Saturday, January 28, 2006

Wings 1, Stars 2 (SO)

The Wings dropped their second game to Dallas this month, losing 2-1 in a shootout despite outplaying the Stars for much the time. It wasn't a highly offensive game, having more of a physical playoff-like feel, but I felt the Wings controlled much of the offensive aspect of it. They just couldn't solve Marty Turco, who played very well and won the game for his team, particularly in overtime. Manny Legace was in net for the Wings and wasn't tested as much as Turco but he was solid and made some good saves when needed, for the most part. He didn't come through in the end but Dallas is undefeated in shootouts for a reason and this loss wasn't Manny's fault. The Western Conference lead was on the line in this game and because the Wings got a point for going to overtime, they retain that lead, though it's pretty precarious given their inability to score even strength goals. Their power play continues to be strong, having scored at least one power play goal in each of their last 13 games (19 total), but they haven't scored five-on-five in four games. The first period was marked by an early parade to the penalty box for both teams, starting with Robert Lang's inadvertent tripping penalty at 2:07. Draper's hooking penalty a minute and a half gave Dallas a two-man advantage but they committed a penalty of their own and instead ended up with a nine-second 5-on-4 that soon became a longer stretch of 4-on-4 play. At one point during the 4-on-4, Henrik Zetterberg stole the puck at the Dallas blueline and took it into the Stars' end, with Robert Lang on the other side. He dished the puck off to Lang, who sent it right back but the Dallas defenseman's stick deflected it up into the air. Hank, in an impressive display of hand-eye coordination, got his stick on it and knocked it into the net out of mid-air. It was immediately ruled "no goal" because it was knocked down with a high stick. Soon after that, Dallas got another penalty and the Wings got their first power play chance for about 31 seconds. In the Dallas zone, Brendan Shanahan sent the puck across to Nick Lidstrom in the slot but he was hauled down, drawing another penalty for the Stars. After Draper left the box, the Wings got a lengthy 5-on-3 power play but they were unable to convert. At one point during this time, Marty Turco dealt Pavel Datsyuk a cheapshot, giving him a clothesline/facewash as he skated out front. Pavel got a shot soon after that and when Turco was forced to hold on to it, he skated up to the goalie and said something to him. I'd hoped Pavel would back his words up some later in the game but it was not to be. The game settled down a bit after that, though Dallas kept it interesting by playing a physical style. Turco was solid when the Wings got chances but he wasn't tested too much. The Red Wing offense was controlling the puck well but the Dallas defense was doing a good job of staving them off, pressuring the puck carrier with hard skating and persistence. The second period opened with the teams playing fairly evenly but the Wings took control of the puck once again but they didn't finish on their chances and the score remained 0-0. They had a couple power play chances but couldn't take advantage of them, a disturbing trend given their apparent inability to score even-strength. The Wings finally got on the board at 2:53 of the third period. Tomas Holmstrom had drawn a penalty out front when Marty Turco took his stick to him and was called for slashing. Homer got his revenge when he knocked in the rebound from Jason Woolley's shot to make it 1-0 Wings. Dallas came on after that and a couple minutes later, they came extremely close to tying it up. The Wings collapsed into the crease, however, and, Henrik Zetterberg in particular, kept the puck out themselves as Manny Legace was flat on the ice after making a couple saves. The Stars finally scored at 14:48. Jere Lehtinen took a pass from Jussi Jokinen in the slot off a rush and ripped it just inside the left post, tying the game at 1 and waking up the crowd. The Wings ended regulation shorthanded, with Johan Franzen in the box, and the Stars had a short power play to start overtime. Detroit controlled overtime, however, outshooting Dallas 7-1 and coming close to putting the game away. They were aided by the fact that they were on the power play but it wasn't enough and soon we headed to a shootout. Pavel Datsyuk was the first shooter for the Wings and should have been able to score on Turco, given his history with the Stars' goalie. He didn't try to deke, however. Instead he just tried to beat Turco with a quick shot but it didn't work. Sergei Zubov was the first shooter for Dallas and he did what Datsyuk had tried to do. His shot beat Legace and gave the Stars the lead in the shootout. Jason Williams was next for the Wings and he did deke and was successful doing so. He got Turco moving to the right and scored on the backhand into the left side of the net. Next for Dallas was Jussi Jokinen. He busted out his "Forsberg move" and de-pantsed Legace sufficiently well to slide the puck into the vacated net. Manny was slightly out-matched on that play. Henrik Zetterberg was next up for the Wings and it looked like he would score but he lost control of the puck when Turco's stick knocked it away and it looked as though the Stars had won the shootout. NBC thought it was conclusive enough to switch to a horse race and I was convinced it was over too so I turned the TV off. I only found out this morning that Turco had thrown his stick and that the shootout had continued, though with the same result. Lang shot next for the Wings but didn't score. Mike Modano put it away after that and Dallas pulled within one point of the Conference lead.

Abel to Yzerman's game report

Lines* Maltby-Draper-Franzen Samuelsson-Yzerman-Lang Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Shanahan Franzen-Samuelsson-Draper Williams-Maltby-Cleary Holmstrom-Williams-Cleary Holmstrom-Draper-Williams Samuelsson-Datsyuk-Shanahan Zetterberg-Yzerman-Lang Holmstrom-Lang Datsyuk-Shanahan Samuelsson-Lang Zetterberg-Draper Zetterberg-Lang Zetterberg-Maltby Franzen-Cleary Maltby-Draper D-pairings Lilja-Lidstrom Lebda-Schneider Chelios-Schneider Lebda-Chelios Lebda-Lilja Schneider-Woolley Woolley-Chelios Woolley-Lidstrom Schneider-Lilja Lidstrom-Chelios Lidstrom-Schneider Chelios-Lilja PP Holmstrom-Lang-Datsyuk-Lidstrom-Schneider Zetterberg-Yzerman-Shanahan-Schneider-Lidstrom Zetterberg-Holmstrom-Williams-Datsyuk-Lidstrom Samuelsson-Williams-Lang-Schneider-Woolley Holmstrom-Datsyuk-Shanahan-Schneider-Lidstrom Zetterberg_Samuelsson-Williams-Lang-Lidstrom *compiled by Brian


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