The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/19/13 at 10:35 PM ET
The Detroit Red Wings played what seemed like an incredibly predictable game against the Calgary Flames, save perhaps the finish, in a 3-2 OT win over the Calgary Flames.
Daniel Alfredsson scored a slick goal right off the hop, chipping the rebound of Pavel Datsyuk's shot past Karri Ramo only 26 seconds in...
But as has become so predictable, the Red Wings' top line and top defensive pair got caught standing around as Mikael Backlund chipped the rebound of a Red Wings-like bounce off the end boards past a swimming Jonas Gustavsson 5 mintues later...
And the Wings kept battling, kept battling and kept grinding against a team built to bump and grind right back in the gritty, clutch-and-grab-and-tackle-y Flames, hanging in there until Joakim Andersson's skate tipped another Alfredsson shot past Ramo at the 11:38 mark of the 2nd, with Alfredsson registering assist 700 on the play...
And the Wings thought that Alfredsson had made it 3-1 soon thereafter, but Kari Ramo made an amazing save instead, per the NHL:
At 12:52 of the second period in the Flames/Red Wings game, video review determined that Daniel Alfredsson's shot hit the crossbar before landing on Karri Ramo's right pad, never crossing the goal line. No goal Detroit.
And the Wings were just absolutely battered by penalties--some real and some imagined--as Tomas Jurco, Brendan Smith and Jonathan Ericsson went to the box in quick succession, and just as Smith got back on the ice, with 4:07 left in the 2nd, Mark Giordano shot the puck through, well, Smith and a screened Gustavsson to tie the game at 2:
With Datsyuk looking like himself again after re-learning how to play fearless once having suffered his first concussion (it takes a while), Alfredsson on fire, the line of Eaves, Glendening and Tootoo grinding it out, and the Wings seemingly playing with more desperation and poise than it has displayed in its past half-dozen games combined, the Wings pushed the game to overtime--in no small part thanks to some fantastic goaltending from Gustavsson when the Wings made boo boos--and having earned a very, very late power play, they started OT 4 on 3, and this happened:
Alfredsson told Fox Sports Detroit's Trevor Thompson that he kept the puck for his sister's daughter (i.e. his niece), who was visiting from Sweden, and he had a helluva night...
But the Wings' defensemen were markedly better (especially Kindl), Niklas Kronwall played superbly well, Datsyuk was himself, Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco proved to be equally slick and gritty, in limited action, Sheahan and Tootoo were good, Glendening was excellent and Todd Bertuzzi was finally back to his net-front-jamming self, using his big butt to make room for his teammates and to create chaos and havoc in the corners.
The Wings earned a desperately-needed win (fight on the ice, fight in the stands, it was gritty all over), and it feels good to have seen them win in overtime for the first time in what only seems like forever.
I sure hope this is a turning point, especially after the "race to 5" went wrong on Tuesday against Anaheim. The Wings will be skating into the 24/7 hype machine and Maple Leaf media hype machine on Saturday, but with DeKeyser possibly coming back and more players set to come back after Christmas, it's time for the Wings to string three strong games together (the team comes home to host the Islanders on Monday) heading into their holiday break.
Shots 38-22 Detroit overall. Detroit out-shot Calgary 15-6 in the 1st, 11-9 in the 2nd, 10-7 in the 3rd and 2-0 in OT.
Special teams: Detroit's power play went 1-for-5 in 7:11 of PP time, going 1 for 1 in 1:03 of 4 on 3 time; the Flames' PP went 1-for-4 in 6:07 of PP time, scoring 1 goal in 4:07 of 5 on 4 time.
Goaltending: Jonas Gustavsson stopped 20 of 22 shots for Detroit; Karri Ramo stopped 35 of 38 shots for Calgary.
The 3 stars were picked by the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, and he picked Niklas Kronwall, Mike Cammalleri and Daniel Alfredsson.
The Wings' goals: Alfredsson (8) from Datsyuk (13) and Kronwall (19);
Andersson (5) from Alfredsson (18) and Datsyuk (14);
Alfredsson (9) from Datsyuk (15) and Kronwall (20), PPG.
Faceoffs 37-27 Detroit (Detroit won 58%);
Blocked shots 15-11 Calgary;
Missed shots 14-3 Detroit (total attempts 67-35 Detroit, with Detroit firing 38 on Ramo and 29 wide/blocked);
Hits 29-23 Detroit;
Giveaways 9-5 Detroit;
Takeaways 5-4 Detroit.
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 19-and-7 (73%); Glendening went 6-and-7 (46%); Andersson went 2-and-8 (20%); Sheahan went 5-and-3 (63%); Cleary went 3-and-0 (100%); Eaves went 1-and-1 (50%); Bertuzzi went 1-and-1 (50%).
Shots: Datsyuk led the Wings with 7 shots; Alfredsson had 5; Andersson had 4; Eaves, Miller, Quincey, Bertuzzi and Kronwall had 3; Kindl had 2; Smith, Sheahan, Tootoo, Quincey and Ericsson had 1.
Blocked attempts: Kindl had 3 attempts blocked; Datsyuk, Quincey and Kronwall had 2 attempts blocked; Sheahan, Andersson, Tootoo, Lashoff, Ericsson and Cleary had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Datsyuk, Sheahan, Jurco and Bertuzzi missed the net 2 times; Kindl, Eaves, Andersson, Tatar, Ericsson and Kronwall missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Andersson, Tootoo, Glendening, Bertuzzi, Ericsson and Cleary had 3 hits; Smith and Eaves had 2; Kindl, Alfredsson, Datsyuk, Miller, Lashoff, Jurco and Quincey had 1.
Giveaways: Both Alfredsson and Tatar had 2 giveaways; Smith, Datsyuk, Eaves, Andersson and Bertuzzi had 1 giveaway.
Takeaways: Lashoff had 2 takeaways; Quincey, Bertuzzi and Kronwall had 1 takeaway.
Blocked opponent shots: Quincey, Ericsson and Kronwall blocked 3 shots; Andersson and Lashoff blocked 1 shot.
Penalties taken: Andersson took 2 minors; Smith, Jurco and Ericsson took 1 minor penalty.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at +5. Alfredsson, Datsyuk, Andersson, Ericsson and Kronwall finished at +1.
Points: Alfredsson had 2 goals and an assist for 3 points; Datsyuk had 3 assists; Kronwall had 2 assists; Andersson had a goal.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 25:18 played; Datsyuk played 23:29; Alfredsson played 21:26;
Quincey played 20:24; Ericsson played 19:56; Bertuzzi played 18:39;
Kindl played 18:18; Miller played 16:38; Smith played 16:26;
Andersson played 15:50; Tatar played 15:45; Lashoff played 14:58;
Eaves played 14:49; Glendening played 14:33; Cleary played 14:15;
Jurco played 11:59; Sheahan played 7:33; Tootoo played 6:07.
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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.