The Wings are at home and the winners of four straight games. The Islanders haven’t won a hockey game in a month and are in just their second game since the team had to shut down for COVID. Let’s see what kind of fun we can get up to.
Right off the bat, Kyle Palmieri jumps on Nick Leddy’s back and then pushes his face into the boards. The referees think this is legal so the play only stops once they decide maybe Leddy needs attention. On the very next shift Anders Lee takes a penalty as he cross-checks Moritz Seider into the boards from behind. Mo takes umbrage but is fortunately fit to play on the man advantage.
The power play moves the puck well for the first minute but can’t score. With the 2nd unit on, Cal Clutterbuck gets up ice shorthanded and pushes around Filip Zadina before moving it past a Nedeljkovic poke-check attempt and into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Islanders.
A look at Clutterbuck's shorthanded goal! pic.twitter.com/aaIf3xOJcv— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 5, 2021
Carter Rowney just misses a rebound chance in front on the follow up but so does Oliver Wahlstrom just miss a chance on net after breaking through the defense as things open up.
Filip Hronek ties it at 5:18 off a Michael Rasmussen faceoff win as he walks it halfway between the top of the circle and the blue line and snaps it top shelf past the Rasmussen screen to make it a 1-1 tie.
There’s not a ton to say about the play between the tying goal and Sam Gagner goal just over two minutes later. Givani Smith and Carter Rowney do some good neutral zone and offensive zone work to get Gagner a bit of room behind the goal. Sorokin gets low to try to block a wrap-around/cross-crease pass and Gagner responds by banking it into the net off his shoulder to make it 2-1 Detroit.
Just past the halfway mark of the period, Adam Erne kronwalls Anthony Beauvilier in the neutral zone as the Isles’ forward tries to receive a suicide pass from his teammate. The Isles respond angrily. Oliver Wahlstrom and Adam Erne head to the box for fighting, but the Isles go shorthanded on the instigator call.
During the power play, a Raymond shot bounces off the goalie and is batted out of midair by Scott Mayfield into the netting to give the Wings a 5-on-3 for 1:17. Detroit spends a lot of time passing around the edges of the PKers but can’t get shots off quickly enough to solve Sorokin as both penalties expire without further damage.
To the team’s credit, they did a good job in preventing the Isles from pouring on pressure after a big successful kill, but Barzal did get a really good scoring chance on a shot from the circle with about 3:30 to play.
Lucas Raymond had a shift late in the period where the puck just followed him all over the offensive zone. It was beautiful
Score: 2-1 Detroit
Shots: 12-3 Detroit
Stand Outs: Adam Erne, Givani Smith, Carter Rowney, Lucas Raymond
Sit Downs: Robby Fabbri, Filip Zadina
The Islanders come out skating hard while the Wings try to get a little too cute with passing for the first two shifts, but the third line gets some good pressure in the zone. The second go-around again sees Larkin’s line hemmed in by the Isles’ best. Beauvilier nearly catches Ned cheating on an angle, but just gets his stick on the shot.
Eight minutes into the period, the Isles seriously let Joe Veleno off the hook for a turnover at the offensive blueline that catches his defense in a change, but New York goes offside setting up the 3-on-2 rush.
Raymond makes the first noticeable play in the offensive zone since the third shift of the period but perimeter passing on the result ends with the Isles taking the puck and getting another scoring chance. New York’s pressure ends up earning them a power play at 10:11 with Gagner going off for Hooking.
The Isles tie it at 10:49 on a Wahlstrom shot that heads through a screen and under Ned’s arm. 2-2 game midway through.
Detroit’s only good line of the period so far comes back with their first real scoring chance as Vlad Namestnikov gets a feed in the slot that Sorokin stops.
This is simply a prelude to the fourth line’s next shift. A good defensive play just over 13 minutes in leads to an odd-man rush for Givani Smith and Sam Gagner. Givani holds all the way before snapping it far post past Sorokin’s glove to make it 3-2 Detroit.
Immediately following up, Adam Erne just misses making it 4-2 as a rebound in front of an open net ends up under his feet instead of on his stick.
From there, the game evens out some as both sides spend the remainder playing simpler chippier hockey and asking their opponent to please make a mistake.
We also learn at the end of the period that Gustav Lindstrom has suffered a lower body injury and won’t return.
Score: 3-2 Wings
Shots: 19-13 Detroit (7-10)
Stand Outs: Lucas Raymond, Adam Erne, Michael Rasmussen
Sit Downs: Joe Veleno, Marc Staal
The Wings come out for the third looking more structured than they did for the middle frame as they’re able to move the puck up ice and at least get pucks on net (if not the highest-quality scoring chances, at least they’re not hemmed into their own zone to start).
As a finished typing that, New York gets a great chance at a rebound in front that Wahlstrom can’t get a clean stick on, then Givani Smith takes a high sticking penalty for trying to pick Andy Greene’s nose. There’s some concern with Barzal threatening along the right wing side but they keep the PP to the outside and end up killing it off without an official shot on net.
Out of the first commercial break of the period, Zadina and Suter get scoring chances for the Wings, New York pushes back and time keeps on slipping (slipping slipping... into the future).
Out of the 2nd break, the Wings take a penalty as Clutterbuck has his stick slashed out of his hands at the front of the Detroit net and he throws his hands skyward to make sure Rasmussen’s crime is seen. Anders Lee tries deflecting a shot at the net front in with his teeth to no avail, but Wahlstrom manages his 2nd of the game on a one-timer moments later and it’s a 3-3 game.
New York keeps up the pressure following the goal with the Wings struggling to create much pushback outside of another good shift by Namestnikov.
The energy coming out of the third commercial break from the Wings is “let’s just get to overtime.” And that’s just where we head!
Shots: 26-21 Wings (7-8)
Stand Outs: Vlad Namestnikov
Sit Downs: Michael Rasmussen
Blashill starts us with Rasmussen and Namestnikov with Seider against Pageau-Palmieri-Pelech for the Isles, obviously holding Larkin out to match against Barzal. The Isles get their kid out first and Seider nearly walks him for the game-winner. Larkin-Raymond-Leddy come on for the second shift off a frozen puck and win two straight offensive zone draws. After a minute they’ve won the shift but not the game. Aho walks into a loose puck at the high slot that Ned picks off the cherry-tree for another whistle. This brings the first units back out for a bit of defense for the Wings before Suter and Zadina get a chance to play in front of Seider.
This ends up paying off incredibly well. The three players move the puck and take some shots while getting to the rebounds, keeping the puck in the zone until Suter feeds Seider at the left faceoff circle for a one-time blast over the shoulder and into to the net for the game-winner!
4-3 Wings in OT.
Seider's one-timer wins the game in overtime. Quite the shot. pic.twitter.com/zXZaLGHl21— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) December 5, 2021
The Wings got outplayed in this game. Not terribly, but when they’re taking the next two days to rest and practice before their next stretch of games begins on Tuesday, there’s going to be some good reminders that earned points can be lost as easily as extra points can find their way to you where they otherwise might not.
The overall issue with play was that the Wings generally weren’t moving their feet as much. The Isles came in angry and energetic but also a team that is just coming off a week’s break. Detroit should not have been outpaced, but there were too many times when a guy behind the play was there because his feet didn’t move enough.
I think I’ve got more patience with Michael Rasmussen than on average but if we had an extra forward right now, I’d be clamoring for that person to be in. Five straight games with a penalty for Ras. This one which led to the Isles tying the game was one of those where the feet moving harder meant the stick-chop he got called for becomes an easy tie-up or just a lift.
Robby Fabbri on the top line is not cutting it. I’m loathe to ask for the Blashill Blender to fire back up because I’m not exactly sure how long you should give any of a list of candidates, but he was clearly a weak link for Larkin and Raymond tonight.
The usage of the “2nd line” was interesting. Pius Suter played more than 20 minutes tonight while his linemates Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno played 13:40 and 10:52 respectively. That’s all special teams difference there, but that unit struggled.
The good news is that Carter Rowney and Givani Smith really made the most of their limited minutes.