Three Point Weekend With a Thrilling End
The weekend started off on a bit of a frustrating note for the Red Wings, but ended in exhilarating fashion Sunday night. All in all the team walked away with 3 more points which is nothing to frown upon.
To the recap...
Friday night proved that sometimes you can play as hard as you want and have as many quality scoring chances as you want, but if you run into a hot goaltender goals will not be easy to come by. Jose Theodore was playing out of his mind Friday night. He was a big reason why the game was so close.
Things looked bad early on in the game. The Wild jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period thanks to Brent Burns. Minnesota would add to that lead early on in the second period as the ever surprising Cal Clutterbuck scored. It would remain that way until Daren Helm cut the lead in half with 34 seconds remaining in the second period. It was a well deserved goal as Helm went end to end never giving up on the play and staying with the puck. It was great to see him finally get his first goal of the season.
Despite the excitement over Helm's late goal, it was still frustrating heading into the third period down a goal. The Wings were clearly the better team through two periods. They out-shot the Wild 18 to 3 in the second period. They threw everything at Theodore, but he could not be solved.
The Wings would get to Jose in the third period. Franzen scored his 8th goal of the season on the power play just over two minutes into the period. And Patrick Eaves would score a little over two minutes later to put the Wings on top. Things were looking great for the Wings. But the Wild would not go away. In the final two minutes of the period, Mikko Koivu tied the game at 3 to send it into overtime. The Wild went on to win it in the final minute of overtime thanks to John Madden.
Despite playing great hockey the Wings only walked away with a single point. But the point was well earned.
Sunday night was the polar opposite. The Wings would be the team to claw back and win it in overtime.
Johan Franzen continued his perfection on the power play to get the Wings on the board early in the game. But the lead would not last very long. Just over three minutes later Jarome Iginla sent Nicklas Hagman in alone on Howard and Hagman made no mistake with a nice backhander to tie the game at one.
The second period was all Flames. Jarome Iginla was an absolute superstar. He scored just 54 seconds into the period to put the Flames on top 2-1 and then scored under four minutes later on the power play to make it 3-1 Flames. It was an easy open net goal for the veteran winger.
The Red Wings showed that they would not go down without a fight. Pavel Datsyuk had his stick in perfect position to tip in a point shot from Nick Lidstrom on the power play two and a half minutes into the third. But unfortunately the Flames weren't quite done either. Rafalski couldn't handle the puck and turned it over to Alex Tanguay who waited out Jimmy Howard and made it 4-2 Flames with 12:46 remaining in the third.
Just when you thought the Flames had put it away, the Wings showed more fight. It was Henrik Zetterberg who took over the game. He scored a BEAUTIFUL backhanded goal to cut the Flames' lead in half just 4 minutes after they took a two goal lead.
But the time continued to tick off the clock and the Flames still held the lead. Much to the excitement of Wings flames everywhere, the red and white showed that as long as there is time on the clock, there is enough time. The Wings didn't even have the puck in the zone as the clock ticked past 10 seconds, but they never gave up on the play. Datsyuk found Zetterberg who tied the game with just 3.2 seconds remaining in the third, and the Joe went crazy.
The Wings made sure the comeback was not for the naught. Lidstrom was down low on the play in OT when he found the puck on his stick. He deked Kiprusoff and slid the puck by him. The Wings capped off the comeback with a victory, and the Joe went crazy yet again.
The weekend was successful as a whole. The Wings now find themselves atop the Western Conference standings with one game in hand on the Kings. Detroit play's their next game Wednesday night as they travel to Atlanta to face the Atlanta Thrashers.