The Red Wings complete the weekend sweep of the Ducks, downing them 2-1 in a hard fought 3rd period battle.
The Red Wings finally find their high pressure button early in the game. They kept the checking up in the offensive zone through the vast majority of the period and it definitely paid off. Daniel Cleary opened the scoring at 4:14 of the period on the power play, with a deflection from a slap shot from Jakub Kindl at the point. It was his 7th of the season, and marked the 5th straight road game that the Red Wings scored a power play goal in. Drew Miller put one in shortly after at 8:46, tapping in his 4th of the season through Jonas Hiller’s 5-hole in a scrum for the puck in front of the net. Their pressure dropped a little towards the end of the period, but with a great effort from Jimmy Howard, they kept it 2-0 after one.
The second period was much more even in terms of pressure than the first was. A couple penalties that weren’t converted on for both sides, until late in the period. On a very questionable interference call to Daniel Cleary, Ryan Getzlaf was able to slip one in past Howard at 19:14 to make it 2-1 Wings for the period.
The third period was a high-pressure, very defensive effort from both ends. The Red Wings seemed to have troubles getting the puck into the zone and holding pressure. Most of the play was confined to their defensive end, and Jimmy Howard shone in the challenge. The last 3 minutes were all Ducks. Their pressure was intense, and the Wings looked like they were completely under siege. Luckily they withstood the barrage and the Ducks took a timely penalty with less than a minute left in the game, and with some choice word for the officials, Ryan Getzlaf was thrown out of the game. Jimmy Howard came up with the save of the game from a point-blank shot in the middle of the slot, to keep the game from going to overtime, sealing it 2-1 for the Wings.
Those last few minutes were intense. And that octopus on the ice was probably the highlight of the game.
The Good: The penalty kill still look amazing. They look like they respond very well to pressure and are very responsible around the net.
The Bad: Their pressure seems to dip a little after long bursts in the first period. They need to keep consistent pressure through the whole game if they want to perform in the post season.
The Relieving: Ian White shaved his ‘stache. And suddenly all is right with the world.
The Wings head slightly East tomorrow for another late night game against the Coyotes.