Friday, March 31, 2006

Wings 2, Chicago 3 (OT)

The Wings were luckily to get a point tonight, losing to Chicago 3-2 in overtime. They seemed to run out of gas during the second and third periods, and being without the services of Mathieu Schneider and Daniel Cleary (still sore from the Scott Walker hit) didn't help either. Chris Osgood got the start for the Wings, and Mowers filled in for Cleary. Even on the 78th birthday of Gordie Howe and with Vladdy Konstantinov in attendance, the Wings just didn't show the jump you'd expect from them. Lucky because Pavel Datsyuk tied the game at 2-2 with Osgood pulled at 46 seconds left in the third. But Chicago's Patrick Sharp made a great individual play at 1:29 of OT, deiking Lidstrom and Kronwall before beating Osgood near the mouth of the crease. The bright spot of the game was Yzerman getting his 691st goal, now 8th all time (and three away from Messier). Yzerman is now on a 7 game point streak. The Wings were fortunate to get the overtime loss point and make it 108 points, all but locking up the Central Division and lengthening the Western Conference lead on Dallas to 7 points. Khabibulin, previously 0-4 against the Wings this season with a 4.98 GAA, was strong in net on the Wings 41 shots. The first period opened with 4:23 of play without a whistle, with Osgood making a save on a knuckle-ball shot from Canton, MI native James Wisniewski. The Wings' penalties from Shanahan at 4:51 (hooking) and Lilja at 7:53 (interference) prevented them from establishing much offense, as they were held without a shot until 10:56. The Lilja call drew the ire of Mickey Redmond, as he explained how Lilja was simply holding his ground in front of Ozzie, and merely bumped shoulders with Calder to draw the interference call. At 10:56, on the Wings' first shot on net, Yzerman scored off a great pass from Williams to make it 1-0 Wings. On the play, Williams stole the puck streaking up center, and cut left waiting for the trailing Yzerman, who took the pass in front Khabibulin and tipped it in. It was Yzerman's 691st career goal, passing Lemieux for sole position of 8th place all time. He is now three goals behind Mark Messier at the next position at 694, with nine regular season games remaining. The Mowers-Holmstrom-Zetterberg line brought a lot of energy to their play around 4 minutes remaining, the Wings only having taken 5 shots up to this point. At 2;38, Osgood made a save on a Calder point shot, and lost track of the puck as it bounced off his chest above his head. It was a tense few seconds until Ozzie caught sight of the puck and was able to get a glove on it. At 1:12 remaining Shanny was called for interference, and the Wings got a great chance off a faceoff turnover, leading to a Kris Draper chance on Khabibulin. It hit iron, and a few seconds later Maltby had his own chance on a 2-on-1, but was stoned by Khabibulin. Franzen got a chance before the end of the period too, beating the Chicago defense on the near side to get a quasi-break on Khabibulin. The period ended, and Chicago was luckily to be down by only 1 goal. During 1st intermission, Jason Williams talked of his excitement for having serious play time in this season's playoffs, and Vladdy was shown on camera. The second period started with a penalty kill, the Wings killing it without allowing a shot. A few minutes in, Wisniewski was hit in the mouth by a shot in front of Khabibulin. He fell to the ice, and it was a scary minute as he covered his mouth with his gloves. Being a Canton, MI native, his family was in attendance, so it was fortunate that he was able to continue playing the rest of the game. At 14:08, Zetterberg was called for holding the stick, and while the Wings killed it off, Chicago scored at 16:16 on a backdoor pass from Calder to Cullen. 1-1 tie. Osgood didn't have a chance on the play. Shots in the period were 17-14 Wings, a pick-up in shots but definitely less energy than the first. During the 2nd intermission, John Keating interviewed Jiri Fischer, with some clips of it shown. The full interview will be shown pregame Sunday and Monday. The Wings opened the third sluggish, but got a great power play chance at 6:04. On the play, Datsyuk passed to Holmstrom in front, but Khabibulin was as strong as ever on the stop. It was a funny moment when Mickey Redmond started singing lyrics from his favorite Billy Joel song, "It's 9 o'clock on a Saturday!" Ken Daniels had to remind him it's still Friday. At 14:31, the Blackhawks broke the tie on a goal from Lapointe. On the play, Chicago converted on a 3-on-1 with Lidstrom the only man back, and former-Wing Lapointe notched a goal. 2-1 Chicago. The Wings were desperate with a minute left and the score still 2-1. Osgood was pulled, and the Wings converted on the 6-on-5 advantage with a goal from Datsyuk. On the play, Holmstrom did a great job of getting the puck from behind the net to Shanny, who directed it to Pavel in front. Regulation ended 2-2 with shots 40-32 Detroit. In overtime, Chicago controlled the pressure and Patrick Sharp made a great individual play on his game-winning goal. On the play, he deiked Lidstrom and Kronwall before beating Osgood near the mouth of the crease. 3-2 Chicago, who definitely deserved the win. The Wings were very lucky just to get their point, and better rest on Saturday before their Sunday matinee versus the Wild. Remember to turn your clocks forward an hour Saturday night! The Wings definitely won't enjoy that, in addition to their 4 games in 5 nights!


At 3/31/2006 11:24:00 PM, Anonymous wingnut3023 said...

First of all, I did not see the entire game and didn't hear any of the first. But I watched most of the third. I thought Chicago looked like a completely different team than the one we've been playing all season. Did anyone tell them that they don't have even a remote chance of making the playoffs? Where was this intensity when it counted?
Ok, I just have to express a little bit of disgust at the Blackhawks at this point. I don't know if many people saw what happened after Chicago scored their second goal, but it was disgusting. It was a three on one, so it was pretty much a guaranteed goal, even with Lidstrom being the one. After the goal, though, a Blackhawk (I didn't catch a name) totally skated into Ozzie and elbowed him in the head. He made no effort whatsoever to avoid our goaltender (who was helpless, having just tried to make a save). It would have been bad enough just running our goalie over, but he threw the elbow into his head. Nothing was called, and Mickey didn't even mention it. There was no point to the attack, either. They had just scored a goal, so he couldn't have been frustrated. I am thoroughly disgusted at this, despite the fact that it is somewhat typical of Chicago. They always seem to be out for blood, beyond the normal dirtiness of teams like Nashville.
Back to the Wings. It was a somewhat disappointing loss, but again, I'd rather that we lose to Chicago than Nashville or, say, Calgary. I hope they take advantage of their one day off. Minnesota will be a tough team to beat, so we've got to play a heck of a lot better than we did tonight.

At 4/01/2006 12:01:00 AM, Blogger Brian List said...

You're right. Chicago looked very good and Khabibulin kept them in it in the first when the Wings had numerous chances.

I saw that too. I think it was either Calder or Byfuglien. It didn't look like it was that serious a blow, but definitely not necessary. It was kind of surprising that neither Ozzie nor any Wings reacted much from it.

The scarier moment for me was a point in the game when Datsyuk was absolutely flying down the ice with the puck and Barnaby tried to intercept his path with a check that could've seriously injured him. Luckily, Pavs noticed Barnaby and slowed down to avoid the collision around center ice. It's times like that where it's worth giving up the scoring chance when you're about to get smoked. Especially in these last games before the playoffs.

At 4/02/2006 10:08:00 PM, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Chicago's been skating hard the past week or two, and I noticed they looked really good in their game last week against San Jose (a 5-4 OTL for the 'Hawks). Their defence is down to just one veteran now (Vandermeer) and the kids are busting a gut out there. There's promise on that team (Seabrook and Keith, for instance, are going to be excellent); they simply need more competent management to put things together.


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