Despite a 3-1 loss to the Caps yesterday, the Wings are still on a roll coming back home to face the red hot Buffalo Sabres who have won 8 straight. Yeah the Sabres are good now but we kind of are too, at least this month.
Quick check on Sabres fans show one camp seeing this as a classic “trap game” and another camp carefully avoiding saying “Wings suck, 9 in a row here we come” in fear that it will trigger the trap game card.
The Wings are one of the best teams at almost scoring, in my completely biased opinion, and it’s all down to getting those “almosts” to be “things that have been done”.
Right away Larkin sets up an “almost” that DeKeyser nicely redirects to Abby who tries to be sneaky about tipping in but it doesn’t work. Larkin comes right back with another shot and gets acquainted with the boards, but he’s ok.
3 minutes in and Detroit gets a Too Much Man penalty and Sabres go on the powerplay. Jeff Skinner picks up a rebound and snaps it in for his 18th goal of the season, Buffalo up 1-0.
Abby chips in the puck which catches some kind of flaw in the ice on the way into the zone and takes a wacky bounce toward the net. Ullmark does a twirling leg kick to make the save. Not something you see very often.
8 minutes in and Wings are looking a little flatfooted as defensemen keep passing to Sabres. Vanek plays defense himself and creates 2 on 1 with de la Rose but they couldn’t get a good shot off.
Wings looking awake and creating chances as Cholowski fires off a booming shot but Ullmark standing tall. AA is flying and draws a penalty for a micro-slash and but Wings aren’t able to score. Mantha questions the physical existence of his feet as a pass from Nyquist across the crease phases through him.
Seven Sabres were on the ice and kind of in the way but no call. Nielsen and AA set up a beautiful chance for Green, but add it to the pile of “almosts”. Back the other way and Jimmy somewhat of a rebound machine this period but handling it.
Sabres causing chaos and confusion among the Wings skaters in their own zone but we escape and score remains 1-0 as the period ends.
Thank you Jimmy and blessed St. Goalpost.
Mickey Redmond Quote: “It’s the best thing in the world, you get bought out then signed by someone else. You got checks coming in from different addresses...I guess we’d all like to have that. Holy moly.”
Not even a minute in and LARKIN SCORES! Shoots from the outside edge of the circle and puck gets through the inside post armpit of Ullmark and we’re tied 1-1!
Daley takes a hooking penalty and gives Buffalo their second powerplay. Abby walks into the Buffalo zone and burns some time, Wings kill the penalty but let the Sabres camp out in our zone and Jimmy makes a sassy glove save because he’s over it.
Mantha in all alone but Ullmark makes the save, then Mantha tries to shove the rebound home but Ullmark gets him again. Mantha feeling very attacked by his hands and feet tonight.
7 minutes left in the period and AA hustling and bustling again to draw a penalty and give the Wings their second powerplay leading to a great scoring chance...for the Sabres. Penalty killed.
On paper, the Wings are holding their own with a tie score and are even leading in shots and faceoff wins but it feels like we’re getting outplayed.
Mickey Redmond Quote: “What a mass of humanity that is down there in the crease.”
Jensen manages to fend off Eichel and keep him from getting a good shot then Larkin races down for his own shot. Cholowski whiffs on a pass behind the net but Jimmy keeps the puck from getting jammed in by the post and the refs do a quick review and confirm no goal.
Ken and Mick are sympathetic to Eichel when he gets knocked down by Abby. Traitors.
Glendening works hard in the corner twisting and turning and it ALMOST pays off. Buffalo takes an interference penalty and we’re back on the powerplay. Third time’s the charm? NOPE! Vanek kills our powerplay 45 seconds in with a slashing penalty.
4 on 4 and Larkin snatches the puck and gets a huge breakaway but DENIED. Buffalo comes back and scores on a slapshot from Ovi’s Office. 2-1 Buffalo with 12 minutes to go. Wings fight back with pressure in the zone. Rasmussen literally facepalms on the bench after not scoring, but not all is lost as Wings are back on the powerplay.
Fourth time’s the charm? YES! Technically no because penalty time expired, but YES! Green takes a shot from the usual defenseman powerplay spot, it’s deflected by a Sabre, hits the goal post, and Mantha taps it in. TIE GAME 2-2 with 6 minutes to go.
3 minutes to go, tied at 2 and tied at 32 shots each.
2 minutes to go and a scrum breaks out at the Wings bench, don’t worry, Mick is safely behind Abby.
1 minute to go and a big shot by AA is stopped.
30 seconds and the crowd urges them on with a LGRW chant
WE’RE HEADING TO OVERTIME!
Mickey Redmond Quote: During the scrum at the bench by Mick:
“Get ready to hit your mute button” - Ken
“Family show. Nooo it’s a family show, but it’s hockey!” - Mick
Mick can’t wait for Eichel to score the OT winner. Larkin is framed for a holding penalty on Eichel and Sabres on the powerplay.
We are officially on an LGD powerplay penalty kill! Jensen huge block on an Eichel shot that stung him. Wings kill the penalty and Larkin out of the box to immediately create a scoring chance with Kronwall who is there for some reason.
We’re still 4 on 4 until a stoppage in play with a minute and a half to go.
30 seconds to go and we’re still 4 on 4.
12 seconds and Ullmark makes a big mood glove save on Daley who screams his fury to the heavens.
Time for the shootout. Yuck.
Mickey Redmond quote: [EICHEL FANGIRLING INTENSIFIES]
Nielsen - nope
Eichel - nope
Vanek - nope
Pominville - nope
Nyquist - nope
Mittelstadt - nope
Larkin - nope
Sheary - nope
AA - BINGO!!
Thompson - YEP :(
Abby - nope
Skinner - nope
Rasmussen - nope
Reinhart - YEP :(
Sabres win. Whatever.
Mickey Redmond quote: “Here comes Eichel, hands of velvet”
MARSHA MARSHA MARSHA, shut up about Eichel already.
Let’s Go Red Wings!