Special Teams Continue to Pace the Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 06: Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates a shootout save to beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 at Little Caesars Arena on November 06, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 06: Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates a shootout save to beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 at Little Caesars Arena on November 06, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Red Wings pulled off a come from behind victory tonight against the Vancouver Canucks.

Special teams continue to be a bright spot for the Detroit Red Wings whether they win or lose.  It was no different tonight.  The Detroit Red Wings started extremely slow especially with the game being played on home ice.  The Vancouver Canucks played yesterday, and that usually translates to a good start and heavy legs as the game moves along.

The Canucks jumped out to a 2-0 lead well into the second period.  The phenom Elias Pettersson was just as advertised for the Canucks.  He buried the first goal of the game with a perfectly placed rocket of a slap shot streaking in on the left wing.  He ripped the clapper from the dot and fitted it perfectly past Jimmy Howard‘s glove into the top corner.

Pettersson was dangerous all night long.  He and Bo Horvat along with Nikolay Goldobin were the best Canucks forwards this evening.  Young Ben Hutton scored the second goal for the Vancouver Canucks.  That second goal came at the 11:21 mark of the second period.

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Martin Frk was off to the races while receiving a stretch pass at the Canucks blueline while Vancouver was caught on a bad change.  He walked in and blasted a slap shot past Markstrom but it would end up being overturned due to Frk being offside.  He received the pass with both feet clearly already in the offensive zone. A five on five goal he much needed would not count.

The Detroit Red Wings were being outshot to the tune of 21-7.  Jimmy Howard continued to battle and kept his team alive.  In the last couple of seasons, this would bury the Wings.  Justin Abdelkader answered the bell, knocking in a goal just over two minutes after the Hutton tally.   Abdelkader’s goal came on the power-play for the Detroit Red Wings.

Within the first two minutes from the start of the third period, Gustav Nyquist snapped a shot that hit a Canucks defender in front of the goal, and it redirected into the net.  Nyquist has been a setup machine so far this season.  He smirked as he was able to record his second goal of the season.  Nyquist is currently in the midst of a five-game point streak.

The score would remain 2-2 through overtime taking us to a shootout.  Dylan Larkin who often found himself laying on the ice was the lone goal scorer in the skills competition.  Jimmy Howard was 3 for 3 and looked great in the shootout.  Pettersson had him beat but bobbled the puck deking in tight trying to get it to his forehand allowing Howard to get his left toe on it.

Larkin didn’t look right at times tonight.  He was banged around often by the Canucks; he didn’t appear to be on the bench right away after the conclusion of the first period.  He would return to the bench after the second period was underway.  He also looked to lose an edge on his skates much too often.  He made up for it with the shootout winner.

Jimmy Howard showed some fire and fight, making a handful of huge saves as the night went on.  He also “blockered” a Canucks player who crashed into the goal. Megan helped him into the goal, but Jim took exception. The Detroit Red Wings were getting beat up early, and Jimmy got the job done.  Howard was the best player on the ice tonight for the Wings.  Howard made 40 saves on the night.

The Detroit Red Wings special teams continued to outperform their even strength play.  The club was 1 for 2 on the power play and a perfect 3 for 3 on the PK.  They dominated the faceoff dot again winning 57% of the draws.  The stat that stands out negatively is being outshot 42-30 on the night.

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Impact Stats;

  • Jimmy Howard – 40 Saves, 1.85 GAA, .952%Save Percentage, 3 for 3 (perfect) in the Shootout
  • Gus Nyquist – 1 Goal, 7 Shots on Goal, plus 1, 19:26 TOI
  • Justin Abdelkader – 1 Goal (PP), 16:34 TOI
  • Dylan Larkin – Shootout Winner, 20:59 TOI