Back2Back! Red Wings take down Vegas 3-2 with last minute heroics from Mantha.

Knighty knight Vegas, better luck next time.

There will be no ado to begin with, let alone any further ado. So let’s do that recap:

First Period

Red Wings are spending a lot of time hanging out with Bernier, however only one shot on the board for each team in the first five minutes. Two Red Wings get shot into the net after a kicksave from Bernier, Gallant is fired up yelling at the ref thinking it was on purpose enough to count as a Vegas goal, but the game remains tied 0-0.

Halfway through the period and this might be the most boring hockey the Wings have played all season, which at least means we aren’t getting our butts kicked (yet?).

Reeves takes down Erne and McIlrath takes exception. Then Reeves goes for Nemeth and misses. Somehow this ends with Erne in the box for high-sticking. Seems likely that Reeves and McIlrath will fight later. Vegas on the powerplay with 8:22 remaining. Wings kill it, yay!

Bertuzzi turns on the hustle and sets up a nice chance that ends with Roy getting his skate blade knocked off blocking the shot and noted Upstanding Young Gentleman Dylan Larkin offers to help him get over to the bench.

Five minutes left and shots are 6-5 Vegas. Then we have an oopsie turnover, Hronek can’t block the cross pass and Bernier is hung out to dry. 1-0 Vegas.

Ehn is hooked by Smith when he tries to get a shot off and Wings head to the powerplay with 2:30 to go. Larkin smacks his stick on the boards in frustration as he had a wide open net but the pass from Bertuzzi was a bit too fluttery. BUT THEN GREECE LIGHTNING STRIKES!! Tied 1-1. Powerplay goal for the Wings and Vegas has only given up 8 all season.

As an aside, Ken Daniels told a story about Gerard Gallant chasing turkeys in the basement(?) of his childhood home and that’s why they call him “Turk”.

Also, Chris Osgood is wearing a tie patterned with John Keating’s face.

Second Period

Pace has picked up since the first, still plenty of turnovers, but no great chances for either team in the first few minutes. Abby gets the first real opportunity for a goal from a lucky bounce off a Vegas player but pulls a Filppula and passes to Helm who misses with the shot.

Halfway through the period and Vegas sets up a 4 on 3 rush that finishes with Pacioretty shooting it through Bernier. Not a great goal for him to let through and it’s 2-1 Vegas. Shots are tied 8-8.

At this point, Bertuzzi has been the one player who looks like he’s really been trying the whole game. Which means it’s time to activate the JEFF BLASHILL BINGO WHEEL (of Doom). Fabbri is out with Larkin and Bertuzzi. Mantha is with Nielsen and Perlini. Athanasiou with Filppula and Erne. Whoever is left is on the 4th line.

The Wings are playing a different kind of bad than we’ve seen most of the season i.e. they aren’t losing by 5 goals but are still firing on no cylinders. Larkin is gonna be mad again, he was in all alone but missed his shot. I may be using “shot” generously, in any case Theodore takes a slashing penalty immediately after and Wings will end the period with a 1:55 powerplay. Do they give up a shorty? Almost. It was really, really close.

Third Period

The crowd is even quieter than usual and that I’m commenting on that instead of the game probably speaks volumes about the excitement. Even more than the shot total between both teams being 22 and nothing of interest has happened in the first 8 minutes. Dump, chase, turnover, chase some more, it’s thrilling.

BUT THEN SOMETHING STUPID HAPPENS. Faceoff violation from Ehn and Vegas is on the powerplay. Wings kill it off with the bonus of a classic Helm shorthanded shot into the goalie’s chest.

BUT THEN SOMETHING GREAT HAPPENS. Bowey scores while falling down from being tripped. We’re tied 2-2! Bowey has made some big blunders this game so nice to see some redemption as he scores his first of the season with nine minutes to go. Stick taps to Bernier for making a huge save to set this chance up.

Bingo Wheel again — Larkin is with Perlini and Nielsen. Then Larkin is with Bertuzzi and Fabbri. You get a Larkin, and you get a Larkin!

3 minutes to go and the energy is finally razzlin and dazzlin as shots creep up 18-17 Vegas. Hronek had a great setup from Mantha but hesitated too long on the shot.

2 minutes until LGD-less LGD OT.

30 seconds left and MANTHAMANIA IS IN FULL EFFECT. 3-2 RED WINGS!!! Mantha came streaking up the right side with the cross ice pass from Perlini and Mantha shot right through him. I have never literally yelled “WOOHOO” in my life but I did on that.

RED WINGS WIN!!!!!!!!!