The Wings started their California trip against the Anaheim Ducks and gave a 50-minute effort in earning one point as they dropped a shootout to lose 4-3.
The reffing was pretty iffy in this one, but it was more whimsically so than infuriatingly. Maybe that's because the Wings got more power plays. I don't know, two of the Ducks' four chances came off dives, so whatever. Detroit went 1-for-5 while keeping Anaheim off the scoresheet on special teams. Shots were 38-25.
Jimmy Howard had a really good chance to win this game and he failed. Goaltending isn't the only difference in this game, but it's a big enough reason that Howard absolutely deserves a fair share of the blame in this loss. John Gibson made a few good saves.
2nd Period 03:54 - Detroit Goal: Pavel Datsyuk (wrist shot) unassisted
Pavel scores his 20th goal of the season on a steal in the offensive zone that ends in a top corner snipe from the Magic Man. Kronwall and Ericsson both step up to prevent the Ducks from getting out of their own zone on transition, allowing Detroit to gather and start up ice. The Wings' trip through center is immediately messed up with Kronwall puts it too far in front of Tatar to catch on the right wing side. The linesman waves off icing after Clayton Stoner turns away from a puck that is well within his range to play. Gibson stops it for Stoner, who gets immediately checked by Darren Helm behind the net. To beat the pressure, Stoner plays it up the boards to Maroon, who has Getzlaf to the inside of him already moving up ice. Unfortuntely for Maroon, he also has Pavel Datsyuk pinching on him. Maroon tries to tip it to Getzlaf in the middle only to have Datsyuk pick it off. Since Getzlaf is already going the wrong way, Datsyuk gets it to the dot before sniping it top corner. Datsyuk is going to earn a plus and Helm a half-plus for the good forechecking work. Kronwall and Ericsson will each get a half plus for good work earlier on the shift breaking up the transition play.
2nd Period 06:50 - Detroit Goal (PP): Pavel Datsyuk (backhand) from Justin Abdelkader and Niklas Kronwall
Pavs extends the lead to 2-0 as a good zone entry somehow creates way too much space for Pavel Datsyuk, who makes the Ducks pay with a nifty backhand. Datsyuk wins the draw, but Tatar has a pass blocked by Kesler to clear the zone. Detroit regains possession at center as they get the zone cleared and then move it right back in by drawing the PK out to the right before going back across ice to enter with an overload to the left. To do this, Kronwall takes a pass from Tatar as he crosses the blue line while Justin Abdelkader stands just behind him and Datsyuk in the center lane. Smith-Pelley comes over and pins Kronwall to the boards, but not before the Detroit D-man drops it for Abdelkader. Abby is able to step off the point around the contact between the PKer and his teammate; this freezes Beauchemin at the dot while Abby walks in. While Beauchemin has to respect the shooting lane, he also has to leave Datsyuk wide open down low in the circle. Lindholm is at the hash marks of the other circle watching Nyquist cutting into the slot, so there's nobody within ten feet of Pavel as Abdelkader's pass gets to him. Gibson goes down immediately and Datsyuk calmly takes it before lifting it to the far post. I'm going to give half-pluses to Datsyuk, Kronwall and Abdelkader for their work in really pushing the man advantage to the dangerous area of the ice.
3rd Period 09:17 - Anaheim Goal: Andrew Cogliano (wrist shot) from Hampus Lindholm and Jakob Silfverberg
The Ducks break the shutout with way too much time remaining as Cogliano gets his stick on a bad rebound by Jimmy Howard. Cogliano gets in to pick a puck out of a scrambled faceoff in the Detroit end, getting it back to Beauchemin to set up the time in-zone for Anaheim. Beauchemin floats it on net to have Howard kick it off to his left. Silfverberg gets to it around Ericsson, carrying it around behind the net before bouncing it off the boards to Lindholm at the point. Lindholm drags it across the blue line to the center before throwing a high wrister toward the net. Jimmy Howard shoulder-bumps the puck straight out to the top of the crease just as Cogliano is getting up from getting knocked over by Kronwall. Cogliano has the right positioning and gets a good sweep on the puck immediately, pushing it under Howard before he can get down. I'm going to clear Helm on this play, as he has nothing to do with it. I'm really unhappy with Howard allowing this rebound. I'm not going to make further adjustments. Kronwall is put in a bad spot by his goalie. Datsyuk, Tatar, and Ericsson all have a part in this play and will keep their minuses for it, but the big mistake is on the goalie.
3rd Period 11:27 - Anaheim Goal: Emerson Etem (wrist shot) from Clayton Stoner
Anaheim ties it on pretty much the same play as Howard shoulder-bumps a rebound right to his own doorstep and a Ducks player is the first one on it. Anaheim wins an offside faceoff and establish the forecheck as Howard blocks a Clayton Stoner shot to the corner. Smith gets to it first, but he's set upon by two forecheckers and bounces it up the boards to break the pressure. The puck gets past Nyquist at the half-wall up to Stoner at the point, who chucks it on net in one fluid motion. Howard again shoulders this puck and has it bounce out to the slot. Marchenko turns and tries to play it, but he doesn't get anything on it as Etem steps right into he puck and slides it five-hole to tie it. This is another ugly goal for Howard to give up on a bad rebound from a soft shot from up high. I'm going to clear Abdelkader and Sheahan as victims here. Marchenko and Nyquist keep their minuses for being unable to get to pucks close to them. Smith will get a half-minus on the turnover that leads to this. Smith has time to make a better play in the corner and turns it over.
3rd Period 12:57 - Anaheim Goal: Francois Beauchemin (wrist shot) from Ryan Getzlaf and Kyle Palmieri
The Ducks take a lead as they get their big line out against Detroit's 4th and Beauchemin slides one through a screen and in. Perry dumps a puck in that Ericsson and Palmieri skate by in the corner while tying each other up, allowing Getzlaf and Glendening to come in and battle for it. Getzlaf gets it out for Perry to pick up, but Perry leaves it for Getzlaf to skate into. Glendening initially gets the better of his man, but Getzlaf spins him away from the puck and Glendening can't recover his balance and play the puck, instead playing it underneath himself for Palmieri to pick up coming off the near post with Ericsson in tow. Palmieri comes to the half-wall and drops it off for Getzlaf crossing by him. Getzlaf makes a power move to the near post as he holds the puck out at a distance to shield it from Glendening. Perry skates directly into Kronwall at the top of the crease to tie up the defenseman just as Getzlaf tries to toss it into that mess to get a bounce. The bounce does come in the form of coming out to Beauchemin near the inside top of the circle. Beauchemin gathers and chucks the puck around all the traffic blocking Howard's view an in. The Ducks take the lead on the first goal of the night where I'm not mad at Howard. In all this, I'm going to end up clearing Ericsson, who keeps Palmieri to the outside and makes a good switch-off only to be let down by his teammates. Miller will keep his minus on letting the Beauchemin shot get through him. He's covering the middle of the ice and has reason to be in that position, but he's got to stop the Beauchemin shot. The bigger problem on the defenseman getting that shot off from that location is that Jurco should have moved over to cover him. Jurco is covering the pass to the point as Palmieri and Getzlaf cross over, but the result of this cross brings Ericsson high enough to now essentially be that coverage winger. Jurco needs to recognize this is Ericsson's job for now and that Miller is watching the middle, leaving him the far point responsibility. I'm going to give Jurco a coverage minus. Kronwall gets interfered with by Perry on this play (although it's basically never called), and is screening his own goalie. I'm going to give Kronner a half-minus. Being more-aggressive protecting the crease-front probably earns Kronner a penalty, but that's a better result than the goal. Finally, Glendening is going to earn a half-minus for the turnover and then another minus for letting Getzlaf drive the net to set this play up.
3rd Period 16:09 - Detroit Goal: Riley Sheahan (snap shot) from Gustav Nyquist and Niklas Kronwall
The Wings tie it up later in the third as Sheahan takes a pretty cross-ice feed from Nyquist and slams it home. The Datsyuk line spends an entire shift pinned in their own zone before they're able to move it out as DeKeyser gets a puck to Datsyuk coming out from behind his own net and then smartly takes up a position that keeps Kesler from bothering Datsyuk on his way out of the zone so the defense could change as Pavel carries up ice. Datsyuk gets in and has a pass attempt to Nyquist on the wing knocked back out of the zone for Kronwall to pick up. Etem, Maroon, and Kesler all initially turn to follow Kronwall as he back to his own blue line while the Wings finish their change and the Ducks start getting their defensemen changed. Kesler cuts off the pursuit quickly and heads to the bench, but he's not quick enough, as Kronwall gets it up the left wing side to Nyquist at the Anaheim blue line. Nyquist brings it across the line and has Abdelkader already cutting with speed off the bench to the center lane and Sheahan coming up the right wing side for a 3-on-2. Manson backs off to try and get in both the passing lane to Abdelkader and the shooting lane of Nyquist as Goose pushes into the zone. Stoner comes off the bench and also squeezes down on Abby in the center lane, but the guy coming on for Kesler is way too late on the play, so Stoner pulling to the middle drags him completely away from Sheahan, who is now parallel to Nyquist as the two reach the top of the circles. Goose makes the cross-ice pass and Sheahan immediately whips it in past a stretched out John Gibson. This is a smart play by Kronwall catching the Ducks in a stupid line chance. Kronner will earn a half-plus for this one.
1st Period 02:58 - Hampus Lindholm (hooking) against Drew Miller: Kronwall makes a smart play on an offensive zone faceoff to get a puck freed up for Jurco to create a bit of a scoring opportunity with Miller at the near post. Lindholm doesn't have good position and hooks his man. I'm going to give Kronwall a plus for creating the entire play while both Jurco and Miller get a half-plus each for their work.
1st Period 05:55 - Danny DeKeyser (tripping) against Emerson Etem: Deke gets beaten in a board battle and has to wildly swing his stick trying to keep the puck from getting out front. This brings down Etem and gets DK put in the box. This will earn DeKeyser a minus.
1st Period 10:42 - Josh Manson (high sticking) against Riley Sheahan: The Wings are breaking out of the zone, but a puck gets knocked down. Sheahan gets it first, only to have Manson miss a stick-lift and catch him in the face. No adjustment. Just tough luck here, not a drawn call.
1st Period 15:52 - Niklas Kronwall (tripping) against Kyle Palmieri: Both players are battling below the Wings' goal line with Kronner's stick between Palmierie's legs. as the Ducks' forward loses the puck off his own stick by dangling too much, he takes a fall and draws a call. No adjustment. This is a bad job falling for a dive.
2nd Period 01:14 - Brendan Smith (hooking) against Corey Perry: Both players are skating at a loose puck when Perry grabs Smith to hold him back so he can get around. While pulling himself around Smith, Perry skates into his stick and then falls down. No adjustment. This is a shameful bad call.
2nd Period 06:33 - Patrick Maroon (holding) against Brendan Smith: Again, Smith finds himself in better position on a race to the Wings' zone for a loose puck and again Smith gets held. This time, the ref calls the right guy and Maroon sits. Smith will get a plus for the good skating.
2nd Period 08:63 - Jakob Silfverberg (high sticking) against Darren Helm: The Ducks forward skates around Helm into the Wings' zone and gets careless with his lumber as he catches Helmer high. No adjustment. Not a drawn call.
3rd Period 03:35 - Brendan Smith (high sticking) against Corey Perry: Anaheim gets a really good scoring chance and Smith breaks it up by high-sticking Perry. Minus for Smith and half-minus for DeKeyser here. Bad defense by both guys.
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The depth lines did a good job in this one while the line that scored most of the goals mostly struggled. Go figure. Boudreau used Kesler with Cogliano to shut down Datsyuk and it worked out pretty well for the Ducks. Meanwhile, Sheahan's line as the 2nd line pulled up even against Getzlaf in the time they spent together. Corey Perry got bounced around a little between facing Sheahan and Glendening as Boudreau tried to get him together with Getzlaf for a few key shifts, but the Wings kept him really quiet. Ericsson and Kronwall held their own against Getzlaf and Perry, but were beaten to a pulp in the Kesler line matchup.
Zone starts played out about as expected again.
Kindl and Marchenko each had pretty decent games. When the top pairing is struggling like Riggy and Kronwall did in this one (although it was more of a general struggle, as they didn't really look too bad by the eye test), the Wings need depth defensive work. I think they got really let down by DeKeyser in this one.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca