In the most momentous game of the season, and Jimmy Howard’s 16th career shutout, the Red Wings lock up 7th seed in the West to face Anaheim in round 1, blanking the Dallas Stars 3-0.
In the final do-or-die stanza of the regular season, both sides made this game a complete defensive battle. The scoring wasn’t opened until 18:19 of the period, when Henrik Zetterberg tried a centering pass to Justin Abdelkader, the puck bounced off of Alex Goligoski’s skate and past Richard Bachman for a 1-0 Red Wings lead. They’d leave the period with a demanding 18-9 lead in shots.
The second period was an even higher defensive-pressure period. The best scoring chances came off of penalties for both sides, and a double-minor against Dallas for a high-stick on Gustav Nyquist that drew blood close to his eye and forced him to get medical attention. The Red Wings would again leave the period with a ridiculous lead in shots, 26-13.
The Red Wings’ offense exploded in the third period. 1:57 into the period, Henrik Zetterberg took a pass from Pavel Datsyuk on a penalty kill behind the defense for a breakaway, which he put away neatly under Bachman for the Wings’ 2nd of the game and his 11th of the season. Shortly after, Zetterberg kicked the puck to Datsyuk after battling along the boards for it. Datsyuk passed across the wing to Jonathan Ericsson who one-timed the pass from the top of the slot and past Bachman for the 3rd of the game, making it 3-0 at 6:30. That would be the final score of the game.
The Good: THE RED WINGS ARE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS FOR THE 22ND STRAIGHT YEAR. THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS.
See you all in playoffs next week, Nation.