Tampa Bay at Detroit (12/17/09)

Tonight’s game featured a rare visit by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Doug Janik was called up from Grand Rapids to replace Ericsson who will likely be out for at least two weeks after suffering a bruised knee on Monday in the game against Phoenix. Jimmy Howard was the starting goaltender for Detroit and Mike Smith was in for Tampa Bay.

In the first period Rafalski made a long pass to Drew Miller who was already in the offensive zone. The puck came to him in mid-air and he knocked it down and got it under control. Then he went in on Mike Smith, faked him out and scored. It looked like it should have been offside and I’m not sure why it wasn’t. It was hard to tell on the replays but the only thing I can think of is that the puck was hit by a Lightning player before Miller got it. That can’t be what they were planning but somehow it worked. The Red Wings had the early lead.

Later in the first Brad May danced with Zenon Konopka. They each got in a few shots but nothing serious. I’d call it a draw.

Near the end of the period Zetterberg got rightly clobbered by Ohlund. It looked like he was blindsided but after seeing the replays I think he saw it coming but it was at the last second; there just wasn’t enough time to react. It was a clean hit but Eaves came charging in to defend his teammate. It was unnecessary to do that on a clean hit and he was called for roughing because of it.

There was no scoring in the second period. To that point the game seemed pretty evenly matched. The Lightning had slightly more shots and chances than the Wings. Howard was playing very well and the rest of the team was, too.

In the third period the Wings were pressuring and the Lightning had trouble clearing the puck. Datsyuk stole a clearing attempt and dumped it back to Holmstrom. He stepped toward the front and passed it to Bertuzzi who was driving towards the net. Bertuzzi keep his stick down and tapped it in.

About halfway through the third period Lidstrom was deep in the offensive zone with the puck. He passed it to Eaves who was moving through the slot all alone. Eaves made a beautiful move to put the puck around Smith and into the net to give the Wings a three to nothing lead. That was a four-on-four goal because Maltby and Ohlund had both received coincidental minors.

That was it for the scoring. The Red Wings looked good in this game. They had a lot fewer shots than usual and gave up a lot more, but apparently they shot all they needed to. Jimmy Howard was stellar. He got the shutout after turning away 30 shots. Keep in mind though that the Lighting are in a terrible slump right now. They’ve been losing a lot lately so we can’t let this go to our heads.

Zetterberg never returned to the game after the monster hit by Ohlund. The way it looked I don’t think it’ll be anything serious. He definitely had his bell rung but I didn’t see anything that should keep him out for long. The only potential problem I can think of from that hit would be concussion or whiplash. Hopefully, he’ll just need some rest. That could be just wishful thinking though. Let’s hope it’s not a real problem…fingers crossed, everyone!

This 0-3 win brings us to:
18-11-5
41 points

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