The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/16/13 at 03:51 AM ET
The Red Wings flew to Vancouver for tonight's game against the Canucks (10 PM EDT, FSD Plus/CBC/NHL Network U.S./1270 AM) somewhat remarkably sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference standings and 5 points instead of 1 point up on the Edmonton thanks to a third-period comeback and some Datsyukian thievery en route to a 3-2 OT win over the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers, who hadn't won a home game after a road trip in...A long time...Were understandably both frustrated with and a little flummoxed about the ways that the Wings unraveled their opponent, as they told the Edmonton Sun's Robert Tychkowski...
“It cost us a point in the standings,” said Taylor Hall, after the Oilers lost the first game back from a road trip for the 12th straight time, and 22nd of the last 25. “And you never know what point is going to get you in or out.”
The Wings were there for the taking, but instead, it was the Oilers who got took.
“When we see a team like that we have to go at them, we have to play intense and make them play in their own end,” said Hall, who had a goal and an assist in the costly defeat. “It seemed like we played a lot in our end (in the third). We played a good 40 minutes, there’s no doubt about that, but the 20 minutes there at the end is what cost us the game.”
The Oilers looked great through the first two periods — aggressive and smart in putting the Red Wings on their heels and outshooting them 26-14 — but they spent all of the third period on the ropes while Detroit pounded away at their body. Sure enough, by 14:07 the lead was gone. And 3:39 into overtime, thanks to Pavel Datsyuk, so was the game. Ouch.
“We felt like we did a lot of things early, but discipline was a key factor in the third,” said Sam Gagner, adding that three straight Edmonton penalties in the third period shifted the momentum for good. “It allowed them to dictate the play a little more than we’d hoped. It changed the landscape of the game. It’s unfortunate. We played really hard, a really good 40 minutes. We weren’t really giving them much.”
Until the third, when they handed over the keys to the game.
“Another learning lesson for us,” said defenceman Ladislav Smid. “Don’t take so many penalties against a team like that. We kind of let them back into the game and allowed them to finish the big comeback.”
Oilers coach Ralph Krueger agreed--to some extent--as he told EdmontonOilers.com's Ryan Dittrick:
"We never had the plan to sit back. There was never a call to sit back," said Head Coach Ralph Krueger. "That's not in our game. It might have looked that way because Detroit got more puck possession. I'd say we ended up falling back more than we were sitting back."
The Oilers went up 1-0 at 3:34 when Hall showcased a wonderful individual effort, splitting the napping Detroit defence and snapping a quick shot past Jimmy Howard.Penalties to Brendan Smith and another one late to ex-Oiler Dan Cleary gave the Oilers separate power-play chances to extend their lead in the opening 20, but Howard was there to deny each attempt.Ladislav Smid was assessed the Oilers’ lone minor of the period (hooking), but the visitors came up empty. Edmonton led 10-5 in shots after one and were in complete control.
The Oilers came out strong in the second and were rewarded with a pair of glorious scoring chances early. Just 14 seconds in, Hall challenged veteran Jonathan Ericsson once more with a slick dangle and, once successful, drove the net but couldn’t quite slip the biscuit past the well-positioned netminder. Less than a minute later, Magnus Paajarvi turned the corner on Brian Lashoff as he cut across the crease, but Howard had an answer for that, too.
As the seven-minute mark approached, Ales Hemsky continued the onslaught as he redirected a pass off the end boards behind Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall, scooped it up in the slot and went to his backhand, but Howard came up with a sensational sprawling save to preserve the 1-0 score.
The Oilers were presented with another power-play chance at 8:27 when Jakub Kindl was assessed a slashing minor, but the man-advantage was wiped out 39 seconds in when Hall was charged with high-sticking.On the ensuing (and brief) Red Wings power-play, Johan Franzen fed Datsyuk in the slot, but the sniper’s wicked one-timer glanced off Dubnyk’s glove side post.
With 8:17 left in the second, Mike Brown and Jordin Tootoo dropped the mitts and starting chucking in a highly entertaining, minute-long tilt near the Red Wings bench. Charged by the energy of Brown’s unanimous decision, the Oilers made it a 2-0 game at 16:18. Working the corner like a bull, Hall escaped multiple checks and dished off to Nail Yakupov who wheeled into the slot and snapped a shot on goal. Quick to clean up the rebound, Gagner pounced and slid the rebound past Howard. The Oilers added 16 shots to their running tally and, through two periods, led the Red Wings 26-14 overall.
The Red Wings cut into the lead at 4:27 of the third period when Valtteri Filppula walked into the slot slipped a backhand shot up and over Dubnyk's right shoulder.
"We had the puck twice on our stick," said Krueger. "It's an excellent goal by Filppula, but the breakdowns that led to it were out of character. It's disappointing when you look at how we had the game under control and we got pushed back by a very, very strong team."
And then there was Jeff Petry, who was victimized by the Wings twice, as noted by the Edmonton Sun's Terry Jones:
It wasn’t from behind the net. It was from directly in front of the net. He shoots. He scores.It was a goal that ended up sending the Detroit Red Wings to overtime where Pavel Datsyuk went around him like, as Howie Meeker used to put it, “a hoop around a barrel” to score the winning goal.
This sort of thing happens to just about everybody who ever plays defence at some stage of their career. But it happened to Petry this night in a pretty big hockey game.“Nothing like that has ever happened to me before,” he said.Not that I can think of.”
“You never want it to happen no matter who it is against,” said the son of 1984 World Series champion Dan Petry, a starting pitcher with the Detroit Tigers. Was his dad watching back home in Michigan.
“I’m sure he was.”
Like [Steve] Smith that day when he came out of the back of the dressing room and faced the media, Petry didn’t hide either.
“It just came back to me,” he said. It came off his pad. I’d put my stick on the ice ...”
As for Datsyuk on the winner, he said “I was trying to get gapped. But he had a full head of steam. I don’t feel good,” he said.
“It’s a tough one,” said coach Ralph Krueger. “He gets beat in overtime by a world class player on a world class move. This is a game for him to grow and learn from. It’s a tough one for Jeff but it’s the team that takes responsibility for the turnaround, not the individual player.”
The Edmonton Journal's John MacKinnon believes that the Oilers' youth bit them in the collective butt in this instance...
“We took some penalties and interrupted our rhythm a bit,” said Oilers winger Taylor Hall, who scored the Oilers’ first goal, set up the second, and was the best player on the ice, certainly for 40 minutes. “When they were in our end, when they had the puck, it just kind of seemed like we were like, ‘OK, what are you guys going to do?’ We’ve got to go at teams, no matter who we’re playing, if it’s Datsyuk or Zetterberg. We have to respect them, but show our respect by playing them hard and playing them intense, not being afraid to make plays in their end.”
The Red Wings, who came into the game a dismal 3-6-2 on the road, were outshot 26-14 through 40 minutes, but surged so impressively from the start of the third the outcome seemed inevitable as the game progressed.
Petry, who was on the ice for the Oilers’ two goals, clearly wished he was under the ice by game’s end. Who could blame him? Datsyuk, still among the very best players in the game, made a brilliant play at full throttle at 3:39 of overtime to win the game for Detroit, losers of three straight coming into proceedings on Friday night.
“I was trying to get the best gap I could and he had a full head of steam,” Petry said. “I was kind of caught back, and he made just one move and a great shot.”:
That was the ball game. But this was a collective third-period sag by the Oilers, a young team still frustratingly capable of showing its youth just when its fans think they have showed signs of maturity, such as the two-game winning “streak” they finished off the recent nine-game road trip with. Like it or not, this is the Oilers’ reality. Growth and maturity comes in erratic spurts for a team whose captivating stars remain youngsters, still learning many lessons, including how to finish off a game they’re dominating.
“We had spurts that we were good,” Petry said. “We kind of got away what we did in the first 40 minutes and kind of let them back into it.”
And while the Oilers were left shaking their heads after witnessing Datsyuk's overtime magic, as noted by the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson...
"World-class move by one of the best players in the world to beat us,” Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger said of Datsyuk’s OT winner.
“Mule (Johan Franzen) made perfect play to get me puck. I pick up speed, he deliver it, like mailbox,” Datsyuk said.
“It’s one for Jeff to grow and learn from ... the short-hander we put in ourselves,” Krueger said. “Tough one for Jeff, but the team takes responsibility for this.”
Petry, who fills the shutdown role with Ladislav Smid, saw the Kronwall shot pinball outside the blue-paint. He wanted to clear it to safety, but it never made the boards for a hard-rim and out.
“I saw the puck and my first reaction was to put my stick on the ice,” said Petry, who didn’t duck anybody, coming out to face the music after the setback halted their two-game winning streak. “I had forward momentum and it ended up in the net.”
“Stuff like this? It happens. It’s happened to me,” said Smid, who got rattled by Daniel Cleary late in the first and appeared to hurt his neck, but soldiered on and played 22-1/2 minutes. “Unfortunate for Jeff. He’s been playing really well. Hopefully, he can forget it.”
It turns out that Wings coach Mike Babcock did say something to his team during the second intermission. One whole sentence.
"Be proud of yourself when you walk out of the rink,” said Babcock.
EdmontonOilers.com's Ryan Frankinson put the game "under the scope"...
The Turning Point: The Oilers took a solid 2-0 lead into the final frame, but the Red Wings came out strong in the third and got on the board 4:27 into the period as Valtteri Filppula cut to the slot and beat Devan Dubnyk with a high backhand. The Red Wings controlled the rest of the game en route to the win.
Play of the Game: Henrik Zetterberg sprung Pavel Datsyuk on a one-on-one rush against Jeff Petry in the latter stages of overtime, and the Russian superstar made a move on the Oilers blueliner before firing a wrist shot top shelf for the game-winner.
The Unsung Hero: Mike Brown was once again a Warrior for the Oilers, sharing the team lead in hits with three, and his were of the thundering variety. He also had a spirited scrap with Jordin Tootoo, the second time in eight days the two feisty forwards duked it out.
And unless you want to read the Edmonton Journal's Jonathan Willis's Oilers player grades, let's switch perspectives from the Oilers' to Wings' takes via the Canadian Press's recap:
"We didn’t have anything to lose in that third period,” Datsyuk said. “We were on the road, we didn’t have any pressure, we just had to go play. Mule (Johan Franzen) made a perfect play getting the puck in the neutral zone and giving me a good pass. I was able to come in with some speed, which made it tough for the defenceman who was at the blue line.”
Petry was also a factor on the tying goal as he scored on his own net to tie the game 2-2 in the third on a goal credited to Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall. Valtteri Filppula also scored for the Red Wings, who improved to 13-10-5.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock said he was glad to see his team rally late in the contest after a disappointing first 40 minutes.
“In the first two periods we weren’t very competitive,” he said. “We weren’t getting any time in the offensive zone, we weren’t physical or competitive on the puck, we weren’t good enough. In the loss to Calgary the other night I thought we were really good and turned the puck over. Tonight I thought we were no good and then got playing in the third. I don’t think that’s the recipe for success. We need to play a full 60 minutes. But I thought our guys really dug in and got competitive at the end.”
Taylor Hall and Sam Gagner replied for the Oilers (10-11-6), who entered the game having won two in a row.
“It’s disappointing because we had the game under control,” said Oilers coach Ralph Krueger. “We got pushed back by a very strong push by Detroit at the end and couldn’t create any offence when we needed it.”
The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa had paid attention to how awfully bad the Wings played during their 0-2-and-1 slump, and given the way the Wings played over the first forty minutes, even given Jimmy Howard's superb goaltending, he was wondering where the Wings were headed...
But after the game:
Krupa suggested that the Wings' near-miraculous comeback was just that--with a gift from Jeff Petry in the mix--and he duly noted that Babcock was wondering what the hell was wrong with his team after two periods...
"Where are we?" coach Mike Babcock asked after the game, referring to the Wings play in the first two periods. "We're not getting any time in the offensive zone. We're not physical. We're not competitive on the puck. We weren't good enough."
But they had Howard. He was spectacular early and often, and the game left him dehydrated and behind closed curtains in the dressing room after the game, two days after recovering quickly from a bug.
The wonders he produced began with a big save in the opening several seconds as Edmonton took the opening faceoff and descended upon him. In the third minute Howard's quick poke check stopped the Oilers' Taylor Hall, who seemed the fastest man on ice all night, on a two-on-none break. It was just one of the Red Wings' breakdowns that Howard repaired. Howard stopped Ales Hemsky twice, bang-bang, while splayed on his back, Hasek-style, frantically covering as much of the crease as he could and flailing arms and legs in absolute desperation.
After handing a game to the Flames two nights ago with a series of uncharacteristic giveaways, the Wings had vowed a good game. For two periods, they produced an unmitigated disaster except for a goalie who was not only their best player, but who at times was figuratively their only player.
"You know, it's interesting," Babcock said. "The other night in Calgary I thought we were really good and then we turned the puck over, and tonight we were no good and then got playing in the third period."
It was like two different games, with the Oilers playing one of their best of the season for two periods, and the Red Wings firing the first 10 of 11 shots of the third and simply taking over by sheer force of will. Afterwards, the Wings had trouble explaining it.
"I thought the first two periods tonight were awful, to say the least," said Niklas Kronwall, after the game. "A step behind, just watching. It wasn't good enough, and we found a way to get back in the game," he said. "Our forwards did a great job, getting some great cycles going."
The Wings and their coach were asked, as teams often are when the lift themselves from abject failure to win, if something was said, by a coach or players, to ignite the comeback.
"Well, I think no one was really happy with the way things were going," Kronwall said. "So, I don't think a lot needed to be said, really."
But Filppula scored and told MLive's Ansar Khan that he and Niklas Kronwall would take the second and run with it...
Said Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula: “That's huge. We'll take all the luck we can get right now.''
And the Wings righted themselves in the third--like they used to do when they could boast much more talent on the roster...
“Our forwards did a great job, getting some great cycles going, and Howie came up huge for us the first two periods, really kept us in the game,'' Kronwall said. “That's the reason we came back and won tonight.''
So Pavel Datsyuk could start the Wings' breakout with a slick diagonal pass to Johan Franzen, who waited in the neutral zone for Datsyuk to skate up ice, slid another diagonal pass back to Datsyuk, and watched him work his magic. Datsyuk did indeed say that Franzen's pass was delivered "like mailbox," as Khan noted...
“Mule make it perfect play,'' Datsyuk said. “I come with speed, he gave me good pass, make it tougher for defenseman.''
And as Khan pointed out, it was Kronwall who set Datsyuk up to begin with:
“When he comes with speed, he's really hard to stop. When he's shooting in strides it's really tough to defense,'' Kronwall said. “Very happy to see him get the puck where he got it from Mule. Holding, holding, holding, waiting for the right moment to give Pav even more time, and make the D-man maybe back up a little bit because he thought he was dumping it in.''
“I’m glad we have him,'' coach Mike Babcock said. “Pav and (Henrik Zetterberg) have a huge workload for our team this year, just because the changing of the guard. The amount of new people and new faces, and we put a lot of heat on those guys to lead us offensively, and obviously they pushed back for us tonight.''
"Pavel's goal was sick," says Niklas Kronwall to SportExpressen.se.
"It's an incredibly important victory for us," said Kronwall before he and his teammates got on the charter plain for an evening flight to Vancouver, where the Red Wings will play on Saturday night.
Sometimes Twitter says it best:
Highlights: The Red Wings website's highlight clip is narrated by Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond:
And a combined clip of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and coach Mike Babcock discussing the game:
The Oilers also posted a clip that kind of mooshes everything together.
The Wings' website has individual clips of Datsyuk...
And Babcock speaking to the media:
Datsyuk's post-game chat with Fox Sports Detroit's Trevor Thompson's worth watching for its own sake:
Photos: The Edmonton Sun posted a 23-image gallery;
The Edmonton Journal posted 8 images from the game;
The Windsor Star posted 5 images from the game;
The Detroit Free Press posted a 7-image gallery;
The Detroit News posted a 14-image gallery;
MLive posted a 9-image gallery;
ESPN posted a 30-image gallery;
Yahoo Sports posted 17 images in its Wings gallery;
The Red Wings' website posted a 20-image gallery;
And the Oilers' website posted a 56-image gallery.
Shots 32-28 Edmonton overall. Detroit was out-shot 10-5 in the 1st and 16-9 in the 2nd but out-shot Edmonton 12-6 in the 3rd and 2-0 in OT.
The Wings went 1-for-5 in 7:20 of PP time; the Oilers went 0-for-3 in 4:39 of PP time.
Howard stopped 30 of 32 shots; Dubnyk stopped 25 of 28.
The 3 stars, per Sportsnet, were Jimmy Howard, Pavel Datsyuk and Taylor Hall.
The Wings' goals: Filppula (6) from Zetterberg (22);
Kronwall (5), unassisted, PP;
Datsyuk (9) from Franzen (7) and Kronwall (16).
Faceoffs 34-23 Detroit (Detroit won 60%);
Blocked shots 20-7 Edmonton;
Missed shots 15-6 Detroit (total attempts 63-45 Detroit, with 35 Wings attempts going wide or into Edmonton players);
Hits 14-11 Edmonton;
Giveaways 9-2 Edmonton;
Takeaways 8-6 Detroit.
Individual stats, TMR style:
Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 13-and-7 (65%); Zetterberg went 8-and-6 (57%); Andersson went 6-and-2 (75%); Filppula went 2-and-5 (29%); Emmerton went 2-and-3 (40%); Abdelkader went 2-and-0 (100%); Cleary went 1-and-0.
Shots: Kindl and Quincey co-led the team with 4 shots; Datsyuk and Zetterberg had 3; Cleary, Brunner and Franzen had 2; Smith, Nyquist, Miller, Tootoo, Emmerton, Filppula, Kronwall and Andersson had 1.
Blocked attempts: Datsyuk and Zetterberg hit Oilers players 4 times; Ericsson had 3 attempts blocked; Smith and Franzen had 2 attempts blocked; Kindl, Nyquist, Miller, Brunner and Quincey had 1 attempt blocked.
Missed shots: Brunner missed the net 3 times; Datsyuk, Kronwall and Franzen missed the net 2 times; Smith, Kindl, Abdelkader, Nyquist, Quincey and Andersson missed the net 1 time.
Hits: Abdelkader led the team with 3 hits; Kindl had 2; Brunner, Emmerton, Quincey, Filppula, Ericsson and Andersson had 1.
Giveaways: Quincey and Filppula had giveaways.
Takeaways: Datsyuk had 3 takeaways; Kindl, Abdelkader, Zetterberg, Filppula and Franzen had 1.
Blocked opponent shots: Quincey and Kronwall blocked 2 shots; Kindl, Miller and Lashoff blocked 1.
Penalties taken: Tootoo took a major for fighting; Smith, Kindl and Cleary took minor penalties.
Plus-minus: The Wings finished at a collective -1. Miller, Brunner, Emmerton, Ericsson and Kronwall finished at -1; Kindl, Datsyuk, Lashoff and Franzen finished at +1.
Points: Kronwall had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Datsyuk and Filppula had goals; Zetterberg and Franzen had assists.
Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 26:58 played; Datsyuk played 24:07; Ericsson played 23:26;
Franzen played 21:42; Kindl played 21:37; Quincey played 21:08;
Zetterberg played 20:32; Smith played 17:23; Filppula played 15:57;
Cleary played 15:33; Brunner played 15:19; Nyquist played 15:04;
Lashoff played 14:12; Andersson played 13:05; Abdelkader played 12:19;
Miller played 12:01; Emmerton played 10:53; Tootoo played 7:10.
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About The Malik Report
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.