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Red Wings Lose Earlier on a Weekday than Normal

Detroit comes off a weekend of losses in games where they at least competed better than in the butt-whoopin’ they took against the Islanders. Two games before the All-Star break. Let’s get the Monday matinee on.

Filppula and Nielsen are in today. Ehn is out (up is down) and Perlini is in.

First Period

The first thing you notice turning into this game is that the mixture of red and black in the stands looks extremely familiar.

The second thing you notice is an Avalanche scoring opportunity.

Alas, the Wings survive the first two minutes and start to play hockey. This turns into a good idea as Dylan Larkin forechecks, steals from Nikita Zadorov and passes out front to Tyler Bertuzzi for an easy tap in just 2:28 into the game to make it 1-0 Wings.

The Avs immediately push back and have it all tied up if not for a fantastic sprawling stop on Tyson Jost and then Matt Nieto by Howard in front of the net after Madison Bowey breaks his stick.  Landeskog skims the post on another rush shortly after as well. Nazem Kadri is tripped by Larkin with no call and he gets very upset about this.

A moment later Frans Nielsen lifts Vladislav Kamenek’s stick on a centering feed by Makar and likely saves a goal in the process. The Avs are up in shots 6-2 at the first commercial break, but Detroit’s two shots are one goal and one real quality chance by Perlini (it’s still not great, but we’re winning).

Just shy of the seven-minute mark, Patrik Nemeth takes a penalty by “taking down” Kadri at the side of the net before he can get to a purposefully-wide rebound. Notice the quotes? Yeah it’s a flop.  Nathan MacKinnon gets a shot from the slot that Howard saves, but no other danger until just after the penalty ends. It’s Nemeth for real this time; he sticks a leg out to take down Andre Burakovsky just coming back into the play and it’s another PK.

The Avs spend a whole lot of time passing around the perimeter to set up shots from the middle and it almost works again, but Abdelkader gets a skate on a Landeskog attempt. From here they start firing away more, but can’t find the net and Nemeth skates free again, gets to watch as Larkin’s line comes out immediately and sets up another scoring chance (off a good clearing feed from Zadina).

Mike Green gets clipped by a Matt Calvert high-stick and the Wings get their first (two) power play(s) of the afternoon thanks to the double-minor. The first half of this sees the Wings barely get a look , as it takes 1:45 to even get set up, but they eventually do and get a scoring chance with Givani Smith at the net-front. Smith can’t get it in, but he does take exception to JT Compher taking a full-cocked swing at the back of Brendan Perlini’s head after the whistle. The first unit comes out and pings the crossbar as a Hronek slap-pass redirects off a Colorado stick.

Blashill sees the PP coming to an end and puts Glendening and Erne out there to try to prevent a push back; they actually create a scoring chance. It’s not their fault, but a lucky bounce immediately springs the Avs up ice on a 2-on-1 that fails to complete the cross-ice pass for a finish. We skate on at 1-0.

With 2:30 left, Tyler Bertuzzi high-sticks Andre Burakovsky and it’s again off to the PK for Detroit trying to feel better about their 0-for-7 night against Florida by hoping against all hope they can kill just as many. This one is also a double-minor.

The Wings kill 90 seconds well enough but break down enough to give Tyson Jost a breakaway chance that he tries to slide backhand under Howard. The goalie gets enough of it and Biega is there in time to help keep it out until the whistle sounds. Glendening helps kill off the remainder of the period.

The Score: 1-0 Wings
The Shots: 18-12 Colorado
Standout Players:  Jimmy Howard, Dylan Larkin, Filip Hronek
The Period All Summed Up: Penalties isn’t a good way to slow down the Avalanche.

Second Period

Detroit gets a minute into the second period before Cale Makar floats a shot through traffic that Kadri tips from the point past Howard to make it a 1-1 game.

The push-back shift isn’t really noticeable in terms of reversing or continuing momentum, but that’s only because it took Makar and MacKinnon off the ice. They come back on immediately after Larkin’s line and MacKinnon makes it 2-1 Avalanche at the back door off a feed from Makar.

BTW Mikko Rantanen had the secondary assist on both of these goals. Y’know, for those of you scoring at home.

Again, the Wings don’t really get anything going for pushback outside of the next Larkin line shift. We get a few minutes before the next scoring chance – this one is another point-blank shot from the slot that Howard has to stop. Landeskog on the attempt. I guess this wakes the Wings up a bit as we finally start to see something resembling sustained pressure. The Avs keep it mostly to the outside and climb out of their zone to put two more chances in before the next break.

A decent shift by Erne-Glendening-Helm leads to a chance for Fabbri coming off the bench that Pavel Francouz has to stop.  Perlini also gets a chance on an odd-man as Fabbri drops to him coming in late for a shot from inside the dot.

For the most part, Detroit plays well strategically through this portion of the period, but they’re all seemingly so focused on moving as a unit that they’re slowing to pace of the unit’s worst skater. Helm, Perlini, Filppula, and even Fabbri get chances to move through center with pace and back off the defense but instead wait for teammates to catch up where it’s perhaps not the right call.

Coming out of the break, Bertuzzi misses a puck in the offensive zone giving Colorado a 3-on-1 rush that Kadri (thankfully) ruins by missing the net. Not long after, Madison Bowey trips Kamenev to prevent a breakaway after he mishandles the puck. Colorado gets another PP chance. Their first attempt is a cheeky net-side deflection attempt by Rantanen which Howard shrugs aside. This is also their only attempt before Bowey escapes the box.

Once again the top line gets on the ice and starts tilting the ice the right way. Tyler Bertuzzi gets a couple scoring chances and Larkin gets interfered with but no change to the score or the scoring through this shift. The period ends with increased intensity, but ends nevertheless.

The Score: 2-1 Avs
The Shots: 34-20 Colorado (16-8)
Standout Players: Dylan Larkin, Luke Glendening
The Period All Summed Up: Colorado was faster than Detroit.

Third Period

13 seconds into the third period and Colorado gets a grade-A scoring chance on another puck centered from behind their own net. The shot goes just over the net, keeping the Wings within one. Another couple scoring chances come before the Wings get into the zone and Bertuzzi rips a quick shot on the rush that Francouz gets his foot on. Next we learn that Mike Green isn’t on the bench and that Frans Nielsen is done for the day, so hooray!

For a few minutes after the opening volley the Wings play uninspired grabass and end up getting hemmed into their own zone until Burakovsky feeds cross-ice to Kadri on the back door to make it 3-1 Avalanche.

As is the Red Wings Way, this goal against quickly leads to another. Matt Nieto 53 seconds later on the fiftieth pass into the slot from behind the net the Avs get against the Wings. Jost with the helper and it’s 4-1 Colorado.

Colorado’s 41st shot on goal is a Val Nuchushkin breakaway backhand attempt that Howard gloves down. He’s given up four goals in this game and he’s probably the Wings’ POTG.

I’m trying very hard to just be checked out for the last 13 minutes of this game, but Dylan Larkin picks up a loose puck in front of the Colorado net and backhands it over Francouz to make it 4-2.

Hell I’m still going to mail this in unless they get a third.

Makar misses top corner on a rush chance.

Larkin off the glove and wide.

Graves from the point with a screen. 5-2.

Givani Smith with his 2nd NHL goal, waiting for one he’s allowed to celebrate. 5-3.

MacKinnon empty-netter 6-3.

(If you want to see a gif of that one go look it up yourself).

Final Score: 6-3 Avs
The Shots: A lot to not as many
Standout Players: Givani Smith
The Period All Summed Up: Shut up

Next up we’ve got Wings/Wild Wednesday!

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