The first period was largely uneventful from either side, as each team, who’ve been decimated by injuries so far in the season, took the time to feel each other out and comfortably get their legs underneath them. The Red Wings killed off a handful of penalties in the period to keep the game scoreless leaving the period. Vancouver held an 8-7 edge in shots leaving the stanza.
Detroit would finally get on the board to open the second period. At 1:08, Henrik Zetterberg shielded the puck, as he does so well, and let off a backhand pass to Justin Abdelkader, who sniped the puck from the faceoff circle top-corner on goaltender Eddie Lack, who played far too deep in his crease on the shot and saw it sail over his shoulder to make it 1-0 Detroit. No more offense would be mustered from either side in the period, and Vancouver again held the slight edge in shots after two periods at 21-19.
The third period was largely a mirror of the first, with the penalty kill being a huge contributing factor in the resulting win. Abdelkader would net another one before the night was out, getting the insurance empty net goal at 19:44 on a power play, when he out-battled a Canucks’ defender and got the last tip on the tip, sending it sliding into the goal mouth. They’d take away the 2-0 shutout victory, a combined effort between Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson, who left after the first period with dizziness, and the two points in the standings to secure the last wild card spot.
This was the last home game until the Lidstrom jersey retirement in March, so they’ve got a bit of a tough stretch ahead going into and coming out of the Olympic break. Next matchup is Thursday night against the Florida Panthers. See you then, Nation!