Eighteen year-old Finnish phenom and #2 overall pick Patrik Laine and the Winnipeg Jets made a stop at the Joe Friday night to take on the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit looked to get back in the win column after a disappointing finish on Wednesday in Philadelphia. The Jets played last night in Washington, falling 4-3 in OT after coming back from a three goal deficit in the third. This game marked Niklas Kronwall’s first game of the season as he returned from a knee injury.
Wings have a fast start. They play most of the first few shifts in the Jets end and it results in a goal. Danny DeKeyser sends in a hard pass from the point and Luke Glendening re-directs the puck home for his first goal of the season. Wings up 1-0.
Darren Helm gets a good chance on a breakaway, but Connor Hellebuyck makes a big blocker save.
Petr Mrazek looks sharp early. Not much action, but staying focused and making a few key saves.
The d-corps for the Jets looks shallow and over-matched by the Wings speed, but that is as expected without Tyler Myers, Mark Stuart and Jacob Trouba.
DeKeyser falls and takes out Andreas Athanasiou at the blueline, Laine takes advantage and lasers one past Mrazek. Game tied 1-1.
The Jets follow the goal with a penalty only seconds later. Josh Morrissey heads to the box for holding Gustav Nyquist. Nothing comes from the ensuing power play.
Following the man advantage, Steve Ott has a fantastic opportunity from the slot, but his shot is snagged by the glove of Hellebuyck.
Shots: Wings 15 - Jets 8
Score: Wings 1 - Jets 1
Riley Sheahan sends a pass to Helm, who can’t get his stick on it, but the puck bounces around and almost trickles into the net.
Laine jumps on the ice too early for a too-many-men penalty and the Wings get a power play. A few opportunities from long shots on the advantage, but nothing that challenges Hellebuyck. Wings now 0-2 on the power play.
Tomas Tatar shoots a puck from the circle and the rebound is swatted in by Henrik Zetterberg with a high stick. The refs get together and change their mind. They call Toronto and confirm the call. Good goal. Wings 2-1.
Another scoring chance comes the Wings way as Helm drops a puck off to Athanasiou and he cuts to the net for a shot but can not score.
Athanasiou gets behind the defense, but is hooked going to the net and doesn’t get a shot off and no penalty is called.
Shots: Wings 27 - Jets 17
Score: Wings 2 - Jets 1
A stellar save by Mrazek as he stops the puck on the goal line with his right toe. Mark Scheifele whacks at the rebound and it ends up underneath Mrazek, whose body is mostly in the net. The play is reviewed and called a goal even though there is not replay that shows the puck in the net. All tied 2-2. (A later replay showed the puck did indeed cross the line)
Tatar blocks a shot and goes in on a break, but he is hooked by Ben Chiarot. Detroit spends most of the ensuing power play in their own end. With a few seconds left, Kronwall almost picks the top corner, but it hits the post. Detroit so far 0-3 on the power play.
A beautiful set of passes get the Wings into the zone and Tatar finds Abdelkader who hammers a slap shot over the blocker of Hellebuyck. Wings 3-2.
Two minutes later, Brandon Tanev chips a puck over Mrazek’s shoulder for his first NHL goal. All tied 3-3.
The Wings had a chance to regain the lead with 3 minutes left, but Kyle Connor kept Tatar from putting the puck past a sprawling Hellebuyck.
In the final 2 minutes, Byfuglien springs Tanev for a breakaway as Eriksson gets turned around and Tanev finishes over the glove of Mrazek. Jets 4-3.
Nikolaj Ehlers finishes it with an empty net goal. 5-3 Jets.
Shots: Wings 33 - Jets 31
Score: Wings 3 - Jets 5
Detroit created plenty of opportunities against Winnipeg, but a poor third period was too much as Detroit’s winless streak continues.
There were plenty of opportunities to extend the lead in the first two periods. Helm had two quality chances go for nothing and the power play continued to underwhelm. It seemed to be the Wings game plan to try and pepper the net and look for rebounds on the advantage, but it didn’t workout.
Mrazek was solid, but needed to deliver a big save in the third to help regroup the Wings. He would not be the first person to blame on any of the goals, but in the games Detroit was winning earlier, he would have pulled a few saves out of his a$$ and bailed the team out. I am not trying to condemn Mrazek here, but the Wings just need a bit more from him to help cover up for some spotty defense.
This was a beat up and not very good Jets hockey team. A game the Red Wings should have and needed to win. But they didn’t. And next up is Connor McDavid and the best team in the Western Conference at the Joe on Sunday night.