It’s 4pm on a Sunday in mid-January, and you know what that means. Are you ready for some........hockey?
Hopefully the Wings are, because they better be with Elias Pettersson coming back from an injury. The rookie phenom has scored a highlight goal already against the Red Wings this season.
Dennis Cholowski is out of the lineup tonight, and Hronek is back in.
Here’s hoping that after this game is over we’ll be feeling like this happy fan is who got a puck from Dylan Larkin:
Unsurprisingly, the Larkin line starts and gets some solid zone pressure, keeping Vancouver in their own end for the first 40 seconds of the game.
2 minutes in, and Detroit is still controlling the tempo. Darren Helm made a really great play to maintain possession along the boards while the team was changing, then hit Nielsen with a pass. Nielsen cut back towards the net and had a good chance on goal.
Antoine Roussel trips Nick Jensen, and Detroit heads to the power play for the first time today. Kronwall does a good job of moving the puck quickly to Mantha for a one timer, but Markstrom makes the stop.
Detroit gets a ton of chances, but no goal. It was definitely an example of a power play that is unsuccessful in terms of scoring, but successful in terms of doing what they want to be doing. I have to agree with Darren Eliot that if they continue doing what they did on this man advantage, the goals will come.
On one sequence, they played the puck behind the net, which set up a passing sequence that probably would have resulted in a goal had Vanek not been dumped in the slot, on what looked like a clear penalty to me.
8 minutes in, and Vancouver has one shot on goal, so we might be dealing with a Freaky Friday situation between the Canucks and the Wings.
Definitely not complaining, but Vancouver hasn’t been able to get any kind of flow going. The play has been pretty choppy for a while.
And of course, Vancouver scores first. Boeser throws a puck on goal from the blue line and Elias Pettersson comes from behind the goal to the slot and gets a stick on it, deflecting it down and past Bernier to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead.
Detroit had dominated up to that point, but that doesn’t always translate to the scoreboard.
With about 7 minutes left in the period, Detroit will head to the power play again after Josh Leivo is called for goaltender interference on Jonathan Bernier.
Dylan Larkin dropping to Niklas Kronwall for a power play zone entry makes no sense. Larkin misses on a backhander from the slot. Vanek and Nielsen had another great look from the slot, but a pass from Larkin was deflected.
Ben Hutton ended up with the puck and was able to lead a shorthanded rush the other way, but Nyquist did a great job to bother Hutton enough to keep it from being too dangerous.
Going into the last TV timeout of the period, the shots are Detroit 11, Vancouver 3, which is a pretty good approximation of how the play has gone.
There is a “Play Now” ad on the sideboards, and I can’t stop thinking about George Costanza.
Vancouver has some sustained zone pressure during the last minute of play in the period, but we go to the break with Vancouver up 1-0.
Athanasiou nearly gets Detroit on the board, getting a shot from a good location and also getting a stick on his own rebound.
Antoine Roussel gets his stick up into the face of Dylan Larkin. Larkin is not happy, and you can’t blame him. I’m guessing that wasn’t an accident by Roussel.
Pettersson tries a wraparound to get his second goal of the game, but Bernier stopped him.
Five minutes in, the play has been more even than the first period, but Detroit is still playing well.
Vancouver’s players are doing a fantastic job of blocking shots and passes. Detroit is doing a great job of setting up chances, but the Canucks are doing an equally good job of thwarting those chances.
Mike Green nearly ties the game, receiving a pass near the faceoff circle and breaking in on Markstrom. The Canuck goalie stays with Green on the deke. Close, but no cigar.
GOAL! Mantha finds Nielsen, who trailed the rush and found open space. Nielsen shoots immediately from the top of the circles and beats Markstrom to the goalie’s right.
With 8 minutes left in the period, Detroit is outshooting Vancouver 26-14.
Bernier with a big stop to keep the game tied off of Eriksson. He’s going to breathe a sigh of relief as well because the scoring chance was a direct result of him mishandling the puck behind the net.
GOAL! Nielsen passes to DeKeyser, who sees Vanek at the backdoor. DDK finds him with a great pass that Vanek re-directs past Markstrom for the goal. 2-1 Wings.
The Canucks nearly get it right back, but the Wings defense is able to clear the puck after a Bernier save.
Kronwall steps up on a Canuck player, which is good. But, he takes a penalty, which is not good. Vancouver goes to their first power play of the game with 2:33 left in the period.
DeKeyser pulls a Nick Jensen and drives Markus Granland into Bernier. Fortunately for Bernier, DeKeyser doesn’t go “the full Jensen” and injure Bernier. Stop driving forwards into our goalies.
Bernier makes a good kick save on the Canuck’s PP, which has looked pretty dangerous, with Pettersson back out there.
Mostly because of the power play, the Canucks close the shot gap as the period ends with Detroit up 2-1 and 29 to 22 in shots.
Dylan Larkin gets the Red Wings first good chance of the period 3 minutes in, throwing a backhand at the net from the slot.
Vanek takes a player down in the offensive zone, sending Vancouver back to the power play. At first I thought it was a bad call, but the replay showed that it was a lazy penalty taken by Vanek, which I wish was more surprising.
Luke Glendening blocks a shot on the penalty kill, sending him hobbling to the bench, then later to the locker room.
The Red Wings kill the penalty, but Vancouver ties it a little later off a broken play. Horvat takes a loose puck that none of the Detroit players can get to and turns and whips it past Bernier. Kronwall and Larkin were the closest Red Wings.
Roussel gets his stick up again and into the face of Bertuzzi. This time the officials see it, and Detroit goes back to the power play.
This power play wasn’t as good as the previous one, although they still got a few good shots. As the penalty expired, Roussel received a pass for a breakaway, but Bernier kept the puck out.
And...Vancouver takes the league. Virtanen throws the puck at the net. It’s tipped at the front by, of course, Antoine Roussel.
The Larkin line is buzzing again with 4 minutes left. Nyquist has had a particularly strong game. The Nielsen line follows with another good shift. Blashill puts the Larkin line out again right away. With how that line has been playing tonight, that comes as no surprise.
After a whistle, Bernier stays on the bench for a 6th attacker. The Nielsen line gets first crack at the tying goal with Larkin the additional player.
Vancouver ices the puck with 1:26 left.
Horvat misses a shot at the empty net with just under a minute left.
Detroit keeps the puck in the zone, but doesn’t get even one good shot in the last minute of the game. Vancouver wins a frustrating game 3-2.
Detroit was the better team for the majority of the game, but they end up with one fewer goal on the scoreboard.
The Wings will take on the Oilers on Tuesday night at 9pm ET for the last game before a long break around the All-Star game.
Lastly, for people who like my typical gif-heavy recap, here’s one for you: