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Game recap...2/9/10

By: Channing Cummins


On Tuesday night the Detroit Red Wings, once again, showed us that there are no easy points in the NHL. They clearly showed us this in their last game when they were defeated 4-3 by the L.A. Kings, giving up their 3-0 advantage after the first period. They put their recent struggles up against the team with the league's worst home record.

The St. Louis Blues entered the matchup five points behind the Wings, barely holding on to a playoff opportunity. This game carried a lot of pressure on the young Blues team. With a recently added head coach, inexperienced team and their poor effort at home, the Blues entered Tuesday's game with a lot to prove.

The Red Wings welcomed back
Johan Franzen on Tuesday night, who hasn't played since Oct. 08 (55 games). With his addition, the Wings had more depth and are forced to make various roster moves. With the recent trade of Ville Leino to Philli, the Wings have showed signs of a possible trade in the near future. A strong forward who can mark up the stat sheet might be needed if the Wings want to make a push towards the playoffs. The Wings rank 23rd in the league when it comes to goals/game and the need for excitement in Detroit is going to reach its peak.

Kris Draper and the Wings were the first the make their mark, coming over 12 minutes into the period. Draper's third line once again proved why they've been the hottest line and get their team on top. The goal came after an Ericsson shot was pinballed in, off of Draper's skate, and into the net.

The two teams would continue to put on an offensive show for the entire period. The first period seemed to have a playoff feel, as the two teams seemed to bring all they had. The period consisted of penalties, one of which being a fight, shots and strong goaltending. The Wings ended the period with a 1-0 lead but were outshot 20-12 in an offensive/defensive battle.

The second period began at a slower, more strategical pace. After the early shootout the two teams focused on D and looked for the perfect shots. Paul Kariya's tip in goal tied the game up with 7:40 left. The goal came as a result of sloppy line changing and a tad of skill, we'll call it luck.

After a Wings turnover behind the net, Kariya was able to work some more magic. After stealing the puck, dishing it off, creating a hooking call and crashing the net, he was rewarded with his second goal of the night. This goal would put the Blues up 2-1 going into the third.

The third period began with penalties. Three were called on the two teams just over five minutes in. The third penalty would prove to be the costly one, as the Wings gave up a power play goal. Andy McDonald was able to deflect a centering pass behind Jimmy Howard and give his team a 3-1 advantage.

As the third period continued the Red Wings continued to strive towards the net. As they continued to shoot, opposing goaltended Chris Mason continued to deny. It all seemed to be over for the Wings until Pavel Datsyuk was able to redirect a puck off his skate, into the net. The goal came with 5:34 remaining and brought the team to within striking distance. After some drive and effort Valtteri Filppula was able to tie the game up, squeaking one by Mason.

This game was starting to look like a rebound game for the Wings, after their similar events in L.A. The game would end up going into a shootout period, the 11th for the Wings. The shootout would not prove to be worthy as the Wings were defeated 2-1. The Blues managed to outshoot the Wings 45-42, but the game did expose both teams a bit. The Blues showed their youth and inability to sit on a lead. The Wings showed their inability to score, which we've been seeing a lot of lately.

The Red Wings currently sit two points out of the last playoff spot and are beginning to run out of time. The Wings have two games remaining before the Olympic break and will prove to be key. They will take on the Sharks and Senators at home to finish the week and hopefully enter the break with some momentum. The Sharks are currently one point away from being the best team in hockey and the Sens have won 12 of their last 13. The games won't be easy and should show us a bit of what Detroit has to offer coming down the stretch.


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