Detroit fell to the Ottawa Senators by a score of 4-2 last night after seemingly getting back on track earlier in the week.
The Red Wings were hoping to avenge the embarrassing 6-1 loss they endured when Daniel Alfredsson’s former team proved a point in the first meeting.
However that was not the case last night.
The game began with heavy pressure from the Red Wings. The first 10 shots of the game belonged to Detroit, as well as the first goal by Darren Helm on the power play. They kept the Senators shot-less in the first 8:30. That turned out to be detrimental, as the team would soon find out.
Jimmy Howard was not tested often in the first 20 minutes of play, facing just seven shots, but it would not take much for Ottawa to get on the board. Six shots resulted in two Ottawa goals, and thus, a 2-1 lead going into the second period.
Captain Henrik Zetterberg called their two quick goals gifts.
Whether they were gifts or not is no excuse for the team’s lackadaisical play after the early sustained pressure.
The second and third periods were dramatic to say the least. Seven players combined found their way to the penalty box in the second. The third period saw both teams commit ten penalties.
The climax of the second period showcased Chris Neil’s fighting skills and Brendan Smith’s…well, ability to withstand numerous punches by Chris Neil.
The Red Wings were still behind 2-1 after a scoreless second, but the third period is where the game got interesting.
Detroit had a 5-on-3 (one of three such opportunities in the contest) to start the third period for 1:14. Pavel Datsyuk, after completely whiffing on a perfect rebound attempt, found the back of the net shortly thereafter. On what appeared to be a pass attempt, the puck instead redirected past Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner.
With the game tied, Detroit would spend 14 minutes in the penalty box, including a Kyle Quincey double-minor for hi-sticking. The double-minor returned the favor for Ottawa, giving them a 5-on-3 (Darren Helm was also caught hooking). Ottawa converted with just five seconds left in the first penalty with Bobby Ryan scoring a clutch goal, thus giving them 2:44 of remaining power play time.
Midway through the third, Detroit had a 5-on-3 for 1:32, and it appeared the Johan Franzen had tied the game. However, the referee was quick to dismiss it, and the video review proved his decision to be correct.
Clark MacArthur would score his second of the game with four minutes left in regulation on another power play chance, securing a 4-2 win for his team.
For Detroit, the plethora of penalties proved to be their downfall. Coach Mike Babcock, talking about the difficulty of finding a balance with his lines between power plays and penalty kills said “No one gets to play. That’s the bottom line. You can’t kill penalties all the time. There’s no rhythm off your bench. You end up gassing lots of people.”
Detroit will look to rebound this evening in Buffalo. Game time is at 5:00 ET.
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