Minnesota at Detroit (4/5/09)

Today the Minnesota Wild came to Detroit for an early Sunday afternoon game. The Wild came in needing every point they can get the rest of the way to get into the playoffs. Obviously, they came to play. Detroit had lost three in a row all at home. This was their fourth opportunity to get their 50th win. Hopefully, they’ll have more success today than the last three attempts.

Osgood was Detroit’s goalie today and Backstrom was in for the Wild.

In the first period Detroit had a power play and Hudler came really close to scoring but he got the crossbar instead. The Wild managed to kill off the power play. Shortly after it ended they tried to clear the puck but Stuart was able to keep it in. One of the Wild players tried to send it around the boards but it hit the referee. Zetterberg picked it up and sent it to Hudler in front of the net. Hudler popped it into the net to give the Wings a one nothing lead. It was a bad bounce for the Wild hitting the referee but that’s the way it goes sometimes. It about time some luck goes the Red Wings way.

A few minutes later the Red Wings struck again. This time it was a beautiful tap pass between the legs from Hossa to Datsyuk who was skating behind him. Datsyuk took it toward the net, waited for the right time and then buried it. He showed great patience on the shot. He waited for the defender to lay out for the block and waited for Backstrom to commit. He just went around them and chipped it in over the goalie.

Nearing the final minute of the first period Osgood came out to play a puck that was dumped in. He was pressured by the Wild and chipped it to the boards. As Osgood was backing up towards the net Clutterbuck took the puck off the boards and shot it. Osgood wasn’t set and the puck got through him and into the net. That was a pretty bad goal to give up. It wasn’t a hard shot it was just a matter of not being set. That made it two to one Red Wings.

The first period was great for the Red Wings with the exception of the flubbed play that cost them the goal. Detroit more than doubled the Wild’s shots on goal.

In the second period Detroit completely dominated. They had chance after chance but Backstrom was making some great saves and the Wings weren’t able to score. With just over a minute left in the second period the Wild finally got the puck in Detroit’s end for a little while. The puck was bouncing around in front of the net. Gaborik chipped it towards the goal. It somehow made it through Osgood, Stuart, and who knows how many other people that were in front of the net and trickled across the goal line. So once again Detroit had dominated a game and somehow given up two lucky goals on hardly any shots. The second period ended with the teams tied at two.

Through two periods, Detroit still had more than double the shots of the Wild. Detroit had 34 and the Wild had only 15. Regardless of the shots on goal, the score was tied.

In the third period Detroit went back on their heels a little bit. They turned the puck over a lot and it seemed like the Wild had it in the Red Wings end a lot more than they had in the first two periods. Detroit was able to keep them from scoring though. Osgood had some great saves and several other players had some nice defensive plays.

Then, just as Bud Lynch was announcing the last minute of play, Holmstrom skated the puck into the zone and dished it to Hossa. Hossa fired a bullet that beat Backstrom to take the lead. The Wild tried to pull the goalie but had to bring him back out twice because of icing. On their third attempt Detroit got control of the puck so by the time Backstrom got to the bench there was only about 15 seconds left.

It’s a shame for the Wild and especially Backstrom that they lost because this pretty much eliminates them from playoff contention. They still have a chance but it doesn’t look good. Backstrom is a great goalie and the Wild are a great team. I would have liked to have seen them in the playoffs this year. The West is just too tough though. It must have been a heartbreaker for them not to get a point out of this game after being less than a minute away from a tie.

As for the Red Wings, they played very well today. They finally got their 50th win and broke their losing streak. Osgood looked sharp except for the one mistake on the Wild’s first goal. However, they still had too many turnovers in the third period. I think they’re moving in the right direction though.

This 2-3 win brings us to:
109 points

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