Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Game 3: Wings 2, Flames 3

The Wings lost last night by just one goal but it could have been a blowout. The Flames outplayed the Wings for the vast majority of the game and when the Wings finally did decide to show up, it was too late to come back. After watching the Wings dominate the Games 1 and 2, it looked like the two teams switched jerseys before the puck dropped. Curtis Joseph is the sole reason the Wings were not blown out of the water last night, especially in the first period. The Flames came out hard and with a ton of jump, hitting everything in site and pouncing on the puck. They had numerous chances to score and Joseph stoned them each time. He didn't have much chance on the first two Flames goals because the first one was tipped and the second was just Jarome Iginla one-timing if from four feet away. The third goal was a little different since he was a bit slow in getting across but that play was more Pavel Datsyuk's fault than anyone else's. Pavel just plain got beat. The Wings were on their heels the whole first and second period but did score twice in the second. Their first goal came at 1:17 from Robert Lang off a fluke play. Lang set himself up in the right corner and circled around to the front of the net where the puck came to him. Instead of shooting it when he had a clear chance to, he attempted a pass across to Darren McCarty. The pass didn't work and bounced off the Flames defenseman right back to Lang who had to shoot and did. It was a slam dunk goal that almost didn't happen because Lang's got pass on the brain. The Flames answered back two minutes later with a goal from Stephan Yelle, who redirected the Martin Gelinas shot. They scored again two minutes after that on the power play when Steve Yzerman left Jarome Iginla uncovered and allowed him to have a slam dunk one-timer past a helpless Joseph. The Wings' second goal came at 11:44, this time from Jiri Fischer. It came right off the faceoff win by Datsyuk and was a blast from the point that beat Kiprusoff high. He was screened by Pavel and Henrik Zetterberg and didn't have much of a chance of stopping it. By scoring that goal, Jiri made up somewhat for his stupid roughing call at 4:47 that resulted in the Iginla goal. The game was tied at 2 but that didn't last much longer. The Flames scored 40 seconds later when Pavel Datsyuk let himself get outmuscled in his own zone by Shean Donovan, who walked in on Joseph and beat him to the left post. Joseph could have done better on that play but like I said, it was mostly Pavel's fault, for sure. The Wings played a much better third period after being dominated up and down the ice for the first two but by that time, it was too late. The Flames went into a defensive posture with one forechecker and four guys sitting back. The Wings had numerous good shifts but could not finish with a goal. Miikka Kiprusoff was always there to make the save and the Flames young and inexperienced defense held the Wings off far too well. The Wings really showed some urgency in the final five minutes but still couldn't score. They pulled Joseph but didn't really get a whole lot of pressure with the extra man. The refs were absolutely awful last night. The Wings couldn't buy a power play and the Flames were getting away with murder. The refs called at least three questionable penalties on the Wings in the first period and were obviously one-sided the whole game. It was really like they were paid off or something. Shots were 10-6 Flames in the first, 12-11 Flames in the second and 12-5 Wings in the third for a total of 29-27 Wings. The Flames rebounded with a one-goal win for the third time after giving up five goals in the preceding game. Jarome Iginla scored again after getting into a fight with one of the opposition's defensemen. Jason Woolley and Jamie Rivers replaced Chris Chelios on defense. Chelios has an upper body injury suffered when he went into the boards awkwardly in Game 2. Woolley looked good in his first game back since February 16 though he only played 7:59. It was good to see him on the point with the puck again. Rivers didn't stand out but didn't make any glaring mistakes as far as I saw. Three Wings defensemen played over 25 minutes last night: Derian Hatcher (25:02), Nick Lidstrom (26:34) and Mathieu Schneider (27:30). Steve Yzerman led forwards with 22:10 in playing time. The Wings must win Game 4 if they want home ice advantage and if they want to win this series. Going back to the Joe down 3-1 is not something they want to do. Quote of the game "All the Doors but Jim Morrison." -- FSN broadcaster Ken Daniels referring to the Flames' Mike Commodore and Steve Montador. I bet he stayed up all night before the game before he thought of that one. Sheesh. Here is the boxscore. Lines- (courtesy GWB) Shanahan-Lang-Whitney Maltby-Draper-Yzerman Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Hull Holmstrom-Lang-McCarty Shanahan-Lang-McCarty Shanahan-Lang-Yzerman Whitney-Datsyuk-Yzerman Zetterberg-Lang-Hull Lidstrom-Schneider Fischer-Dandenault Hatcher-Rivers Fischer-Woolley Hatcher-Schneider Fischer-Rivers Hatcher-Dandenault Lidstrom-Dandenault PP- Shanahan-Lang-Holmstrom Shanahan-Datsyuk-Hull Yzerman-Lang-Holmstrom Shanahan-Zetterberg-Hull Lidstrom-Schneider Woolley-Lidstrom Whitney-Woolley PK- Maltby-Draper Shanahan-Yzerman Whitney-Lang Lidstrom-Hatcher Fischer-Schneider Lidstrom-Dandenault 6 on 5-Cujo Pulled Zetterberg-Lang-Yzerman-Shanahan Shanahan-Lang-Yzerman-Datsyuk Lidstrom-Schneider Hull-Lidstrom Net- Curtis Joseph


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