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Hockey After Dark: Red Wings 3 - Canucks 2 OT

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Vancouver Canucks Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

We’re down to mere hours before the NHL trade deadline, but the games must go on. The Red Wings kicked off a five-game stint away from home in Vancouver. Thomas Vanek remained in the lineup for Detroit, but Steve Ott was removed in favor of Drew Miller. What does it all mean?!

First Period:

Late news broke before the opening puck drop that Jannik Hansen would be a scratch, which guaranteed that this game would have drama on and off the ice. Oh boy!

Brendan Smith’s replacement in Ryan Sproul made his impact felt early as he took an interference penalty on Reid Boucher. I’m going to pretend I knew that person existed before writing that sentence. Anyway, Wings on the penalty kill. They did a pretty decent job of keeping the Canucks away from Petr Mrazek early on, but gave up a few scary consecutive chances from in close.

Ken Daniels mentioned that Ben Hutton left the game the other night with illness but that he was back in the lineup tonight. I am now convinced that the newest NHL mumps breakout will be spread to the Detroit roster. Thanks, jerk.

Know what else was sick? The sweet wrister by Frans Nielsen that put his team up 1-0. Bad joke, I know. Sue me. A quick move to change the angle on Miller and flip it up and in off of the goalie’s shoulder, Detroit is ahead, and you’re not complaining too much about puns.

Daniel Sedin took a slick cross-ice pass from his brother and fired a rare slapshot in an attempt to tie quickly, but Mrazek made a flashy glove save instead. Then on a bad turnover deep in the Wings zone, Petr made a ricocheting pad save on Gaunce and then a sliding split stop on Rendulic when he got to the rebound.

Mrazek made sure the other Sedin twin wasn’t feeling left out, not biting on a move the Vancouver captain made an attempt at a backhander to Petr’s left.

Dylan Larkin had a breakaway in on Miller and got slashed for his trouble, which could have been called for a penalty shot but instead earned the Wings their first power play of the game. Turns out we’d rather have the man advantage, because Nielsen scored his second goal of the period from the slot.

BREAKING NEWS: About 4:31 to go and news came in that Vancouver’s Hansen was indeed traded to Edmonton. I told you there’d be drama, but it was Canadian drama so it was probably super polite.

Henrik Zetterberg nearly made it 3-0 Red Wings as Luca Sbisa gave the puck away to Z right next to Miller. If only he could’ve picked the corner. Alas.

BREAKING NEWS: It appears even sports networks aren’t immune to fake NHL trade rumors on Twitter, as the announcement of the Hansen trade on the broadcast was backtracked in wait of legitimate confirmation.

Shots: 10-10
Score: 2-0 Detroit

Standout Players: Nielsen, Mrazek, Jensen, Zetterberg
Tough Period: Kronwall, Miller

Second Period:

Unfortunately for Mrazek and the Red Wings, the Sedin magic was only stoppable when the puck came off their sticks. Vancouver halved the Wings’ lead after ridiculous passing from Henrik to Daniel to Markus Granlund ended up with a pretty wrister over Mrazek.

Nielsen fanned on his attempt for another goal after a pass across the slot from Vanek. Not that that goal would have had any significance or anything, I’m not saying that. You listening, Hockey Gods? I didn’t say a word!

Time for another Canucks power play as Henrik Sedin got dumped into Mrazek as he crashed the net. Another successful kill for the Wings, this time without the scares and only one shot on goal by the home team.

Apparently the Wings felt they needed more danger, because Darren Helm let Bo Horvat wrestle the puck away from him and get it to a teammate for a quick shot and a save by Mrazek.

Nielsen got another chance at a goal on a stolen puck of his own but couldn’t get the puck through Miller. Ken Daniels and Chris Osgood threw all superstitions out the window and said the h-word about three times in five seconds. THANKS.

Nearly a tie game off the stick of Sbisa, but the puck ended up in front of Mrazek until Ouellet shoved it back to his goaltender for the whistle.

Penalty on Loui Eriksson for attempting to hold back The Danger with a minute left in the period. No goal in the first half of the man advantage, so the Wings will start the third with a—wall collapses, Doc Emrick rushes in wearing a headset—CARRYOVER POWER PLAY!!

Shots: 18-15 Canucks
Score: 2-1 Detroit

Standout Players: Helm
Tough Period: Abdelkader, Larkin

Third Period:

The second half of the man advantage was uneventful and it was both unsurprising and disappointing. Nielsen teased us with his power play goal in the first and somehow I was made to believe again, just a little bit.

Vancouver got another attempt on their power play after a Niklas Kronwall tripping penalty. The goal light went on after Henrik Sedin rang the goalpost to Mrazek’s right. The play was reviewed but it was determined the puck was off the inside angle of the post but never crossed the line. Whew.

The parade to the penalty box continues for this period after Brendan Gaunce cross-checked Ryan Sproul into the boards. It was one of those plays from a dangerous distance where you’re just glad the guy got his head up in time. Sproul seemed no worse for wear, thankfully.

Turns out my glimmer of hope for the Red Wings power play was extremely misplaced, as Detroit managed to lose the puck from their zone off the sticks of both Kronwall and Zetterberg. The latter has been effective in other ways this season, but the former holds the dubious distinction of being the only other Red Wing without a goal this season besides Riley Sheahan and has had issues holding the blueline effectively for quite some time.

Speaking of Sheahan, he had a chance in close on Miller with about 10:30 to go in the game. The puck didn’t end up in the net, but Sheahan himself did after Alex Edler bumped him enough to knock him off balance. Neither Sheahan nor Miller were injured, which is always a concern when players collide skates-first.

BREAKING NEWS: Reputable word in hockey news with report that Hansen is actually going to San Jose.

The Canucks actually spent some time in the Detroit zone while looking for the tying goal. Anthony Mantha’s long reach paid off as he broke up a dangerous scoring chance by deflecting away a pass just feet in front of Mrazek. He’s definitely been doing a great job of shaking off his old “offense-only floater” and “disappointing” labels this season. I love it.

BREAKING NEWS: The Montreal Canadiens have acquired Steve Ott. This is not a drill.

(If you can’t see the tweet, here’s the link)

The Canucks tied the game with 2:46 left off an egregious DeKeyser turnover in his own zone but STEVE OTT IS A CANADIEN. I don’t know if I can even be mad right now.

Oh wait, yes I can, because Ott’s praises were immediately sung on the broadcast, and the possibility of him coming back in free agency was thrown out there. Excuse me, I need a mome—

Just kidding, no breaks because the Wings nearly gave up a late lead on a close chance by Boucher. Mrazek sprawled in his crease to make the save and the puck was laying loose in the crease, but somehow the puck stayed out in the ensuing scramble.

Tie game going to overtime. Yay free hockey!


Red Wings start with Tatar, Zetterberg, and Green. Less than a minute in and the Wings are on the power play again as Sutter took one too many shots at Green and earned himself a shameful sit-down.

And yes, Kronwall was on the OT power play, why do you ask?

Nielsen was still looking for his third of the game and even got a decent look near the end, but it was Justin Abdelkader who deflected a Zetterberg pass perfectly past Miller to win it for Detroit.

First goal for Abdelkader in 23 games. Something something bad contracts something STEVE OTT GOT TRADED FOR ACTUAL VALUE AND THE RED WINGS WON. HUSH FOR NOW.

Shots: 28-27 Red Wings
Score: 3-2 Detroit

Standout Players: 2017 Chicago Blackhawks 3rd Round Draft Pick, 2018 Montreal Canadiens 6th Round Draft Pick
Tough Period: 2018 Ottawa Senators 2nd Round Draft Pick (via New York Rangers)

Final Thoughts:

  • lol the Red Wings traded Steve Ott
  • lol the Canucks gave up two power play goals to the Red Wings
  • lol FSD got duped by a fake trade tweet
  • lol Montreal
  • lol