Posts Tagged ‘Overtime’

Western Conference Finals, Game 5 (5/27/09)

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Tonight the Red Wings took on the Blackhawks with a game in Detroit. The Wings had a chance to wrap it up in this game and move on to the Penguins and the Stanley Cup Finals. It would be a difficult task with Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Draper and Lilja all still out. To make matters worse Ericsson was also out after having an emergency appendectomy. He’s only expected to miss one game which is just incredible. The Hawks were without Havlat, which is probably for the best. Khabibulin was still out as well. Osgood and Huet were the starting goaltenders.

Detroit was hot right from the get-go in this one. They had some glorious scoring chances and took 21 shots in the first period alone. Huet stood on his head and although he looked a little shaky, he didn’t let anything get behind him. At the other end Chicago had a few good chances as well. Osgood looked very sharp as usual.

Detroit had two power plays in the first, one when Helm was hooked by Sharp and another when Chicago had too many men on the ice. The Hawks were really tight on the penalty kill. I’m sure they were happy to end the period with no score.

Chicago had a lot more jump in the second period. They pressured hard and Osgood had to be, and was on fire to keep his team in the game.

Holmstrom and Fraser got into a scuffle behind Chicago’s net and both got roughing penalties. Eager was in the box as well for a 10 minute misconduct. Apparently he was mouthing off about something to the referee. It was 4 on 4 since the misconduct doesn’t cost you a man. Then Hossa was called for slashing and the Hawks had a 4 on 3 power play. Detroit did a good job killing that off. Just a few seconds later Lebda was penalized for a hook. It was a goal saving hook to negate a Chicago breakaway after a turnover so you can’t complain too much about Lebda taking a penalty in that situation. On the power play Detroit had a couple of shorthanded chances. Helm singlehandedly killed off the last 25 seconds of the penalty. He was incredible. He ducked and dodged his way around the entire Blackhawks team while they tried to take it away from him and he had two good scoring chances! His theme music should be the Benny Hill song (Yakety Sax).

The penalty parade continued in the second period. Duncan Keith was called for slashing and during the power play Holmstrom was called for tripping. Even through all of the power play time neither team scored in the second period.

Chicago had a ton of scoring chances in the first two minutes of the third period. They were really buzzing and Osgood kept shutting the door.

Then Detroit had some good chances at the other end and it finally paid off. They were really putting the pressure on and Chicago couldn’t clear it. It came back to Lebda at the point. He shot it and Cleary was in front of Huet. Cleary tipped it between his own legs and past Huet to take the one to nothing lead. It was a great goal for Cleary who had almost tipped one in on the same shift just a few seconds earlier.

With just over seven minutes left in the game Kane took the puck in and backhanded it over Osgood and into the net. Osgood didn’t give him much room but he threaded the needle. That was Kane’s first goal of the series and it was a timely one for the Hawks.

In the last thirty seconds Franzen had a wide open net on a rebound attempt. He elevated the puck and Huet was laying flat on his stomach. Huet made an incredible save with his skate to hold the tie.

The tie held until the end of regulation so they went to overtime for the third time in this series.

In the overtime Detroit was dominant. Chicago had a few chances but it was mostly Detroit attacking. The Wings were doing a great job of collecting rebounds and cutting off clearing attempts to keep the pressure on. Finally, Lebda shot from the point, it hit the backboards and came back between Huet’s knees where Holmstrom pushed it through but it didn’t go in. The puck went through Huet and come out the other side of the crease and laid there. Helm jumped on it and popped it in for the overtime, game winning, series clinching goal. It was so fitting that Helm got the goal after the great game he had tonight. Aside from Osgood he was probably the MVP of the game.

Overall this was a fantastic series for the Wings. Congratulations to the Blackhawks who had a phenomenal year and will only get better. I have a feeling that the road to the Stanley Cup will pass through Chicago in the next few years.

Now the Wings have to face a red hot Pittsburgh team. I can hardly believe that this season has come down to a rematch. It will determine whether or not Hossa made the right choice. That’ll be quite a storyline for this series.

The first two games of the finals will be back to back for some reason. They will take place this Saturday and Sunday in Detroit. Hopefully our injured guys can get healthy enough to play over the next couple of days.

Here come the Finals….let’s go Red Wings!!!

This 1-2 overtime win finishes this Western Conference Final series at 4-1 Detroit.

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 3 (5/5/09)

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Tonight the Red Wings were in Anaheim to take on the Ducks in game three. Rafalski, Draper and Lilja were still unavailable to play. The goalies were Osgood and Hiller. The teams were coming off a hard fought game two that went to triple overtime so fatigue was a concern in this game.

The first five minutes of this game had a frenetic pace. There were lots of big hits. Datsyuk was really throwing the body around. Hossa seemed to have a lot of jump early. The Red Wings had an early power play but the Ducks were all over them and they couldn’t do a thing offensively. Then the Ducks had a power play. Osgood made a few great saves early and looked very solid. The Ducks did a lot more offensively on their power play than the Wings did but they still didn’t score.

About halfway through the period Datsyuk had a good chance on a breakaway but missed the net. Then Samuelsson had a glorious chance after luring Hiller out of the net. He had already passed the goal line and tried to bank it in off of Hiller’s skate but it wouldn’t go. Then the Ducks went back on the power play after Franzen was called for something that wasn’t announced or replayed on TV. The Wings did a great job killing the second penalty; the Ducks had no shots on that one.

After a faceoff in Detroit’s end Lebda shot but his stick was blocked by Selanne who immediately started up ice without the puck. The Ducks got control and got it to him as he was streaking into the zone one on one against Chelios. He got behind Chelios and backhanded one by Osgood. That gave the Ducks the early one to nothing lead.

The first period ended without any other goals. The Ducks were playing very aggressively. Detroit really wasn’t able to get anything at all done offensively. Outside of a few quality chances they really weren’t able to get the puck deep or get second chances or really challenge Hiller at all.

In the second period Brad Stuart was called for interference. It was an incredibly terrible call. Stuart put a beautiful hit on a guy who had touched the puck just a split second beforehand. On the ensuing power play Osgood was slashed and then run over as the Ducks scored their second goal. The officiating was entirely responsible for that goal. The power play should not have happened in the first place and then it should have been goalie interference. Unbelievable. Hopefully, this would make the Red Wings angry. I know it worked on me.

Wisniewski was elbowed by Holmstrom in front of the net and he went down. He was down for a long time and they ended up bringing out the stretcher to take him off. The refs missed the elbow, too. In fact there was a delayed call on the Ducks so the Wings had a man advantage when play resumed. Wisniewski was also hit by a puck earlier in the play so that might have been the source of his injury. It looked like it hit him in the arm or maybe the ribs.

That power play was enough to finally get something going for the Wings. They had some traffic and second chance opportunities. Hudler got the puck back to Samuelsson who one timed it. The rebound came out to Zetterberg and he shot it. After he shot the puck he lost his stick so he actually had no stick in his hand when the puck crossed the line.

The goal seemed to spark the Red Wings. They started generating a lot more offense after that. They also became more aggressive defensively. They killed a penalty in which the Ducks had no shots and the Red Wings had probably three or four. It was a much better performance at the end of the second period than the entire rest of the game. It was more like the way they played in the overtimes in game two. They would need more of that type of play to have any hope of winning this one.

The Red Wings started the third period with the same jump they had at the end of the second. They dictated the play for the first half of the period. Just passed the halfway point Chelios was high-sticked and the Wings went on the power play. The Ducks killed it off but a few minutes later they were called again this time for interference with Chelios. That one was also killed off. The Wings had lots of shots and scoring chances but just failed to convert.

With a minute to go the Red Wings scored. Great right? No. The referee lost sight of the puck, even though it was laying right on the goal line, and blew the play dead. Well, actually he didn’t blow the play dead, but he was thinking about it. The puck was in the back of the net by the time the whistle blew, but he was intending to blow it before the puck crossed the line. Well, he blew it alright. I really hate this rule. If you intend to blow the whistle too early, and don’t quite manage to do it, that’s a good thing, why wave that off? You don’t have to tell anybody about your intended mistake. Serenity now!

The Wings called their timeout after that.

With 11.3 seconds on the clock the referrers got on the phone and had it reset to 12.4. You don’t want to mess up a call as important as that one. You just can’t be too careful.

There was a brawl at the end of the game that was a direct result of the poor calls. The announcers seemed to think that the Ducks had frustrated the Wings but I tend to think the frustration was from winning the game and still coming away with a loss.

I normally don’t complain about the officiating but in this one I’ll make an exception. I credit the officials with giving the Ducks their second goal and stopping the Red Wings second goal. In reality this game should have ended two to one Red Wings.

These kinds of games are a fact of life though. It was still within the Red Wings power to win this game even with the bad calls. If they had started playing well at the drop of the puck instead of waiting until the game was half over they might have won. Thursday night they have to play well from beginning to end.

This 1-2 loss brings this Western Conference Semifinal series to 2-1 Anaheim.

Western Conference Semifinals, Game 2 (5/3/09)

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

This afternoon the Ducks and the Wings were set to go at it again for game two. Game one was fantastic. This is shaping up to be a great series. The goalies once again were Osgood and Hiller. Rafalski, Draper and Lilja were still out for the Wings. Having Ericsson on the top defensive pairing worked out great for the Wings last time. It’s such a luxury to be able to lose two defensemen and still be so good defensively. Brown was not suspended for the hit on Hudler in game one so he was back in the lineup today.

Osgood got off to a sharp start in this game. Less the five minutes in he made a brilliant save on Miller who got in behind the defense all alone and drove the net. Osgood snagged it with the glove, no problem.

The Wings got the first power play of the game when Getzlaf gave a little slash to the back of the leg of Kronwall. It wasn’t much of a slash but they called it anyway. Hossa got hit hard on the first shift of the power play and got up slowly. He made it back to the bench on his own and seemed to be alright after that.

With the power play winding down the Ducks failed on a clearing attempt and the Wings went back to work. Lidstrom took a shot that went off the back boards and came to Stuart near the faceoff dot. There was nothing but Ducks in front of the net. The puck went over the stick of Stuart and hit his skate. It then went towards the slot. The puck jumped over the stick of Wisniewski, hit HIS skate and redirected straight into the net. It was a lucky goal for sure, but the Red Wings were happy to have the early lead any way they could get it. There was a review of the play because if Stuart had kicked the puck it would not have counted. According to the situation room update on, the rule states that if the puck is it kicked it won’t count even if it goes off another player. Luckily the review determined that Stuart did not use a distinct kicking motion.

A few minutes later Perry stole the puck in the Red Wings end and got it to Getzlaf. He shot the puck and Osgood made a great save with the stick. Unfortunately, the puck bounced back off the stick and Getzlaf took another whack at it. That time it got over the stick and into the net.

The Ducks went on the power play after a questionable call on Stuart. He was called for interference on Mike Brown. The puck came to Pronger at the point. He one-timed it and scored. Scott Niedermayer was in front of the net distracting Osgood. It was just 34 seconds after the Ducks previous goal.

The momentum started to swing the Ducks’ way. They had the puck in Detroit’s end for an extended period when the Wings couldn’t clear and the Ducks really seemed to gain a lot of energy from that.

Then Lebda made a nice outlet pass to Samuelsson who tapped it to Filppula and they started up ice three on two. Filppula passed it back to Samuelsson and he moved towards the net. He backhanded one that went right through the five hole and into the net. That tied the game at two and gave some jump back to the Red Wings bench.

Towards the end of the first period Detroit was trying to change and couldn’t. The gassed line for the Wings was stuck out there against the fresh legs of the Ducks. Ryan shot the puck and Osgood got most of it but it dropped behind him. It was heading towards the net but it had some backspin and when it hit the ice it started back out away from the net. Franzen jumped on it quickly and cleared it out of there.

Helm had a great scoring chance after stealing the puck from Scott Niedermayer. He tried a toe drag move and Hiller poked it away with the knob of his stick negating the opportunity.

All that action was just the first period. The Ducks had too many good scoring chances but luckily Osgood was up to the challenge in most cases. I thought Kronwall had a pretty good period. He had lots of hits. Helm and Stuart also looked pretty good in the first period. The Ducks had a little bit more energy than the Wings did but it was pretty close. The stats after one period were almost identical except that the Red Wings had more hits and the Ducks won more faceoffs. Other than that the difference was negligible.

Early in the second period Miller again ended up all alone against Osgood. He made a few moves but Osgood stoned him once again.

The Ducks again seemed to have a bit more energy than the Wings in the second period. The Red Wings had a little trouble getting the puck out of their own end and the Ducks fed on that. They had the puck a lot more than is typical for a Detroit opponent.

Then Chelios was called for high sticking when accidentally nailed Josh Green in the face. On the power play Scott Niedermayer shot from the top of the circle and the puck went wide. It bounced off the back boards to the front of the net and Carter shot it in on the open side before Osgood could get back over. That gave the Ducks the lead three to two.

The second period ended with no more scoring. The Red Wings couldn’t really put together much offense in that period. They were on the penalty kill a lot and when they weren’t the Ducks seemed to have more jump. The Red Wings were going to need something in the third to give them some life.

The stats through two periods still mostly favored the Ducks but the Wings were way ahead in hits and had taken the lead in faceoffs as well.

The third period started with more of the same. The Red Wings couldn’t get the puck to settle down and Anaheim wasn’t giving them any time or space. They were playing really tight defensively and whenever Detroit got the puck there was somebody there to take it away. The exception was Helm who put together a couple of good chances in a row. That seemed to spark the team a little bit.

With just under 15 minutes left in the game Zetterberg, Cleary and Franzen were out there and had a couple of shots on goal. Then Cleary passed it to Zetterberg behind the net and he passed to Franzen in front. Franzen went backhand to forehand very quickly and snapped it by Hiller on the short side to tie the game at three. The puck was over Hiller’s shoulder and in before he even reacted. That was Franzen’s fourth goal of the playoffs. Cleary made the pass to set up the play while he was flat on the ice after being hit. It was a great job all around by that line.

The fourth line of Helm, Maltby and Kopecky continued to create chances and breathe life into the bench.

For the last half of the third period Detroit had plenty of jump. The action was fast and furious. There were big hits and good scoring chances. Nobody was able to score though so the game went to overtime.

The Red Wings looked very sloppy in their own end to start the OT. I couldn’t believe the weak attempts at clearing. It was all up to Osgood for one long stretch while the Wings were hemmed in and tired. The ice seemed to be tilted toward Osgood.

After the first five minutes it seemed like Detroit started to play better and from then on it was pretty much all Wings.

With less than nine minutes to go in the OT Scott Niedermayer was called for tripping Hudler. There was a scheduled stoppage for ice maintenance before the power play started so that was a big break for the Wings. They had some great scoring chances but the Ducks were able to kill off the penalty.

With all the pressure Detroit applied in the last 15 minutes of the OT they still weren’t able to score, so the game headed to the second overtime.

In the second overtime there were a couple of chances at both ends. At one point Osgood was pushed out of the crease and had to hustle back before the next shot came. At the other end Zetterberg released a backhand shot that hit the post.

For the rest of the second OT Detroit played very well. They were like a machine but they still couldn’t score. Osgood made some great saves to keep the game tied. Triple overtime was one the way. Hopefully this won’t happen Tuesday or Thursday night in Anaheim. It would be 3:00 in the morning eastern time and still without a winner. It’ll be hard enough to get to work next week without overtime.

The third overtime started out kind of sloppy for both teams. The Wings had an icing and then the Ducks entered the Wings zone and Marchant shot the puck. It looked like it hit Rob Niedermayer’s stick and changed direction slightly. It went over Osgood’s glove and into the net. Marchant was credited with the goal so it must not have hit Niedermayer.

That won the game for the Ducks and tied up the series.

The Wings played well through most of the game. There were a few lapses but I still think they deserved to win. They were the better team overall. Osgood was brilliant. Helm, Kronwall, and Stuart all had noticeably great games. Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Hossa had unusually quiet games but I think that just shows how well the Ducks played on defense.

Next game is Tuesday night in Anaheim at 10:30 PM eastern time. Better get a nap before the game or schedule some vacation time!

This 4-3 loss brings this Western Conference Semifinal series to a 1-1 tie.