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Red Dead Redemption: Mantha, Bernier propel Red Wings over Hurricanes, 4-3 (SO)

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Detroit Red Wings v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It wasn’t long ago that the Carolina Hurricanes came into Little Caesars Arena and absolutely dunked on the Detroit Red Wings. Saturday night, a streaking Detroit team looked for a little redemption as they’ve somehow put together a string of wins.

DISCLAIMER: I have no idea how they won this game. What a weird sport.

A somewhat quiet game to start, which came to our surprise seeing that the last time we saw this Hurricanes team, they were surging. As I observe this team, I can’t help but to be baffled by Scott Darling. It seems like he was battling every shot on goal, letting up big rebounds left and right. With some of the chances the Wings were given, they could have easily popped a few in net, but they weren’t so lucky.

The first goal came from Andreas Athanasiou, who ripped a one-time shot from the left point. Frans Nielsen won the face-off, leading Nick Jensen to feed the puck right into Athanasiou’s wheelhouse. There wasn’t much velocity on the puck, which again, Darling could have stopped the shot. Shortly after, the Wings drew a penalty and had an unsuccessful attempt on the power-play. However, it should be noted that Anthony Mantha had one of the best chances I’ve seen him have in well-over a week, but it was just a bit too far to the short side.

The first period would see one more tally, this time from the Hurricanes. The equalizer came on a really bad rebound from Jonathan Bernier — a slapshot from the point bounced right off his pad and went right on Brock McGinn’s tape. After that, the Hurricanes found their stride and easily hemmed Detroit into submission — controlling the puck possession until the closing seconds.

The Hurricanes managed to hold onto that momentum for much of, if not all of the second period. Detroit simply could not answer their high-pressure system, which resulted in a pair of goals. I mean, the Canes managed to fire off 14 shots before the 10-minute mark for crying out loud. That’s bad.

Side note: Watching Darren Helm play on the first line may drive me to looking for something to drink underneath my kitchen sink.

I don’t really need to put much analysis into the middle frame of this game. It was all Carolina from start to finish. According to FSD, through 40 minutes, Carolina had 65 (sixty-five) shot attempts. The duo of Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho was a continuous nightmare for the Red Wings to handle. They had their hands in most of the offense up through the first two.

After a miserable second period, it seemed that the Red Wings were out for the count. But as they’ve shown in the past few games, somehow, some way, you can never really count them out. While Carolina administered the same high-pressure play, it was the quick hand of Anthony Mantha that played the hero in rallying those donning the Winged Wheel. Big Tony picked up a pair of back-to-back goals to push the decision into extra time.

On to overtime...

Anthony Mantha nearly had the hat-trick (which, if a Red Wings player scores a hat-trick, you get your own personal Arby’s location for free with the presentation of copy of the box score), but Scott Darling pulled off some incredible acrobatic saves to deny that chance. The game ultimately moved to the shootout, and that’s where the storyline of the game took development. Jonathan Bernier pitched a clean sheet in the shootout, after posting a career-high 49-save performance. Frans Nielsen scored the lone goal on his signature move to push the Red Wings to a three-game win streak.

Via Fox Sports Detroit

NOTE: Detroit has won six of the last seven games.

Are you going to win a lot of games playing this way? Hell no. Detroit was outshot 52-32, so it’s a miracle that they pulled out with a win here. The attention now turns to the Arizona Coyotes, where the Wings could possibly push themselves to 500. Maybe that’s not what most fans want, but you have to feel good for guys like Athanasiou, Mantha, and Bernier. See you Tuesday, nerds.