The Red Wings seemingly roared out of the gate, applying a lot of offensive pressure on the hosts. The hard work paid off when Damien Brunner buried a Pavel Datsyuk pass behind Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper 8:48 in to give the Wings a 1-0 lead. Detroit outshot Minnesota 14-8 in the first period and clearly were the ones dictating play. After one they led 1-0.
Things got interesting in the second. Datsyuk scored in the first minute on a nifty feed from Zetterberg and the Wings took another 2-0 lead. Then the Wild went to work. After buzzing around Petr Mrazek for the better part of the first half of the second period, Dany Heatley got the Wild on the board at the 9:35 mark. Less than four minutes later, Jason Zucker scored his first of the year on a two on one to tie the game. Thirty-two seconds later, Torrey Mitchell scored HIS first of the season to put the Wild on top 3-2. The Wings seemingly used all their energy in the first period; they looked tired and overmatched during the second period. A Devin Setoguchi double-minor seemed to be the break the Wings needed, but alas, the disjointed power play failed to even up the score. The Wild led 3-2 after two.
The Red Wings continued their uninspired offensive play in the third period, although they tightened up their defense and kept it close. The Wings managed only two shots in the first 11 minutes of the period; the Wild managed five. Late in the period the Wings got another power play but failed to convert; they have yet to score a power play goal on the road this season. Final score: Wild 3, Red Wings 2.
This was not a good game. After a spirited first period the Wings lapsed and slumbered through the final 40. A couple of the Wings’ more glaring issues showed up once again: their putrid power play and their inability to close, as they blew another two goal lead in this one. Nearly one-third of the way through and the Red Wings currently sit outside the top eight in the West. It doesn’t get any easier next game, which is Tuesday in Nashville. Rough loss tonight and it could turn into a critical one.