Wings quack through Anaheim’s defense, win in overtime comeback thriller

4-3 Red Wings

Wings in lower Los Angeles for a tilt against the Ducks, trying not to get swept in the season series by the foul fowl & Fowler.

1st Period

The FS-D scorebug starts us off with a 1-0 advantage as the puck drops. It’s not true but it’s nice to start with this kind of hope. The first lap around the lines goes pretty quickly, with no whistles for almost four minutes. The Ducks carry most of the early play, winning three of those four line matchups (The Fabbri line being the exception). Mantha’s 2nd shift gets him in the Ducks’ zone on a break that he fires wide. On the 2nd shift for Fabbri’s line, the  new acquisition draws a holding call to get Detroit a powerplay opportunity; this two minutes nets the Wings a couple shots on goal, but not much danger.

The next exciting chance belongs to Anaheim off a Madison Bowey turnover in his own end. A cross-ice pass doesn’t connect and the danger is passed, but the Ducks lead in shots 7-2 at this point. Not too long after, the Ducks commit a very similar giveaway to Perlini leading to a Wings scoring chance that Ryan Miller swallows up.

Just before our second commercial break, the Larkin line strings together a few passes for what feels like the first time all game and we get a nice-looking scoring chance out of it. Drew’s ugly brother stops this too though.

Things settle here over the next few minutes, but the Wings are slowly gathering momentum and working on evening the shot counter.  Right as that happens, the Ducks really heat up as Anthony Mantha does SOMETHING to bring out the inner big dumb baby in Ryan Getzlaf, who slashes angrily at Big Mo several times. Somehow in all the penalties, Detroit doesn’t end up on the power play. Givani Smith immediately drops the gloves with Nicolas Deslauriers on the puck drop, you know... to cool things down again (he probably doesn’t win the fight but it’s entertaining at least)

Ken Daniels correctly uses the word “penultimate” just before AA makes a good pass to bust in Fabbri and Filppula for a grade-A scoring chance. Probably not related, but Daniels should bust out his dictionary just in case.

The Score: 0-0
The Shots: 10-9 Wings
Standout Players: Cholowski, Fabbri, Athanasiou, Nielsen
All Summed Up: Ignore the first eight minutes and you’ve got a pretty good period.

2nd Period

Well this period could have started better. The Ducks move the puck into the Wings’ end and into Bernier’s crease. Everybody is kind of standing around when Silfverberg pokes it in. The refs confab and try to decide whether they want to say intent-to-blow and agree that it’s a good goal. 1-0 Ducks.

Not even 30 seconds later, Josh Mahura goes top shelf off a zone entry drop-pass shot past a screen and it’s 2-0 Anaheim. Blashill challenges for goaltender interference and is wrong about RItchie bumping his glove hand, so the Wings also go shorthanded.

The Wings manage to kill off the Blashill penalty and Adam Erne emerges from the whipping boy box.  The Larkin line tries to regain some momentum for the Wings to try and kickstart the comeback, but after not scoring on the follow-up shift, the Wings  have a number of breakdowns on their follow-up shifts which lead to more Ducks’ chances.

The Wings’ first shot of the period comes 7:13 into the period, an unscreened wrister from Helm at the top of the circle that Miller easily gloves.  We immediately get a commercial break to think about that.

Coming out of the break, Blashill puts the Biega-McIlrath pairing out behind the Larkin line (like putting bicycle tires on a Ferrari).  The result here is that Biega takes an interference penalty and Anaheim gets another power play.  Ken mentions how bad Anaheim’s power play is, so I expect them to score. Magically I am proven wrong, and the best scoring chance comes from a shorthanded feed from Larkin to Helm which forces Ryan Miller to make a save.

I’m right in the middle of complaining about how we’re more than 11 minutes into the period and only have two Darren Helm shots to show for it when Bertuzzi and Bowey set up Filip Hronek for a one-timer that makes it 2-1 on the Wings’ 13th shot of the night.

The Wings take some small energy from the goal, but dont’ manage to turn that into another shot on goal before the Ducks score again. Aggressive forechecking by Kase and Getzlaf leads to a pass from behind the net to Cam Fowler on the back door.

Anthony Mantha blows a chance at a wide-open net on the very next shift and It’s starting to feel like the Wings winning streak might be at risk.

Before the end of the period, we get back to within one goal as Valtteri Filppula steals a puck in the zone, spins & fires a wrister that AA redirects from right in front to make it 3-2 Anaheim.

Nothing doing for the remaining time.

The Score: 3-2 Ducks
The Shots: 21-18 Anaheim
Standout Players: Helm, Ehn, Hronek
All Summed Up: Wings played a sloppy period and are lucky to be down only one.

3rd Period

Athanasiou gets a good opportunity for a shot off an early third period rush and the Wings continue a good start through the opening moves of the third. This isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though, as the Ducks very nearly capitalize on a bad turnover by Hronek four minutes in. Bernier sprawls and Bowey helps keeps the puck out, but my pucker-factor is going to need to be reset.

Detroit heads into the first commercial break with a pending power play created by another good rush from the Filppula line, leading to a hooking call on Troy Terry. The first 30 seconds of this power play are spent trying not to give up a shorty, so yay. Detroit gets set up after a minute and get a shot after 90 seconds. The 2nd unit comes on for the last of it and Perlini just misses a rebound chance, but if the Wings are going to tie this one, it’s not going to be on this power play.

We float down to under 9 minutes to go and Filppula continues his strong play with a steal and a shot on goal that Miller gets just enough of to force it wide.

Under six minutes and shots are 25-25. Both teams grinding for space as the clock gets friendlier and friendlier to the Ducks.

Detroit comes out of the last commercial break with 2:12 left to go - their net is empty and the faceoff is in the Ducks’ end. Filppula is the go-to faceoff man at this point (he wins the draw).  The Ducks ice it and another faceoff win leads to an Anaheim tripping penalty as Guhle brings down AA - 1:31 remains. After a quick clear, AA bursts in with speed and draws another penalty on Holzer. Larkin almost scores on the continuation. 1:10.

Filppula wins a faceoff, Miller stops a Hronek shot. Filppula wins another faceoff, Mantha shoots, Miller stops, Larkin SCORES 3-3 GAME!

The Wings continue on the power play and Anaheim finishes regulation with the best scoring chance. Yikes.


Wings start the extra period with a 4-on-3 advantage as Holzer still has 50 seconds left on his penalty. The Wings get one shot on goal that Miller saves over the glass right as the penalty expires so we don’t get 4-on-4 overtime.

AA wins the follow-on faceoff and gets a chance stopped, leading to the Ducks’ first turn at scoring in the extra period. They cycle well but Bernier makes the saves he needs to. As the shift drags, AA gets to sneak off for Larkin after a quick clear. A puck bounces up ice with Larkin chasing that Miller comes almost all the way to the blue line to cut off. The Ducks’ goalie throws it away from Larkin, but Fabbri gets it along the boards and makes a nifty feed to Dennis Cholowski jumping up on the play. C-lo skates it in and snipes one past Miller for the game-winner.

The Score: 4-3 Wings win
The Shots: 36-27 Wings
Standout Players: Filppula, Larkin, Bertuzzi, Cholowski
All Summed Up: Laugh last, laugh best.

Final Thoughts

I’m really liking the chemistry of the AA-Flip-Fabbri line. For some weird reason, Fabbri wearing 14 didn’t really hit me until tonight.  He doesn’t look, stand or skate anything like Nyquist usually, but had a few brief looks tonight where he did.

I’ve been critical of Madison Bowey lately but I think he ended up playing a pretty solid game overall. On the other end of it, the Biega-McIlrath pairing was scary. Interesting playing time breakout for the defense, as Cholowski, Hronek, and Green all had more than 24 minutes (Cholowski played almost 27), while that scary third pairing each played under 15. Bowey came in just shy of 17 minutes.

Speaking of TOI - Givani Smith’s fight didn’t help, nor did the special teams flow, but 6:57 is pretty low.

Wings are back in action on Thursday to take on the Kings in Los Angeles proper.