Posts Tagged ‘Game Four’

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 4 (5/6/10)

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

It was do or die for the Red Wings tonight. They faced the Sharks at Joe Louis Arena down three games to none. Lebda was out of the lineup tonight and Lilja was back in. Also, Jason Williams was out and Ritola was in. The goalies were Howard and Nabokov. Babcock also did some line juggling for this game. Datsyuk was on a line with Filppula and Holmstrom, and the second line was Franzen, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi.

In the first minute of the game Detroit was called for too many men on the ice. Luckily the Red Wings were able to kill it off.

Then Brad Stuart took a hit from Rob Blake. It was a hip check that caught him right in the thigh. He left the ice right afterwards and then left the bench.

A few minutes later the Red Wings had their own power play when Helminen tripped up Lidstrom. The Sharks almost killed it off but with just a couple of seconds left Zetterberg passed the puck to Franzen with Bertuzzi in front of the net. Franzen shot it and it hit Bertuzzi’s leg and went in. That gave the Red Wings the all important first goal and the early lead in the game.

Later in the first, Zetterberg passed it Franzen in front of the net. It was in tight and it hit Franzen’s skates. The puck bounced behind him and he quickly turned around and shot it. Nabokov had no chance, the net was wide open. That made it two nothing Red Wings. The Sharks thought there should have been goalie interference called because there was contact between Franzen and Nabokov. I’m actually surprised they didn’t call it. Nabokov was outside the crease but Franzen did bump into him. It wasn’t a hit though, he just brushed into him.

Just past the halfway point of the first period Bertuzzi had the puck in the zone and waited for Franzen to catch up. He dished it behind him to Franzen who ripped one that beat Nabokov cleanly for a top shelf goal over the glove. That made it three to nothing Red Wings very early in the game. The fans threw hats because the first goal was awarded to Franzen on the ice but it was clear that it hit Bertuzzi so Franzen really only had two.

Just a few seconds later Franzen took another shot but Nabokov stopped it. The rebound came back to him and he shot again and once again scored! So the hats were justified after all and Franzen bagged the rare natural hat trick which is three consecutive goals by one player. That made it four to nothing Wings and there was still over nine minutes left in the first period.

Mickey Redmond said before the game that Franzen needed to step it up. I guess he got his wish!

As the end of the period was approaching Filppula and Holmstrom were in the corner in the Sharks’ end battling for the puck. Dan Boyle tried to backhand the puck to Murray in front of his own net. Instead it bounced off Murray and went toward Nabokov. It hit him and bounced into the net making it five to nothing. That was some seriously bad luck for Dan Boyle who put the puck in his own net during the previous series against Colorado, although that one was also redirected. Filppula got credit for the goal since he was the last Red Wings to touch it.

At the start of the second period they announced that the first goal was officially changed to Bertuzzi and also that Franzen had broken the Red Wings’ record for most points in a period with four. Also, Nabokov was given the rest of the night off and McClellan put in Thomas Greiss.

Early in the second period the Red Wings had a power after Helminen was called for tripping. Rafalski made a nice play to start the rush and passed ahead to Bertuzzi then went up towards the wing. Bertuzzi passed it back to him and he one timed it into the net to make it six nothing. Greiss got a piece of it but not enough to stop it.

Later in the second San Jose had a 5 on 3 power play after Kronwall was called for interference and Lidstrom was called for hooking. Heatley wound up and ripped one by Howard to get the Sharks on the board and then still had over 1:40 of power play time left. The Wings killed off the rest of the power play.

In the third period things got a little ugly. Thornton dumped Holmstrom after the whistle and Franzen came in to defend him. There were a few punches thrown between Thornton and Holmstrom and they both went to the box.

Later, on the power play Lidstrom shot and broke Bertuzzi’s stick as he tried to deflect it. The puck bounced to Franzen who scored again. That was his fourth goal and sixth point which set the Red Wings’ record for most points in a playoff game and tied him with Crosby as the points leader of this playoff season.

Throughout the rest of the third period there were tons of penalties as things got a little chippy. Three game misconducts were handed out to the Sharks and there were a few fighting majors as well.

The final score was seven to one. It doesn’t get much better than that.

The Red Wings were incredible in this game. Led by Franzen, along with Bertuzzi and Zetterberg, and with their backs to the wall, the Wings came through with one of the best games I’ve ever seen them play.

Now they just have to do it three more times. After the way they played tonight it doesn’t seem so farfetched.

This 1-7 win brings this Western Conference Semifinal series to 1-3 San Jose.

Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game 4 (4/20/10)

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Tonight’s game was a must win for the Red Wings. They were down 2-1 in the series. If you fall to 3-1 the odds are not good of coming back to win the series, but a win tonight and it would be up for grabs.

The goalies once again were Jimmy Howard and Ilya Bryzgalov. The Coyotes captain Shane Doan was not in the lineup for this game. He was injured in game 3 when he crashed into the boards trying to avoid running into Jimmy Howard. Fiddler was back in the lineup for the Coyotes after missing the previous game.

The Red Wings did some line juggling for this game. Cleary was moved onto a line with Datsyuk and Franzen. Holmstrom was moved onto a line with Miller and Abdelkader.

In the first period Miller and Fiddler got into it a little bit in front of the Coyotes’ net. They didn’t actually fight but they both went off for roughing. They continued to argue while in the boxes. There was some animosity there for sure.

During the 4 one 4 it looked like Filppula had scored. After looking at the replay though it was clear that the puck did not cross the line. It was hard to believe because it looked like it was heading in and then it hit the ice and bounced right back out. It was tumbling end over end and it just happened to bounce the wrong way.

The first period ended with no score. The Wings had a slow start but seemed to play better as the period went on. The Red Wings ended up with approximately double the shots and chances that Phoenix had and were pretty much in control of the puck. They had a few power plays but couldn’t score. The biggest problem for the Wings in the first period was faceoffs. They only won 8 while Phoenix came away with 20.

Late in the second period the Red Wings were on the power play. Kronwall shot from the blue line and Zetterberg was in front. He deflected the puck with his stick and it went up and into the top corner of the net. They reviewed it see if it was touched with a high stick but it was not. There wasn’t much chance that his stick was above the crossbar because the puck went up from where he touched it and it still ended up under the crossbar. That gave the Wings the one to nothing lead. The goal was initially credited to Bertuzzi but wasn’t touched by his stick so that would be changed.

A few seconds after the goal, Datsyuk was called for boarding. During the penalty kill Jimmy Howard’s goalie mask was knocked off and he still made the save before the whistle went. It was quite a display of concentration.

The second period ended with the Wings up by one. Most of the period was rather uneventful. The Red Wings seemed to be dominating in terms of possession but Phoenix was doing a good job of preventing many quality chances. By the end of the period the shots and chances were much closer.

In the third period the Coyotes had 17 seconds of 5 on 3 power play time. The Red Wings killed it off and then killed off the rest of the penalty, too. It was a great kill for the Wings and it really energized the team and the crowd.

Later the Red Wings got the puck in deep. They got it back to Lidstrom at the point. He passed it to Franzen who found an opening to hit Datsyuk on the other side of the ice. Datsyuk fired a perfect shot that got behind Bryzgalov on the short side and found the top corner of the far side of the net. That made it two to nothing Wings with just over four minutes left in the game. It sure was a pretty play.

The Red Wings kept the pressure on and just 25 seconds later they scored again. Bertuzzi won a race to negate an icing and cycled the puck to Zetterberg down below the goal line along the boards. Zetterberg just threw it to the net and it hit Bryzgalov and went in to make it three to zip.

The Red Wings played some great defense for the final five minutes including a penalty kill at the end that was needed when Datsyuk flipped the puck over the glass by mistake.

The Wings got the win and Jimmy Howard earned his first career playoff shutout. It was a great performance by Howard especially considering this was a bounce back game after losing game three and giving up some soft goals. It’s a great sign that he was able to put that all behind him and perform so well in this game.

Detroit played a very physical game tonight. They were really throwing the body around and laying some big hits. Datsyuk and Zetterberg played really well as did Helm and Bertuzzi.

So the Red Wings head back to Phoenix with the series tied at two apiece. It’s a best of three now.

This 0-3 win brings this Western Conference Quarterfinal series to a 2-2 tie.