3-2 Wings. Nailed it.
:: Over six minutes to start the game without a whistle. We’re going to have some old time hockey, friends. It was all Detroit early, but Washington showed why they’re near the top of their conference as well. Lots of talent on that team, but the Wings were just a little bit better this night.
:: About 12 minutes in, Henrik Zetterberg had a goal on his stick and fired it wide. It was one of those “oh son of a bitch” moments because he’s been on a bit of a dry spell in the goal scoring department. However, before getting off of the ice, he made good, converting a slapper from Brian “Welcome Back” Rafalski and Todd Bertuzzi. The euphoria would last approximately zero seconds as John Carlson knots it at one with a seeing-eye-puck through a crowd. The Wings took a lead into the intermission however, as Flip redirects a Brian “Say, Isn’t That The Guy You Wanted Traded” Rafalski pass into the cage for a 2-1 goal.
:: Alexander Ovechkin’s goal in the second period, which tied things back up, was filthy. Brad Stuart’s only mistake was not having his stick be a nuisance, but Ovechkin’s the best there is with a wrist shot, and he wired one through Stuart’s legs and over Howard’s shoulder before anyone had any idea he was going to shoot. If there’s anyone out there that can stop that from happening, they haven’t been born yet.
:: The Red Wings would have the last laugh, however, as Henrik Zetterberg banked a pretty sweet backhand off of Neuvirth’s face and into the net. Assists came from Pavel Datsyuk and Brian “Well, Wouldn’t Ya Know It” Rafalski. In fact, Rafalski led all players in his return with three points and +2. Welcome back. Now if there was only some way to get Jonathan Ericsson out of the way…
:: Speaking of the D, the pairings didn’t last very long, did they? Nicklas Lidstrom started the game with Jonathan Ericsson. It wasn’t long before Lidstrom and Stuart were together and the juggling would continue. Methinks Coach Babcock isn’t thrilled with how things look back there.
:: Johan Franzen was a -2 in the win. Ouch.
:: Jiri Hudler was the low icetime man for the Wings, logging 8:40. Modano played just over 10, followed by Holmstrom (13:05), Draper (13:48), and — wait for it — Franzen (13:49).
:: Henrik Zetterberg and Alexander Ovechkin each had seven shots on goal — tied for the most in the game. Zetterberg is 6th in the league in shots (275), Ovechkin first (332).
:: In what HAS to be a record this season, every Red Wing that took a faceoff tonight was 50% or better. Draper was 6/6, Zetterberg 7/11, Filppula 9/15, Datsyuk 8/14, Modano 1/2, Helm 3/6, and Cleary 1/2.