Red Wings drop a hard-fought game 3 – 2 to the Blue Jackets.
The first period wasn’t much different than any of the periods we saw yesterday afternoon; no scoring, no power play conversions, and flat play. Columbus did a lot of work keeping the Red Wings out of their zone for much of the period, batting at the pucks in the neutral zone to prevent any rushes from forming. Detroit was out-shot in the period 6 shots to 4.
Offense for both sides came to life in the second period, though mainly for the wrong side. The Blue Jackets opened the scoring at 3:10, with a slap shot from Derick Brassard from the wing. Detroit answered 30 seconds later, with a pass from Pavel Datsyuk from the boards to a waiting Jakub Kindl in the slot, who slapped home his 3rd of the season and the Wing’s first goal in over 80 regulation minutes. The tie was short-lived, as Columbus converted on a mis-handled puck from Henrik Zetterberg, giving possession to R.J. Umberger who flung in the Jacket’s 2nd of the game at 4:25 from the wing. The Wing’s power play, again, looked flat through the period and prevented them from tying up the game.
The Wings opened the 3rd period immediately with a power play goal on the 5-on-3 advantage from Johan Franzen. He wristed the puck on a net front one-timer from Damien Brunner and Henrik Zetterberg for his 5th of the season. They then went on to leave 2 more power plays unconverted on. Players on both ends then worked on the defensive pressure to keep the game tied, breaking up rushes on both ends to force the game into OT, where neither side made very many scoring chances through the entire 5 minutes, pushing the game to a shootout.
Pavel Datsyuk started the shootout and scores with a simple wrister on Sergei Bobrovsky. Ryan Johansen then scored up high on Jimmy Howard on a great set of dekes. Damien Brunner tried to put the puck up high, but Bobrovsky caught a piece of it on his glove. Matt Calvert then embarrassed Howard with a fake to his left, and a soft deke to the right, slipping the puck into the then-empty net. Henrik Zetterberg had to chance to keep the Wings alive, but tried to wrist the puck to the stick side and came up short.
The Good: They finally, FINALLY convert on a power play. Granted it was on a long 5-on-3 advantage. And it was, once again, at home. And it was at the beginning of the period, so they were all rested. And the ice was nicely resurfaced again. But, we’ll just disregard all those factors for the sake of them getting the goal.
The Bad: Turnovers. And the rest of the power play. Tired of talking about it, so I won’t.
The Utterly Surprising: As much as it pains me to say it, Kyle Quincey looks like he’s finally coming into his own with the Wings. He’s had so much hate slung at him since he was brought to us for a 1st round pick, and he seems to have weathered it all and is starting to blossom. His defensive awareness is good, his shot blocking is better, and he’s making smart, quick plays for the first time that I’ve seen in his time with us. It’s very encouraging. (Who’d’ve thought Kenny Holland knew what he was doing?)
The Red Wings get 2 days off, before starting the first of a long Canadian road trip in Calgary against the Flames for a late night matchup on Wednesday. They just need to get back to their A-game to compete.