Red Wings have the shakiest of starts, but come back with 3 straight goals for a 3-2 overtime winner against Edmonton.
The Red Wings continue to struggle to find their legs in the first period. Play was largely dominated by the Oilers and they were rewarded for it. On a defensive breakdown inside their own zone, Taylor Hall was able to bring the puck in past 4 Wings players, and get a fortunate bounce for the first goal of the game at 3:34. It seemed to wake up the Wing’s defense, but the offense still looked like it was skating around in a haze for the period. They went into the dressing room down 1-0.
While play was still largely dictated by Edmonton in the 2nd, the Wings started showing up offensively finally. They recorded a handful more shots, even if none of them were buried. Even for all their effort, on a blown “holding the stick” penalty to Taylor Hall on Jonathan Ericsson, Sam Gagner was able to bang home a rebound for Edmonton’s 2nd of the night. The Wings failed to get a goal in the period, and entered the dressing room trailing in shots in the game 26 to 14.
The Wings finally decided the 3rd period was a good time to completely show up to the game. Their hits, shots, and offensive pressure picked up by more than a two-fold. They got their first goal of the game at 4:27, off a backhand shot from Valtteri Filppula in the slot for his 6th of the season and 2nd in two games. Assist went to Henrik Zetterberg. They then got their 2nd road power play goal of the season, off a very lucky break. Niklas Kronwall fired a shot from the point, and in an attempt to get the rebound, Jeff Petry inadvertently shot the puck into his own net, crediting the goal to Kronwall for his 5th of the season and tying the game at 14:07. Only other meaningful thing in the period was Kyle Quincey taking a deflected puck to his face at 17:59. He immediately went back to the dressing room, and the Red Wings and Oilers went to overtime.
A fairly unremarkable overtime period was capped off spectacularly by Pavel Datsyuk, with his first goal in 11 games, at 3:39 of the overtime period. The assists came from Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall. He dangled the puck around 2 Oilers defenders to get a fling off at the net and beat Devin Dubnyk for the game winning goal. They somehow salvaged the 2 points out of this game.
I’m utterly flabbergasted at this game. Contrary to many of their previous games this season, they slept through 2 periods, and somehow held on to get the win.
The Good: The power play continues to produce on the road. They need this, so badly. You will not get very far post-season if your special teams cannot produce. This is a good sign.
The Bad: While it is producing, the power play still needs to tighten up defensively. They seem to have addressed their turnovers/giveaways problem, but sometimes it looks like the power play is killing off itself.
The Ugly: I don’t know if they’re unmotivated, tired, bored, angry, nauseated, whatever the excuse may be, they still sleep through 20 – 40 minutes a game. You WILL NOT go far at all playing like that. They need to show up in the first, and keep the pressure on through the entire game.
The Red Wings head to Vancouver to play the Canucks tomorrow night. They’ll be tired, but hopefully this win can give them a decent second-wind.