Monday, March 15, 2004

Wings 3, Predators 2 (OT)

It definitely wasn't the most exciting game of the season, but the Wings battled back from a 2-1 deficit coming into the third and won it in overtime, 3-2. After two bad periods in which the Wings were outplayed and outchanced, the Wings had a good third period and set the pace for an overtime win. It was a hard game to play, since the Predators are a hungry club playing for their first-ever playoff season. Cujo got the start. In the first period, Kirk Maltby opened the scoring at 4:38, rebounding a Henrik Zetterberg shot into the net. On the play, a Zetterberg break from the right wing led to the scoring chance, and Henrik was pushed into Tomas Vokoun as Maltby shot from the back door. The goal was disallowed on an interference call on Maltby from center ice. But, looking at the replay, Maltby didn't touch anyone as he came in on the back door for the rebound goal, and only Darren McCarty marginally touched anyone. I initially thought that they had pegged Zetterberg for goaltender interference, even though he was pushed into Vokoun. It was an odd call, indeed. And it left a bad taste in the Wings' mouth, since it was called from 100 feet away and the ref couldn't even get the numbers right, sending Maltby into the box instead of Mac. Shortly after, with Nashville on the power play off the phantom call on Maltby, the Preds scored on a goal from Jeremy Stevenson at 5:16, assisted by Marek Zidlicky and Steve Sullivan. On the play, a point shot was redirected and the puck dropped fast on Cujo, beating him five-hole in between his new white pads. 1-0 Preds. This definitely bothered me, since the interference call from center ice negated a Wings goal and led to a Predator goal. Shanahan answered the call at 8:33 on the power play, assisted by Tomas Holmstrom and Steve Yzerman. On the play, Yzerman passed from the top of the left circle to Homer, who was deep in on Vokoun. Instead of shooting, Tomas passed the puck across to Shanahan, who buried the puck on a sharp angle. 1-1 tie. Shots in the period were 9-9. In the second period, Nashville scored early, getting a goal from Denis Arkhipov at 2:20, assisted by Martin Erat and Vladimir Orszagh. On the play, Arkhipov sneaked in on the back door and stuffed the puck on a helpless Cujo. 2-1 Predators. The Wings really didn't get many scoring chances, and the Joe was pretty dead in terms of excitement. Shots in the period were 11-10 Nashville. In the third period, Brendan Shanahan scored at 9:16, assisted by Brett Hull and Henrik Zetterberg. On the play, Hull passed the puck across the crease to Shanny, who took it in coverage and banged it in. 2-2 tie. The Joe came alive after the goal, and the Wings really seemed to respond. Going into an extra five minutes of play, I was pretty confident of a Wings win or at least a tie. Shots in the period were 11-9 Wings. In the overtime period, Brendan Shanahan scored at 0:40, assisted by Chris Chelios. On the play, Shanny took a pass from Cheli and got off a knuckle-ball wrist shot from the right circle. 3-2 Wings. Shanahan notched the hat trick, and the "Irish Jig" played for the third time in the game. It was an appropriate night for Shanahan to show up with this kind of effort, with St Patrick's Day this Wednesday. Shots in the period were 1-0 Wings. It was nice for the Wings to pull out two points in this one, as they looked pretty sluggish the first two periods. Again, it wasn't the most exciting game of the season. But it was good that the Wings found a way to win this type of game. Cujo looked shaky in net. And the refs were making 100 foot calls all night. Can't say much more than I'm glad it's over and we can move on for our next game Tuesday versus the Flames. Notables: The Predators' first period powerplay goal ended the Wings' penalty kill streak at 40/40, over ten games....Shanahan's hat trick was the 16th of his career, first of season, tied him with Johnny Bucyk for 17th place All Time Goals with 556, and was his 96th game winning goal, one behind Guy Lafleur for fifth all time.....The Wings now have 96 points, the most in the NHL.... Detroit recalled left wing Ryan Barnes from Grand Rapids in case Yzerman couldn't play because of the flu. (Editor: Here are the lines from last night's game, courtesy GWB, who thinks it was the first time the Wings have won this year after trailing after two. I think he's right. --Matt) Devereaux-Williams-Thomas Maltby-Zetterberg-McCarty Whitney-Yzerman-Hull Shanahan-Mowers-Holmstrom Devereaux-Mowers-Thomas Whitney-Williams-Hull Maltby-Mowers-McCarty Shanahan-Zetterberg-Hull Shanahan-Williams-Hull Whitney-Yzerman-Thomas Lidstrom-Schneider Fischer-Chelios Hatcher-Rivers Hatcher-Fischer Hatcher-Chelios Lidstrom-Chelios PP- Shanahan-Yzerman-Holmstrom Thomas-Zetterberg-Hull Thomas-Zetterberg-Shanahan Lidstrom-Schneider Lidstrom-Whitney PK- Zetterberg-McCarty Maltby-Zetterberg Shanahan-Hull Mowers-Shanahan Zetterberg-Shanahan Lidstrom-Chelios Fischer-Schneider Hatcher-Chelios O.T.- Shanahan-Zetterberg Lidstrom-Chelios Net- Curtis Joseph


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