Hi folks. Ken Holland’s return to Detroit is officially here. For you gamblers, I have the O/U at 5.5 times FSD shows him throughout tonight’s game. I’ll be sure to update that count as the recap goes on. I was really hoping for this to be Brendan Perlini’s debut, but sadly that has been pushed to Friday. Even better news, Adam Erne replaces Svech in the lineup, who also was sent down to Grand Rapids. Speaking of Grand Rapids, Joe Hicketts was recalled from there today and is in the lineup. So it’s tough NOT to be jacked up for this game, right? Right?! Oh boy. Here we go I guess.
Howard vs. Koskinen. Sheahan vs. Filppula. Quickly a 2-on-1 between Mantha and Filppula and Mo shoots it wide. Now a scramble in front and somehow the puck stayed out. Great first minute for Detroit. Wow more great zone pressure for Detroit as the Larkin line picks up where the Mantha line left off. First chance for the Oilers as a bouncing puck was controlled by Kassian in the slot, but Howard made the save. Filppula line producing once again as Green launches one from the point that Koskinen held on to despite not knowing where it was. Turnover at the Red Wings blue line led to a Darren Helm breakaway and he, get this, didn’t score. Delayed penalty on Draisaitl for cheap shotting Bertuzzi. Now instead of going to the TV timeout, they give/show us the in house tribute to Ken Holland. Interesting how they said he was in the building, but didn’t actually show him.
Red Wings PP is 5/39 on the year as Ken Daniels thankfully points out. BUT THAT DOESN’T MATTER CAUSE D-BOSS DANGLES IN FRONT AND SCORES! 1-0 Detroit. Holy replay shows Mike Green batting the puck down at his shoulder to keep it in the zone, which eventually led to the Larkin goal. Holy moly they score again!! James Neal turns it over at the blue line and Filppula, who’s having a great game, finds a crashing Patrick Nemeth who blasts one top shelf from the top of the circle. His first in Detroit! 2-0 Red Wings. The Wings continue to control play, until a turnover leads to McDavid baring down on Howard who made the save. 2nd TV timeout.
They just showed a stat saying Connor McDavid is on a 3-game point drought, the longest of his career, which is absolutely absurd. Games slowed to a snails pace as we hit the final TV timeout. One thing to note is the Red Wings are dominating the face-off circle so far in the 1st Period, which is a major positive for this team who has been struggling in the dot all year. Penalty to the Wings as Helm trips Draisaitl behind the play. 1:10 left in the period so there could be carryover PP time for the Oilers. The Wings did a great job neutralizing the best PP in the NHL as they didn’t even get set up once. End of the 1st Period.
Shots: 13-5 DET
Score: 2-0 DET
DLR vs. Draisaitl at the dot to kick things off in the 2nd. The Oilers have 50 seconds of carryover PP time. Red Wings kill off the penalty! Oilers hold it in the zone well after the PP expires and finally Howard covers up a shot deflected by Ethan Bear. Oh man. Larkin sets up a wide-open Bertuzzi on a beautiful cross ice pass and he misses the net. Now they come back and the tic-tac-toe from Mantha to Bert to Filppula bounces off of Fil’s stick wide. RNH with a great chance in front that Howard somehow stopped despite having no clue as to where the puck was. James Neal heading to the box for interference. Questionable call, but we’ll take it. This PP from the Red Wings was, uh, bad. They were even outshot on it. Filppula again has a chance in front off a great Mantha steal and set up, but he was denied by Koskinen. 1st TV timeout.
Again the game slows down, but the Oilers are creeping their way back into the shot department. Larkin uses that speed of his to blow right through the neutral zone, almost got in all alone, and draws the penalty from Bear who had no choice but to grab him. 2nd TV timeout. Red Wings with a couple of chances early on the PP, but no luck yet. 4 shots on the PP, but no goals and Detroit right away takes a penalty of their own. It’s Helm for interfering with McDavid now. The Red Wings once again kill off an Oilers PP and hold them to 0 shots. That’s a sentence I did not expect to type tonight, let alone twice. Final TV timeout of the 2nd.
McDavid and Draisaitl doing McDavid and Draisaitl things as they connect in front only for McDavid to send it high right in front of Howard. Right back the other way and Athanasiou tries to go five-hole on a breakaway only for Koskinen to make the save. Mantha follows up the rebound and sent it wide. Period over.
Shots: 23-15 DET
Score: 2-0 DET
The Red Wings. In the 3rd Period. With a two-goal lead. What could go wrong? 4 minutes in and the Red Wings don’t look like you’re usual 3rd period Red Wings as they have been matching the Oilers shot for shot so far. No real chances for either team since the 1st period as both teams are doing a nice job of keeping pucks off net and getting sticks in the lane. Both Koskinen and Howard really have controlled rebounds well tonight too. Not much more than that going on. 1st TV timeout.
Right out of the face-off, the Oilers started to pick up the pace. McDavid starting to do circles around the Red Wings zone before finally Nemeth picked up a lose puck and cleared the zone. Right back they come and Klefbom’s shot bounced off Howard to a Red Wing otherwise it was a goal as the net was left wide open. Another big rebound from Howie and another Red Wing in the right place at the right time. This is getting dicey. Red Wings now turning it over all over their own zone. 2nd TV timeout and the Red Wings better wake up.
Howard’s rebound control has all of a sudden gone to hell and that’s going to hurt the Red Wings as they are doing what they usual do and are just sitting back late in a game with the lead. Helm steals one from Kassian right in the slot and I’m pretty sure the puck ended up a three feet wide off the glass. Terrible shot. And there it is. Larkin fans on the outlet pass from the Wings zone and McDavid steals, finds Draisaitl and he powers one past Howard. 2-1 Red Wings. Buckle up. Oh my goodness. Athanasiou just blows past everyone, fakes twice and somehow didn’t score on his breakaway chance. Koskinen kept the pad down. Replay shows he fanned on roofing it and it hit Koskinen’s glove. Unbelievable. We go 4-on-4 now too as Nurse started just swinging at AA who tried kicking the puck in after the whistle. Now Larkin takes a penalty for hooking. He’s just having an awful period. We go 4-on-3 for 1:34. Red Wings kill off the 4-on-3 and the Oilers have a chance at the back door, but somehow the puck doesn’t go in! We’re even with just over 4 minutes left. Tons of chances for the Oilers. Howie standing on his head. Final TV timeout.
AA had a chance in front of the net and decided for a no look pass instead of a shot attempt. He now gets taken down trying to split the D and there was no call. Under 3 to go and I have a feeling this is not going to end well. Oilers outshooting Detroit 14-4 in the period. Under 2 now and there goes Koskinen. Offensive zone draw for Oilers as both top lines are out there. Larkin wins the draws and has an empty net chance from just passed center ice, but missed the net. A centering pass bounces through the crease and out the other side. Bertuzzi chips out to center under a minute to go. OH MY GOODNESS HRONEK GOES 200 FEET TO WIN IT AND THE LOSING STREAK IS OVERRRRRRR!!
Score: 3-1 Red Wings
Shots: 32-28 Oilers