The Detroit Red Wings lose out on a crucial two points, as they drop a disappointing game 4-3 to the New Jersey Devils.
Though both teams were quick out of the gate for the first period, it would be an untimely turnover that led to the Devils’ first goal. Just 27 seconds into the game, Adam Henrique took control of a turnover in front of Jimmy Howard and buried it to take the early 1-0 lead. Detroit would fight back though, halfway through the period at 11:26 on the power play, when Johan Franzen made a great moving coming out of the corner with the puck, and quickly released it over Martin Brodeur and in to tie the game 1-1. Shots through one period ended at 8-7 in favor of New Jersey.
The second period was a much, much harder fought effort by the Red Wings. They would put another on the board at 7:03, when Justin Abdelkader made a good pass from his knees to a streaking Brendan Smith through the slot, who buried the wrister to take the 2-1 lead, his first goal in 20 games. The rest of the period was a good defensive effort by the Wings, holding the Devils away from their net and muddling up the neutral zone. Shots through two periods ended at 19-15 in favor of Detroit.
After such a great first two periods by Detroit, the third was where in unquestionably all fell apart. Just 41 seconds into the period, Marek Zidlicky let a shot off from the point that Howard caught. But in a scramble in front of him, Jonathan Ericsson managed to get his stick up and knock the puck out of Howard’s glove and over him, allowing it to slide into the goal, tying the game 2-2. They would strike again at 6:30, when Howard made an initial save off of Jaromir Jagr. The rebound went to a flying Travis Zajac, who backhanded it over a sprawled Howard for the 3-2 lead. Detroit fought back again though, at 9:43 on the power play, when Gustav Nyquist fed a pass to Franzen in the slot, who fired the puck on net with Todd Bertuzzi screening. The puck grazed Bertuzzi on the way and past Brodeur for the 3-3 tie. The dagger came at 19:23, when a shot let off from the point by New Jersey was tipped in front of the net by Stephen Gionta and up into the top corner to take the 4-3 lead with just 37 seconds left in the game. The Red Wings would attempt the 6-on-5, but came up short, and the final score stood. Final shot totals were 29-23 in favor of the Devils.
This was a disheartening loss. Not only in the sense that the two points were so crucial to us in the standings, but also from the standpoint that they DID play a solid game. They were fast from the start, and although their play tapered down towards the end as the Devils built momentum, they never stopped fighting. Some costly turnovers and bad breaks caused them to shoot themselves in the foot in this one. Hopefully it’s a better result next game, which is Thursday night against the Colorado Avalanche on Nick Lidstrom jersey retirement night. See you then, Nation.