The Detroit Red Wings won a thrilling shootout winner on Monday night, continuing their dominance in the skills competition. Their record now stands at a perfect 9-0.
After a scoreless first period, forward Frans Nielsen scored first for Detroit as he banked a shot off a Senators player from behind the net of goalie Craig Anderson (40 seconds in). Goalless forward Riley Sheahan was right on the doorstep, but his 360-day streak continued (didrileysheahanscore.com). The team led 17-8 in shots at this time.
1:06 later, Ottawa’s Alex Burrows slapped a bouncing puck past Petr Mrazek, who just missed the high shot, and the game was tied.
Dylan Larkin took the lead for the Red Wings near the seven-minute mark, as he was able to score an unlikely shorthanded goal. The backhander came behind the blueline. The play began with a great breakout from rookie defenseman Nick Jensen. He received the primary assist on the first two goals.
Just as Nielsen scored in the first minute of the second, Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson scored only 51 seconds into the third period. And also like the second period, the goal was yet another to be scored behind the goal line. It was almost identical to Larkin’s goal, but it was on the power play instead.
Next, Detroit’s power play lit the lamp to take the lead, continuing the game’s scoring trend. After the puck deflected upward from the skate of Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar managed to deflect the puck in. The goal was originally credited to Nyquist.
The lead would extend, as a Mike Green power play point shot was deflected by Nyquist and in.
However, the Sens stormed back, as Kyle Turris scored 22 seconds later on a wrist shot. Fredrik Claesson then tied the game at four right off a faceoff. Turris won the draw and Claesson rocketed a shot past Mrazek. The shot deflected early by the stick of Sheahan.
In the ensuing overtime period, there were chances aplenty, mostly for the Senators. Karlsson had a point-blank shot 30 seconds in. Next, Green found a breakaway, nearly scoring on a backhand maneuver. Karlsson had a breakaway, followed by Mike Hoffman. Hoffman’s chance was setup by a great pass by Karlsson, and the attempted forehand-backhand five-hole move was stopped expertly by Mrazek. Lastly, Hoffman found Mark Stone on a breakaway, but Stone dropped the puck back to Hoffman as Green hurriedly backchecked. The prime scoring opportunity ended as the shot missed the net. It was a fortunate break for Detroit as Mrazek was taken out by Green. Lastly, Nyquist’s breakaway chance was thwarted by both Anderson and the clock.
“I thought Petr was great in the overtime and shootout,” said coach Jeff Blashill. “There were some unreal chances both ways. I thought the overtime was great. It’s a great example of what 3-on-3 can provide. The entertainment value was unbelievable if I’m a fan. It wasn’t great as coaches, but I thought Petr was excellent in the shootout and overtime.”
It was a whistle-less overtime period and the pace was lightning-fast. By the end of 65 minutes of play, Ottawa led 45-33 in shots.
In the shootout, the goaltending duel continued. 12 consecutive shots were stopped. In order, Athanasiou, Turris, Nielsen, Karlsson, Nyquist, Burrows, Zetterberg, Pyatt, Tatar, Stone, Larkin, and Hoffman failed to win the game for their respective teams. Finally, Evgeny Svechnikov in his first career NHL game, scored the game-winner with an impressive five-hole backhander.
“I thought he did a real good job overall in his game,” said Blashill about Svechnikov. “He’s got real good strength on the puck and an ability to make a play, so he’s heavy in the O-zone. I liked his game.”
The Wings and Sens return to action Tuesday night, this time in Ottawa.
Detroit will play its last remaining games at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday and Sunday (7:00 and 5:00 ET respectively).