up the right wing before driving the net. Nyquist gains the zone and uses his speed to get into the slot before Greene can hold him up with help from a forward (Zajac gets back to the area, but he has to watch Franzen; jagr is behind the play this whole time). With Legwand driving the middle and the confusion among Greene, Zajac, and Fayne, Nyquist snaps a shot through Schneider. Kronwall and Ericsson will each earn pluses on the defensive portion of this play (good positioning and great outlet pass). Nyquist's board battling against two guys much bigger than him and coming out with the Wings' in possession will earn him a plus as well.
2nd Period 17:01 - Detroit Goal: Kyle Quincey (wrist shot) from Riley Sheahan and Danny DeKeyser
Kyle Quincey gives his team back their two-goal lead on a great feed from Sheahan. The Devils dump a puck in that Henrique tries to tip past Jurco to Gelinas at the point, instead tipping it back to center. Jurco pressures him and gets it all the way to the corner in the Devils' zone before an attempted pass to Sheahan misses and goes back to Henrique, who tries a Murphy-dump over the defense to center. DeKeyser cuts off the pass and gloves it back down to the boards just outside the blue line where he's pressured by Elias and then Brunner. After Jurco and Sheahan clear the zone, DDK tries to dump it back in but hits the linesman just inside the zone. The puck takes a fortunate bounce where Sheahan gets to it before Gelinas with momentum taking him behind the defender. This creates a 2-on-1 with Jurco going to the far post watched by Zidlicky. As Sheahan gets low, he drops it back to the point where Quincey steps in and snaps it high to the glove side for what will be the game-winner. The bounce they got was luck, but Jurco created a lot of trouble for the Devils on this play and will get a plus. Sheahan will get a half-plus for good hard skating and aggressive play to take advantage of the Devils' mistakes.
3rd Period 04:48 - Detroit Goal: David Legwand (wrist shot) from Johan Franzen)
Leggy gets his first goal as a Red Wing thanks to a great forechecking play. After a solid penalty kill, the Devils are forced back from center into their own zone while they wait to get set and David Legwand forechecks. Zidlicky backs into his own slot before throwing a pass back to Ryder coming back. Legwand anticipates this pass and immediately shifts his focus to the puck, getting his stick in when Ryder tries going back Zidlicky's way as the defender turns his momentum up ice. The puck bounces straight to Franzen stepping into the zone with a lane right to the middle. As the defenders collapse on him, Franzen snaps a low shot at Schneider, which he saves, but kicks the puck right to Legwand driving the net after forcing the turnover. Legwand waits for Schneider to go down trying to keep the follow-up shot out and then calmly roofs it over the extended stick. This is a great forechecking play by Legwand to earn a bonus plus. As good of a night as he's having, Nyquist will lose his plus. He steps on for Ericsson out of the box, but has no involvement in this play. Finally, I think the defensive play by Smith and Franzen to eliminate the Devils' dump-in attempt to keep the puck in the zone as the penalty expires is well-executed. Smith and Franzen will get a half-plus each.
3rd Period 12:52 - Detroit Goal: Drew Miller (wrist shot) from Todd Bertuzzi and Joakim Andersson
Miller makes it 7-3 off a faceoff win/rebound goal. Forechecking pressure by Alfredsson, Abdelkader, and Glendening leads to an icing faceoff for the fourth line in the New Jersey zone. Andersson wins it cleanly to Bertuzzi on the inside, who shoots it straight away. Schneider goes down to stop it, but kicks the rebound out to the same side. Miller beats Zidlicky to the puck from the outside of the circle and lifts it over Schneider to top off the scoring for Detroit. Alfredsson, Abdelkader, and Glendening will each get a half-plus for creating the icing. Andersson will get a plus for the clean faceoff win as well.
3rd Period 18:42 - New Jersey Goal: Adam Henrique (backhand) from Michael Ryder and Ryane Clowe
Jonas Gustavsson falls asleep in the third and gives up another goal in garbage time. Gelinas gets a loose puck in his own zone as players come on, dropping it to Zidlicky, who backhands it up to Clowe along the boards. Clowe turns in and fires a pass for Ryder that hits off his stick, then kicks off Kindl's skate back to Ryder entering the zone. Kindl backs off to keep Ryder from taking it up the boards while Smith backs to the middle of the ice. Ryder pulls up at the blue line and feeds it to Henrique jumping in. Smith tries a sweep check in the high slot, but Henrique moves it to his backhand to get around the stick and carries it to the interior hash marks of the faceoff dot before shoveling it past Gustavsson, who slides too far over and gives him room to hit the far post. Kindl and Smith will keep their minuses for how this play develops, but Bertuzzi, Miller and Andersson will be cleared. It's a meaningless goal in an already-won game, but the defensive mistakes are something to work on. I'm not going to punish extra because the biggest mistake on the play is Gustavsson's for over-committing and leaving so much room on the far side.
1st Period 16:22 - Todd Bertuzzi (slashing): Bert is forechecking behind the Devils net when he aggressively chops at a guy's stick and heads to the box when knocking out the third peg brings him down. Bert protests, but it's a good call. Minus for Bertuzzi.
1st Period 19:48 - Travis Zajac (hooking): Zajac chases Tatar up the boards in the Devils' end trying to get it away from the pesky Slovakian Wing. In his zeal, Zajac hooks his man (and still fails to steal the puck). Tatar will get a plus for drawing this one.
2nd Period 1:33 - David Legwand (cross-checking): Forechecking on the power play, Legwand sends Ruutu flying with a cross-check on a guy who doesn't have the puck, going to the box for it. Minus for Legwand.
2nd Period 07:47 - Mark Fayne (interference): Drew Miller wins a race off a faceoff (heh) and Fayne corkscrews him into the boards. Plus for Miller.
2nd Period 13:17 - Jon Merill (delay of game): Offensive zone pressure by the Wings leads to a loose puck in front that Merril clears over the glass into the 20th row. The play is a bit of luck as a broken stick by Glendening prevents him from playing it cleanly while Abdelkader bears down on Merrill, but there's very good forechecking here leading to a good scoring chance and a bit of a panicked clear. Abdelkader will get a plus while Alfredsson, Glendening, and Ericsson will each earn half-pluses for their part in this play.
3rd Period 02:38 - Jonathan Ericsson (hooking): Riggy takes down Adam Henrique in front of the net off a rebound that was the end of a play where he had failed to get it out of the zone in the first place. This will earn Ericsson a minus.
+1 to Jakub Kindl: He got easier starts versus easier opponents and ended up an overall minus, but he did enough things well, especially with carrying the puck that I don't think he was as bad as a -1.5 rating indicates, so I'm going to adjust him up.
+1 to Kyle Quincey: One quite bad play against Adam Henrique and a goal doesn't entirely describe Quincey's play in this game. He played a more defensive role against the Devils better players and did well to eliminate rushes and crowd out the net (outside of his one failure on Henrique).
-0.5 to Riley Sheahan: I thought he got away with a number of small errors which could have turned badly. Overall his line remains very exciting, but they do make young mistakes in their zone and Riley, as the center, is more-prone to them.
+1 to David Legwand: He was outpaced by Franzen and Nyquist on the adjustments, but I thought he played excellent away from the puck to help make room for his linemates.
Kronwall struggled with Jagr, but I thought he played very strong. DeKesyer's adjusted +2 rating fit him very well as well. Ericsson and Smith were just behind them as far as how well they played. This really was a game where the Wings' top unit dominated.
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