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The Devils We Know, The Red Wings Below: Brutal Third Period Leads to 5-1 Loss

The Red Wings successfully defended their last-place position by losing to the team just one point above them in the standings.

Detroit Red Wings v New Jersey Devils
In summary, pretty much just this picture.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It’s injury szn. Let’s hope no one loses a leg.

First Period

This one started off a little disjointed, with the Red Wings unable to really hit on their passes for a solid scoring chance. Early kudos go to the Devils fan that caught an errant puck one-handed after it careened over the glass at center.

Oh wait, Louis Domingue is playing in his first start this season? Well there go my hopes for this one. That’s a guaranteed shutout for sure. I said, he’s sure to get a SHUTOUT. You know, we won’t score any goals. Ahem, Hockey Gods. SHUTOUT.

Power play to the Red Wings as Dylan Larkin gets tripped. A decent look but no harm done. I suppose I couldn’t expect my super-reliable SHUTOUT jinx to work that quickly. Then Brendan Perlini got caught being a cheaty-pants and it’s New Jersey’s turn on the man advantage. Jonathan Bernier had a good save with Nico Hischier immediately on the rebound. Nikita Gusev took an interference penalty for some 4-on-4 time. Filip Hronek broke up a 2-on-1 of Taylor Hall and Hischier by perfectly blocking the pass. He’s kind of good, I think.

Back to the power play because Wayne Simmonds cross-checked Madison Bowey. Rude. Also rude was the lack of Red Wings scoring on the man advantage. Double rude because the power play just looked bad.

Back to the penalty kill as Bowey slashed Hall, who hit the crossbar and ended up in the net, but he is not a puck and therefore it doesn’t count. The Devils didn’t score on the resulting power play either, so worth it?

Back to the penalty kill as Bowey interfered with Jack Hughes. Take a breather, my dude. Fortunately the period ended here so Bowey’s got 18-ish minutes to do just that.

Shots: 15-5 New Jersey(!!)
Score: 0-0 tie

Second Period

Turns out Bowey’s second penalty was for putting his stick on the ice before he actually stepped out of the box? But also Hughes was coming up the ice at the same time so they may have considered that to be the actual interference. I don’t know. It was weird.

Frans Nielsen took an acute-angle shot that rebounded straight out into the slot that Perlini pounced on, but he still couldn’t get his first goal with the Wings. Bowey picked up the puck in low along the boards and flung the puck to Taro Hirose, who was sneaking his way through the slot. Hirose got a beautiful redirect over Domingue’s glove hand and it’s 1-0 Red Wings! Clearly thanks to my SHUTOUT jinx, you’re welcome.

Alas, the lead was not meant to be for long, because on the next shift Hall retrieved a puck from behind the red line, got it to Kyle Palmieri in the slot and he scored to tie it back up. This game appears to be a case of “anything you can do, I can do better,” which would potentially be exciting if these teams weren’t #30 and #31 in the league.

Robby Fabbri committed the unforgivable sin of hooking and the Red Wings went down a man again. This was the point where we learned that Detroit was also down a Mantha as Anthony left the game with a lower-body injury after playing just 3:03 in the first period. Injury szn, y’all.

Simmonds clipped Bowey from behind and sent him spinning to the ice. Fortunately Bowey seemed to be okay, which is doubly good because it’s not easy to play with only 16 guys on the bench. Detroit ended up on the power play soon after as Palmieri got called for a cross-check on Patrik Nemeth. You’ll be shocked to read that the Red Wings didn’t score on the man advantage.

Andreas Athanasiou tried to do Andreas Athanasiou things but couldn’t score. Then a whole bunch of feisty shenanigans happened in front of the Devils’ net after PK Subban shoved Tyler Bertuzzi, leading to matching roughing minors for the pair.

Bernier made two important saves in the last minute, the first coming off the stick of Gusev and the second on Travis Zajac, who grabbed the puck after it bounced off Jonathan Ericsson’s skate and was in alone on the Red Wings netminder. Phew.

Shots: 21-15 New Jersey(!!)
Score: 1-1 tie

Third Period

Both teams seemed to have more jump coming out for the final 20 minutes, which isn’t what you’d expect from the Devils since they played last night. At least the Red Wings also had more pep in their step, which is not a thing that should be celebrated but here we are.

New Jersey thought they scored five minutes in, but it was immediately called off for being kicked in. Review of the play apparently showed the puck went in off Dylan McIlrath’s skate, though FSD never showed an angle that could confirm that. Will Butcher ended up getting credit for the goal that broke the tie.

Bernier ended up stuck behind his own net two shifts later and I was convinced the Red Wings would Keystone Kops their way into a two-goal deficit. Don’t worry though, they managed that before long as Blake Coleman shoved Bowey’s stick to flip the puck over Bernier’s shoulder. 1:59 between goals for the tired Devils team.

The inevitable Detroit collapse kicked in right on time after those goals, giving up multiple scoring chances in a row to New Jersey. I award the entire team one large YIKE.

5:15 to go and Bernier’s pulled, which is a brilliant strategy that works in some universe that is probably never going to be this one. Sure enough, Hall flung the puck from the Devils’ faceoff dot and scored just 38 seconds later to make it 4-1.

I was all ready to wrap up the recap here but apparently it was FIGHT TIME between McIlrath and Simmonds, which looked like it was going to be really uneventful since they just circled each other for a while before they finally took swings at each other. They each ended up connecting on a good number of punches.

Shockingly, this did not end up being a moral victory of any kind for the Red Wings, as Coleman split the defense of Bowey and Ericsson on a breakaway for his second goal of the game with just 11 seconds left.

Shots: 34-20 New Jersey
Score: 5-1 Devils

Final Thoughts

  • Anthony Mantha didn’t fight anyone tonight so at least we know his injury isn’t a broken hand?
  • The Devils had the worst GF in the league heading into this game and they tripled us up on shots in the first period. This is fine.
  • Ken Daniels mentioned the soft ice at Prudential Center a few times, but at least it wasn’t as bad as the Griffins game in Milwaukee, where the ice was actually melting in places.
  • Time to fire Jeff Blashill and bring back Mike Babcock, amirite?
  • That last bullet point was a joke. A JOKE, you hear me? Don’t anyone dare take me seriously.
  • Obviously this loss was all Athanasiou’s fault because +/- is a legitimate statistic on which to base a player’s worth but also we should trade him because he has good value. Hashtag confirmed hashtag insiderrr
  • This game would have been vastly improved by a cat running across the ice, but football fans get all the luck I guess.