It’s not every day that you can give up four goals and emerge victorious. Fortunately you don’t need it to happen everyday, just today.
The Wing’s top line clicked despite some serious defensive lapses and the Wings defeated the Devils by a score of 7-4. This game was all about Johan Franzen and he got things started early. After carrying it into the offensive zone just prior to the 14 minute mark, Franzen made a pass back to the point, where Brendan Smith picked up the puck and let it fly from the top of the circles, beating Schneider for Detroit’s first of the night.
Franzen decided to make the next one happen, as Nyquist received a pass from Legwand and let a shot fly about five minutes into the second period. Franzen, at the front of the net, got a tiny piece of it and put Detroit up 2-0.
Mark Fayne went off for an interference call at 7:47 of the second period and it looked like Detroit was going to have a chance to put this one away early. Unfortunately, the exact opposite happened. Tomas Tatar fumbled a pass and Patrick Elias capitalized on the mistake, taking the puck to the top of the circles and ripping a slap shot past Jonas Gustavsson for the Devil’s first of the night. The goal was both short handed and unassisted.
The Devils weren’t done there though. Jagr carried the puck into the offensive zone and Kronwall attempted to stop him, as did Luke Glendening. Jagr exercised his old man strength and both Red Wings simply bounced off of him, as he scored his 701st career goal, tying the game up.
Mike Babcock used his time out to try and calm the Red Wings, who were quickly losing control of this game. This did nothing to stop Adam Henrique, who was able to deflect a shot right in front of Gustavsson to give the Devils a 3-2 lead. At this point, Detroit’s defense almost looked as though they didn’t care to return to the playoffs this year.
It was also at this point that Johan Franzen decided he’d had just about enough of this ‘maybe no playoffs’ talk. Detroit took to the power play after the Devils took a delay of game penalty (puck over the glass). Todd Bertuzzi had a beautiful feed to Franzen between the circles and he quickly made it a tie game.
David Legwand continued to make things happen by feeding Gustav Nyquist, giving Detroit the lead again. The Red Wings even had a contribution outside of their first line, as Riley Sheehan fed Kyle Quincy with a drop past and he was able to rip a slapshot from the point (are you noticing a trend yet?).
At this point, having seen so many neat goals, David Legwand decided to try it for himself. Franzen was kind enough to assist him after stripping a Devils defender and taking a shot at Schneider. Legwand buried the rebound and the crowd erupted to celebrate Legwand’s first goal as a Detroit Red Wing. Franzen made sure to pick up the puck and bring it back to the bench so Legwand could remember this one forever.
Drew Miller contributed a garbage goal, as did Adam Henrique, and the Wings beat the Devils by a final score of 7-4. Franzen seemed like he was in some sort of trance at the end of the game, sitting with his eyes close and his mouth piece hanging out of his mouth. Let’s all hope it was a moment of zen and not another damn injury. David Legwand was named the first star of the game with the game-winning goal and two assists.
I don’t want to read into the game too much. Yeah that top line really clicked but you know the Devils aren’t exactly the premier team of the league right now. Plus the defense tonight was atrocious, the Wings were lucky to be facing Cory Schnieder, who you’ll remember was a part of Detroit scoring nine against Vancouver last season. If nothing else, this will encourage Detroit’s opposition to pay a lot more attention to their top line, it’ll be interesting to see how they react.
The Red Wings will be in action again Sunday afternoon against the New York Rangers at 12:30.