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Red Wings Game recap...1/19

By: Channing Cummins

It was the Detroit Red Wings that appeared to be the home team and conference leaders on Tuesday night. The Wings were in Washington D.C. taking on the Capitals, which was a crucial game for both. The Wings are trying to enter themselves in the playoff hunt and the Capitals are trying to keep their conference lead.The Red Wings out shot the Capitals 46-23 for the game and held most the momentum throughout the game. There was just one problem. The Wings were defeated 3-2, this time in regulation.

For the Red Wings just about everything went according to plan. First, they had puck possession along with a large number of shots all game. Second, they managed to shut down Ovechkin. Although he had one assist, he was held to zero shots on goal and never became much of a threat. Third, they had a 2-1 lead going into the third period, which should've been more than enough considering the way the team was playing.

"What went wrong?"-There were just a few things that went wrong but they proved to be key. The most significant issue was the two goals that the Caps managed to score late in the third period. Backstrom's power play goal came with less than seven minutes remaining and brought the Caps back to life, along with the fans. Steckel gave the Caps the lead with his tip in goal, all while the overhead announcer was announcing Backstrom's recent goal. This sent a dagger through the heart of Detroit.

Another thing that went wrong for the Wings was what went right for the Caps. Jose Theodore. He managed to stop 44 shots in the win and could've possibly played the best game he has had all year. Typical luck for the Red Wings I guess. His opposing goalie was Chris Osgood who got his first start since December 20. Needless to say Osgood wasn't having his best game, only stopping 20 shots in the defeat. Often times a goalie must match the opposing goalie to allow his team to win. This time Ozzie fell a little short.

A third thing that went wrong for the Wings was their inablity to score in the first period. The Red Wings managed to outshoot the Caps 15-3 in the first and once again held most of the mometum. The opportunities for goals were there but the players could not find the back of the net. Great goaltending along with poor shots led to the scoreless tie at period's end. This definitely had to feel like a win for the Caps who were clearly being dominated at home and left to dig deep in the locker room.

Overall it was a tough loss but a good game. Even though the Red Wings did not win they did prove that they still have the ability to dominate good teams. This is a good sign considering the roller coaster season that the team has endured. Mike Babcock made this clear in his postgame report,
"Don't get me wrong, we're in the winning business and we need points, but I like the way our team has played. We know we're a work in progress and we think we're getting better all the time."

The goal scorers for the Wings were Dan Cleary and Brian Rafalski, which came in the second and third period. Valtteri Filppula provided an assist for each goal, which should be a sign of him losing the rust.

The Red Wings will take on the the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. Considering the loss in D.C. and the "hockeytown" battle between the two, thsi should prove to be a good game for Detroit. I would expect more hard play and a lot more shots.

P.S.> I appologize for all the misdating I have done with my previous articles. I do know its not December anymore :-)


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