This game featured what I like to call "narrative reffing" where the officials try to influence the game to be as close as possible and keep a running tally of whether a team is "due" for a power play, even if that's not how the game is actually going. I know any Calgary fan reading this can't imagine I'm saying this with a straight face after the Flames had two goals called back in the final minutes, but those were actually the right calls. Despite not scoring on their four power play chances and Detroit going 1/2 on their own, the special teams battle ended a tie thanks to the shorthanded goal the Flames scored to make the game close in the third. Shots ended up 30-22 for the Flames, as they led this category start to finish.
Peter Mrazek's first goal allowed sucked. His second goal allowed wasn't sucky for him. His third and fourth goals allowed didn't count. A positive night getting a win, but Mrazek's style scares me.
1st Period 02:27 - Calgary Goal: Mason Raymond (wraparound) from David Jones and Mikael Backlund
Calgary gets on early as Raymond takes a rebound off Mrazek and easily wraps it around to the far post. A puck gets cleared from in front of Ramo an the Flames start out of their own zone three across. Jones-to-Backlund-to-Raymond gets it from the right wing side over to the left and into the Wings' zone. From here, Raymond fires a slapper from the top outside of the circle that kicks off Mrazek's mask straight back to Raymond to pick it back up. While Mrazek is recovering from being out very far to cut off the angle, Raymond gets to the back post and slides it in. Miller, Sheahan, and Smith will be cleared here as the two forwards are coming back where they should and Smith is covering where he needs to be. Weiss keeps his minus because I think a better angle on the backcheck lets him get to Raymond before he can cross behind the Wings' net. Ouellet will keep his minus as well. He was tied up with Jones on the far post. Turning to attack Raymond at the back door just opens the pass up to Jones (Miller is back to help prevent this, but XO can't just leave his guy). Jones taking up this space also keeps Miller from being able to get to the back post on Raymond. Bottom line is that Mrazek should be able to get back in time.
1st Period 07:58 - Detroit Goal: Riley Sheahan (wrist shot) from Darren Helm
Detroit pulls even on just their second shot on goal as Sheahan walks his defender to the outside and flips it high to the near post for a beauty goal. Detroit gets a change as the Flames accidentally clear the zone for them and have to reset at center. As Joe Colborne enters the zone on the left wing, Helm pinches him off just inside the blue line. Colborne passes across the ice to Raymond, but his momentum carries him right back over to Helm and he's unable to dump it in past Danger Helm. The puck bounces into the neutral zone and Helm stays close to Raymond to tie him up, allowing Riley Sheahan to skate through and pick it up with speed building. This speed and Helm joining on the right wing side gets Sheahan into the zone all the way to the top of the circle before Deryk Engelland takes an aggressive stance to keep him to the outside. Sheahan responds by changing gears while he moves the puck to the outside and leans in on Engelland. This move allows Sheahan to turn the corner on the D-man and pull it back across to the forehand with options to cut across the net-mouth. Ramo goes down and Sheahan goes up on the short side and it's a tie game. I'm going to give Helm and Sheahan each a bonus plus for their hard work and speed making this play happen.
2nd Period 17:28 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist
Detroit takes the lead late in the 2nd off a faceoff win that Detroit quickly works to the net-front where Hank picks it up and pots it home. The Z line creates an icing and then some good dangling by Nyquist forces another faceoff in the Flames' zone. Monahan and Zetterberg tie up this faceoff, but Nyquist is the first on it from the inside of the circle carrying it around to the boards while Abdelkader goes from the outside down through the circle on his way to the net-front. Glencross chases Nyquist to the corner where Giordano starts moving in on him, but Goose turns back up and gives himself a view to the middle of the ice. As Hank slides from the faceoff dot to the slot, Nyquist throws a pass to the net front. The puck deflects off Abdelkader's stick right to Hank just as he arrives at the back door. Zetterberg outwaits Hiller and then pops it over the downed goalie's glove. Nyquist will get a plus for the work in setting up this play from the get-go.
3rd Period 02:03 - Detroit Goal: Justin Abdelkader (wrist shot) from Gustav Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg
Detroit opens the lead up to two on a nice passing play to find Abby on the doorstep for the goal. The top PP unit takes control after having to cycle back on a lost faceoff in the neutral zone, getting the puck in on a Kronwall-Zetterberg-Datsyuk feed. Datsyuk draws down toward the corner on the left wing side to bring TJ Brodie over to him before dumping it around to Zetterberg in the far corner. While Giordano moves over to pinch in on Hank, the Wings' captain quickly backhands the puck off the boards back out front across the ice to Gustav Nyquist in the faceoff circle. Hiller gets over quickly to square, but he's undone when Nyquist pulls back down the planned wrister and instead chucks it to Abdelkader on the back door. Abby's first attempt goes off the far post and right back to him. Justin doesn't miss twice from point-blank though and he slams in his own bank shot rebound. This is a nice entry and setup, but the beauty part of this play is Zetterberg's insanely quick and accurate pass to Nyquist which makes the play happen. Zetterberg will get a half-plus.
3rd Period 05:13 - Calgary Goal (SH): Mikael Backlund (backhand) from Paul Byron and TJ Brodie
Calgary shrinks the lead to one on a shorthanded odd-man rush that Backlund slides under Mrazek. Stephen Weiss gets a pass at the left side point and has some room to walk to toward the goal with it. As Weiss gets to the top of the circle, he has Zetterberg arriving at the back post and Nyquist all alone in the slot with only TJ Brodie in the way. Weiss goes for the pass to Hank only to have it blocked off Brodie's skate and out of the zone at the far side corner. DeKeyser is already back and out of the zone, but he sees that Paul Byron is easily going to beat him to this puck, so he backs off and allows the 2-on-1 to develop with Backlund joining Byron, hoping that either Nyquist or Weiss will be able to get back in time to help. As DK backs over the blue line, he takes a quick glance away from Byron to check on the status of his teammates' backchecking, deciding in that instant that they're probably going to finish catching up. With this decision made, DK slides over to challenge Byron directly. As he does this, Byron pulls up at the top of the circle and feathers a pass to the front of the net. Unfortunately, Weiss having caught Backlund isn't the entire truth as the pass is getting off just as Weiss is trying to pull his stick into the lane. The puck gets to Backlund before Weiss can stop it, Mrazek misses a poke check and Backlund pokes it under him to make it a one-goal game. Abdelkader, Nyquist, and Zetterberg will be cleared here for not being part of the problem on this play. Nyquist is in the vicinity, but Weiss has the better angle and position, so Nyquist slows to ensure he's available for a third man coming in late. Weiss is going to get a turnover minus for this play and a half-minus for coverage. If he gets the pass through Brodie in the offensive zone, it's a goal, but I don't think he should be chancing that pass when he had a lane to Nyquist in a shooting position in the slot. He pushes hard to get back, but I think this is a very good place to take a penalty instead of trying to get too fancy with stick positioning. DeKeyser will also get a coverage minus for making the wrong read across the blue line. Staying in the center between Byron and Backlund allows Nyquist to get back to keep Byron out of a great shooting lane while minimizing the need to hope that Weiss is really going to cover that ground he still has to make up on Backlund.
1st Period 03:21 - Justin Abdelkader (hooking) against Curtis Glencross: Detroit doesn't respond to the early goal well and takes a penalty on the very next Calgary scoring chance as Abby gets beaten to the net-front and hooks Glencross. Abdelkader will get a minus.
1st Period 18:10 - Stephen Weiss (hooking) against Johnny Gaudreau: Weiss and Miller take what feels like an hour to move the puck 15 feet up ice but can't get it around Johnny Hockey. Weiss loses it and puts his stick into Gaudreau to slow him down and sits for it. Weiss will get a minus and Miller a half-minus for this play.
2nd Period 14:45 - Justin Abdelkader (holding) against TJ Brodie: The Wings go shorthanded after a long period where nothing gets called. Abdelkader sits for a draping himself over Brodie on the forecheck. It's weak considering the kind of stuff that got let go in this period, but it's also an insultingly obvious hold. Abdelkader will get a minus.
3rd period 01:17 - Josh Jooris (hooking) against Gustav Nyquist: The Wings finally get a power play opportunity as Justin Abdelkader gets robbed on the doorstep and Jooris slows Nyquist down on his way to come in and help sweep up a rebound. Nyquist, and Abdelkader will each get a half-plus.
3rd Period 04:21 - Joe Colborne (hooking) against Gustav Nyquist: Detroit gets another power play on a weak hook as Colborne and Nyquist battle for a loose puck in the Detroit end. I don't think this should have been called. No adjustment.
3rd Period 07:02 - Kyle Quincey (interference) against Joe Colborne: Calgary gets a chance to tie the game in the third as they get a good zone entry thanks to a missed high stick. Regardless of that, the interference call is a good one as you can't just check people away from the puck. Quincey will get a minus.
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Despite being overall outshot, the Wings won the Corsi battle at even strength. As you can see, this was mostly because of Datsyuk's line beating the hell out of Glencross-Byron-Monahan (backed by Russell and Wideman). The Datsyuk goup (skating mostly in front of Kronwall/Ericsson) especially enjoyed their time against Byron, going 13-1 in Corsi events. The Sheahan line faced off mostly against Raymond-Backlund-Jones, generally holding their own. The 4th line failed to put a single Corsi event toward net with Joe Colborne on the ice in 3:34. The matchup for Zetterberg's line had more to do with making sure Giordano and Brodie were out there against Hank. While those two defensemen played almost ten minutes against hank, there were no forwards who had much more than five even-strength minutes against Z.
As much as Calgary was matching Giordano against Hank, Babcock was matching Hank with tough defensive starts. All things considered, Z did good job of limiting attempts against, but got stymied a bunch himself (which didn't stop his goal, WOO!)
If I were still giving out bonus adjustments, I'd give something to Weiss to pull him out a bit from his adjusted plus/minus score from this one. I thought he was quite good, but two bad decisions on a late power play turned him from the player who set up the game-salting goal to the goat who made it close. It's a tough game.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca