Detroit at Vancouver (3/20/10)

The Red Wings were in Vancouver tonight to play the second of back to back road games. Detroit’s goalie was Jimmy Howard and for the Canucks it was the gold medal winning Roberto Luongo. Eaves was out after being hit in the head last night. Cleary was also out with a lower body injury. Meech and Lebda were in the lineup to fill in for them.

The Wings got off to a much better looking start tonight than they did last night. They had a lot of energy and were battling hard right from the opening faceoff. They had an early power play that was pretty eventful but they weren’t able to score. They did get a lot of shots though and kept the play in Vancouver’s end for most of the two minutes.

Shortly after the power play expired Vancouver was working the puck in Detroit’s end. They passed from one point to the other. Ehrhoff received and it from O’Brien and fired with a ton of traffic in front of Howard. The shot hit Wellwood in front and redirected into the net while Howard was battling for space. He was bumped by Daniel Sedin but it was outside the crease and it didn’t look like Sedin really initiated it.

Later in the first period the exact same thing happened again. This time the shot came from O’Brien at the other point but again there was a ton of traffic in front of Howard and somehow the puck found its way through everybody and into the net. I don’t think Howard ever saw it. That made it two to nothing.

It was a good first period for the Wings in terms of effort. They weren’t able to score but they had more than twice as many shots on goal as Vancouver did.

In the second period the Red Wings continued to battle and pressure the Canucks. About halfway through the period Stuart shot from the point and it ricocheted off the back boards. Filppula tried to bank it in off Luongo and it dropped down right in front with Luongo out of position. Bieksa was standing directly over the puck and couldn’t see it. He did a complete 360 looking for it and it was between his skates the whole time. Finally, Bertuzzi was able to get to it and chip it into the net to put the Red Wings on the board. It was a funny play, but any way you can score a goal is a good one.

Right off the next faceoff, just five seconds later, Datsyuk got the puck. He stepped into the Canucks’ zone and ripped one beating Luongo with the long shot. Just like that the game was tied at two.

Late in the second period Lidstrom was called for holding. It wasn’t the best call I’ve ever seen. During the penalty kill Filppula stole the puck as the Canucks were trying to hold it in the zone. He jumped on it and took off on a breakaway. He made a nice move and beat Luongo high on the glove side. It was a beautiful shorthanded goal for Filppula on his 26th birthday. Happy birthday to him!

The Red Wings killed off the penalty and the rest of the period. They went into the second intermission up three to two. They had played really well through two periods. Detroit was outshooting the Canucks 30 to 21 and had 16 scoring chances to Vancouver’s 10.

At the start of the third period it was all Vancouver. Detroit continually succumbed to their fore check, turned the puck over and gave up scoring chances to the Canucks. About five minutes into the period the puck was chipped into the air. Daniel Sedin caught it right at the top of the crease. He threw it down towards the net and touched it with his stick just before it crossed the goal line. That tied the game at three.

After that goal the Red Wings stepped it up and started taking the play to Vancouver. Detroit owned the puck and had tons of shots and scoring chances for the next several minutes. Finally, Datsyuk drew a penalty and the Wings went on the power play. Detroit generated a lot of chances but didn’t score on the power play.

The Wings continued to pressure and at one point came so close to scoring that the play was reviewed to see if the puck crossed the line. Williams had put the puck between Luongo’s legs and it was headed across the goal line but Edler swept it out of there at the last second.

Regulation time ended in a tie so the Wings went to overtime for the second night in a row.

During the overtime the Wings continued playing well. It was some really exciting hockey that had near playoff intensity. Near the end of the overtime Detroit had the puck in Vancouver’s end. Filppula sent it back for Zetterberg near the wall with about three seconds left. Zetterberg moved towards the slot and shot a backhander that connected with the back of the net with only 0.3 seconds left (again!).

That gave the Wings the overtime win and the extra point that they so desperately needed. It’s amazing that they had buzzer beaters two nights in a row and that they both happened with 0.3 seconds left. That was just crazy!

This was a great and well-deserved win for the Wings. They played well the entire game and really earned the two points. They were in the hole early even though they were playing great hockey but they didn’t get discouraged. They battled back and won the game. Great job!

So the Red Wings got five out of six points on this their final west coast road trip of the season. I’d call that a very successful trip. That puts Detroit back up by two over Calgary for eighth place in the West. Let’s keep it going!

This 4-3 win brings us to:
35-23-13
83 points

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