The Red Wings skated into Monday looking to end their season-high two game pointless streak with a win over the. After giving up an ugly goal early, Detroit was able to retake the lead and open things up in the third for a 5-2 victory.
I thought the reffing in this game was pretty good, especially by rookie ref Evgeny Romasko. The standard was pretty evenly applied, even if Detroit ended up being shorthanded more often. Edmonton went 1-for-5 on the power play while the Wings put up a 1-for-3 performance while importantly not allowing any shorthanded goals. Edmonton outshot Detroit 38-26.
Howard had a good game for the Wings, making a number of high-quality saves look pedestrian. The two he allowed were on screened shots, which are a bit harder to stop. Ben Scrivens didn't play badly, but he allowed more goals than Howard and that means he got the loss.
1st Period 02:15 - Edmonton Goal: Rob Klinkhammer (tap-in) from Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon
The Wings fall behind early on a lost faceoff and a non-frozen puck that Klinkhammer pokes through Howard while everybody stands around watching. Gordon wins the offensive zone faceoff where Hendricks picks it up and cycles it from the high circle around down low while Klinkhammer drives from the outside to the net-front past Kronwall. Once Hendricks gets low, he fires a sharp-angle wrister right around Kronwall that Howard stops, but doesn't control. As the puck sits under him, Klinkhammer jams it home before the whistle goes. I'm going to clear Jurco and Miller as point-man coverages that weren't needed here. Andersson will get a half-minus for losing the faceoff. Kronwall will get a minus for screening his own goalie and not releasing on Klinhammer earlier while Ericsson will get a minus for letting Klinkhammer get to the net-front and jam it in unimpeded. Whistles have been this slow all year, especially when the ref can see the goalie is unsure about where the puck is. The defense has to help Howard out here.
2nd Period 00:21 - Detroit Goal (PP): Niklas Kronwall (wrist shot) from Erik Cole and Henrik Zetterberg
Early in the 2nd, Kronner ties it up on a snipe from the middle set up by Cole. Edmonton wins the opening faceoff of the period and forces Detroit to chase back and set up a zone entry. This gets a bit dangerous as Cole makes a cross-ice pass that turns into a 50/50 between Hendricks and Zidlicky at the Wings' blue line. Zidlicky makes a smart move to spin and protect the puck against Hendricks, which allows Zetterberg to pick it up and head up ice. Z takes it up the right wing until Gordon makes a play to angle him just before the blue line. Hank responds by feeding it to Cole coming up next to him just inside the offside faceoff dot. The speed of this entry forces both defensemen to back off and give Cole room to cut to the middle. Cole takes it to the high slot before dropping the puck back for Kronwall joining the play just behind hime. Cole splits the defensemen to give Kronwall a lane to shoot as he glides closer in before snapping it blocker side high. This is a great job using the aggression of the Oilers' PK against them, made possible by a very smart move by Zidlicky, who will get a half-plus for the play.
2nd Period 14:04 - Detroit Goal: Riley Sheahan (wrist shot) from Gustav Nyquist and Teemu Pulkkinen
Detroit takes the lead as Sheahan gets a pass from Nyquist on the doorstep that he flips into the net on a beautifully finished play. Sheahan wins a defensive zone draw to Zidlicky, who is pressured in front of the net into playing it to the boards for Pulkkinen, who is also immediately pressured and forced to make the simple play to dump it up out of the zone. This works, as Ference tries to hold the blue line only to have it get by him where Nyquist is able to follow up and knock it farther away from him, despite pressure by Lander. Nyquist is able to play it forward for Sheahan moving up ice, but Riley can't control it and it rolls off his stick at the Oilers' blue line to Oesterle. The Edmonton D-man backs to the top of his circle with Sheahan chasing him before trying to go around the forechecker off the boards. Nyquist is there to pick it off at the blue line Ference bodies Nyquist off, but not before Goose plays it around the boards down low. Sheahan is able to take it away from Oesterle and skate by him down low, poking it to Pulkkinen in the corner with room to glide to the front of the icing line and throw a hard low shot from the bad angle on net. Scrivens stops it, but it bounces too far away from him to ice the puck. With Ference leaning the wrong way, Nyquist is able to win the race to the loose puck and throw a backhand pass across the crease where Sheahan meets it on the back door to shovel it in. This is a wonderful forechecking play to create this goal. Sheahan will get two pluses for all his work on this play. From the faceoff win to forcing two turnovers to getting to the net-front, Sheahan was a monster here. Nyquist will also get a plus and a half for moving the puck up ice in smart ways. I also want to note that Pulkkinen making the simple play to clear the zone was the right play. It's not adjustment-worthy, but it can show that you don't have to be fancy to be effective.
3rd Period 10:40 - Detroit Goal: Teemu Pulkkinen (wrist shot) from Pavel Datsyuk
Pulkky makes it 3-1 as he finds a loose puck in front and quickly shovels it top shelf over Scrivens. This is a pretty impressive shift where the Datsyuk line has a 44-second shift and never let the Oilers within ten feet of the Detroit blue line, despite Edmonton clearing the puck twice before the goal. We'll pick the play up with Anton Lander getting the puck away from Glendening behind the Edmonton net, but not having space to make a move and attempting to go up the middle for an outlet. Brendan Smith steps across the ice and breaks up the play, allowing Tatar to chop it back across the ice while the Wings get set defensively. Schultz picks it up and hits Lander with space up the middle crossing the blue line, but that space immediately disappears as Tatar steps up on Lander. Despite his best deke attempt, Lander can't get around Tatar, who bodies him off the puck and starts to make a move up ice. Lander is able to jam the puck away from Tatar, but he pokes it right to Datsyuk already moving in the right direction. Pavel successfully dekes Lander and takes it up the left wing side on Justin Schultz while Tatar takes up the right lane and Teemu Pulkkinen drives the middle off the bench. Pavs spins away from Schultz at the dot and throws a backhander towards the net that kicks off the skate of Fraser in front. As Fraser looks for it, Pulkkinen steps right into the puck and immediately shovels it high on the short side over Scrivens. Despite his change, I am going to give Glendening a plus for helping make this play develop like it did (obviously Pulkkinen will not lose his plus). Kronwall is going to give his plus back to Smith as they changed behind the play. Datsyuk will earn a plus as he kills the transition on the first Edmonton clear and then creates room with his good moves on the re-entry prior to the goal. Tatar will earn a plus and a half. He makes a good pass to re-enter the zone the first time, a good defensive play to keep Lander from escaping prior to the 2nd clear, and a wonderful step-up to dispossess Lander just prior to the goal
3rd Period 18:05 - Edmonton Goal (PP): Nail Yakupov (slap shot) from Justin Schultz and Jordan Eberle
Edmonton closes to within one as Yakupov blasts a screened one-timer over Howard's right shoulder. Detroit gets the initial clear off the faceoff win as Edmonton re-enters on a dump-in that they get back thanks to speed through the zone and having six skaters on the ice. Eberle digs it out and gets it to Yakupov at the point. Nail and Schultz play catch to let the traffic set up in front of Howard before Yakupov blasts the return pass through a mass of humanity. I'm going to give a half-minus to Miller and Kronwall, who are both in this lane, but neither is able to block the shot.
3rd Period 18:56 - Detroit Goal (EN): Justin Abdelkader (backhand) from Riley Sheahan and Henrik Zetterberg
Abby salts it away with a backhand tip-in from within the crease on an empty net. Edmonton gets Scrivens off and into the zone with speed as Schultz carries low on the right wing side and in on an angle to the near post before trying a pass back to the high slot that Abdelkader picks off. Abby tries dancing around the intended recipient of the pass, but loses it off Purcell's skate. Before Purcell can regain control, Zetterberg pokes at it and knocks it to the top of the circle where Abby can gather it and turn up ice. Oesterle steps up to keep Abby from gaining the blue line, but misses and lets the Detroit forward out of the zone. Yakupov comes back to play the deep man back while Schultz chucks around to catch up to Abdelkader before he's able to gain the center stripe. Just as Schultz and Oesterle collapse on Abby, he shoves it up ice to the open left wing side that has Sheahan jumping up. Lander gets back on the play to keep Sheahan from shooting it in as he crosses the blue line, but Sheahan is able to maintain position as the puck follows him to the half-wall. Yakupov is below Sheahan trying to block the shooting lane, but he isn't able to stop Sheahan as he pops the puck away from Lander and to the net-front where Abdelkader calmly slides it in. I'm going to give Abdelkader and Sheahan each a plus on this play. Good work here.
3rd Period 19:42 - Detroit Goal (EN): Pavel Datsyuk (9-iron) from Henrik Zetterberg
Datsyuk lofts one from the corner behind his own net into the Edmonton cage off a post and in. Edmonton pulls Scrivens again after a failed zone entry is cleared back to their blue line. RNH and Eberle are able to bull the puck in on the right side, but they don't push it far enough and Henrik Zetterberg is able to smartly position himself to keep Ryan Hamilton away from it in the corner. Z cancels Hamilton as they both skate by the puck, leaving it for Datsyuk, who quickly grabs it, turns up ice, and chips it 200 feet into the open net. Zetterberg will get a half-plus for the good work to break the forecheck and give Datsyuk space to make this shot.
1st Period 04:52 - Marek Zidlicky (high sticking) against Rob Klinkhammer: Zidlicky plays the puck in his own corner and then gets run by the Oilers' forward, getting his stick up into the chops in the process. It's not a late hit. Zidlicky has to control his stick better. Zidlicky will get a minus.
1st Period 07:03 - Ryan Hamilton (roughing) against Danny DeKeyser: Bobblehead boy is trying to play defense when he takes a punch to the chops by some guy I've never heard of. Just a dumb play. No adjustment.
2nd Period 18:28 - Matt Fraser (tripping) against Gustav Nyquist: Gus backchecks in the Detroit zone to prevent a good scoring chance and gets tripped up for his troubles. Plus for Nyquist.
2nd Period 19:28 - Rob Klinkhammer (interference) against Henrik Zetterberg: The Wings are buzzing in the Edmonton zone when Klinkhammer blindsides Zetterberg away from the puck. Zetterberg will get a plus. It's a donkey play by Klinkhammer, but Hank is the reason the Oilers are so scrambled. Also getting half pluses are Cole and Smith as the other reasons for it
3rd Period 04:34 - Luke Glendening (tripping) against Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Luke Glendening takes down RNH as he enters the zone with speed. Glenny gets a minus as he sits for chopping a guy down.
3rd Period 11:12 - Jonathan Ericsson (tripping) against Teddy Purcell: Riggy gets caught flat-footed on a zone exit and ends up taking his man down. Ericsson will earn a minus.
3rd Period 12:50 - Danny DeKeyser (cross-checking) against Derek Roy: DeKeyser puts the Wings down two men by cross-checking Roy in the back of the head behind the Wings' net. Not a smart penalty to take, even if it is retaliatory. DeKeyser will get a minus.
3rd Period 17:40 - Henrik Zetterberg (puck over glass): The Oilers pull the goalie and start putting pressure on. Hank knocks a puck out of midair over the glass and that's a penalty. Minus for Zetterberg. Not only does he have to be in control here, but it's also a turnover by him that let Edmonton keep it in the zone earlier to make this play happen.
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The fourth line struggled here despite not being completely dedicated to defensive zone starts. Edmonton's line with Boyd Gordon was just better. Datsyuk's line saw a lot of Eberle and played a good shutdown game, making their hay when out against other combos. Zetterbeg's line against Yakupov and Roy was higher event both ways, but they won that matchup by a bigger margin. Sheahan's line saw a good number of shifts against both Roy's line and Lander's line, winning both matchups.
It's weird to see how the Q/DK pairing did versus the Kronwall/Ericsson pair when looking at zone starts. These two pairs had very comparable teammate matchups, as they spent roughly an even amount of time behind both Datsyuk and Zetterberg while also sharing pretty similar time behind Andersson's line.
Despite the shots disadvantage, the Wings played this one pretty well. Substandard goaltending could have bitten them, but they did deserve to win this game. I was kind of shocked to see that Andersson's line lost their matchup because I think this was one of his strongest games as far as being in good position and using aggression well.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca