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Red Wings defeat Ducks in OT—youth nearly kills Wings before it serves ‘em

I'm writing the quick take soon, but for now...Talk about it. Smith and Quincey nearly cost the Wings the game on the 1-0 goal, Lashoff checked Howard on the 2-1 goal...

And yet Pavel Datsyuk tied it and Damien Brunner, whose ass was nailed to the bench in the 3rd, scored the OT winner via a Lashoff save and Nyquist-Andersson assist. Detroit wins 3-2 in OT.

2-2 going to Anaheim for Wednesday. *#$%@&' a.

Quick thought: Damien Brunner played 11:16, the least amount of ice time on the team, and his ass barely left the bench in the 3rd period, if it left the bench at all.

Okay, right, thoughts: The Red Wings do indeed have to win 2 of the next 3 games with 2 taking place in Anaheim, which isn't a pleasant thought...

But if this season hasn't been a microcosm of the Wings' season and the last week thereof, I don't know what it's been.

A team taking far too many easy shots on opposing goalies who end up looking like hockey Jeebuses because they're facing single, un-obstructed pucks that aren't chased down by a team interested generating secondary or tertiary scoring chances in any way, shape or form--to the point that I almost wanted to cry when I found out that Tomas Holmstrom was watching the game, because I shit you not, I fully believe that the Wings miss him more than they miss Lidstrom...

And, of course, a team committing so many self-inflicted wounds that the Ducks have no real right to lament their open-net and empty-net chances because the Wings essentially put both goals in for them, mostly because the Wings are so very young and error-prone (sometimes both, given the John Mayer and Taylor Swift love child that is, "Let it go through my legs and then I'll decide what to do with it" Kyle Quincey at times)...

Matt Beleskey's goal at 5:07 of the 1st was easy as easy could be. Brendan Smith screwed up a pass under pressure, Quincey spread his legs, and as soon as you could say, "Oh God no!" the puck was behind Howard.

Yes, no doubt, in a game where referees treated their whistles like suppositories while most of the hooking and holding was conveniently one-sided, the fact that the Wings held themselves in there, in no small part due to Jimmy Howard's play, while the team out-shot Anaheim 27-15 but did NOT out-chance them over the first 40 minutes, all of that was excellent. Kind of like Niklas Kronwall's hit on Emerson Etem solid. Rock solid.

Especially given that Mikael Samuelsson was iffy at best on the 1st line, that Valtteri Filppula still can't or won't shoot and given that Todd Bertuzzi's got a gigantic coat of rust on him. Who would have thought that not having Justin Abdelkader in the lineup (until Game 6, noted Mickey Redmond) would result in such a detrimental reduction in potency for the Datsyuk-Zetterberg pairing?

In the third period, after watching the Red Wings SO FRUSTRATINGLY continue their pattern of turning pucks over in the neutral zone, sending one or two puck carriers in on 3-5 Ducks and then responding to their one-and-done chances by, as Wings coach Mike Babcock just said, GIVING the Ducks so many amazing scoring chances...

Howard was there.

And Brendan Smith bailed his ass out, scoring a lovely goal while ripping a hard and retrieved shot passed back to him by Joakim Andersson and Danny Cleary into the Ducks' net, all off 2 Ducks and while Andersson did his best to impersonate Holmstrom.

Until Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff also imploded under pressure, turned the puck over, and Lashoff ended up checking Howard while Kyle Palmieri and David Steckel jammed the puck past Howard with only 9:20 left in the 3rd period.

All of a sudden, the Wings were down 2-1, and in a transition year, having reluctantly "gone with the kids," it looked like the Wings' season was going to evaporate in a cloud of brain farts, unforced errors and unpursued shots...

But the Wings did keep pressing, and they began to really roar up ice in numbers, with puck support and with north-south efficiency, and of all people, Quincey and Smith offered a slick set of outlet passes to Pavel Datsyuk, who walked up the wing and fired a sneaky slithery shot past Jonas Hiller with 6:33 remaining in regulation.

The Wings kept going, but couldn't dent the net going into OT...Though Johan Franzen tried...stupid black pads...

And Joakim Andersson, who made brilliant plays slightly more often than he put himself offsides during the game, took a mysterious high-sticking penalty because Corey Perry high sticked himself 1:05 into OT.

Again, Howard had to be superb and he got lucky more than once, but after that, it seemed like the Wings weren't going to give Corey Perry any more open nets (did I mention that part?), and instead, the Wings decided to play more like Anaheim does--and more like the Wings used to--charging up ice AND charging toward Hiller, and with 4:50 left in OT...

Andersson gave a lovely little outlet pass to Nyquist via smart 3rd/4th assists from the sometimes-shaky Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff, Nyquist roared up on the 1-on-2, lost the battle but managed to get the puck mucked back to Damien Brunner, who took the garbage and deposited it in the back of the net.

Detroit finally won, with its "kids" registering six of the 9 points scored by its players, and its goaltender perhaps playing better stopping 31 of 33 shots than Hiller was in stopping 46 of 49, and now the Wings are in a best of 3, having to win 2 to advance.

With enemy territory dominating the remainder of the series.

That's nothing less than appropriate, and after a belief-building and identity-finding game like this one, sure, the odds are still against Detroit, but the, "Why not us?" line seems incredibly appropriate right now. Especially given that, as Darren Eliot (of all people) points out, Zetterberg led the Wings with 8 shots, Datsyuk was amazing late and Kronwall and Ericsson were rock solid.

The leaders have needed some run support for a while now, and they finally got it...Even if it was only after the "kids" nearly killed their own team's chances.

Update: Here's a full slate of game highlights...

Statistics:

Shts 49-33 Detroit overall. Detroit out-shot Anaheim 13-8 in the 1st, 14-7 in the 2nd, 14-9 in the 3rd and were out-shot 9-8 in OT.

The Red Wings went 0-for-1 in 2:00 of PP time; the Ducks went 0-for-3 in 6:00 of PP time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 31 of 33 shots; Jonas Hiller stopped 46 of 49.

The 3 stars were picked by Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji, and she picked Jimmy Howard, Pavel Datsyuk and Damien Brunner.

The Wings' goals: Smith (1) from Cleary (2) and Andersson (1);

Datsyuk (1) from Smith (1) and Quincey (2);

Brunner (2) from Nyquist (1) and ANdersson (2), OT.

Faceoffs 39-31 Anaheim (Detroit won 44%);

Blocked shots 21-7 Anaheim;

Missed shots 19-12 Detroit (attempts 79-52 Detroit, with Detroit firing 49 shots on Hiller and 30 wide or into Ducks players);

Hits 38-26 Anaheim;

Giveaways 11-3 Detroit;

Takeaways 5-5.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 8-and-12 (40%); Andersson went 7-and-12 (37%); Filppula went 10-and-8 (56%); Zetterberg went 2-and-4 (33%); Emmerton went 4-and-3 (57%);

Shots: Zetterberg led the Wings with 8 shots; Eaves, Quincey, Samuelsson, Bertuzzi and Franzen had 4; Cleary and Datsyuk had 3; smith, Kindl, Lashoff, Brunner, Emmerton, Ericsson and Andersson had 2; Kronwall had 1.

Blocked attempts: Ericsson fired 6 shots into Ducks players; Datsyuk had 3 attempts blocked; Smith, Eaves and Zetterberg had 2 attempts blocked; Kindl, Nyquist, Emmerton, Quincey, Kronwall and Franzen had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Kronwall missed the net 4 times; Datsyuk, Eaves, Quincey, Zetterberg and Franzen missed the net 2 times; Smith, Kindl, Lashoff, Samuelsson and Ericsson missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Eaves led the Wings with 6 hits; Kindl, Datsyuk and Kronwall had 4; Nyquist had 3; Smith, Lashoff, Quincey, Ericsson and Franzen had 2; Cleary, Emmerton, Samuelsson, Zetterberg, Bertuzzi, Filppula and Andersson had 1.

Giveaways: Cleary, Nyquist and Ericsson had 2 giveaways; Kindl, Emmerton, Quincey, Samuelsson and Bertuzzi had 1.

Takeaways: Datsyuk had 2 takeaways; Eaves, Brunner and Kronwall had 1.

Blocked opponent shots: Kronwall blocked 2 shots; Kindl, Datsyuk, Nyquist, Lashoff and Zetterberg blocked 1.

Penalty minutes: Bertuzzi, Andersson and Franzen took minor penalties.

Plus-minus: the Wings finished at a collective +5. Filppula and Franzen finished at -1; Kindl, Datsyuk, Nyquist, Lashoff, Samuelsson, Zetterberg and Andersson finished at +1.

Points: Smith had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Andersson had 2 assists; Datsyuk and Brunner scored goals; Cleary, Nyquist and Quincey had assists.

Ice time: Ericsson led the team with 28:56 played; Kronwall played 28:50; Datsyuk played 25:07;

Quincey played 24:34; Franzen played 24:18; Zetterberg played 24:15;

Smith played 23:42; Kindl played 22:05; Filppula played 22:01;

Samuelsson played 21:48; Lashoff played 20:22; Cleary played 20:11;

Andersson played 16:35; Bertuzzi played 14:55; Emmerton played 14:13;

Nyquist played 14:05; Eaves played 12:37; Brunner played 11:16.
 

 

Via RedWIngsFeed: Here's Jimmy Howard speaking to the media after the game...

Here's Niklas Kronwall...

And here's Damien Brunner...

And We All Bleed Red's YouTube clip of the Brunner goal is awesome:

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Comments

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Vladimir16's avatar

I LOVED with Bert on the ice the Ducks really puckered up.  His presence really makes the other Wings feel bigger for whatever reason.  He’s got the DeKeyser effect on the F’s.
Great battle tonight.  Get ready for round 5.
Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/07/13 at 12:45 AM ET

This ^^^^^ He’s really never been much of a fighter but he intimidates and that is HUGE out there.

I couldn’t agree more.  I’d almost like to see them throw big money at Clarkson for that reason alone.  He’d help keep the bitches honest, right?

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 05/07/13 at 12:46 AM ET

And this ^^^^^

 

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/07/13 at 07:23 AM ET

Avatar

Couldn’t agree more on your comment about Holmstrom.

If you are talking about the Holmstrom of 4 years ago, true.  If you are talking about the Holmstrom we saw for his last two seasons, not a chance in the world.  He didn’t belong on the ice last year, but Babs had no alternative.  Lidstrom right now is probably better than 95% of the D in the league.

Posted by jkm2011 on 05/07/13 at 07:34 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

That OT goal was a thing of beauty… great teamwork—Kindl gather the puck, gets his head up to take a look, and makes a crisp outlet pass to Andersson. Andersson bombs it up to Nyquist, who has the speed to give both defenders trouble. And Brunner, despite his struggles the last month or so, is still clearly a goal-scorer, because he goes to the net hard.

For the future, the most exciting thing about that goal for me isn’t Nyquist, Andersson, or Brunner, it’s Kindl. Kindl has slowly but surely, as the season has gone on, finally started to develop into the type of player we have all hoped he can be. Now, of course, he’ll never be Lidstrom, but for a couple months now, he’s been steady defensively in all situations, and most importantly and noticeably to me, he’s gotten dramatically better at making quick decisions with the puck and sending really good outlet passes up the ice. Hopefully he doesn’t have an Ericsson style regression next season.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/07/13 at 07:36 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Oh yeah, one more thing. There’s an easy way to keep a bigger team from pounding the hell out of you….. you hit the hell out of the first and more often.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/07/13 at 07:39 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

If it gets there, still not really looking forward to the series with Chicago.

Dunno.  Minne has been taking the body on them pretty hard.  Maybe they will soften them up some.  Maybe even make them play more than 5 .... nah.

Posted by MoreShoot on 05/07/13 at 08:29 AM ET

Bent's avatar

Nyquist can’t fly.  it was wind-aided and he hit a patch of ice.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/07/13 at 12:46 AM ET

Was that before or after the subtle interference?

Posted by Bent from The U.P. on 05/07/13 at 08:31 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Ericsson’s making Holland look genius on that contract. He’s a bonafide top-4 dman. He has been a beast all season and stepped it up even more tonight. This was one of his best games of the year.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/07/13 at 12:51 AM ET

I realize I’m in the minority, but I stil disagree.

Like I said in the A2Y gameblog E’s defensive/boards play has definitely improved, and he’s more of a physical presence/force in the corners and behind/around the net.

He’s still the same old Ericsson when it comes to having the puck on his stick though.  He makes the dumbest… the DUMBEST… passes sometimes.  Last night at one point in I think the 2nd period he went into the corner, did a fabulous job of knocking a Duck off the puck, took it, wheeled around, and… fired a pass across the slot right in front of Jimmy with absolutely no Wing there capable of getting and TWO Ducks lurking just up a bit higher (one of whom got a stick on it but couldn’t corral it).  It was extremely fortunate that the Ducks didn’t put that behind Howard.  It was a very Ericsson play, I’m sorry.  That sort of thing infuriates me when DET is already struggling as much as they are, you can’t wrap up a pass and put a bow on it for the opposition.

Until Ericsson fixes that, I still have a hard time justifying him as a Top 4 d-man because it means he needs to not touch the puck in his own end, and that’s just silly.  DET just can’t afford those kind of mistakes, especially from a guy that has been here a few years now and should know better.

Smith had a good game again.  There was that one sequence in ANA’s zone where DET sustained pressure for what seemed like forever and Smith not once but TWICE held the puck in on difficult hold-ins…  and then of course Quincey blew it and they lost the zone anyways because he’s Quincey and that’s what he does.  But Smith’s work was great.

Those hold-ins are so underrated.  DET used to get way more of them with Lidstrom and Stuart, and this year most all of those get by and DET loses the zone.  That sequence was a perfect example of what could be if a Quincey, White, or Kindl (or Kronwall even, who has had problems with it too) would just hold the puck in every once and a while and extend the pressure.

Posted by Primis on 05/07/13 at 08:49 AM ET

Avatar

I disagree with the Holmstrom comment.  I do think they miss him greatly, but not as much as this miss Lidstrom’s breakout pass.

Posted by wingsnut25 from Cheboygan, MI on 05/07/13 at 08:50 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

I disagree with the Holmstrom comment.  I do think they miss him greatly, but not as much as this miss Lidstrom’s breakout pass.

Posted by wingsnut25 from Cheboygan, MI on 05/07/13 at 09:50 AM ET

This. The problem with the offense this year has had very little to do with the forwards, and everything to do with the quality of service they are getting as they attempt to break up ice on transition and attack. Puck movement from the D has basically been the Kronwall/Ericsson pairing, and nothing else. Kindl has slowly but surely developed with every game this year, and is starting to look like he will be a guy with a reliable, and very good first pass. But this team needs Smith to get there as well, and in a hurry, if they’re going to get back to being top 4 or 5 in the conference (whichever conference they are in smile).

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/07/13 at 08:57 AM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

No matter how this series turns out, the experience that the kids are getting in this process is invaluable. Nyquist and Brunner coming through in OT. DD getting his beak wet and playing well. There have been some hiccups, but this is going to make this group that much better next season. Momentum’s on their side. I wouldn’t be surprised if they win at the pond 3-1 or 4-1. Bring it back home for the series close.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 05/07/13 at 09:00 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

I think saying “The Wing’s miss Lidstrom’s XXXXX” is unnecessary.  He is one of the Top 3 D-men to ever play the game (my opinion, may not be yours, but I’m guessing I’m not alone here) and former Team Captain so everything Lidstrom did is missed.  Heck, even Lidstrom handing out orange slices to the guys that sit near him after the game is greatly missed.  Yes, I miss Nick (Hell, I still secretly hope that Stevie and Barry Sanders will un-retire soon). You miss NIck. We all miss Nick, but pining for what he may have brought to our current team is akin to saying, “Gosh, we really miss Hull’s One-timer here on the Power Play” or “This is where we could really benefit from Reed Larson’s shot from the point”...

I’ve actually considered turning National Telecasts of our games into drinking games: Every time they just say the name Lidstrom, you take a drink and every time they say “They really miss Lidstrom in this situation” you finish your beer.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/07/13 at 09:10 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

No matter how this series turns out, the experience that the kids are getting in this process is invaluable. Nyquist and Brunner coming through in OT. DD getting his beak wet and playing well. There have been some hiccups, but this is going to make this group that much better next season

I agree.  Our puppies on D have made a lot of mistakes, but you’ve got to make them to learn from them, right?  I’d really love it if we can extend this Spring as long as we can keep these kids growing.  Look at Kindl, he’s still a little loosey-goosey out there, but the decisions he’s making are getting smarter and safer with each passing game.  Hopefully that goal Smith scored will settle his stick down and slow the game down a little bit for him.  Lashoff wasn’t nearly as wide-eyed in his 2nd game.  Hopefully Quincey will…well, let’s not get carried away…:)

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/07/13 at 09:17 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Babs on Brunner…

“You don’t have to be heavy to play here, but he’ll figure this stuff out. The other thing about a guy that likes to score, he likes to be out there on the ice. When you look at the minutes and you don’t get the minutes you want, you figure out a way to do something about that.”

Translation: You don’t have to be big to play big. Just watch Emmerton, Nyquist and Eaves. And the more you want ice time, the quicker you’ll understand what it takes to get that ice time.

Brunner is a very smart hockey player with an intense desire to succeed. I think he’ll get both of Babs points sooner rather than later.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/07/13 at 09:17 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Just an observation about the end of last night’s game. Did anyone else notice that almost all of the Ducks went straight to the dressing room after the goal, even the ones who were on the ice at the time? I think only one person skated over to console Hiller. I can’t imagine the Wings doing that to Jimmy under similar circumstances.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/07/13 at 09:21 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Safe to say the game tomorrow is going to be interesting.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/07/13 at 09:52 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

I don’t think Ericsson’s contract makes anyone look like a genius but i think he has greatly improved as the year has gone on.  You can see him trying to use his old offensive abilities at times and he is much more confident out there.  Yes he makes some ill advised passes but I think that is improving as well.  He is really trying to find the best way to use his abilities to help the team.  I think with Lidstrom on the team a lot of the D men were merely playing to not make a mistake.  But no one can live up to Lidstrom and with him gone people are trying to play as themselves more.  They are no longer afraid to try things for fear of making a mistake cause let’s face it pretty much EVERYONE on this team has made mistakes this year.  On a side note I think it was great for Kronner to play his game.  He looked much better out there. Smith was rough till he scored and Lashoff will hopefully bounce back.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 05/07/13 at 10:05 AM ET

SYF's avatar

That OT goal was a thing of beauty… great teamwork—Kindl gather the puck, gets his head up to take a look, and makes a crisp outlet pass to Andersson. Andersson bombs it up to Nyquist, who has the speed to give both defenders trouble. And Brunner, despite his struggles the last month or so, is still clearly a goal-scorer, because he goes to the net hard.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/07/13 at 08:36 AM ET

Don’t forget Jesus Lashoff kicking the puck to Kindl after Jimmah made the save.  Without that, Kindl doesn’t have the puck to start the breakout play.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 05/07/13 at 11:24 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

How much of a beast was Nyquist ALL night though?  He was BEAMING people, it was fantastic.  He’s quick as hell and makes shit hapen.. and when he chased down whoever it was that took the puck from him, in center ice with the stick lift from behind and head right back into the O-zone.  I thought I was watching a Pavel clone.  Even is physical like Pavel can be, devestatingly at times.  Great balance and use of weight and leverage.

He was just fantastic, has been fantastic.  Fantastic player and gets better the higher the pressure.  Fantastic.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/07/13 at 12:35 PM ET

SYF's avatar

He was just fantastic, has been fantastic.  Fantastic player and gets better the higher the pressure.  Fantastic.
Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/07/13 at 01:35 PM ET

You’re drooling.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 05/07/13 at 01:20 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

SYF, that wet spot on his pants probably isn’t drool

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/07/13 at 02:29 PM ET

SYF's avatar

SYF, that wet spot on his pants probably isn’t drool

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 05/07/13 at 03:29 PM ET

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 05/07/13 at 02:46 PM ET

markierer's avatar

Sweden and Swiss… it seems to be too complicated for NBC.

Posted by markierer on 05/07/13 at 03:11 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.