Here we are, an absolute must-win game for Detroit. The Wings came out and played strong for most of the game, and that's all that they needed. The 2nd period was a complete fart, and really sucked the life out of me. Fortunately, the team was able to hop on the backs of the Euro Twins and Jimmy Howard and cruise to a win.
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Quite an uneventful 20 minutes here. Detroit did a good job at keeping it simple, and making sure Carolina doesn't have many chances in their zone. Shots were harder to come by early on, but it started to open up a bit more as the period progressed. Big chances from Riley Sheahan. No doubt that the 2nd line was the standout in the first period. However, it ended scoreless. Detroit with the edge in shots, 9-4.
The Wings came out strong in the 2nd, continuing to outshoot the Canes, and keep it simple. The first goal came from Henrik Zetterberg on the power play. An absolute gorgeous backhand shot top-shelf. Unfortunately, after the goal, Detroit did what they always do and started standing around. Carolina tied the game up on a goal from Oxford-native Nathan Gerbe. Just a gross play, where everyone just seemed to sit and stare. DeKeyser and Zidlicky somehow ended up practically hugging each other, completely screening Jimmy Howard giving him no chance to track the puck. About three minutes later, exactly what you think was going to happen, happened. Carolina took the lead on a goal from Chris Terry. Howard gave up a gigantic rebound, stopped the second shot, but by the time Carolina got the puck back, Jimmy was on his ass. Inexcusable hockey from the Red Wings, who kind of need to not play like garbage if they want to play more than three more games this year. Period ends with Carolina ahead, 2-1. Shots tied at 16 a piece.
Yeah, it was a bad 2nd period, but Detroit displayed something I was absolutely begging for.. Urgency. Detroit came out, and less than two minutes in, Gustav Nyquist picks Anton Khudobin's five-hole, and knots this baby up. There were multiple butt-clenching moments in the 3rd, but Jimmy Howard bounced back and put up some big saves to keep it together for the Wings. At 11:25, who other than the Magic Man, Pavel Datsyuk to get the game-winning goal on a gorgeous feed from Henrik Zetterberg. I jumped out of my seat for that goal. It went into Pavel's skates, but he was able to kick it to his stick blade, and zap it home. Beauty. That's all she wrote for scoring, I was biting my fingers off when the Canes had their goalie pulled. It was awful, but it was worth it. Shots end in favor of Carolina, 32-25.
The win is good, it was a bit too close for comfort, but it was much-needed. Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Penguins are completely useless and blew a 3-0 lead over Ottawa and they took it to overtime. No clinching tonight, we'll have to save the partying for later, I guess! See you soon, Montreal. Please let us win. We'll buy you cakes and cookies and other good junk like that.