The race to 30 goals continues between Larkin needing 2 and AA needing 1. Mantha is back, Jimmy is net, Mac is in, Hirose looks to make it 5 points in 5 games and hopefully make this one a goal. Buffalo has not won a game in regulation for 15 games now, which is a very Red Wings stat to have.
Let’s go recap that hockey...
We start the game with James giving up a perfect rebound but then sliding across to make the great save. 5 minutes in and DK is off to the penalty box. The penalty expires and Jimmy is a busy man as the shot deficit is 9-1 in favor of the Sabres.
The Mantha-Larkin-Bert line is hustlin’ and bustlin’ and Bert draws a slashing penalty to put the Wings on the powerplay 7 minutes in. AA shows his speed again and is hungry for a goal. Wings manage 6 shots on the powerplay but no go.
GTBDNS (Glendening Threatens But Does Not Score) LGD gets is classic LGD almost breakaway but does not score.
8:30 to go and Wings are back on the powerplay and TYLER BERTUZZI SCORES! His 17th goal of the season and first in 10 games makes it 1-0 Wings.
Disappointed the powerplay ended with a goal? Sabres get another chance at the PK as they take their third penalty at 7:30 left. Bertuzzi takes a high stick and gloves fly, blood flies, our souls fly, and no call. Bert changes jerseys on the bench and blocks up his nose to stop the blood and laughs as he does it. Mick manages not to call him a “junkyard dog” this time.
Time expires with Wings up 1-0 and the shot deficit 17-15 in favor of the Wings. How the turn tables.
Mickey Redmond Moment: “How many jerseys does Paul Boyer carry around with him? Can’t be more than two, what if [Bert] gets blood on THAT one?”
Ericsson will not be returning to the game after hobbling off the ice with what looked like an ankle issue. But we have Witter and Mac, and Mick is just like us on team entropy who want them on the same pairing — “I’d love to see those two on the ice together, wouldn’t that be fun [delighted chuckling intensifies]”.
DO IT YOU COWARDS
Speaking of defensemen, Hronek snaps the puck from top of the circle on a nice setup from Mantha and SCOOOORES, just like that it’s 2-0 Wings!
4 minutes in and Witter heads to the box, our PK is back to work. The PK does not do the work and Sabres cut the lead in half. 2-1 Wings.
Buffalo has the edge but still not much going for either team until the Wings take a penalty with 5 minutes left. A very elite penalty by elite penalty taker Darren Helm. Lots of activity in the vicinity of Jimmy Howard but they manage to keep the puck out of the net and hang on to the lead.
The magic can only last so long and the Sabres tie it up 2-2.
Mickey Redmond Moment: “Pretty good shake ‘n bake by Hirose right there”
Also, Ken Daniels is wearing a brown suit and it feels weird.
Kuffner, the kid people forget about already because of Hirose, almost sneaks a puck in as we start the period tied 2-2.
7 minutes in and, stop me if you’ve heard this one before, LARKIN SCOOORRREEESSSSS!!! Larkin gets his 29th of the season and Wings take the lead 3-2!
Just past the halfway mark and DeKeyser ends up trying to defend a 3 on 1 after Larkin gets knocked over by some BULLIES but luckily they didn’t set up a great scoring chance and Howard was able to keep it out.
Witter hits a Sabre by the bench, then Witter comes rolling into the corner and manages to also catch Nielsen and ring his bell. Nielsen lays prone on the ice for a moment gathering his marbles and the crowd goes silent, but thankfully he is able to get up and off the ice and heads down the tunnel. We’ll hope to hear good news on him and not the concussion word.
IMO you should not murder your teammates but I’m no hockey player.
But then, BUT THEN, LARKIN SCORES AGAIN! A BEAUT OF A BULLET INTO THE NET FOR HIS 30TH GOAL AND I AM NOT TYPING IN LOWERCASE ABOUT IT. Hronek bounces the puck off the boards behind the net, goalie is down and scrambling and Larkin doesn’t miss.
Larkin is our first 30 goal scorer since 2008-2009, which is weird since that season didn’t happen, but in any case he got there and AA is likely going to make it as well. Wings up 4-2 with 6 to go.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, the Wings immediately give up a goal in response. 4-3 Wings.
Stop me if you’ve heard THIS one before, the Wings immediately give up another goal. Eichel ties the game 4-4. And that’s how the period ends along with a small “We Want Hughes” chant that could be coming from either fanbase, or both.
I can’t help but take some of the blame/credit for this as anyone who has been around here knows my recaps go into OT more often than not.
Mickey Redmond Moment: “What do you call that thing? It’s a computer...it’s an iPad?”
Sheary gets away and Howard selfishly makes a save to keep the game going and delay the tank. Larkin was out on the ice for over a minute, warrior. Jimmy makes another great save, just not a team player at all that man.
Hirose takes the ice and helps set up TYLER BERTUZZI for the GWG. He is elated to say the least, and points at the one Red Wings fan in the stands as he skates by.
That also should make Hirose 5 for 5 on points per game. His official nickname is apparently “Taco”, so says Bert.
RED WINGS WIN!