Jimmy Howard records his 2nd shutout this season, in a 3 - 0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
The first period was largely uneventful. The Wings didn’t seem to have their footing and both teams showed shaky passes. Their best scoring chance of the period came from a spinning pass from Pavel Datsyuk to the stick of Kyle Quincey, who shot the puck just high on the net and hit the crossbar.
Their offense came to life in the second period, as the whole team looked to finally stabilize. 3:16 into the period, Jakub Kindl fended off 3 Oilers defenders to wrist a shot that trickled out of Devin Dubnyk’s 5-hole for his 2nd goal of the season and the Wings’ first of the game. Later, at 12:19 of the period, Cory Emmerton took a stretch-pass at the top of the slot from Drew Miller and fired a missile that beat Dubnyk for his 2nd of the season. Pavel Datsyuk also assisted on the goal. The Wings finished the period out-shooting Edmonton 23 shot to 13 on the game.
As has been the story of their game for the last 2 decades, the Wings took the 5-on-5 dominance through the entire 3rd period. No penalties called for either side kept it even strength the whole way. The Wings focused defensively the whole period, keeping Edmonton mostly out of their zone. Justin Abedelkader finally put home his 1st of the season on an empty-net goal at 18:50. Assists went to Damien Brunner and Henrik Zetterberg. Jimmy Howard finished the shutout for the 2nd one of the season.
Puck possession played the big role in this tale. Sustained pressure in Edmonton’s zone wore them down and kept the vast majority of scoring chances out of the Wings’ zone.
The Good: The bottom 6 forwards are still producing, after such a long draught at the beginning of the season. It’s very encouraging to see the chemistry persisting between them.
The Bad: Giveaways continue to be a problem, and the lone power play the Wings got in the first period still went unconverted on. And they were home this time, where they’ve gotten every one of their PPG this season. It needs to be fixed.
The Ugly: The Red Wings seem to be having trouble getting their feet moving through their first periods for the last few games. The second and third periods showcase their trademark style of play, but they really need to start showing up in the first as well. Jimmy won’t always be able to bail them out on bad opposing scoring chances.
The Wings current home-game run ends tonight, so on Saturday they head to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets for the first of a back-to-back with them, the 2nd of which sees them coming back to the Joe on Sunday.