Shot blocking and defensive pressure were the stories of this game. Each team had very few shots on goal through each period. The scoring wasn’t opened till 12:15 of the first period, as Alex Edler let off a blast from the point on their power play, beating Jimmy Howard on the near side to put them up 1-0. Just when it looked they would end the period down by a goal, the Red Wings answered. Damien Brunner picked up a turned over puck along the boards, and let off a shot at Cory Schneider. Cory Emmerton was able to get his stick on it between his legs and deflect it in past Schneider for his 5th of the season with 20 seconds left in the period. The Wings would end the period with a 9-4 advantage in shots.
The second period was a defensive battle by both teams. High pressure and lots of blocked shots kept the period scoreless throughout. The Red Wings would go to the dressing room with another lead in shots, 13-11.
The Red Wings’ shot attempts exploded in the 3rd period, but the score remained the same throughout. Only a few scoring chances for either side, but good defensive pressure and coverage would push the game to overtime, giving Detroit a crucial point, and clinching a playoff spot for Vancouver. The Red Wings dominated and dictated most of the play in the overtime period, confining the majority of play in the offensive zone. It wouldn’t be enough though, as yet another scoreless period would go into yet another shootout.
Ryan Kesler started the shootout for Vancouver. He was stopped by Jimmy Howard with the left pad. Pavel Datysuk went up first for Detroit, attempting a toe-drag but lost it at the last second and couldn’t get the shot off. Derek Roy brought the puck in wide on Howard, but had it poked out as he tried to get the shot off. Henrik Zetterberg was up second for Detroit. He let on a small deke from the backhand to the forehand to shoot, but was stopped just after the shot came off. Maxim Lapierre would be the goal-scorer and game-winner for the Canucks. He came in at a crawl on Howard, putting the puck back and forth quickly in front of the net, and putting it up on the backhand high over Howard’s stick and in. Damien Brunner was last for Detroit. He brought the puck in quickly and tried a simple wrister past Schneider, but had it saved easily.
The Good: They're coming out to play right out of the gate finally, which has been a problem for them all season. It’s been taking them at least a period to get their heads into the game and start playing with some ferocity. It’s very good to see them jumping on the play right from the get-go.
The Bad: The power play. It has regressed to almost worse than it was to start the season. If they ever want to win these crucial game consistently or advance anywhere in the playoffs, their special teams need to produce. The penalty kill and even-strength play alone will not save them.
The Ugly: Too many of their shot attempts are being blocked, mainly because a lot of their attempts come from the point and along the boards. They need to take it to the net consistently and put them on goal. Perimeter hockey will not win games.
The Red Wings get a night off and then come back home to the Joe to take on the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday in what is sure to be a playoff-intensity game, as both teams continue the battle for the last playoff spot in the West.