The Red Wings are back in action after dropping a game against Florida last night. Last night, they started off bad then played well for a while, then fell apart in the second.
Frans Nielsen enters the game on a goal scoring streak. So far, I am the only recapper to be able to type that sentence, so I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. Tampa Bay is also on the second half of a back-to-back, so neither team has that built-in excuse. Let’s see what happens!
Tampa Bay wastes no time getting their first shot in the books as Point nearly scores about 15 seconds into the game. That obviously would have been very deflating so thankfully Bernier made the save.
With just under 5 minutes gone, Detroit has had very little controlled possession, but Athanasiou streaks in alone from the side of McElhinney, who slides over and keeps the puck out.
With 13:51 left in the period, Detroit is up 4-1 in shots on goal, but that is not indicative of the play so far.
For the second game in a row, Filip Zadina sprung a player for a breakaway. This time, it was Luke Glendening, and #41 couldn’t get the backhand over McElhinney’s pads. That brings us to the first commercial break, still tied 0-0.
Christoffer Ehn was boarded by Patrick Maroon, and Detroit goes to its first power play.
Detroit kills off their power play, only allowing Tampa Bay two chances and even getting one of their own.
Mike Green must not have seen the Fox Sports Detroit segment talking about the Tampa power play because he took a penalty.
Tampa Bay keeps the puck in the Detroit zone for literally the entire power play, and it seems like divine intervention was the only thing that kept the puck out of the net at a couple points. Detroit’s strategy of hoping Tampa’s players got tired of passing the puck and moving around works, and we go to the last tv timeout still tied 0-0.
In case you were wondering how dominant this stretch of time was for Tampa:
BTW the unofficial count between the Green penalty and the Red Wings actually getting the puck to exit their own zone was 3:30— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) December 30, 2019
Detroit finally got another scoring chance, with Larkin and Athanasiou heading into the TB zone on a two-on-one, but Larkin’s pass jumped over AA’s stick, otherwise McElhinney would have had a tough save to make.
Detroit has a late period flurry, but the period ends 0-0, which has got to feel like a win for Detroit.
As the period went by, Tampa began to take more control. Will Detroit be able to tilt the ice back in the other direction in the second? Let’s see!
Tampa Bay needs about 5 minutes to break the tie. Shattenkirk took a wrist shot from the point, and Palat tipped it down. It bounced off the ice on the way to Bernier and into the net. 1-0 Tampa Bay.
Halfway through the period, it’s been pretty low-event. No big chances either way. Then Perlini takes a penalty when he got his sticks in a Tampa player’s skate.
Tampa doesn’t score, but not for a lack of scary chances. With 8 minutes left, shots on goal are 23-12, which is pretty indicative of the game so far.
I feel the need to remind you that the Fabbri trade was 1 for 1 as he tips a Hronek shot in to tie the game with about 2 minutes left.
The period ends with that same 1-1 score, although Tampa Bay has dominated overall.
Scotty Bowman joined Ken Daniels during the second intermission. Here’s that if you missed it.
Under a minute into the first period, Trevor Daley decides to spit into the wind and tug on Superman’s cape by taking a penalty.
Wow. Glendening nearly scored on a shorthanded breakaway.
Detroit escapes when Sergachev takes a penalty to lead to 30 seconds of 4 on 4, followed by 1:30 of a Detroit power play. Not much happens.
With 5 minutes gone in the period, Tampa goes back to the power play.
And it was just a matter of time. Brayden Point beats Bernier over the shoulder from a few feet in front of the goal line. 2-1 Tampa.
Mitchell Stephens almost extends the lead just before the last tv timeout. Bernier has been outstanding tonight. Without his play, this could easily be the familiar five goal deficit.
Bernier goes to the bench with 1:30 left. Tampa ices the puck.
Despite having the puck in the offensive zone for the last 30 seconds or so, Detroit didn’t get one good look, and the game ends 2-1 Tampa.
Tampa outplayed Detroit for the vast majority of the game. Without Jonathan Bernier playing well, this score could have been ugly.