Detroit welcomed the Blues into town for a Sunday afternoon tilt looking to right the ship against a tough Western Conference opponent. Without Pavel Datsyuk, the Wings managed to hold St. Louis to just one goal in a thrilling and hilarious overtime victory in which the game-winning goal was scored with a broken stick.
I'll tell you without feeling the least bit badly that I don't care about the OT winner being allowed to stand. You can believe me if you want when I say that I'd be salty about the loss if the situations were reversed, but not because of an expectation that the refs make the call to cancel the goal. If I were a Blues fan, I'd be more concerned with Jake Allen's rebound control, but I'm not a Blues fan. Detroit went 1/6 on the power play and St. Louis 1/4. Shots ended up 25-24 in favor of the Wings.
Jimmy Howard had a hell of a game. The one goal he allowed was a well-placed screened shot on the power play. Everything he saw he stopped and he saw a fair number of high quality chances. Jake Allen also played well, but not well enough. Out of the two goalies, I feel Allen got luckier than Howard did.
2nd Period 09:38 - St. Louis Goal (PP): Alex Steen (wrist shot) from Alex Pietrangelo and Paul Stastny
The Blues get the first goal of the game on a screened power play shot that finds its way through. Steen gains the zone and gets pressured by Miller into dumping it around the boards. Smith gets it behind the net, but gets crushed by Backes and is unable to get enough on the clearing attempt to get it past Pietrangelo, who pulls it off the wall and sets up the umbrella with a pass to Stastny on the half-wall. Stastny heads down and then back up the boards to move the PKers around before going back to Pietrangelo at the top for a pass over to Steen on the opposite wing in the top outside quadrant of the circle. Steen walks in and tries to go short side high on Howard who is able to blocker it away behind the net. Stastny picks it up and again resets to Pietrangelo, who goes back to Steen, who has moved up to the left side point by this time. Steen holds as he drifts toward the middle with it, allowing Backes to set up in front and Oshie to drag across the middle, bringing Andersson a bit too far to the outside trying to prevent a pass back to him. Steen fires and Howard never sees it as it goes in low to the glove side. I'm going to give a half-minus to both Andersson and Kronwall for being part of the screen here and a half-minus to Smith for the turnover. This is good puck movement by the Blues helped out by very small mistakes by the PKers.
3rd Period 00:24 - Detroit Goal: Erik Cole (wrist shot) from Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey
The Wings tie it early in the third as Abdelkader bounces a shot off Chris Butler's face right to Erik Cole for the score. St. Louis wins the period-opening faceoff, but forechecking by Abdelkader and DeKeyser turns the puck over for a dump-in. Cole chases Chris Butler to the corner, who spins away from him just long enough to find that he's now being pressured by Abdelkader and is forced to try and pass it up ice. Steen is at the half-wall to receive the pass, but Quincey steps up and knocks the puck away to the top of the circle. Abdelkader skates up to it, spins around, and fires a shot toward the net that nails Butler just below the faceoff dot. The puck bounces off Butler's mug right to the slot where Cole jumps immediately towards it. Pietrangelo can't reach it and Allen is a bit late to jump out and try to cut off the angle as Cole simply swipes the puck top shelf. Justin Abdelkader will get a plus and a half for both bits of forechecking on this play. Quincey will get a plus for the good step-up on Steen to cause the turnover. Cole and DeKeyser will each earn a half-plus for their bit of defensive work to either stymie or pressure the Blues' transition.
Overtime 00:24 - Detroit Goal (PP): Justin Abdelkader (broken stick, LOL) from Marek Zidlicky and Niklas Kronwall
In the waning moments of a power play earned during regulation, the Wings find a greasy-type goal as Zidlicky bombs a one-timer that Abby digs out and slams in. After having to retrieve back in their own zone on the OT faceoff, Hank brings it in on the left wing side and solidifies the entry with a cross-ice saucer pass to Kronwall at the opposite side half-wall. Kronwall holds while the Blues' three PKers are forced to give him that space and the Wings get set up. After a few seconds, Kronner casually drifts it up to the high slot and pulls back for a fake slapper that freezes all three PKers into a very narrow triangle. Kronwall immediately pulls it down and directs the pass to Zidlicky hanging out just above the dot in the left side circle. Zidlicky bombs it in on Allen, who jumps over aggressively to square up to the shot. Allen is able to stop the blast from Zidlicky, but doesn't control the rebound. Abdelkader is right on the doorstep with inside body position on Pietrangelo and uses that position to swipe at the puck, jamming it free of Allen's pad and breaking the shaft of his stick in the process. Before Abby's lumber disintegrates, he's able to get a backhanded sweep on the puck that knocks it into the net for the game-winner. Great play from the entry to fake shot to body positioning. This is exactly how a power play goal should work 4-on-3. No adjustment.
1st Period 02:03 - Chris Butler (holding) against Darren Helm: Helm drives into the St. Louis zone against two players and draws a call as Butler grabs him. Helm will earn a plus.
1st Period 02:10 - Justin Abdelkader (high sticking) against Barret Jackman: Right off the draw on the Wings' power play, Abdelkader pops Jackman in the face and cancels out the man advantage. Minus for Abdelkader.
1st Period 04:32 - Patrik Berglund (high sticking) against Luke Glendening: Berglund is forechecking into the Wings zone and ends up hooking Glendening around the neck after losing the positioning battle. Glendening will earn a half-plus for the good positioning. It's more dumb by Berglund, but good positioning work to give him the opportunity to be dumb.
1st Period 13:15 - Jori Lehtera (slashing) against Tomas Tatar: The Blues get good pressure in the Wings' zone that ends when Tatar's stick breaks on a chop by Lehtera. No adjustment. Lucky stick break.
1st Period 18:59 - Riley Sheahan (tripping) against Vladimir Tarasenko: Sheahan gets completely outclassed as Tarasenko enters the zone and tries to angle around several Wings players. Sheahan takes Tarasenko down twice and only gets one penalty for it. It's not a 2-for-1 sale though, so Sheahan will get a full minus.
2nd Period 04:07 - Kyle Quincey (roughing) against TJ Oshie: Quincey punches Oshie in the face in the corner of the Wings' end and sits because you're not allowed to do that. Minus for Quincey. Pretty stupid decision here.
2nd Period 07:57 - Luke Glendening (high sticking) against Chris Butler: Another dumb stick penalty and a minus for Glendening.
3rd Period 03:02 - Paul Stastny (tripping) against Jonathan Ericsson: Riggy pinches in on a loose puck and Stastny brings him down with a lazy stick-swing. Ericsson will get a plus.
3rd Period - Drew Miller and Petteri Lindbohm (fighting & crosschecking): Miller runs into a guy who steps into his path and Lindbohm instigates a fight for it. No adjustment.
3rd Period 06:08 - TJ Oshie and Gustav Nyquist (unsportsmanlike): Oshie is in love with Nyquist and during play is a bad time to show it. Both players go off. No adjustment.
3rd Period 10:38 - Chris Butler (tripping) against Justin Abdelkader: The Wings' top line cycles well and is able to prevent a clear, leading to a battle in the corner where Abdelkader draws Butler into taking him down. Plus for Abdelkader.
3rd Period 10:38 - Tomas Tatar (roughing & unsportsmanlike), David Backes (roughing), Chris Butler (roughing) and Justin Abdelkader (roughing): The Wings and Blues scrum after the Butler penalty and things come out even in manpower. I'm going to give a minus to both Tatar & Abdelkader for letting this happen. Take the power play and skate away.
3rd Period 12:56 - Zbynek Michalek (hooking) against Teemu Pulkkinen: Detroit gets a scoring chance and Pulkkinen is coming loose in front when Michalek brings him down. Plus for Pulkkinen. He's the one who gets his stick on the outlet that keeps the puck in and leads to the chance in which Michalek brings him down.
3rd period 18:39 - Patrik Berglund (tripping) against Niklas Kronwall: Kronner is jumping up to exit his zone and Berglund trips him up. Plus for Kronwall on drawing this one.
|Player||GP||Official +/-||Adjusted +/-||G+||Cov-||Turn-||Plty-||Plty+||Chg+||Chg-||PP+Lost||PK-Clear||GA-Clear||GSaved+||Adj Diff|
|Henrik Zetterberg"]">Henrik Zetterberg||1||1||1||0|
|Danny DeKeyser"]">Danny DeKeyser||1||1||1.5||0.5||0.5|
It was good to see the Zetterberg line get the better of their matchups today, especially since they were more-heavily used (meaning that the fourth line getting lit up worse than Zetterberg did well isn't as bad because of the TOI difference). Sheahan's line had a lot of trouble dealing with Tarasenko (along with DeKeyser and Quincey). Andersson's line held their own, but I'll admit to hardly noticing them at all.
Usage was more about line matching than zone matching in this one, which gave the fourth line a rare opportunity to put up better than 50% zone starts.
I don't get to say this often, but after what looked like was going to be another tough start for the top pairing, I felt that Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall were very good in this game, especially Ericsson (although he had it easier in terms of both matchups and TOI than Kronwall). Ultimately, I felt that the defense and goaltending did a very good job helping out a forward corps that was not doing a good job generating quality shots.
Corsi Timeline from Hockeystats.ca