The Red Wings turned around after making hockey the least fun it's been all season on Saturday and made it fun again by dropping the Penguins 5-1 inside the CONSOL on Sunday. Hockey is dumb sometimes.
I want to give credit to the refs for handing out so many misconducts trying to calm the Penguins down, but they ended up skipping over a bunch of Penguins' penalties because it seems they got a bit burned out calling everything. Detroit went 1-for-4 on the power play while their penalty kill finally went perfect again, stopping all three Pittsburgh chances. Score effects played big in this one, leading to a 43-25 shot advantage to the Penguins.
Petr Mrazek had a wonderful game. He made a number of high-quality saves and I think he played a decent role in helping the puck get out of Detroit's zone. Fleury got pulled so hahaha.
1st Period 01:21 - Detroit Goal: Riley Sheahan (tip-in) from Marek Zidlicky and Brendan Smith
The Wings get on the board first as Zidlicky blasts one through traffic on a 4-on-4. Kronwall holds and waits for the change off the first 4-on-4 shift before throwing it over to Smith and skating off. Smith carries it up ice, crossing into the Penguins zone aside Riley Sheahan before curling off to the left side. Sheahan drives the middle with Cole coming into the trailer position. Letang blocks an attempt by Smith to bounce if off the back boards and the puck ends up deflecting up to the top of the zone where Zidlicky comes along, drags it to the middle and fires a slapper. By now, Sheahan is just a few feet above the crease and is turned back up ice in position to tip it past Fleury. This is a good play aided out by a little bit of luck. No adjustment.
1st Period 18:06 - Detroit Goal: Teemu Pulkkinen (holy slapper) from Niklas Kronwall and Marek Zidlicky
Pulkkinen gives Detroit a 2-0 lead with a holy slapper. The play starts in the Wings' zone as Brendan Smith has to work from one corner to another to break the Penguins' forecheck before chucking a backhander out of the zone off the glass. This gives Jurco a solid zone entry and a shot attempt that gets blocked to the corner where he glides into it and backhands it to Sheahan for a one-timer try and then a backhand shovel shot just wide on that rebound. The puck comes around the boards where Zidlicky picks it off the half-wall and gives it back to Kronwall at the point. With Jurco in the net-front and Sheahan in the slot, the Wings transition to a power play umbrella look as Pulkkinen glides out to the top of the left circle to receive a pass from Kronwall that he blasts short-side through Fleury. I'm going to give Brendan Smith a half-plus on helping drive the transition even though he changed behind the play. Jurco will get a plus for his good zone entry work and passing. Jurco will also get a half-screener's assist. Fleury sees the shot by the time it gets to Pulkkinen, but he's not entirely square because Jurco is screening the pass.
2nd Period 00:39 - Detroit Goal (PP): Marek Zidlicky (slap shot) from Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk
Zidlicky gets the Wings their third as he bombs a one-timer up top from in close off a Zetterberg feed. Datsyuk gains the zone and the Wings' set up on the 5-on-3. Zetterberg gets the first shot attempt from the right circle that leads to a big scrum in front of Fleury that Detroit recovers from thanks to Datsyuk boxing out his man effectively and kicking it back to Zidlicky. This time, Zids goes back to Zetterberg on the right side to have Hank back down closer to the goal line to change the angle. With Sheahan in front and Datsyuk on the back door, the PKers change their angles for Zetterberg moving, giving Zidlicky a lane to walk to the dot and one-time the pass from Hank. I'm going to give Datsyuk a half-plus for the good work on puck retrieval here.
2nd period 07:44 - Detroit Goal: Henrik Zetterberg (wrist shot) from Gustav Nyquist
Goose and Hank combine to make it 4-0 for the Wings as Paul Martin turns it over and Nyquist makes them pay by finding Zetterberg on the back door for the easy slide-in play. Abdelkader tips a puck into the zone for Fleury to play behind the net. Fleury plays to the weak side (away from Goose & Abby), but has his dump-around blocked in the corner by Zetterberg. Sutter and Ehrhoff are unable to get in on Hank before Nyquist gets in and pulls the puck out of the scrum, carrying it up into the right side faceoff circle while facing away from the net. Nyquist tries to feed it up to the point, but has the puck deflect off Beau Bennett's skate to the slot area. As Abdelkader races towards it, both Lovejoy and Sutter jump up and cross sticks trying to punch it out of danger. With both players helping cancel each other's clearing attempt, the puck bounces up to the top of the zone in the middle where Nyquist is able to outrace Sutter to the puck and circle back into the zone, avoiding Ehrhoff coming back and crossing into the slot on his backhand with Abdelkader to the right and Zetterberg back over on the left side. Goose holds it a fair moment while gliding through the dangerous area before sliding a backhand pass under Ehrhoff's stick and right to Zetterberg for the sharp-angle goal. I'm going to give Nyquist a plus for helping set this up and finishing off on the mistake by the Penguins.
3rd Period 03:02 - Detroit Goal: Teemu Pulkkinen (David Perron's stupid foot) from Riley Sheahan and Danny DeKeyser
Detroit gets hemmed in their own zone for a long time and then scores on a 2-on-1 rush shot that gets blocked because LOL that's this game. The play starts with Pittsburgh gaining the Detroit zone at 1:51 into the period (with Pulkky already being on). The Penguins get a scoring chance and then keep it in on a failed clear by Pulk. The next failed clear comes at 2:35 after a bit more cycling and retrieval by the Penguins ends with the puck on Quincey's stick. Q tries to get it out of the zone up on the right wing, but has his pass picked off and turned back in. The Penguins have to resort to dumping it around the boards again and the Wings break the play as Sheahan and Pulkkinen win a board battle for DeKeyser to get it and Quincey to help him out with a pick. DK is able to turn around from behind his own net up the middle of the ice and backhand a saucer pass to Pulkkinen coming up the right wing side joined by Andersson off the bench for Jurco. Ian Cole is the only defender back for the Penguins and he takes the middle lane in the 2-on-1. Pulkkinen gets to the top of the left circle and winds up a slapper as Cole goes down to block. Pulkkinen breaks his stick on the shot, but has enough mustard on it that it slides off Cole's stick and to the far side where it then deflects into the net off David Perron's skate while the Pittsburgh forward backchecks hard on Andersson. I'm going to give Glendening's plus back to Sheahan as it's a change behind the play and Sheahan is positively involved in the play. DeKeyser will get a half-plus for the good work getting the clear and catching the Penguins pinching. I would also give both Pulk and Quincey adjustments for helping, but being both of the reasons for failed clears on earlier plays on this, I think it evens out to being fair that each player keeps his plus.
3rd Period 09:10 - Pittsburgh Goal: David Perron (one-time) from Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist
Pittsburgh breaks the shutout as Crosby finds Perron out front for a one-timer in the slot that gets through. Detroit is forced to do a simple clear by shoving the puck out to center to be recovered by the Penguins, who turn it back in quickly as Crosby gets it on the right wing side and shovels it in from the blue line. Mrazek catches it and then drops the puck to keep the play moving, bouncing it to Ericsson to escape Hornqvist. Riggy takes it up to the corner before reversing back to Kronwall after Hornqvist pressures him. Crosby gets on Kronwall fast and prevents him from playing it cleanly around the boards. Jurco comes back on it, but he's pinched by Lovejoy and the puck is brought back to the high corner on the right side. Hornqvist comes in to relieve Lovejoy and takes the right angle to cut off both Sheahan and Jurco while releasing Lovejoy back to the point. Hornqvist gets the puck and plays it around Kronwall to Crosby inside the trapezoid behind the net. Ericsson watches the far post while Pulkkinen is positioned in the low slot as Crosby holds it. Kronwall follows Hornqvist to the net-front while Sheahan makes the near post his primary responsibility before he moves to pressure Crosby. As all this happens, Hornqvist and Kronwall pass across Crosby's field of vision and Sheahan starts to come in, nobody is quite in the lane from Crosby to Perron on the interior lane of the right faceoff circle. Perron fires immediately and Mrazek never sees it as it hits far side top shelf. I'm going to clear Jonathan Ericsson here as he makes the right play when the puck is on his stick and he's covering where he should be. I'm going to give minuses to Kronwall (half-turnover, half-coverage) and to Pulkkinen (too low on the coverage, should be on Perron). Sheahan and Jurco keep their minuses as they're part of the board battle that Hornqvist ends up winning.
1st Period 00:33 - Kyle Quincey and David Perron (unsportsmanlike): We go 4-on-4 early as Quincey and Perron get into a disagreement fighting around the Wings' net. Both guys go. No adjustment.
1st Period 12:24 - Steve Downie (misconduct): Downie is acting like a big shit and keeps trying to throw punches after being told to calm down. Refs send him off for 10 to get the message across. No adjustment.
1st Period 19:18 - Paul Martin & Justin Abdelkader (roughing) and Chris Kunitz (roughing): Blake Comeau hurts himself trying to hit Zetterberg and the Penguins decide to pick a fight because they're too dumb to know it's his own fault. Martin and Abdelkader start a fight, but don't get a chance to turn it full-blown before Kunitz jumps in as the third man. To avoid giving Kunitz the gate for being the third man in, they just call Martin & Abdelkader roughing and give Detroit a power play. No adjustment here.
1st Period 19:48 - Brandon Sutter (tripping) against Marek Zidlicky: Sutter slashes Zidlicky in the neutral zone and then yanks Zids' skate out from under him later as Zidlicky takes up good positioning and Sutter gets mad about it. Zidlicky will earn a plus.
1st Period 20:00 - Chris Kunitz (unsportsmanlike & misconduct): Kunitz comes out of the box to skate across the ice to get to the locker room and fires a puck in the direction of the ref, earning himself another penalty. No adjustment.
2nd Period 09:13 - Brendan Smith (tripping) against Steve Downie: Smith corkscrews Downie to the ice in the corner and sits. Smith will get a minus.
2nd Period 10:35 - Kris Letang (unsportsmanlike & game misconduct): After the Penguins fail to get a goal that counts without cheating, Letang mouths off and gets himself removed from the game. No adjustment. Fun to watch the Penguins implode like this.
2nd Period 14:05 - Detroit Bench (too many men): Detroit goes shorthanded again as they get caught with too many skaters. No adjustment. This one's on the bench.
2nd Period 16:46 - Jonathan Ericsson (cross checking) against Steve Downie: Riggy and Downie head to the back post in the Wings' zone together. Riggy uses his strength against Downie and his man takes a fall. This is kind of a weird call all things considered because it is partially a dive, but Ericsson is going to earn a minus. He's got to be more careful here.
3rd Period 05:37 - Steve Downie (misconduct): Downie can't stop crying and sits for another 10. No adjustment. Smith kinda draws this, but Downie isn't important enough to be worth getting a plus over this.
3rd Period 11:48 - Henrik Zetterberg (tripping) against Christian Ehrhoff: Hank is chasing Ehrhoff into the Wings' zone when he gives the D-Man a little push. Ehrhoff is caught off balance and falls down. No adjustment. This is unlucky timing that the push coincided with Ehrhoff's stride being at its weakest there.
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The game was in score effects territory just 18 minutes in and this was a penalty-heavy game, so the numbers aren't as bad as they look. It does go to show how impressive Zidlicky was in this game though, huh?
The Kid Line only had one faceoff the entire game. Babcock wasn't interested in using the fourth line as shutdown, giving heavier zone starts to his top centers.
I hope that the combination of rest over the next few days and having the game locked up by the third doesn't create bad habits.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca