The Red Wings came into tonight with a 9-game point streak, looking for the second-best streak in the NHL so far this season.
Despite a strong game from Nashville, and a Shea Weber hat-trick, the Red Wings pulled off late-game heroics from white-hot rookie Dylan Larkin, and Justin Abdelkader to tie it up in the 3rd period. The Wings were able to put this one away in overtime. Here is the breakdown of the game, including GIFS!
Nashville came out strong in this first period. Looked a lot like the Red Wings normally do on a 7pm start. Detroit had a couple of chances on the power-play throughout the period, but could not capitalize. The power-play has become a general concern. They need to be scoring when given the chance. Fortunately, the penalty kill units came up big, highlighted by Detroit's best penalty killer, Petr Mrazek when he stopped Filip Forsberg right on his doorstep:
Detroit successfully killed off a penalty (one carrying over to the 2nd,) which acted as a big momentum-gainer, because they picked up their play and sustained a lot more pressure in the offensive zone, despite not generating a ton of shots on net. Brendan Smith and Mike Green both made great defensive, and offensive plays throughout the first 20 minutes.
The Wings were able to get on the board first, thanks to a very lucky bounce for Brad Richards who scored his first goal as a Red Wing. Great play by Tatar to get it over to him:
See what I mean by lucky bounce? Right off Rinne's pad, and off Shea Weber's skate into the net. Richie was due for this, so you gotta feel good for him!
At the end of 20 minutes, Detroit leads 1-0. Shots on goal in favor of Nashville 13-6, and they also control even strength shot attempts 14-9.
With the carryover PP, Nashville tied the game up on an absolute bomb by Shea Weber. It took one minute and 53 seconds for the Preds to break away from the tie. Viktor Arvidsson tipped one past Mrazek on a shot from Ryan Ellis. At first I thought it was coming back, but a second look showed that it was a legal tip-in. Tough break, but that's how this game goes. Now chance for Mrazek to track that puck.
Detroit was given another chance on the PP, but only got two minutes out of it since Justin Abdelkader was called for roughing. Nevertheless, they were unsuccessful. Nashville came up with their third unanswered goal from Shea Weber (again.) It was a bit of a fluke goal. Weber ripped a slapshot that ringed off the glass, and bounced to Mrazek's weak side, and hopped across the line, even though the Wings were just an inch from saving the goal. Review showed that it was a fair score.
Craig Smith took a slashing penalty against Henrik Zetterberg, which set the Wings up for another disappointing power-play, right? WRONG! Tomas Tatar put the Wings within one on a tip-in from a shot by Mike Green. If you watched the goal, Tatar had a great celebration where he looked like he was straight out of the movie 300. Here's the goal:
Red Wings gain a big goal, and need to take the momentum into the final period.
At the end of 40 minutes, Nashville leads 3-2. Shots on goal in favor of Nashville 26-23, and they also control even strength shot attempts 28-26.
This period showed a lot about the Red Wings character. They hammered down, and made this game their own. I don't have much to say, but Dylan Larkin pulled off some unreal skill, and Justin Abdelkader sent it to overtime. Here, watch:
And the game-tying goal by Abdelkader on the power-play!:
I'm sorry, if you don't like 3-on-3 overtime, then I don't know what to tell you. It sucks when you lose, but when you win, it's the most incredible thing ever. Nashville went in on a 3-on-1, Petr Mrazek made a huge save, then Niklas Kronwall stretched it out to send Gustav Nyquist on a breakaway. The rest is just, well, dirty snipes:
At the end of it all, shots are in favor of Detroit 36-32 who also came out on top in terms of even strength shot attempts 45-33.
Not sure what to say. The Wings came from a big deficit, and won the game. You can't really draw it up more exciting than this. The Red Wings are now 7-0-3 in their last 10 games, and are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now. They were mostly outplayed for the entire game, but they came out with a huge two points. Montreal loses, and guess what? We're coming for you, Canadiens.