The Red Wings come through once again, pulling themselves into 8th place, and playoff contention by 1 point over Columbus, in a 3-1 victory over the Kings.
The Red Wings finally came out and played like a team that has something to prove right off the get-go. While there were no goals in the first period, thanks to the goaltending of Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Quick, the chances the Wings produced were great. They blocked many, many shots by the Kings, and they’d leave the period with an edge in shots over L.A. 13-4.
The offense finally started clicking, albeit for both sides, in the second period. The Kings would open the scoring in the game at 5:28. In a net-front play, Howard made a great initial save off of a turnover by Brendan Smith, but the puck would elude his reach, and the rebound would be banged in by Kyle Clifford for the first goal of the game. Their lead wouldn’t last too long, though, as at 10:32, Jonathan Ericsson put the puck across the ice from wing-to-wing to Pavel Datsyuk, who backhanded under Quick the Red Wings’ first goal of the game, and his 14th of the season. Henrik Zetterberg also picked up an assist. They would enter the dressing room with another advantage in shots, 26-12.
The Red Wings would continue the offensive push into the third period. At 5:42, Patrick Eaves threw a slap shot from the point towards Quick, but it was redirected by Jordin Tootoo in front of the net, and bounded under his glove and into the net for the Wing’s 2nd of the game and his 3rd of the season. Brendan Smith also picked up an assist. Later, at 13:34, during a power play, Johan Franzen continued his tear through April with another power play goal. Off a pass from Henrik Zetterberg off the side of the net, Franzen wristed in his 13th of the season, and put his team up by 2 goals. Pavel Datsyuk gained the secondary assist. After a hard fought last minute of play, they’d come up with the win by a score of 3-1.
The Good: They’re going to the front of the net and putting butts in opposing goaltenders’ faces and generating good scoring chances, and goals, off of it. We’ve been scored against so many times this way, and it’s awesome to see them finally implementing it themselves.
The Bad: They’re still allowing odd-man rushes at bad moments across the neutral zone. The defense has to be top-notch at the closing points of the season. We need all points possible and plays like that are not going to help. (Looking at you, Smith).
The Hopeful: The power play isn’t bleeding anymore. They seem to have their stride again, and at just the right time, heading into playoff territory. This is very promising.
The Wings get little time off, as they’re due back same time tomorrow night to take on the Nashville Predators in their last meeting this season.