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Game Recap: Seeing Zebras — Red Wings 3 at Rangers 4, (OT)

The Detroit Red Wings took on the next team in its very long list of rivals in the New York Rangers. I’m still not entirely sure I believe what I saw on television tonight.

The Game

Detroit for the second night in a row decided that the first period wasn’t very important. The vaunted penalty kill gave up another goal after a 4-on-4 gave way to a Rangers power play. Derick Brassard took a shot from the top of the left circle that deflected off Rick Nash for another #buttgoal. Detroit finally decided to show up and took over the second half of the first. Here’s a nice chart of the first period.

That play carried over into the second. The Red Wings dominated territorially, and the only reason Johan Franzen didn’t score a goal was because Kevin Klein was in the net and blocked the shot and covered the puck in the crease. The resulting penalty shot was missed because this is the Detroit Red Wings we’re talking about here.

Things didn’t look good after the missed penalty shot. Martin St. Louis broke in alone on Jonas Gustavsson because Jakub Kindl picked the absolute perfect time to make a line change, and St. Louis made it 2-0 New York.

Scientists then noted several disturbances in the balance of the universe. In unrelated news, Detroit got a power play halfway through the game, and Kindl potted a wrist shot home with the man advantage. Sixteen seconds later, Dan Cleary took a shot from the boards along the goal line, and it beat Henrik Lundqvist short-side, seven hole. Play would go on for a few more minutes because not even the referee believed Cleary scored a goal. But video review got the call right, and clock was rewound.

Another terrible line change more than halfway through the third led to a 2-on-1 which Lee Stempniak buried. A series of penalties and Gustavsson pulled gave the Red Wings a 5-on-3 with the net empty. Andrej Nestrasil made a pass across the slot, and Tomas Tatar buried it to tie the game with 7.7 seconds left.

In overtime, Pavel Datsyuk was minding his own business, stickhandling with the puck when St. Louis rudely interrupted and fell over himself in excitement. One of Steve Kozari or Tim Peel apparently thought this constituted a violation of NHL rules and hand-wrapped the Rangers a power play. Gustavsson gave up a rebound because of a Rick Nash screen, and Brassard ended the game.

The Bullets

  • Hey Caleb, who won your super important prediction contest?
  • Jonas. Monster. Gustavsson.

    Gustavsson had quite a night. I’m waiting for the game where all this newfound confidence in our backup goaltending is shattered, but he played well in this–aaaaand he gave up the game-winner off a rebound and took a long time to get back up after trying to dive and make the save.
  • I had some bullets ready to talk about interesting rules things because this game had some interesting rules things, but I’m angry at the officiating. No recap bullets for you!
  • Dan Cleary earned another game. On top of his goal, which was more a product of luck than anything else, he forechecked well and had a nice defensive play to swipe the puck out of the zone.
  • Seriously. I hate making it about the officiating. Franzen got away with a head hit on Hagelin, but Hagelin previously got away with a double minor (which linesmen are not allowed to intervene and tell the referees about), and St. Louis dove harder than Justin Abdelakder supposedly did. The Red Wings did themselves in with terrible line changes. It’s hard to talk about officiating without implying “refs cost us the game.”
  • Jonas Gustavsson put a glove on Nash on the game’s opening goal. I thought the goalie initiating contact with the attacking player meant the goal was supposed to be disallowed? Rules, man.
  • Nestrasil made a sweet pass to Tatar for the game-tying goal. I thought he didn’t do too well up to that point generating offense, but with Cleary and Kindl scoring goals tonight, what am I supposed to know about who to put in the lineup?
  • That Kindl goal makes Jakub the second Red Wings defenseman to score a goal this season, after Niklas Kronwall.

New Jersey on Friday. Military Appreciation Night. Get a regulation win, and please don’t make me talk about referees again.

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