This is getting ridiculous.
Following a four-game home stand that saw the Detroit Red Wings lose each contest in overtime or a shootout, the team took to the road Saturday night in Long Island. Yet despite changing places, the result of a wild back and forth game was still sadly familiar, as the New York Islanders prevailed 5-4 in a shootout.
It came very close to becoming just a garden variety loss for the Red Wings after Pierre-Marc Bouchard put the hosts ahead 4-3 at the 4:43 mark of the third. Detroit mustered just four shots on goal in the final frame, but Pavel Datsyuk made the final one count, putting in a backhand through heavy traffic with just 42.5 seconds left in regulation.
For the second straight night, the Red Wings needed to kill off a penalty in overtime after Jonathan Ericsson was sent off for hooking. They survived the extra session, but none of the Detroit shooters could solve New York goalie Kevin Poulin, meaning Fran’s Nielsen’s goal that opened the shootout stood up as the winner.
The Red Wings fell to 0-4 on the season in games decided by shootout, and the only player who has scored for Detroit this season, Daniel Alfredsson, missed Saturday’s game with an injury. New York has beaten Detroit five straight times dating back several seasons.
Poulin didn’t even start the game for the Isles. Evgeni Nabokov left just 4:12 into the contest while failing to stop the Red Wings’ first shot of the game, a goal by Darren Helm that tied the score at 1-1 just nine seconds after New York captain John Tavares had put his team in front.
Datsyuk tallied on the power play to give Detroit a 2-1 lead at the first break, one that held up for most of the second stanza. But things got much more dramatic later, with goals by Casey Cizikas and Brock Nelson sandwiched around a score by Johan Franzen, his third in two nights.
Franzen also got called for a high sticking double minor just before the second intermission, forcing the Wings to survive nine shots on goal during the ensuing power play. That they managed to do it was due in large part to Gustavsson, who struggled slightly with rebound control throughout the night but also made multiple highlight-caliber stops to keep his squad in the game.
In the end though, it was more of the same for the Red Wings, who now get two days off before returning to Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday night to take on the Nashville Predators.
The game was over when:
It ended with the score tied after 60 minutes. Datsyuk’s dramatic goal only delayed the inevitable, as the Wings just can’t find a way to get it done in OT or a shootout. Taking penalties once the game becomes four-on-four definitely doesn’t help.
The Red Wings unsung hero was:
Darren Helm, who has energized the second line and helped spark Franzen. Helm also did his usual good work on the penalty kill, and looked like the player Red Wings fans have been missing for a long time.