Red Wings Fall to Senators 4-3 in Shootout

Wings see two goal lead evaporate before sending game to overtime, but fail to score in shootout

Tonight the Red Wings visited the Canadian Tire Centre as they took on the Ottawa Senators. The Wings came in to the night looking to rebound from a particularly rough outing against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday losing 7-1. In their third tilt since the trade deadline the Wings look to halt their latest skid having lost 8 of their last 9 failing to score more than 2 goal in any of those losses.

Tyler Bertuzzi was essentially a game time decision coming in but managed to get into the lineup, slated to play with Larkin and Fabbri. The Wings hoped the return of Fabbri to the lineup could help spark some offense.

Detroit’s opponent tonight, the Senators, recently welcomed Bobby Ryan back to the lineup after he returned from getting some needed help from the Players Assistance Program. In a feel good turn, Ryan netted a hat trick on Thursday in front of the Ottawa crowd against Vancouver. It’s good to see stories like this and we wish Bobby Ryan all the best moving forward.

Jonathan Bernier got the start in goal after spelling Jimmy Howard partway through the forgettable game against the Wild. For Ottawa, Marcus Hogberg drew the start.

While Ottawa sports the better overall lottery odds thanks to the Sharks, this is a win the Red Wings needed badly. Could they respond after being embarrassed on Thursday?

1st Period

Bertuzzi was quick to get the first look of the game after grabbing a steal out front of the Senators net and testing Hogberg early with the netminder making the save. The Senators came the other way on a rush following the play with Tierney getting an opportunity but his shot was deflected over the net.

Sam Gagner got the first penalty of the game on a weak slash shortly after that sending the Wings to the early penalty kill. The Senators did a good job cycling the puck around on the powerplay and earning a few good looks. But Bernier stopped all 4 shots he faced on the powerplay.

The Wings were in scramble mode for a few moments following the end of the penalty. But on a turnover by Chabot at the offensive blue line led to Erne getting a partial 2 on 1 break with Nielsen. Erne fought off Chabot and slid the puck across the crease to a crashing Nielsen who redirected it into the back of the net, 1-0 Red Wings!

With the quick counter-strike score by Nielsen the Wings got the early jump on the Senators. The game had some end to end pace early on through the first half of the opening period. Bernier was sharp through this early portion having to face several high quality shot attempts from the Senators through the first 10:00. The Wings gave up what seemed like more than half of a dozen odd man rushes early on and counted on Bernier to bail them out.

Timashov in his debut was seeing time with Nielsen and Erne. But early on it was the trio of Filppula, Mantha, and Gagner getting the best offensive pressure for Detroit. With just under 5:00 to play Detroit got their first powerplay chance after Nick Paul taking a hooking penalty through the neutral zone. During the man advantage the Wings seemed to be able to gain the offensive zone with ease but had trouble generating any good chance. They maintained control in the offensive zone after the powerplay expired but still failed to get a good look despite sustained pressure.

Glendening laid a big boom on Brady Tkachuk just inside the blue line knocking the stocky youngster to the ice just inside the Wings zone. The remainder of the period carried on without may plays of note, save for a last second chance for the Senators on a pass attempt that sailed out of the reach of it’s intended recipient as the buzzer sounded.

All in all not a bad period for Detroit, especially after the Minnesota game. Bernier made some tough saves to preserve the lead. Timashov looked to be fitting in quickly and his skill package seems to make it clear why he was a waiver wire target. The shots were 10-10 after the opening frame.

2nd Period

Brady Tkachuk got an early opportunity on a drive from below the goal line to the front of the net displaying his abilities as a power forward. But Tkachuk couldn’t beat Bernier on the play. The Wings appeared to be a team with more jump than we’ve seen recently through the first period and the early moments of the second period.

Mantha also looked to have been getting back up to speed quickly after his injury. His ability to shield and protect pucks was very notable at times to this point. Biega, sporting a jaw protector on his helmet got dumped at the red line by Tkachuk as the defender looked to dump a puck in. The young Ottawa star was making his presence felt in this game.

At just about the 7:00 mark of the second period, Fabbri and Larkin made a nice give and go play to gain the offensive zone entry. As Larkin gained the zone he slid a pass over to Bertuzzi down the left side. Bertuzzi made a behind the back drop pass to Larkin as he the area between the tops of the circles. Larkin wound up for a big wrister and beat Hogberg low to glove side on a shot that may have hit a defender on the way to the net, 2-0 Red Wings!

The goal was Larkin’s 18th of the season, tying him with Bertuzzi for the team lead. At the halfway point of the period the Red Wings held a 7-1 shot advantage in the period. But the Senators started to get some pressure and as one drove the net and then took it to the outside to track behind the net, Bernier jammed his stick into the player’s feet sending him crashing into the boards and was called for a tripping penalty. The Wings survived the penalty kill after the Senators worked the puck around the zone for most of the man advantage but had trouble getting a shot through to the net. As the penalty expired, Fabbri who was serving the minor was almost sprung for a break but was just offside on the play.

Shortly after that it was Biega who was next to be called for an infraction on a hook in front of the Detroit net. The Senators again worked the puck around the perimeter of the Detroit zone. This time they eventually worked the puck to Anisimov at the top of the circle to Bernier’s right. Anisimov utilized a screen in front to beat Bernier with a shot high to the short side, 2-1.

The Wings had played a relatively good game to this point but were getting themselves into penalty trouble. After the early shot advantage in the period, the Senators had once again squared the shots up thanks in large part to the two man advantages. But the Wings were scrambling in the closing minutes of the middle period. Bernier came up with a big save on Boedker on a 2 on 1 where the Senators forward kept the puck on the play. Bernier extended his pad to kick the shot that was low to the far side into the corner. The Red Wings tried to turn the pressure back to the Senators end late in the period thanks to a strong shift from the Larkin, Fabbri, and Bertuzzi. However at the end of the shift with 1:20 to play Larkin caught Chabot with a high stick taking yet another Detroit penalty. It was a pretty clear call with Larkin even apologising to Chabot after the ensuing whistle.

Helm did a great job early on the penalty kill, holding the puck down low in the Ottawa zone eating up some clock. Bernier came up with a save on a net mouth scramble in the closing seconds of the period forcing the remainder of the penalty to carry over.

After a good showing early in the period the Wings were on their heels most of the latter half of the period, largely due to three penalties. They’d have to clean that up if they wanted to hold onto their lead in the 3rd period.

3rd Period

Detroit killed off what was left of the Larkin penalty without allowing the Senators to gain the offensive zone. But 1:48 into the final period, Fabbri failed to clear a puck on a play at the blue line. Sabourin picked up the loose puck and drove the net from the left side. He threw a backhand on goal that then popped up banked off his pants and fluttered over Bernier hitting him in the back and then trickling back into the net, 2-2.

Tough break for the Wings on a bad bounce but it came after some sustained pressure by the Senators. Ottawa continued to pressure after the goal. Bernier came up with a big time save when he stretched his leg out to deny Paul on a rebound play in the slot. The Wings had a chance when they countered off of a Ottawa rush with Larkin gaining the offensive line and pulling up before sending a pass across the net down low to Fabbri who quickly tried to one touch the puck back across the crease to Bertuzzi for what would have been a tap in. But the Ottawa defender on the play was able to knock it away. In hindsight it would have been a better idea for Fabbri to attempt a shot on the play as he was in tight.

Just past the 6:00 mark of the final period the Senators continued to push the play getting a two on one chance with Hawryluk making a nice saucer pass over a prone Hronek onto the stick of Anisimov. Anisimov made no mistake on the play beating Bernier high to the right side as the goaltender tried to slide across the net to make the save, 3-2 Senators.

The Wings were falling apart giving up chance after chance to the Senators without much punch back of their own. The Wings were given an opportunity to get back into the game when Zaitsev took a tripping penalty at the Ottawa blue line. The Wings moved quick on the powerplay, with the puck moving to Hronek at the left point. He floated a wrister into traffic at the front of the net. Sam Gagner deflected the puck in the high slot redirecting the puck to the far side low corner fooling Hogberg, 3-3.

The Wings got a desperately needed powerplay goal to even this game up and stop the bleeding. The goal gave the Wings some life with Biega following up the goal with a partial break trying to fight off Englund driving to the net. Biega only managed to get a one handed backhand shot on net on the play. On the sequence following the chance, Bernier almost got caught playing a puck behind the net and turning it over. He managed to get back in the net just in time.

Both teams started to get a bit more conservative over the final few minutes of the final period, looking not to be the ones to make the mistake that cost their team the game. They traded some outside shots but neither team got any Grade A looks as the period ticked down to the final buzzer. Off to overtime!


Detroit opened the overtime period with Mantha, Larkin, and Hronek. Ottawa won the faceoff to get the first chance to end the game. Ottawa carried the puck around the perimeter and circled back to their own end a couple times before sending a loose shot towards the goal. Larkin picked up the rebound and tried to hit Mantha for a breakaway but the big forward didn’t have enough gas to beat Chabot back.

It was Anisimov who had the best chance to end it early picking up a loose puck in front of Bernier, evading a poke check from the goaltender and trying to extend past him to the far side of the goal but Bernier came up with two point blank saves to extend the game.

But just after that Fabbri picked up a tripping penalty with 2:34 remaining sending Ottawa to the 4 on 3 advantage. The Wings killed off the first 1:00 of the powerplay without allowing a shot and clearing it one more time forcing the Senators to regroup. Hronek raced down the ice to eat up more clock. It wasn’t until there was 0:10 remaining in the powerplay before the Senators got a shot. They then hit the Wings with a flurry over the remaining 30 seconds including a between the legs shot from Tkachuk but Bernier stonewalled them to close out overtime.


Ottawa was first up in the shootout, with defenseman Reilly leading off. He tried to go backhand deke but couldn’t beat Bernier.

Larkin opened for Detroit. Larkin came in slowly from the right side across the crease before trying to cut back to his right but Hogberg stayed with him steering the shot wide.

Anisimov was next up coming down the middle making a couple of dekes before tucking a backhand goal five hole on Bernier.

Attempting to even it up was Fabbri who came in from the left side, and tried to fake a couple shots before going to the backhand but Hogberg was all over it never giving any room.

Bobby Ryan came in to close for the Senators. He approached Bernier straight up the middle and meandered back and forth as he approached before trying to beat Bernier low to the glove side but Bernier was able to snag it.

The do or die final attempt by the Red Wings was in the hands of Bertuzzi. He kept the puck mostly on his backhand side before trying to quickly switch it back to his forehand at the last moment but Hogberg stayed with him forcing him to shoot the puck high over the net.

Senators win 4-3 via the shootout.

Wrapping Up

The Red Wings can thank Bernier for keeping them alive in this one and getting them to the shootout. Their offensive opportunities were pretty limited in this game and manged to capitalise on their chances early. Another blown lead is something that’s going to sting, but they can at least leave the rink tonight knowing they showed some signs of life. Larkin picked up a goal and assist. Timashov managed up 11:00 TOI in his Red Wings debut. Sam Gagner scored his first as a Red Wing, on a powerplay deflection while racking up 14:35 TOI. The team relied heavily on Hronek on the back end as he had a game high 27:08 TOI while Cholowski, Ericsson, and Daley were all under 13:00. Ultimately, the team gave up way too many chances without keeping pace with their own. Bernier faced 39 shots with the Wings putting 28 on the net. But compared to the Minnesota game on Thursday this was a much better performance, so progress.