Detroit came into Glendale for a Saturday night tilt against the Arizona Coyotes, a team that has been bad this year but has owned Detroit's number in the regular season lately. Fortunately, the red hot Red Wings were able to keep up the good work, winning 3-1.
Playoff reffing was the standard for this game. It wasn't particularly good for either side. Detroit went 1/6 on the man advantage while Arizona was 0/5. Shots were 27-23 in favor of the Wings.
Petr Mrazek continued his "eff-you-esque" bounce back from some questionable performances with another great outing. It took the Coyotes having six skaters out to break his shutout streak as Mrazek was as aggressive and somewhat acrobatic. He even made a penalty shot save to preserve a one-goal lead in the third period. Mike Smith didn't flop at all in this game, which is really weird. Credit to him!
2nd Period 08:11 - Detroit Goal (PP): Riley Sheahan (one-timer) from Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar
Detroit gets the first goal of the game as Sheahan bombs a one-timer from the top of the circle. After a clear, Datsyuk gains the Coyotes' zone, but gets cut off at the half-wall. A pass back towards the point deflects off Sheahans' skate right to Vermette, who holds for a half-second to try and let Gagner break out of the zone in what would be a one-on-one. Unfortunately for the Coyotes, Tomas Tatar is in the vicinity and he has great hand-eye coordination. Tats knocks it down and throws it off the boards to get it behind Vermette to Datsyuk. Pavel immediately goes cross-ice with it where Sheahan is already turning back up ice. Sheahan meets it at the top of the circle and one-times it past Smith's glove. I'm going to give Tatar a plus for this keep-in which makes the whole play happen.
3rd Period 17:00 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Tatar (wrist shot) from Darren Helm
Detroit extends the lead to 2-0 as Helm makes a smart series of defensive plays which turn into offense when he breaks Tatar in alone for a quick snapper past Smith. Vermette beats Datsyuk on a faceoff in the Wings' zone and Rieder feeds it back to OEL at the point, but Helm is on his horse the entire time as he skates up to the point. OEL either tries to fake a wrister or just whiffs on the puck here as Helm gets in on him, taking it away and being joined up ice with Tomas Tatar in a 2-on-1 against Michalek. As Helm gets to the blue line, Michalek decides to pinch over on him. Helm doesn't get a perfect pass off, but it doesn't have to be one as Tatar has plenty of room to collect the puck as he now skates in alone on Mike Smith. Tats makes a quick move and snaps it under the glove for what becomes the game-winner. Helm will get another plus for his work in creating this. Tatar will also get a half-plus on this one. He's also hustling off the faceoff and has no hesitation in jumping up on the play.
3rd period 18:06 - Arizona Goal: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (wrist shot) from David Moss and Keith Yandle
Arizona breaks Mrazek's long shutout streak with their goalie pulled as OEL finds a rebound at the side of the net and puts it in. Arizona dumps a puck in that Ericsson picks up along the wall as he skates back into his own zone. Riggy tries to go cross-ice to DeKeyser, but he dubs the pass and allows a hard-charging Chipchura to come in and steal it from him behind the Wings' net. Riggy and DK are briefly able to take the puck away, but neither can gain possession of it before Gagner comes in and steals it away and is able to feed it up to the point to set up the extra-attacker offense. Yandle goes cross-ice to Ekman-Larson, who starts backing down the boards with the puck before going back to Moss coming through the middle. Moss has space to get to the top of the circle before throwing a wrister into the mess of bodies in front. The puck kicks off DeKeyser straight to OEL low in the circle. OEL snipes it short side past Mrazek and it's an interesting game again. I'm going to clear the forwards here: Abdelkader, Nyquist, and Zetterberg. The Wings are playing a specific collapse defense and these guys are doing their job. Both Ericsson and DeKeyser will pick up an extra minus for turning the puck over.
3rd Period 18:44 - Detroit Goal: Darren Helm (sweep-in) from Tomas Tatar
Helmer salts it away as he wins a race to a loose puck to sweep it into the empty net. Arizona gets it into the Wings' zone with about 90 seconds to play, so they pull Smith again as Kronwall picks up the loose puck behind the Wings' net. Kronwall backhands it up the boards where it gets past Lauri Korpikoski and ends up on Tomas Tatar's stick at the half-wall. Tatar takes a half-second to gain control as he starts skating up ice, only to have that time and space taken from him by David Moss charging in on him. Just before Moss gets to him, Tatar bounces it up ice off the boards around Keith Yandle. Darren Helm is on his horse as soon as Tatar spins to throw it up ice and is able to get to the puck first at the top of the circle in the 'Yotes' zone. Ekman-Larsson is also racing back, but he's lost by now. OEL dives and sweeps at the puck only to take out Helm's legs just as he reaches the puck. Helm falls and the refs' hand goes up, but it doesn't matter as Helmer is able to sweep it into the empty net from his butt. Both Helm and Tatar will get a full plus on this wonderful play.
1st Period 01:29 - Gustav Nyquist (hooking) against Lucas Lessio: Goose gives the puck away for the 2nd time on the same shift and hooks his man trying to recover. Easy call to make. Minus for Nyquist.
1st Period 07:04 - Brendan Smith (interference) against Tobias Rieder: Smith gets to sit for interference as his man dumps the puck into the zone just as Smith reaches out to stop him at the blue line. The ref decides to call it very tight and Smith gets to go to the box for it. This is technically a good call, but it doesn't match the standard to this game. I'm going to give Smith a half-minus.
1st Period 15:45 - David Moss (slashing) against Brendan Smith: The Wings get a power play as Tatar feeds a nice pass to a speeding Brendan Smith jumping up in the play. Smith gets a chop from Moss as he crosses the blue line and the Wings nearly score on the entry anyway. I'm going to give Smith a plus for the jump up ice and hte move to get cleanly around Moss.
2nd Period - Andrew Campbell (roughing) against Justin Abdelkader: Detroit gets a power play as Justin Abdelkader pushes aggressively to the Coyotes net and Smith gets knocked over by his own player. This makes the Coyotes mad and Campbell is the one who gets to sit for this. Plus for Abdelkader for drawing this one.
2nd Period 08:25 - Red Wings bench (too many men): Shortly after their goal, Detroit gets caught in a bad line change as the puck comes too close to their bench and the refs catch them. No adjustment here. This one is on the coaching.
2nd Period 09:15 - Shane Doan (slashing) against Kyle Quincey: Doan smashes his stick into Quincey while on the power play and gets to sit for it. No adjustment here. This is just Doan being an idiot.
2nd Period 16:30 - Kyle Quincey (hooking and unsporstmanlike) against Tobias Rieder: Q gets his stick into Rieder's path to take down the aggressively forechecking Coyotes' forward. Then, to add to it, Quincey mouths off and gets an unsportsmanlike. I'm going to give Quincey two minuses for this sequence. The hook was pretty obvious. There's no need to mouth off too.
3rd Period 02:25 - Michael Stone (interference) against Justin Abdelkader: Abby dumps it in past Stone and then gets run into the boards about a stride-and-a-half later. This one is more obvious than the earlier call against Brendan Smith. Justin Abdelkader will get a plus for the hustle to draw this.
3rd Period 10:19 - Zbynek Michalek (hooking) against Darren Helm: Tatar skies one into the Coyotes' zone and Helm skates into it with speed to drive Michalek back before putting on the brakes and threatening to spin to the middle. Michalek stops this by hooking Helm, who will get a plus for drawing this one.
3rd Period 11:38 - Pavel Datsyuk (hooking on a breakaway) against Martin Erat: Danny DeKeyser makes a bad pass across the top of the zone on the power play and Erat gets a breakaway. Both Datsyuk and DeKeyser hustle back, eventually managing to take Erat down and give him a penalty shot. Mrazke stops it, but DeKeyser is going to get a minus for causing it with the bad pass.
3rd Period 19:13 - Shane Doan (roughing) against Luke Glendening: Doan acts like a big baby late in a game he's lost, which is par for the course. Doan chases Glendening all over the ice before punching him in the back of the head. Glendening will get a plus for getting under Doan's skin here.
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It's important to note that this game only had about 41 minutes at 5-on-5, so numbers got a little skewed and line usage was a bit more jumbled than usual. The numbers pretty well match the eyeball test. Andersson was kind of the victim of having been on after PKs expired for his negative Corsi. The DK-Quincey pair was the most-challenged in terms of moving the puck up ice, but pretty much everybody played well.
There weren't a ton of defensive starts to go around, but this showed how good a night the Datsyuk line had.
Despite an assist and a near-goal, I remain worried about Datsyuk individually, even while I remain very happy with what his line has been able to do. Outside of the 4-minute penalty, I thought Quincey had a good night. Marchenko and Smith make a very nice pair. Kronwall had several high-quality scoring opportunities that he should probably think about converting on in the future. Gustav Nyquist had an uncharacteriscially bad game with the puck in this one.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca