The now Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green-less Detroit Red Wings took the ice against the New Jersey Devils looking to fill the hole left in all of our hearts with two meaningless points. Less than a week after being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, there isn’t much on the line. It’s pride that the Red Wings are playing for... and Alexis Lafreniere that they’re playing poorly for.
The first scoring opportunity came early for the Devils. Oh, and they scored. New Jersey’s Joey Anderson buried a rebound off of Jonathan Bernier’s left pad just 1:15 into the first period. 1-0 Devils.
In classic Detroit fashion, the Red Wings took a bench minor for too many men on the ice and went shorthanded three minutes after conceding a goal. Despite a flurry of shots, Detroit killed off the penalty. The Devils led 9-2 in shots at the end of the power-play. Ken and Mick seem to be trying to channel goalscoring luck by talking more about Alex Ovechkin than the Red Wings.
Noted sniper Valtteri Filppula was denied on his one-time shot in the slot off of a Tyler Bertuzzi feed with four minutes left in the period. Just one minute later, Anthony Mantha couldn’t lift the puck over Corey Schneider on the doorstep. The two chances were Detroit’s sixth and seventh shots of the period, and their best in the first frame.
In all, not the worst period for the Red Wings. They spent a tad too much time in their own zone and started slow, conceding in the first two minutes, but plenty to build on headed into the break. Keeping pace with New Jersey
END OF 1:
Score: Devils 1-0 Red Wings
Shots: Devils 17-9 Red Wings
Playing from behind, Detroit opened up the second period looking to turn it up a notch. Mantha intercepted a pass on the Devils’ blue line two minutes in and gave Detroit their first quality offensive-zone possession in the contest. Frans Nielsen went to the box for holding Nico Hischier with 15:34 left in the second, giving the Devils their second power-play of the game.
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t cover the front of the net with second round picks. And, despite a quality start to the shorthanded kill, a strong sequence of looks towards goal ended in the Devils doubling their lead. Jesper Bratt power-play tally was a second chance finish assisted by Pavel Zacha. 2-0 Devils 6:53 into the second.
For the sake of continuity, Detroit took a delay of game penalty moments later. Detroit came up with 1:57 of solid penalty kill. Unfortunately, power-plays are 2:00 long. Kyle Palmieri made it 3-0 Devils with 8:50 into the second, New Jersey’s second straight man- up goal.
Bertuzzi tipped a shot off of the post with nine minutes left in the period. New Jersey took a penalty and Detroit played a long 6-on-5 until Schneider gloved down a Dylan Larkin slapshot. Detroit would have their first man-advantage of the game.
A Pavel Zacha penalty with 5:24 left in the second gave Detroit their second power-play chance of the game. New Jersey followed with a clean kill. The Red Wings played on their heels for the rest of the period until testing Schneider at the buzzer. On the bright side, recent waiver pickup Cody Goloubef is looking energized and engaged in his first appearance in the Winged Wheel.
END OF 2:
Score: Devils 3-0 Red Wings
Shots: Devils 25-18 Red Wings
Detroit opened the third period with a few lengthier offensive possessions. They couldn’t get much on net, as the puck possessing forwards seemed to be skating themselves dizzy looking for the perfect pass. Alex Biega took a high-sticking penalty 3:07 into the period, giving the two for three Devils another try. Detroit killed off the penalty.
9:06 into the third, both Robby Fabbri and Gustav Lindstrom suffered leg injuries on the same play. Fabbri went to the locker room while Lindstrom stayed on the bench. Jack Hughes went to the box for a knee-to-knee trip on Fabbri, and Detroit went to the man advantage. NOTED SHOOTER Valtteri Filppula buried a back door feed from Tyler Bertuzzi to make it 3-1 Devils 9:40 into the third and give the fans at Little Caesars Arena something to cheer about.
Larkin took a hooking penalty with 8:09 left in the game, giving the Devils a chance to score their third power-play tuck. Nikita Gusev did just that, making it 4-1 Devils with 6:18 left and officially pushing this game into getting ugly territory.
The game ended with a miniature brawl in the last minute. Aside from making the last period worth watching, this was the game’s most important moment in my eyes, as it shows that the players care enough about the now meaningless season to fight for their teammates. Also Tyler Bertuzzi threw a glove at P.K. Subban. It was glorious. Detroit did not convert on the ensuing power-play, losing by a final score of 4-1. The physicality and effort were there, but the key takeaway of the loss was to stay out of the box.
END OF 3:
Score: Devils 4-1 Red Wings
Shots: Devils 31-28 Red Wings
- Corey Schneider picked up his first win in 12 games.
- New Jersey Devils swept a season series with the Red Wings for the first time in franchise history.
- The Red Wings are 0-19-1 against the Metropolitan Division this season.
- The season ends in 39 days.
NJD goal: Joey Anderson (3) at 1:15. Assisted by by M. Wood and D. Mermis
NJD PP goal: Jesper Bratt (14) at 6:04. Assisted by P. Zacha and N. Gusev
NJD PP goal: Kyle Palmieri (23) at 8:51. Assisted by J. Hughes and D. Severson
DET PP goal: Valtteri Filppula (6) at 9:40. Assisted by T. Bertuzzi and D. Larkin
NJD PP goal: Nikita Gusev (11) at 13:40. Assisted by P. Zacha and M. Mueller