Bad news early as Dylan Larkin took a puck to the head off the stick of Nick Leddy less than a minute in. Larkin got checked out on the bench and appeared to be okay, but I have flashbacks to Patrick Eaves whenever players get hit with pucks. :(
Petr Mrazek stopped a John Tavares wrap-around attempt with ease, then a few minutes later on a Cal Clutterbuck shot that changed direction on the way to the net thanks to a Brock Nelson deflection. Mrazek seemed to be on his game early, which is good considering he’s not been seeing consistent playing time and —
spoke wrote too soon as Anders Lee took a pass from Tavares off the boards right in front of Mrazek, spun around, and flung it right past him into the net. That’s exactly the line the Wings needed to be most aware of going into this game, as they’re now sitting at something like 26 points in the last four games and change.
The Wings tied it up just over three minutes later off a Martin Frk shot up and over Thomas Greiss. Larkin did some fancy skating to keep the puck in the zone and flipped it up to Ericsson in the corner, who sent it towards the net and right onto Frk’s stick for the goal.
Oh my god what a pass by Jonathan Ericsson to Frk for the goal. Great entry by Larkin to start the play pic.twitter.com/CBwq632JlA— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) December 20, 2017
Tasty like Christmas cookies. That’s good for leading the Wings in assists and points for D-Boss.
“Here comes Zetterberg” is normally a phrase that incites warm, fuzzy feelings in the hearts of Red Wings fans, but when the next frame is literally Hank surrounded by four Islanders, it doesn’t quite have the same effect. sigh
Red Wings to the power play as Adam Pelech took a holding penalty on Frans Nielsen. I guess he was missed so much as an Islander that Pelech just needed a hug and wouldn’t let go. I’m handwaving away the fact that they never played together, shh
Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar played catch until Tatar got a shot off that was stopped by Greiss. Then the puck came back to Henrik Zetterberg near the point, who slid up the boards and got it to the waiting Goose, who fired it over Greiss’ shoulder on the short side for the power play tally.
Then the Wings went to the penalty kill as Justin Abdelkader and Scott Mayfield were battling at the side of the Islanders net and Abdelkader appeared to slash Mayfield in a, uh, sensitive area. Idiot.
Shots: 9-6 Islanders
Score: 2-1 Detroit
Lee was looking for his second goal of the game early, taking a pass from Mathew Barzal at the side of the net, but shot the puck right into Mrazek’s glove. Good penalty kill work between Glendening and Larkin nearly turned into yet another shorthanded goal for the Wings and rounded out the last seconds of the penalty. Unfortunately, it was right back to the PK as Larkin high-sticked Ryan Pulock and went to the box.
Pulock indeed ended up with the last laugh as he sent a one-timed pass from Jordan Eberle past a screened Mrazek to tie the game at two. I’m honestly not sure where that puck got through there.
Clutterbuck was somehow right in front of the net with no confrontation from other Red Wings and was able to deflect a Pelech shot right in on Mrazek, who deflected it again out of harm’s way. Whew.
With almost seven minutes gone in the second, the shots were 18-6 New York, which if you’re keeping score means the Islanders doubled up their first period shots while holding the Wings to zero in that time. Neat!
The Islanders got a 3-on-1 with Trevor Daley back with Barzal, Eberle, and Ladd as the three. Mrazek made the blocker save as Barzal passed to Ladd in the middle, and it nearly turned into a 2-on-1 for the Wings the other way if not for the quick whistle.
Red Wings shot alert! Mike Green got Detroit’s first shot on goal this period with 8:57 gone. Hooray!
Leddy got a pass to Boychuk along the blue line that Boychuk fired on Mrazek, who stopped the initial shot and then kicked the free puck out into traffic, but no Islander was able to get their stick on it.
Larkin was sent back to the box as he tripped Nelson on the way through the neutral zone. He didn’t have to skate far to get there and didn’t have long to wait as the Isles scored halfway through the penalty to go up 3-2. An attempt by Barzal was blocked by Abdelkader’s stick, but the puck ricocheted across to Josh Bailey coming in from the side and he flipped into the net.
Larkin may not be getting my vote as POTG tonight, but he’s certainly had the most individual impact on tonight’s score, so he gets the gold star sticker I found on the bottom of my shoe.
Anthony Mantha came in the middle of the ice, deflected his shot off a defending player, got the puck over to Zetterberg at the side of the net, and finally put the puck in from behind the goal. And possibly off Greiss’ face?? I don’t know exactly but Mantha did the thing and Greiss got to watch it all with a perfect view of the whole thing.
Shots: 32-10 Islanders
Score: 3-3 tie
I’m going to be honest, I had to start this period over again because I watched the first five minutes and realized I had nothing written. Let’s try this again.
Ladd had a chance in the first few seconds that Mrazek stopped. Ladd and Green sort of collided and sent Ladd hard into the boards. He’s fine, don’t worry.
Uh, wow, after watching the first five minutes again that’s still all I have? Yikes. I guess I feel better about having nothing since I thought I just wasn’t paying close enough attention when really, nothing happened.
Alrighty, now we’re seeing the action pick up here. Zetterberg is doing his Zetterberg thing and we’re seeing a lot more of Mantha doing good things. And Andreas Athanasiou is getting more shifts as well? What a concept!
Larkin over to Zetterberg who dropped it for Daley and it’s a rocket past Greiss to put the Wings up 4-3 with 9:57 to go!
That lil speed demon got yet another assist a few minutes later as he was falling down at center but still knocked a puck to Green as he was entering the zone, and Green picked the far side corner just as beautifully as Daley did.
Helm got the puck over to Green for what looked like would be his second goal in about two minutes, but that horrible, evil post took it away. How mean, preventing Christmas cheer like that. I’m surprised it isn’t painted Grinch green instead.
28.1 seconds to go and Luke Glendening got the empty-netter. I’d say we celebrate with Christmas cookies for everyone, but the Wings play in Philadelphia tomorrow night and that’s a tall order when you aren’t in a sugar coma. Us fans will just have to eat extras for them!
Shots: 37-22 Islanders
Score: 6-3 Detroit
- I don’t quite understand the philosophy of going 11/7 and then essentially only playing four defensemen.
Also, even though Detroit's dressed 7 D-men, they are effectively playing 5 as Jensen (6:20) and Witkowski (3:23) have barely played— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) December 20, 2017
Not only that, but Kronwall only played 9:09 through two while each of the other four defensemen played 14+ apiece.
- Kyle is going to write a letter to FSD about how much he doesn’t care about their predictions contest. I’m co-signing and adding a cease-and-desist motion for blatantly copying us.
- I adore Mrazek’s gingerbread mask. I want to dunk it in coffee and eat it as the snow gently falls outside and I marathon the 2008 Cup run in my Red Wings onesie.
- JJ described the beginning of the third as “playing for OT” right from the start. Therefore, it is his fault for whatever happened after. Thanks, JJ!
- All the New York Islanders want for Christmas is two goalies.