Detroit’s rough stretch of games against titans continues on a Tuesday March opener against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.
I guess anything less than a 10-goal game is an improvement?
The Wings rebalanced their lines and had to quarantine Gustav Lindstrom due to exposure to Danny DeKeyser so we got Stecher and Oesterle in with Namestnikov back on the top line.
Blashill starts the fourth line to send his message loud and clear that he’s going to try to win this game 2-1.
The first good thing for the Wings happens as Michael Rasmussen gets a puck cleared and makes Brett Pesce interfere with him to prevent a breakaway. Detroit goes on the PP within the first three minutes. The first unit gets one good look and the second unit creates havoc but can’t get it into the net.
Raymond almost banks one in off Antti Raanta’s booty and then the Wings get another PP chance (this time it’s Brady Skjei for tripping). This power play didn’t look as good as the first. Brady Skjei learns that crime pays and the world gets a little worse.
Detroit plays pretty well coming out of this failed PP, but Carolina gets the next one at 12:48 as Larkin takes out frustration against Brady Skjei for holding him up against the board and Carolina ends up with the man advantage. Aho puts it in real quick to make it 1-0 Hurricanes.
Annti Raanta makes a big kick save on the next play to deny Filip Zadina the equalizer.
Carolina gets another power play over 16 minutes in as Marc Staal bullies his younger brother Jordan. Detroit keeps this power play off the board with some good defensive work.
Mo Seider had more bad plays than good in this period. I’m dedicating three whole sentences to this because it’s weird. The most egregious was a turnover up the middle in his own zone.
The Score: 1-0 Canes
The Shots: 11-8 Wings
Standout Players: Michael Rasmussen, Filip Zadina, Filip Hronek
Sit-down Players: Pius Suter, Robby Fabbri, Moritz Seider
Blashill starts the fourth line in this period too. Bally Sports’ feed rebels by continuing to be shitty.
The third shift of the period for the Wings goes well as the Guelph line breaks Bertuzzi in and then sees Fabbri get a good chance. Raanta holds steady though. Then Rasmussen got tripped and the Canes got a 3-on-2 rush that Nedeljkovic swallows.
Detroit nearly gives up a goal that’s prevented by the goalpost and then Nedeljkovic hopping over a puck that threatens to rebound in off him, then Aho takes a penalty for interfering with Larkin and Detroit has their third PP of the night.
It takes 90 seconds to make a play that looks like a scoring attempt and it’s not a goal.
The game gets kind of boring for a while after the PP ends, but that’s a good thing because it lulls Carolina to sleep just in time for Carter Rowney to get a net-front tip past Raanta to make it 1-1 at the 12-minute mark of the period.
Wings nearly give it back on a Svechnikov rush that Ned has to put glove on. Then Hronek does good work down low in the O-zone to feed Robby Fabbri for a chance that Raanta makes an equally tough save on.
Carolina puts more pressure on from this point, including some real heavy pressure in the last two minutes, but Ned makes some key saves
The Score: 1-1 tie
The Shots: 19-16 Wings (8-8)
Standout Players: Sam Gagner, Hronek, Nedeljkovic
Sit-down Players: Larkin, Leddy
Since I know you only read down this far to find out if I complain about the opening matchup, here you go; it’s the fourth line again. Honestly, they did a good shift this time.
Three shifts later, the Wings take the lead. Carolina turns the puck over in the neutral zone and Jordan Oesterle feeds Michael Rasmussen turning into the Canes’ end. Ras carries in and slides it under Raanta right as the goalie starts to move expecting a deke. 2-1 Wings.
Larkin gets a great chance to extend his points streak but Raanta closes the five-hole on the deke play that Gustav Nyquist always tried in the shootout (to great effect).
6:30 in, Oesterle gets caught up ice and Ned makes a HUGE save on Jesperi Kotkaniemi on a 2-on-1 rush. But then less than a minute later a couple weird bounces puts the puck on Jesper Fast’s stick for a shot that gets yet ANOTHER lucky deflection to make it a 2-2 game.
That’s two deflection goals for Rowney.
11 minutes in the Larkin line is buzzing and Dylan clangs the post HARD. This is followed by approximately every single stoppage in play for a couple minutes. Then by the Canes putting more shots on goal than I’m comfortable with.
By the time the clock clicks down to 4:00 left I’m fully doing anterior kegel work. I hate it.
Then Jordan Staal unties it 12 seconds later. Offensive zone faceoff win. Rebound to the slot and Jordan Staal makes it 3-2 on the backhand.
FORTUNATELY THAT LEAD ONLY LASTS 38 SECONDS THANKS TO DYLAN LARKIN. 3-3 TIE.
The hit by Namestnikov isn’t going to earn him an assist but it made the play.
The last three minutes are exciting but not scoring. We’ll hit OT
The Score: 3-3
The Shots: 34-29 Wings (15-13)
Standout Players: Nah
Sit-down Players: Also Nah
Suter-Bertuzzi-Leddy to start us off. Ned makes the first save and springs Bert, who just can’t beat Ranta with many dekes. Teuvo Teravainen streaks back down the ice and rings the post. Then we get the Larkin-Ryamond-Seider group out.
Nothing doing on that play so we get a break and see Suter-Fabbri-Hronek in a D-zone faceoff they control. Suter comes off for Veleno, who springs Fabbri for another break that Raanta stops.
Carolina commits an infraction and the Wings get Ned pulled for the extra skater. The whistle goes with 1:47 and the penalty is revealed to be too many men on the ice. Wings take their timeout to rest up and plan the advantage.
Power play unit comes out with Bertuzzi-Lark-Raymond-Seider. We win the faceoff and set up. Carolina gets a couple clears and we reset with one minute left. Raanta blocks back-to-back from Seider and Raymond.
30 seconds left and we’re scrambling. Wings are passing around looking for the perfect look. Clock is ticking down to nothingness.. and then...
I’m sure the Wings would like for this to have been a 2-1 game instead of 4-3 but from the fan’s perspective I’m down with this kind of game. They absolutely hung with one of the best teams in the league.
Dylan Larkin and Mo Seider extended their point streaks.
Oesterle and Stecher came into the lineup and at times looked rusty. Other times they showed the hints of the puck moving they’re capable of doing. Overall the other-than-Seider star of the defense was Filip Hronek.
One thing I’m happy to see the team do was accept that the refs weren’t calling stuff and turning up the heat on their play. Yeah, we got away with some stuff that I would have wanted to have seen called if it wasn’t us doing it. Carolina got away with stuff too.
Next up we take on Tampa on Friday.