Now when I signed up for this recap a few weeks ago, I firmly was set on the “Things are bad, but at least we’re not Ottawa,” narrative. Granted, that still fits because the Ottawa Senators may be the biggest dumpster fire in all of sports right now, but I certainly didn’t expect this turnaround from the Red Wings. Detroit’s won 7 of 8 and could be 1-point out of a playoff spot with a win tonight (I know it’s November, don’t worry). Meanwhile Ottawa’s lost 8 of their last 11. Off we go from the Canadian Tire Center!
Pretty slow first 3 minutes of this one, kind of how you’d expect this to go. First chance comes from Mark Stone, who on a makeshift 2-on-1, had his centering pass denied by Mike Green nicely as Colin White would have had an open net. Fight breaks out behind Craig Anderson between Abdelkader and Brady Tkachuk and Keith’s son actually won that one pretty handily. First fight of Tkachuk’s young career. Abdelkader has been involved in a couple of scrums tonight already so we’ll keep an eye on that.
Sens score on a real bad defensive sequence by the Wings. Duchene got open for a shot in the slot and Howie got tied up in the crease as the rebound was sent out the other way to Ryan DeMelo who had a wide-open net from the point. Wings challenge for goalie interference. Pretty tough call, I’m not sure there’s enough to overturn the call on the ice. SIKE! Goalie interference, still 0-0! Wings did have a delayed penalty on the play, so that becomes a thing as Gordie Howe heads to the box according to the ref who announced “Detroit, #9.” Or it was Wade Megan, basically the same player. Good kill by the Wings as the Senators never really got set up. Ottawa buzzing in the Detroit zone again, Wings look really stagnant here early. Finally our first TV timeout with 9 minutes to go in the 1st.
Took so long to hit the first TV timeout, the 2nd one pretty much immediately followed. Wings being outshot 6-1 at this point so really need to try and pick things up. Abdelkader getting pushed around by the Sens now, something tells me another 5-minute major may be coming in his future. Play picking up as both teams are starting to fly up-and-down the ice now. Final TV timeout as we remain scoreless.
Dylan Larkin just continues to impress me so much at both ends of the ice. A nice sequence by him back-checking in his own end led to him leading the rush the other way before making a pass on his knees that set up a scoring chance for the Wings. Another huge chance for the Wings as LGD made a helluva check at center that sprung a 2-on-1 for Bert who passed early to a WIDE OPEN Abdelkader and he was stoned by Anderson as he tried to go five-hole. Top line dominating zone time now again, led by Larkin of course, but still nothing. And of course the Sens answer with a goal with 38 seconds left in the period. Terrible outlet pass by Nielsen that led Duchene to shoot one low pad on Howard that rebounded to an open Cody Ceci who easily buried it. Picture perfect, tough way to end the 1st. 1-0 Senators.
Shots: 11-9 OTT
Score: 1-0 OTT
Similar start to the 2nd as the 1st, not much room and not much action. Top line continuing to be the best one for the Wings as they start getting the offense buzzing and BAM! Just a shift later the momentum kept going as Rasmussen provided a nice forecheck to free up the puck and the Wings cycled it around the zone for Mike Green who went five-hole from the point. May have even been tipped in by Ras, but either way 1-1! Abdelkader involved in ANOTHER 2-on-1, but he didn’t realize he could’ve had a breakaway and passed it right into the defender instead, tough night for #8. Also, a nice replay shows that Rasmussen most likely tipped it at the net, so Holmstrom 2.0 should have his 4th goal of the year.
Of course with all the momentum going their way, the Wings take a penalty. Larkin for slashing. Mad scramble at the net and somehow it didn’t go in with Howard sprawling every which way in his crease. Great PP from the Senators as chances are coming from everywhere. And they finally score. Drake Batherson in his first career NHL game rips one right off the faceoff and with traffic in front, Howard never saw it. 2-1 Ottawa. Wings take another penalty now too, very nice. 1st TV timeout.
Larkin all over the place on the PK and nearly buried one as well. Did a great job ragging time but eventually lost the puck at center and took at penalty trying to get it back. 5-on-3 for Ottawa for 53 seconds. Not ideal. However, the Wings did a good job killing off both penalties, but Chabot almost buried one shortly after. Somehow it didn’t go in and somehow the Red Wings are in this game. 2nd TV timeout.
Wings getting outshot 13-2 in the 2nd so far if you want to know how bad things are going. Finally the Senators get called for something. Mark Borowiecki sent Cholowski’s stick basically into the rafters away from the play so interference the call. Wings buzzing early on the PP with chances coming from everywhere by the top unit. Athanasiou follows that up with 2 Grade-A slap-shot chances from the top of the circle, but an even better job by Anderson keeping them out. Good PP for the Wings, but no luck. Final TV timeout.
Larkin and Bert team up for a give-and-go that sprung Larkin for a wraparound try (similar to when he made EK65 look silly 3 years ago as FSD points out), but Anderson made the save this time. Senators take another penalty, so real good opportunity here for the Wings to tie it up. This PP was not so good, struggled to get set up and no shots on goal either. One minute to go in the period and the Wings have been playing better of late here, but really killed themselves by not showing up til halfway into the 2nd Period. To the 3rd we go, we’re going to need at least 1 to tie.
Shots: 28-19 OTT
Score: 2-1 OTT
Rasmussen officially confirmed on the goal, so his 4th and, 1st even-strength, on the year. We’re a 3rd Period team nowadays (imagine telling yourself that after the past few years), so time to show up once again. Wings with a couple of early chances early, but pretty much a stalemate still as we start the 3rd. Red Wings starting to pick up play again with several scoring chances, but Anderson has done a great job keeping this 2-1. Shots are 6-2 Detroit 5 minutes into the 3rd. I really feel like they’re about to tie this up. 1st TV timeout.
Larkin circled the entire Sens zone about 3 times (similar to Nyquist’s OT winner here a few years back), but no real scoring chances and the play was eventually blown dead due to a Red Wings high stick. Athanasiou now slashed from behind on a breakaway, PENALTY SHOT COMING UP!! And he was stopped by Anderson who wasn’t fooled by any of his moves as AA tried to go to the backhand. Grrrrrr. Red Wings continuing to play like the better team, doing everything right but putting one into the back of the net. 2nd TV timeout.
They are no longer doing everything right as Mike Green takes a delay-of-game penalty. Not what you want under 9 minutes left, down 1. Sens PP is buzzing, but the Wings PK standing tall again as well. They kill it off successfully, and now have 6:30 to tie it up and keep the winning streak alive. Wings continuing to control play, a lot of it being in the Ottawa zone, but no eye-popping chances are coming with it. Final TV timeout. 4:40 to go.
Athanasiou with about his 5th one-time shot of the night from the top of the circle and he hammered it off Maxime Lajoie out of play. RASMUSSEN NOW TRIPPED ON A BREAKAWAY AND WE HAVE ANOTHER PENALTY SHOT! Damn, he tried to go sneakily through Anderson’s five-hole, but again the 37-year-old net-minder made it look easy. He has been, uh, good so far here tonight, and on Hockey Fight’s Cancer Night in Ottawa too so it’s very fitting for him. 2 minutes to go in this one. All systems are a full go. Net is empty. Several great chances, still nothing. 1:20 to go as the puck finally hops out of the Ottawa zone. Back come the Wings now as they control. 30 seconds now, Wings have to retreat to their own end. And one last scrum in front, but no dice. Craig Anderson was simply fantastic. Can’t win them all, have to be happy with how the Wings played for most of this one though. We continue to build from here and head to New Jersey Saturday.
Shots: 36-35 OTT (16-8 DET in 3rd)
Score: 2-1 OTT