The Red Wings came into Wednesday night on a three-game losing streak, right on the heels of an impressive stretch of winning. They drew a favorable matchup in the sputtering Blues, who had been off since Saturday, and are playing under a new head coach.
It wasn’t a start I’m used to — the Red Wings came out largely out-skating and out-playing the Blues. Out of the mostly event-less first 20 minutes, the Athanasiou line impressed. The home team had the first look on the man advantage, they were held off the board but put up some decent scoring chances.
All-in-all, a respectable start for the Red Wings, who have lost three in a row and are in desperation to regain traction. If it weren’t for a few odd bounces, it could have easily been a two-to-three goal game. Jake Allen deserves the lion’s share of the credit for keeping the Red Wings off the board.
In the first intermission, Trade Insider Bob McKenzie joined NBC Sports to look ahead at the trade deadline — in the segment, McKenzie noted that both Jimmy Howard and Gustav Nyquist (Full NTC) could be two players on the trading block in the months to come. One team named for a player like Howard was the Blues, funny enough. “They’re in no hurry to trade [Nyquist and Howard], they don’t need to make soft deals.. But if they could get a 1st round pick or a future piece that could accelerate this rebuild.” This of course isn’t surprising, but it’s something to keep an eye on looking ahead.
One guy who has been playing his ass off in my mind is Gustav Nyquist. He’s been one of Detroit’s more consistent playmakers. He played a primary role in Thomas Vanek’s goal that opened the scoring early in the second period.
Monster shift from Gustav Nyquist to setup Thomas Vanek right on the doorstep. pic.twitter.com/uhg3KOfi0M— Kyle M. (@KyleWIIM) November 29, 2018
Trevor Daley was absent from the ice for some time, comes out he is nursing a lower body injury, details have yet to be disclosed.
Trevor Daley is out with a lower body injury, will not return.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) November 29, 2018
Despite the loss, the Red Wings quickly answered their first goal with another from the red-hot Andreas Athanasiou. It was quick passing and precise playmaking that made the second goal possible.
Vanek, Green, Athanasiou with the tic-tac-toe to make it 2-0. pic.twitter.com/ueiz7aJ9cd— Kyle M. (@KyleWIIM) November 29, 2018
Come back from the TV timeout following that goal, NBC Sports ran some video of Jonathan Ericsson leaving the game with an apparent injury, that left the team with just 5 defensemen at the time. He would return shortly after, but not before Tyler Bertuzzi made it a three-goal game on a nifty play he made midair.
Tyler Bertuzzi picks the puck up in midair, 3-0 now. pic.twitter.com/8VPld7YS2Y— Kyle M. (@KyleWIIM) November 29, 2018
The offensive surge in the middle stanza continued, but not for the home team. David Perron with a great individual effort was able to make it a two-goal game on the power-play. The Red Wings took another penalty shortly after that goal, and that’s when the wheels came off during the second period. Vladimir Tarasenko ripped a one-timer from the slot to suddenly bring St. Louis within one. Morale of the story: taking penalties is bad, and you shouldn’t do it. Avoid.
The Blues’ second goal shifted the tides in the game. St. Louis began attacking, bringing the Red Wings to go without a shot on net for well-over five minutes. In the final nine minutes of the period, it was 15 shots to one in favor of St. Louis. Jimmy Howard stayed sharp to keep his team in the lead.
The collapse continued for Detroit in the third period. St. Louis retained much of its momentum — they kept pressing a folding team and got the puck on net whenever possible. David Perron was the beneficiary of that when he put in the game-tying goal, his second of the game. It wasn’t until later in the third period that Tyler Bertuzzi and Michael Rasmussen would connect following a monster shift.
Massive shift from Tyler Bertuzzi-Michael Rasmussen.. 4-3 now late in the 3rd. pic.twitter.com/9QaWJ7377f— Kyle M. (@KyleWIIM) November 29, 2018
Bertuzzi’s late-game heroics would be enough to put away the sputtering St. Louis Blues. He gets our pick for player of the game with a big two-goal performance.
Detroit snaps a three-game skid, and despite dominating much of the opening stages of the game, Detroit ended up trailing in shots on net. Attention now turns to rest for the next couple of days, as the Red Wings won’t be back in action until Saturday night. They’ll be in Boston for a 7pm face-off with the Bruins.