Posts Tagged ‘Game Five’

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 5 (5/8/10)

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Tonight it was the second do or die game for the Red Wings in this series against the Sharks. After the pummeling delivered by the Wings in game four the Sharks were expected to show some serious push back. The starting goalies were Nabokov and Howard. Brad Stuart was a game time decision. Luckily he was able to go so he was in the lineup tonight after taking a hard hip check from Blake and missing most of game four. Lebda was also in the lineup tonight as an extra defenseman.

The first period was mostly all San Jose. They applied a ton of offensive pressure. The shots were 15 to 6 in favor of the Sharks. Jimmy Howard was superb however and the Wings weathered the storm. The bounces were going the Red Wings’ way as there were several chances where the Sharks missed the net or had the puck jump over their sticks. The penalties were going against Detroit though. There were only two penalties in the first period and both went against Franzen. The second one still had 27 seconds which carried over to the second period. I think the Red Wings were pretty happy just to have escaped the first period without giving up a goal.

The Wings killed off the rest of the penalty to start the second period. Then they started to generate a little offense of their own. Rafalski shot from the point with Bertuzzi screening Nabokov. The puck hit the post and went in. So although San Jose had played better to that point, the Wings had the lead. The can be very demoralizing for the other team.

Than a few minutes later Stuart was called for elbowing. Demers shot from the point and the rebound came to Thornton who popped it home for the game tying goal.

The rest of the second period was pretty much all Red Wings. Detroit had more power plays in the second period and were able to pull even and then take the lead in shots on goal. There were a few sequences where they came extremely close to scoring. They were getting lots of traffic in front. In spite of the heavy effort level though, the tie held to the end of the second period.

In the third period Pavelski had a breakaway against Kronwall who missed the puck and then got turned around. He hooked him to prevent the scoring chance and Pavelski was awarded a penalty shot. He came to the net with speed and missed high over the crossbar on Howard’s glove side.

Later in the period Franzen was hit in the head by Murray and leveled. He was down for a while but most of it took place during a TV timeout. There was no penalty on the play. After the TV timeout the Wings had the faceoff in their own end. Rafalski ended up with the puck behind the net. Heatley pressured him enough to free the puck and it went to Thornton. He passed to Marleau in front who quickly shot and scored to break the tie.

A few minutes later Stuart laid a big hit on Murray from his blindside and stunned him pretty good. At least he was paid back for the hit on Franzen.

The Red Wings stepped it up even more. The hitting was ferocious and there were many dangerous scoring chances. They pulled the goalie with a little over a minute and a half left. Then with about 50 seconds left Boyle was called for holding so the Wings had a 6 on 4 for the rest of the game. It was a valiant effort but the Red Wings were not able to tie the game and Sharks clinched the series.

The Wings played a great road game tonight but it just wasn’t enough. They started out on their heels in the first period but they weathered that storm and then took over in the second and third. This was an extremely close series. Every Sharks win was very close.

So ends this season for the Red Wings. They faced a ton of adversity this season and in the end I think they emerged even better.

Probably the best thing to come out of this season was the blossoming of Jimmy Howard. He already played like a veteran and now he has playoff experience as well. He knows what it takes to win in the playoffs and he’s experienced losing. I have very high hopes for the future with him in net.

This 1-2 loss finishes this Western Conference Semifinal series at 1-4 San Jose.

Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game 5 (4/23/10)

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Tonight the Red Wings and Coyotes faced off for game five. One team would end the night just a win away from the second round. Bryzgalov and Howard were the goalies again for this game. Shane Doan was still out of the lineup for the Coyotes. Robert Lang was also out of the lineup again after returning for the previous game. Our other old friend, Mathieu Schneider was in instead.

The first period had a great pace but only a few good scoring chances at either end. Both goalies had some big saves. Towards the end of the period Phoenix iced the puck. In a strange but effective move, Babcock put out his fourth line against the tired Coyotes’ squad. Miller carried the puck in deep and tried to center it from behind the net. It hit the skates of Lepisto and bounced back to Miller. He took it back and tried the wrap around. Bryzgalov made the initial stop but then it hit Fiddler’s skate and went in. It was initially credited to Abdelkader who was right there in front of the net but it was changed to Miller since Abdelkader didn’t touch the puck. It was one to nothing Red Wings.

In the second period the Coyotes got the puck into the Red Wings’ end and worked it in deep. They got it back to the point with Jovanovski in front of the net. Aucoin shot it from the point and Howard stopped it. Jovanovski swept the puck around Howard as he was falling on top of him. Howard complained that he was interfered with. Jovanovski did fall on top of him and it looked like Howard’s leg bent back awkwardly. He seemed to be okay but he didn’t have much of a chance to stop the puck. It easily could have been called interference but I didn’t think it was too terrible. It was determined to be incidental contact which I think was fair. That goal tied the game at one.

In the third period the Red Wings had a power play but weren’t able to score. Hanzal had a breakaway coming out of the penalty box and Howard made two spectacular saves on him. On the second one Howard was already sprawled out and Hanzal took another whack at it. Howard knocked the puck out of the air with his goal stick. It was absolute robbery. Beautiful goaltending!

Helm made a fantastic defensive play in the third period. Howard was all the way over to his right expecting a shot from Fiddler. Instead he wrapped around the back of the net very quickly and Howard wasn’t able to get back in time. Helm saw that play developing and came flying in to the wide open side of the net with his stick down and made a great save to rob Fiddler of an easy goal. Great play by Helm! Ericsson was also right there in good position to help out.

Later in the third period there was a faceoff deep in the Coyotes’ end. Datsyuk won it back to Lidstrom at the point. He fired a shot that was redirected slightly a time or two and somehow ended up behind Bryzgalov but in front of the net. Holmstrom skated through the crease behind Bryzgalov and chased down the puck, popping it into the wide open net for the go ahead goal. That made it two to one Wings with about nine minutes left in the game.

After that goal the Wings had some momentum. They kept up the pressure and were generating some good chances. Then Holmstrom got the puck to Franzen who passed it to Datsyuk in front of the net. Datsyuk got the puck up and beat Bryzgalov over the glove with a backhander making it three to one.

Late in the game the Coyotes’ pulled Bryzgalov. Zetterberg bagged a nice empty net goal that was actually pretty difficult. He had about three Coyotes on him trying to prevent the goal and he scored anyway thanks in part to a nice setup from Filppula.

So the Red Wings won game five four to one and took the series lead three to two. This was a great game for the Wings. They Coyotes played hard but the Wings were better. Jimmy Howard was fantastic once again and the entire team played very well.

The Red Wings will have the chance to finish the first round on Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm in Detroit.

This 4-1 win brings this Western Conference Quarterfinal series to 3-2 Red Wings.