The Red Wings come home from their Fathers & Mentors trip winners of the final game against Nashville on Tuesday in order to meet the Senators for a Valentine’s Day Massacre in the Atlantic basement.
It’s Jimmy Howard’s 500th career game. Let’s get to the action!
The game starts with good pace by both teams and with Ken Daniels mentioning every veteran Detroit defenseman’s stats like he’s trying to sell them to every GM currently watching this game on FSD. As per usual, the best chances for Detroit are coming early from Dylan Larkin and Gustav Nyquist.
The most interesting thing to happen in the Red Wings’ zone prior to the first commercial break is Jonathan Ericsson and Brady Tkachuk suddenly deciding to throw knuckles at one another (because Tkachuk was mad at Ericsson for poking him with his stick to establish the gap coming into the zone). Ericsson won the fight, but he didn’t ragdoll the kid or anything.
Immediately out of that commercial break, Ryan Dzingel gets a great chance breaking in and beats Howard, but doesn’t leave himself enough angle to get it in past him. The Wings follow this up with good chances by Vanek and Green at the other end. Moments later, Abdelkader receives a backdoor feed that he bobbles before he can get a shot off and I’m frustrated.
Just after the halfway point in the period, Detroit breaks the tie as Dylan Larkin makes a stretch pass out of his own zone to Anthony Mantha at center; Mantha bumps it to Andreas Athanasiou building speed through the neutral zone and AA burns in around the defense, cuts across the goal, and deposits it in to make it 1-0 Detroit.
Andreas Athanasiou set a new career high in goals tonight, scoring his 19th of the season. pic.twitter.com/bOigPnrYew— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) February 15, 2019
From this point, Detroit carries the momentum into several more good shifts, especially from Michael Rasmussen, who gets a few good looks from the dirty area in front of the crease where he belongs. We also get good looks from Green and Glendening; G&G both getting feeds from AA.
Unfortunately, Ottawa was able to regain momentum later on and ended up tying it with under four to play. Larkin loses a faceoff in the Wings’ end and a point shot is bumped to Brady Tkachuk standing in front. Howard is caught squaring to where the original shot was going and Tkachuk finds the open space to make it a 1-1 tie.
Tkachuk gets the #Sens on the board in Detroit. #GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/eLhNK2m57T— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) February 15, 2019
At 17:42, Glendening hits AA in stride for a break into the zone that gets prevented by a penalty, giving AA a penalty shot that he pops through the 5-hole to make it 2-1 Detroit.
AA Penalty Shot....CONFIRMED!— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) February 15, 2019
It’s 2-1 Wings! #LGRW pic.twitter.com/Ryhx2oPMUJ
The Score: 2-1 Detroit
The Shots: 15-15
Standout Players: Larkin, Nyquist, Athanasiou, Rasmussen
The Period All Summed Up: Andreas ATHANOSiou snaps his finger and half of Ottawa’s defense disappears.
The second starts slowly enough with the Sens carrying early play and a rare good defensive play by Thomas Vanek to intercept a pass coming out of the Ottawa zone for a slapshot attempt he puts in Mikhael Samuelsson territory.
Things got kind of boring from there, but heated up again after the seven-minute mark. Ottawa got a number of good chances that either Howard stopped or they put wide. Mantha got a good attempt that he missed the net on, and then the Senators took a delay of game penalty going into commercial.
The power play was not good. Let’s not talk about it other than to mention that it gives Ottawa some momentum going forward.
Anthony Mantha gets a breakaway chance stopped by Nilsson and Danny DeKeyser makes his second good very-noticeable defensive play of the period.
Of course, this all comes back to roost at 13:39 when Matt Duchene gets a pass from Balcers to enter the zone with speed and zaps a shot over the blocker to make it a 2-2 game.
If it's not , it's not for @Matt9Duchene. pic.twitter.com/ehRAETHXY8— NHL (@NHL) February 15, 2019
Detroit regains the lead as Darren Helm steals the puck from Dylan DeMelo behind the Ottawa net and feeds it to Frans Nielsen for a quick snapper into the net.
FRANS NIELSEN HAMMERS HOME THE DARREN HELM FEED!#LGRW pic.twitter.com/sq88lbCCMR— Hockey Daily (@HockeyDaily365) February 15, 2019
The period ends with Red Wings pressure on net, but no additional scores.
The Score: 3-2 Detroit
The Shots: 29-22 Ottawa
Standout Players: DeKeyser, Jensen, Helm
The Period All Summed Up: At least we didn’t give up three goals.
Ottawa comes out of the gate flying to start the period and the Wings hold tight. Nik Kronwall steps up and crushes Rudolfs Balcers in the neutral zone, which makes Mark Stone upset. Stone and Abdelkader end up taking matching penalties and we go 4-on-4 for a spell. This two minutes is more fun than the two that preceded it but just as low-scoring.
Fortunately, we get another chance to see 4-on-4 hockey shortly on penalties to Rasmussen and DeMelo from a scrum in front of Jimmy Howard. Again, we have decently entertaining hockey for two minutes and no goals.
8:19 into the third, Trevor Daley tries to keep up the 4-on-4 fun but goofs up and takes the only penalty, as he sits for a hook and Ottawa has their first PP of the game. Nobody tells Luke Glendening though and he gets a good scoring chance that sadly is on his forehand so it doesn’t go in. Detroit kills the remainder of the penalty under some danger, but then immediately heads to a PP of their own as Tkachuk sits for tripping.
The first minute of the PP goes very well with some dangerous chances, but it fades into the second minute of the power play, which is as pretty as leftover soup.
From here, the game kind of settles to a slog, which is good for the team in the lead. Ottawa pulls their goalie with more than a minute remaining, giving Detroit the opportunity to ice the puck three times before killing off the last seconds.
Final Score: 3-2 Red Wings
Final Shots: 42-29 Ottawa
Standout Players: The goalpost, Glendening, Howard, DeKeyser
The Period All Summed Up: asdf
Frans Nielsen is having a forgettable season. His goal in this one tied him with Luke Glendening in the category.
I’m upset that the Red Wings put out a bunch of player pun Valentines and didn’t go with “I wanna Frk you.”
Danny DeKeyser had a legit really good game in this one.
Andreas Athanasiou has had three penalty shots this season and gone 2-for-3. The last time a Red Wings player had at least three? 1934-35, when Ebbie Goodfellow went 1-for-6.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) February 15, 2019
Next up: The Wings head to Philly where they never win.