Power-plays were the theme of the first period; there were four total, three for Detroit. Michael Raffl was sent off for hooking at 6:49 for Philadelphia’s first penalty, and the Wings capitalized. Todd Bertuzzi opened the scoring at 7:13 with a nifty wraparound past Flyers goalie Ray Emery. The goal was assisted by Daniel Alfredsson and Niklas Kronwall. The Flyers took two more penalties in the period, but killed them both off. The Wings held a 10-9 shot advantage and led 1-0 after twenty minutes. The sides combined for eight penalty minutes in the second period as well, but again, the Red Wings were the only team to capitalize. Kronwall scored at 11:08, expanding the lead to 2-0. Alfredsson recorded another assist, and Henrik Zetterberg was credited with a helper as well. The two-goal lead lasted only 34 seconds, however, as Erik Gustafsson scored his first of the season at 11:42. Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds were credited with assists. The Flyers registered 15 shots in the second period, but Jimmy Howard (wearing pink pads to promote breast cancer awareness) stood tall, allowing just the one to Gustafsson. Wings led 2-1 after 40.
An early third-period penalty to Braydon Coburn opened the door for some Datsyukian magic. At 3:08, Datsyuk potted Detroit’s third goal (and third on the man advantage) with a filthy backhander that I feel is an early candidate for goal of the year. Kronwall and Alfredsson assisted. The Flyers would get one back at 5:46, as Tye McGinn scored his first of the year to cut the lead to 3-2. Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek were credited with the assists; for Giroux, it was his first point of the new campaign. Zetterberg restored the two-goal lead at 13:48 with his third goal of the season (assisted by Datsyuk and Kyle Quincey) and put the game away at 19:07, as he fired one into the empty net. Datsyuk recorded his second assist (and third point of the period!) on the goal, and Daniel Cleary registered the second assist. Final score: 5-2, Wings.
The Red Wings bounced back in a big way after dropping their previous two in unimpressive fashion. Howard was solid in net, making 32 saves, and the Wings offense shredded Emery and the always-suspect Flyers defense. The power-play was given seven chances and converted thrice, while the penalty-kill was a perfect four-for-four. All-in-all, a good day. The Wings are back in action Monday for a Columbus Day tilt in Boston; hopefully they’ll prove to be decent competition for the Bruins this time around.