Fin-to the Wild: Detroit 5, Minnesota 4 (SO)


Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit has been fortunate as of late. The last few teams they played have been more or less AHL level goalies and catching teams on the second half of a back-to-back. Tonight would prove to be a bit more of a challenge, but maybe not to start.

The Red Wings starting line of Sheahan, Miller and Glendening may have suggest that a fight was coming at the start of this game. The only thing remarkable about it, however, turned out to be Glendenning playing on the wing, possibly to be in Koivu’s and Parise’s face. It resulted in an early scoring chance, however, and set the tone early.

Through the first half of the first period there was very few offensive chances, until Teemu Pulkkinen opened things up with his first NHL goal, courtesy of a pass from Stephen Weiss. Pulkkinen received the pass from the slot and ripped a snapshot so hard I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up on Woodward Avenue. The goal even earned comparisons to Brett Hull from Detroit’s broadcasters (though that might be a LITTLE premature).

GIF comes courtesy of Steph, isn’t she great? Check her out on twitter @myregularface

Pulkkinen would go on to take the first penalty of the game as well, going off for two minutes for goalie intererence. Pulkkinen was trying to follow up on a shot and ended up launching himself into Minnesota goalie Devin Dubnyk. Minnesota’s captain Mikko Koivu immediately took advantage and scored seven seconds into the ensuing power play.

The scoring was far from done for the first period, however, as Jonathan Ericsson ripped a shot from the blue line that Dubnyk couldn’t stop thanks to a Justin Abdelkader screen. The Red Wings took a 2-1 lead despite being outshot 6-5 at this point.

The period would end with the Red Wings shorthanded after a questionable hooking call. Minnesota outshot Detroit in the first period 10-6.

The second period with open with Detroit killing the remainder of the penalty thanks to some solid saves from Petr Mrazek. Detroit would get their own chance to go up a man after Kyle Brodziak made a dangerous trip on Gustav Nyquist that bordered on being a slewfoot.

Detroit would be more successful than their western confrence opponent. Zetterberg fed Kronwall a pass and Nyquist was able to deflect the coming shot to make it 3-1, with Nyquist scoring in his third consecutive game.

Minnesota would get a chance to even things up, however, as Luke Glendening would go off for cross checking Charlie Coyle. The Penalty was successfully killed and Xavier Ouellet (I need to get better at spelling that) decided to take things one step further by scoring off a massive rebound left by Dubnyk. At this point the game was 4-1 despite Detroit being outshot 15-9.

Devin Dubnyk was replaced with Darcey Keumper and play continued. Zetterberg attempted to continue his charity work halfway through the second period and high-sticked Matt Cooke in the face. The officials saw it differently, however, and Zetterberg would sit for two minutes. The penalty would be killed and Mrazek would go on to do some seriously impressive goaltending.

At the end of the second period, Detroit was being outshot 22-13. Absurd, right?

The third period featured Jonathan Ericsson contributing to the Zetterberg Foundation’s new mission of high-sticking Matt Cooke in the face (can’t be a coincidence right?) and Zach Parise was able to capitalize on the ensuing power play. If the Red Wings are going to get scored on, at least it was done by a good American.

With 13:13 left in the 3rd period, Minnesota got called for a hooking penalty and Detroit went on just their second power play of the game. Detroit was unable to convert and after killing the penalty, Thomas Vanek showed a real desire to make the game interesting, scoring and making it 4-3 Red Wings.

Ericsson was just at the point where we were starting to say good things about him. Unfortunately with about 6:40 left in the third, he had an absolutely god-awful giveaway to Parise. Mrazek was able to make the initial save, but Parise stayed with it and scored on the rebound to tie the game up. The Red Wings had blown their three-goal lead.

The third period would expire with both teams tied at 4 and Detroit being outshot 35-21. Overtime wouldn’t settle this one despite good chances for both sides. Detroit would go to a shootout despite being outshot 38-24.

The shootout would start with Zach Parise, who attempted to go backhand shelf but missed high.

Pavel Datsyuk was up first for the Red Wings, doing a similar move but finishing it proprerly, giving the Red Wings the lead.

Mikko Koivu attempted to go high with the backhand as well, but Mrazek wouldn’t allow it.

Nyquist was up next for the Red Wings and was able to put the shootout away by sneaking it 5-hole on Kuemper. Detroit may not have deserved the two points here, but its another two points towards a post-season so I’ll take it!

and a good time was had by all!

Fun Facts-

Every member of the Red Wings’ roster has gotten at least one goal this year. Even Kindl! Brian Lashoff hasn’t, but he doesn’t count.

The Red Wings scored 17 goals in the last four games in their winning streak with a +8 goal differential coming into tonight.

The DJ at Joe Louis Arena was on point tonight, playing DMX’s “X gon’ give it to ya” after Ouellet scored his goal.

Zetterberg has 7 points in his last two games. Not bad for an older guy eh?

With his goal tonight, Pulkkinen became the first Red Wing to score a goal while wearing the number 56. You’d think that would have happened by now given how long the Red Wings have been around.

Peter Mrazek is the only Red Wings goalie to win a shootout this year.

Nyguist flexed his stick just prior to his shootout attempt and broke it, requiring another one before he won the game for Detroit. This could end up being the most infuriating superstition ever for equipment managers.