Detroit Wins An Exciting Game In OT vs Avalanche
If you are a Wings fan, or really a hockey fan, you would know how extremely important it was for Detroit to take home two points on Friday's game against Colorado. After close to a sixty-five minute exciting battle, Detroit finally landed the two needed points in overtime. Let's break this one down so you can see just how back and forth the effort was.
The first period was dominated by the Wings. It took eight minutes to get a point on the board, but Wings fans were happy to see Red and White to be the team who landed that first point. Erik Johnson was sent to the box for interference, which gave Detroit the edge we needed. Pavel Datsyuk was in front of the net when Johan Franzen sent him a beautiful pass. Datsyuk sent the puck into the back of the net giving Detroit a 1-0 advantage. A beautiful breakaway from Mark Olver delivered the next point on the board. Van Der Gulik had plenty of coverage from Jakub Kindl, but Olver was left completely open for a pass up the center. He bolted ahead leaving only Jimmy Howard and Olver to face each other and scored on a backhanded shot. Detroit was not going to allow this to get them down, scoring less than 10 seconds later. Gustav Nyquist carried the puck all the way to the net and deked Giguere, sending the puck past him and taking back the lead. Detroit outshot Colorado 12 to 9 and lead 2 to 1 on the scoreboard.
The second period was not quite as exciting. There were no goals and three penalties. Colorado outshot Detroit 9 to 7. The Wings' defense and Howard stuck together and kept the Avalanche from taking the lead back in the second period; which ended 2 to 1 Red Wings.
The third period was a worrisome for Detroit. After being dominated with shots on goal in the second, Detroit needed to stay strong in the third. Colorado's PA Parenteau tipped one in past Howard after multiple attempts trying to get past the Wings, tying the game up 2 to 2. Detroit had a hard time getting the puck out of their zone this period. Even when Tyson Barrie was sent to the box for holding the stick, Detroit seemed to have a hard time getting the puck out. Colorado was on it like a pack of hungry dogs, constantly battling for the puck and not allowing Detroit any slip ups. Even though Colorado had 16 shots on goal compared to Detroit's six, the Wings only allowed the Avalanche to have one goal, which sent the teams into OT.
As a Wings fan, I was a little discouraged. I doubted we would win the game with how aggressive Colorado was playing in the third period. Even with Jamie McGinn getting Kronwalled with three seconds left in the third, I did not think Detroit was going to pull it off. Boy, was I happily incorrect. I am not sure what Detroit did between the third period and overtime, but they were not allowing Colorado to control the game any longer. With six shots on goal compared to the Avalanche's one, it was only a matter of time before the Wings scored. Leave it to Pavel Datsyuk to scored the game winning goal with only 16 seconds left in overtime. A beautiful pass from Zetterberg helped Datsyuk to slide this one by Giguere, beating Colorado 3 to 2 in overtime.
I really thought that the Wings were going to lose there in the third period. Colorado was so aggressive and so persistent. The Wings did a phenomenal job at least keeping them from scoring. A great performance from netminder Jimmy Howard. Another obvious star was Pavel Datsyuk who had two points on the board for Detroit. An unmentioned star that I thought played well all game was Captain Henrik Zetterberg. I really noticed in overtime the most. He consistently battled for the puck, attempting to make plays or trying to get Detroit that last point. Z really stepped up and showed leadership in overtime, which I believe deserves some mentioning.
Detroit still has ten games left. Each game counts and is extremely important for the Wings. We are in the home stretch here to the playoffs. If Detroit wants to keep the tradition and make it into the playoffs, the Wings are going to have to really fight for each and every game to be a two point win. What would you like to see from the Wings for the remainder of the season?
The Red Wings next play the St Louis Blues today at 12:30pm, who are having a similar season to Detroit. St Louis Blues are only one point behind Detroit, so I assume they will really be battling for those two points. It will be a physical game and one Detroit will really have to work. Catch up with us after the game for more Wings coverage. Follow our Twitter for live discussion of the game and like our Facebook for more Wings coverage!