The Red Wings snapped a seven-game losing streak on Tuesday night against a strong Winnipeg Jets squad by a score of 5-1. Detroit dominated the first and third periods in the win.
Justin Abdelkader scored first from Nyquist and Zetterberg near the midway mark of the first period, followed by Nyquist four minutes later (Tatar, Kronwall). Detroit dominated the shot totals in the first 20 minutes, leading 16-3 before the intermission.
Nyquist’s goal came at the conclusion of a 5-on-3 which lasted 1:55. This was the first of a few lengthy two-man advantages that would occur throughout the game. Detroit’s power play had trouble connecting with the net, as numerous shots soared past the net, hitting the glass. However, the offensive zone time was impressive. Defenseman Mike Green was especially impressive as he skillfully held the puck at the blue line a few times.
In the second period, the Wings trailed off, allowing the Jets back into the game. On a 1:30 5-on-3, star forward Patrik Laine scored from the left faceoff circle on his trademark slap shot. The shot beat goalie Jimmy Howard over the far shoulder. The goal came on the team’s 4th shot of the contest.
Howard was called for a strange tripping penalty following a pair of dazzling saves. On the latter save, he stretched out to block the puck, while Jets defenseman Dmitry Kulikov proceeded to skate into his goal stick, falling consequently.
Detroit had another 5-on-3 later in the 2nd, but they failed to convert. This time, they had very few chances on a poor effort.
They bounced back in the final period however. It began with a bang, as Darren Helm was hit high by the tall Dustin Byfuglien (#33), of which Helm retaliated against #13, Brandon Tanev. Not quite the right target, and he was called for interference as a result.
Next, a controversial goal was scored by defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who scored as Nyquist was being driven into goalie Connor Hellebuyck by a Jets defender. It appeared that the contact (both players landed on the goalie’s back) happened simultaneously with the puck passing the crease.
“I wasn’t sure, I thought it was kind of a 50-50,” said Nyquist. “I don’t know, I’d have to hear their explanation. I’m just trying to get in front of the net, I don’t even know that the puck’s coming in there. I feel like I get pushed in, I’m trying to get out of the blue paint and he kind of keeps me in there but it was nice to see it count.”
An automatic review was undertaken, but not related to goalie interference. The officials reviewed the play to ensure that Martin Frk had not deflected the puck with a high-stick before it reached the net. After the original call of “good goal,” this was also determined a “good goal.” Naturally, coach Paul Maurice threw the challenge flag on the play, claiming goalie interference. However, since the initial call was a goal, there was not conclusive evidence that the contact happened before the puck went past Hellebuyck, and the Wings’ third goal stood.
Uncharacteristically, Detroit kept their foot on the gas, rather than protect the two-goal lead. Helm scored on a breakaway as he found room on the high blocker-side.
Later, speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou led a 2-on-1 turned 3-on-1. The first passing option was blocked by the defender, but the trailing David Booth was ready for the one-timer pass, and he made no mistake scoring the last goal of the game. 5-1 was the final score.
It was Detroit’s 4th time this season in which they scored 5 or more goals.
Saturday vs. St. Louis (1:00 ET)
Monday vs. Florida (7:30)
Wednesday vs. Boston (8:00)
Friday vs. Toronto (7:30)