The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/10/13 at 03:23 PM ET
Updated 2x w/ stats and highlights at 3:58 PM: The Detroit Red Wings' 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings was anything but a thing of beauty, at least if you're not a fan of watching Jimmy Howard getting peppered with 47 shots...
But the Red Wings managed to find a way to earn two points while playing their 4th game in 6 "nights," their 3rd game in 4 "nights" and their second game over the course of less than 24 hours because their goalie stood on their head, and, somewhat ironically, the Wings ended up "stealing" a point from the Kings.
In doing so, the Wings displayed the ability to win in three different ways--the team out-ground the Blues to earn a blue-collar win on Thursday, the Wings out-skilled as well as out-willed the Oilers on Saturday, and today, and on Sunday, they rope-a-doped their way through a game in which no one had much energy save the goaltender who got Thursday evening off.
The Red Wings did score the all-important first goal, with Pavel Datsyuk roofing the puck over Jonathan Quick in nothing less than an elegant execution of fine passes by Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall, all while on the power play, only 5:44 in. The Wings added to the mix when Damien Brunner stopped trying to pass and simply rifled a hard, high shot past Quick late in the first period...
But Anze Kopitar scored a goal that Howard had no chance on because a bunched-up Wings defense couldn't cover the rebound and Kopitar had a wide-open net to fire the puck into with 41 seconds left in the 1st.
During the second period, in which the Wings were out-shot 23-9, and they played as well as the shot clock indicated, giving up the puck in all three zones, losing faceoffs (Wings went 27-and-37), one-on-one puck battles, turning the puck over (the Wings had 14 giveaways) and just allowing the Kings' size, strength and speed to back them literally into their goaltender, but Howard was just amazing, stopping shot after shot and first, second, third and sometimes fourth chances.
The third period mostly involved the Wings trying to kill the clock, and after building a 5-1 shot lead, the Wings did their best to simply kill time with their first two power plays since the first period, and that decision came back to bite them in the ass. Alec Martinez was able to sneak in from the point and, again, hammer home a goal that Howard had no chance on with all of 53 seconds left in the game...
But Howard earned the Wings a win, not an OT win or an OT loss or a shootout loss, and somehow, karma came through in the end. Pavel Datsyuk lost a faceoff, but the Kings turned the puck over to Danny Cleary and Valtteri Filppula, the pair managed to shuffle and toss it back to Jonathan Ericsson, and with Filppula and Cleary heading to the front of the net, Ericsson ripped a hard, low slap shot that flew through traffic and trickled between Jonathan Quick's legs. All with 5 seconds left in regulation.
The Wings ended up "stealing" the Kings' point, and the team gave Howard enough run support to repay a goaltender who made 46 saves and essentially won the game himself.
The Wings can out-grind teams, they can out-skill them, and they can out-rope-a-dope them thanks to spectacular goaltending when necessary.
Somehow, the final part of the equation is incredibly appropriate, incredibly timely and also a huge relief given that the Wings hadn't won a back-to-back game during their first two of twelve back-to-back slates, but in the third, Howard proved that he could carry the day when required to do so.
It wasn't pretty. It wasn't particularly good hockey and many Wings had rough nights, save perhaps excellent work by Drew Miller, Jordin Tootoo, Cory Emmerton, Joakim Andersson and Justin Abdelkader on the third and fourth lines...
But the Wings won. And that's all that matters.
The Wings were out-shot 47-31 overall. The Kings out-shot Detroit 15-11 in the 1st period and 23-9 in the 2nd, but out-shot LA 11-9 in the 3rd period.
The Wings went 1-for-4 in 6:33 of PP time; the Kings went 0-for-3 in 5:33 of PP time.
Jimmy Howard stopped 45 of 47 shots; Jonathan Quick stopped 28 of 31.
The 3 stars were picked by the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, and he went with Alec Martinez (3), Henrik Zetterberg (2) and Jimmy Howard (1).
The Wings' goals: Datsyuk (5) from Zetterberg (12) and Kronwall (9), PPG;
Brunner (6) from Zetterberg 913) and White (1);
And the game-winner is listed as Ericsson (2), unassisted, but Filppula and either Datsyuk or Cleary should have assists.
Faceoffs 37-27 Los Angeles (Detroit won 42%);
Blocked shots 9-7 Detroit;
Missed shots 12-6 Los Angeles (total attempts 68-42 Los Angeles);
Hits 25-24 Los Angeles;
Giveaways 14-6 Detroit;
Takeaways 6-2 Detroit.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Zetterberg went 10-and-14 (42%); Datsyuk went 3-and-12 (20%); Andersson went 7-and-3 (70%); Emmerton went 3-and-6 (33%); Abdelkader went 3-and-1 (75%); Cleary went 1-and-1 (50%);
Shots: Datsyuk led the team with 6 shots; Miller had 4; Kindl, Brunner and Filppula had 3; Cleary, Tatar and Zetterberg had 2; Abdelkader, White, Lashoff, Quincey, Ericsson and Kronwall had 1.
Blocked attempts: Quincey fired 2 shots into Kings players; Kindl, Abdelkader, Datsyuk, White and Andersson had single attempts blocked.
Missed shots: Franzen missed the net 2 times; White, Tatar, Lashoff and Brunner missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Kindl led the team with 5 hits; Cleary and Ericsson had 3; Abdelkader, Miller, Tootoo and Kronwall had 2; Datsyuk, White, Tatar, Lashoff and Zetterberg had 1.
Giveaways: Andersson had 3 giveaways; Zetterberg, Filppula, Ericsson and Howard had 2 Cleary, White and Lashoff had 1.
Takeaways: Datsyuk and Brunner had 2 takeaways; Miller and Kronwall had 1.
Blocked opponent shots: Cleary and White blocked 2 shots; Kindl, Datsyuk, Lashoff, Andersson and Franzen blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Cleary, Datsyuk and Kronwall took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective zero. Abdelkader, Miller, Lashoff, Quincey, Kronwall and Andersson finished at -1; White, Brunner, Zetterberg and Franzen finished at +1; Ericsson finished at +2.
Points: Zetterberg had 2 assists; Datsyuk and Ericsson had goals; White and Kronwall had assists.
Ice time: White led the team with 21:31 played; Kronwall played 21:28; Zetterberg played 20:53;
Lashoff played 20:41; Ericsson played 20:11; Datsyuk played 19:11;
Franzen played 18:38; Filppula played 18:16; Cleary played 17:44;
Kindl played 17:30; Brunner played 15:52; Quincey played 15:42;
Abdelkader played 14:12; Miller played 12:29; Tatar played 11:42;
Andersson played 10:58; Emmerton played 9:00; Tootoo played 8:02.
And here's a slate of highlights from the Wings' website, narrated by NBC Sports' announcers:
Here's Datsyuk's 1-0 goal...
Here's Brunner's goal...
And here's Ericsson's gamer:
Update #2: NBC Sports' James O'Brien believes that the following "talking points" merit discussion:
- Jimmy Howard rarely receives many plaudits, yet he’s been putting up strong numbers recently. Is it time to really start considering him an elite goalie?
- Speaking of elite goalies, Jonathan Quick had a mostly solid afternoon but still let precious standings points slip away. Can he get it together this season?
- On that note, the unavoidable: will the Kings be able to pull another rabbit out of a hat and make a late postseason run again? They’re tied for the least points in the West with eight points and are five points behind the Dallas Stars (13) and St. Louis Blues (13) for one of the two last playoff spots.
- Detroit’s now in fifth place, extending its winning streak to three games. Should the Red Wings be considered a contender as usual?
- While Pavel Datsyuk dazzled as always, Henrik Zetterberg was the game’s second star with two assists and strong overall play. Do we forget about the Red Wings captain too easily when discussing all-world players?
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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.