Detroit at Minnesota (2/20/11)

The Red Wings spent Hockey Day in America in Minnesota for an early afternoon game against the Wild. The goalies were Jimmy Howard and Niklas Backstrom. This was a milestone game for Todd Bertuzzi who was playing in number 1000 of his career. Mike Ilitch flew Bertuzzi’s family in to Minnesota for the game so they could be there to witness his milestone.

This was a very defensive game. Neither team gave up much to the other. The chances were mostly all kept to the outside and there weren’t a lot of rebounds. It turned in to quite a goaltending battle as there were no goals scored until the third period. There were a lot of great saves though, mostly by Backstrom since Howard wasn’t challenged as much by the Wild’s shots. He was calm and poised however and was always ready when shots came his way.

In the third period the Wings got on the board when Hudler found Lidstrom entering the slot and made a nice pass to him. Lidstrom slapped it by Backstrom and made it one to nothing Wings. Just a few minutes later the Wings turned the puck over to Havlat who took off all alone to the Red Wings’ net. He made a nice move and beat Howard with a shot to tie the game.

From that point on the goaltending dual resumed and both goalies were stellar. Through the rest of regulation and through the overtime period they gave up nothing.

Datsyuk was the first shooter in the shootout and he scored a beauty. Then Howard made a save on Bouchard, Hudler missed the net and Howard made a save on Cullen. Bertuzzi was up next with a chance for the game winner in his 1000th game and in front of his family and friends. He took a leisurely pace toward the net, got in tight and shot a backhander up and over Backstrom to win the game.

What a great memory that will be for Bertuzzi and his family. Of course after his game winning goal he was mobbed by his teammates and they saved the puck for him to keep. He was all smiles and I’m sure that’ll be one of the special moments of his career.

It was nice to see the Wings win in a low scoring, defensive battle. That was more of a playoff style of game. They’ve been in some high scoring games lately so it’s good to know they can still win a game two to one.

This 2-1 win brings us to:
37-16-6
80 points

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