The last column on the standings screen on NHL.com is for a team’s current streak. Usually that’s for consecutive wins or losses, but when a team loses in overtime or a shootout, it reads “OT 1.”
Amazingly, the Detroit Red Wings have managed to get their current column entry to “OT 3″ during their current four-game home stand. Despite outshooting the visiting Winnipeg Jets by a 42-19 margin during regulation, the Red Wings could do no better than a 2-2 tie at the end of 30 minutes on Tuesday night. A few minutes later,shootout goals by Devin Setoguchi and Andrew Ladd ensured they earned just one point for the third straight game at Joe Louis Arena.
Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec had a lot to do with that, as the lopsided shot totals began early on. Detroit had plenty of jump in the first period, but it was the visitors who struck first when Bryan Little rifled home a one-timer from the left circle to open the scoring 7:10 in.
Pavel Datsyuk tied it up at the 14:44 mark, ending a 1-for-19 slump for the Detroit power play. After a Todd Bertuzzi miss, the Red Wings managed to keep the puck in the zone until captain Henrik Zetterberg could find Datsyuk low in the right circle, where his hard wrist shot beat Pavelec.
The teams took turns with the momentum in a scoreless second period, but the third began in much the same way as the first. With the Red Wings getting the majority of the scoring chances, Winnipeg scored against the run of play at 10:47. Zach Bogosian came cruising through the slot, froze Jimmy Howard and Brian Lashoff with a deke, and shot into a wide open net to record his first goal of the season.
That lead collapsed shortly thereafter under the weight of two Winnipeg penalties. A 49-second 5-on-3 advantage paid off when Johan Franzen left a rebound in front of the Winnipeg net, allowing Datsyuk to simply tuck it inside the post right after the first penalty expired with 6:49 to play.
The Jets failed to convert on a power play with 1:04 left in overtime, running their streak to 17 straight fruitless man advantages. It didn’t matter after the first two Winnipeg shooters scored in the shootout, and Pavelec saved Bertuzzi’s backhand shot to secure the victory.
Detroit has found the Joe a surprisingly tough place to play as of late. The Red Wings have lost six straight in front of their home fans, though five of the defeats came after regulation. Not too much of the blame can be placed on the captain, as Zetterberg’s assist ran his scoring streak to nine points (four goals, five assists) in his last six games.
Though “OT 4″ doesn’t seem all that crazy at this point, the Wings will try to finish off the home stand with two points on Friday night. Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals come to town for a nationally televised clash that begins at 7:30 at Joe Louis Arena.
The game was over when:
Howard couldn’t find a way to make any saves in the shootout. It’s hard to be too critical of the netminder, who stopped 19 of 21 shots through overtime and was mostly helpless on the game’s first goal, but he certainly can’t be feeling good any time a game goes past 60 minutes right now.
The unsung Red Wings hero was:
Probably Darren Helm. He centered the second line and had it looking dangerous, while also leading all Detroit skaters with four hits.