The Red Wings looked to extend their 11-game point streak in a tilt against the Washington Capitals tonight. Despite the loss, they came out with one point and for a game like this, I'll go ahead and write this up as a moral victory.
Jimmy Howard was brilliant, Dylan Larkin was great, all-in-all, the team played fine. It's just very difficult to win games when you take penalties, and don't get any called in your favor.
Little bit of a sloppy start if you ask me. Plain and simple, just didn't come out sharp. The Capitals were able to come away on a goal from Justin Williams. Bit of a weird bounce. Jimmy Howard didn't have much of a chance, as he just couldn't make the lateral move quick enough. The goal came less than a minute into the game, so that's pretty cool, or something.
Detroit was not granted a power-play in the 1st period, but found themselves on the penalty-kill once. They held the Capitals to three shots, and no goals.
At 15:40, the Wings tied this game back up when Henrik Zetterberg scored his fifth of the season. All credit goes to Dylan Larkin on this one. The pass he set Hank up with was absolutely filthy:
At the end of 20, we're tied at one. Shots in favor of Washington 11-8, while Detroit holds the advantage with even-strength shot attempts 17-13.
I noticed that since the Red Wings had a slow start in this game, the team had made adjustments to counter Washington's persistent and pesky forecheck. The team started moving a bit quicker, going from D-to-D, then up the middle. The breakouts were precise, and quick.
Detroit was able to break the tie on a goal from Tomas Jurco (woohoo!) at 3:16. Joakim Andersson did a great job at setting this play up, but Jurco displayed some soft hands and puck-handling skill that we all know he has:
Outside of Jurco scoring his first goal of the season, Jimmy Howard was the story of the period. He was fantastic, making big saves when it mattered most. Like this one:
At the end of 20, Wings lead 2-1. Shots in favor of Washington 28-15, and also control even-strength shot attempts 33-31.
3rd Period, Overtime, Shootout:
The story of the game, outside of Jimmy Howard playing so well all game, was the fact that Detroit took far too many penalties (which a couple you can consider "gimmes" to the Caps), and didn't draw anything in their favor. I remember multiple instances this evening where Larkin was groped while he had the puck, but there was no call. It is what it is.
The Red Wings ended up drawing a penalty in overtime, but looked like a deer in headlights on the 4-on-3. My guess is that they don't practice that situation very much, if at all. They were caught passing a lot, and seemed like they didn't know what to do without a devoted shooter. It was a big chance to put the game away, but they couldn't figure out how to make room to shoot.
The shootout didn't last long, as the Capitals scored twice, and the Wings were stopped twice. Something, something Jimmy Howard in the shootout. NO. I don't want to hear it. Howard is now 4-0-1 in his last five starts, and was fantastic tonight. It is actually possible to like both goalies, I have found out. It's great. Anyways, I'm just ranting on.
The Red Wings came out with a point, and I'm happy about that. However, I am pretty pissed that they weren't on the power-play until overtime. Kind of lame, if you ask me.
The Wings will now have a day off before their game against Montreal on Thursday. They will be playing the Bruins in the night before, so let's hope that they're tired and we're well-rested. With Carey Price sidelined for so long, the Wings are in a good spot to potentially catch up to them in the standings. Unfortunately, this division is annoying. All of the teams around us win games when we need them to lose.
The point is good, would have rather it been two. Oh well, get two on Thursday and Friday.