4 in a row ladies and gents. Start planning the Stanley Cup Parade for downtown Detroit.
The Red Wings WIN, 4-2 over the Florida Panthers. Another quality effort all around leads to another win. Someone come save me, I’m actually starting to get a little hopeful for this team. Let’s get into the recap.
I’m actually a little disappointed with this first goal from the Wings. It took Andreas Anthanasiou a whole 42 SECONDS to score. Pathetic.
Seriously though, AA is on absolute fire recently, and it continues into this one. Anthanasiou once again uses his speed to a major advantage on this tally. Andreas steals the puck from another quality defenseman, this time Aaron Ekblad, skates around him to the left, cuts back to the right in front of the net and tucks a backhander past James Reimer to give the Red Wings an early 1-0 lead. Man, this kid is fun to watch.
The Red Wings would build on their lead 7 minutes into the second period on a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play. Larkin behind the net to the right, to AA at the bottom of the right circle, to Tomas Tatar wide open at the left side of the net. Reimer can’t come over fast enough, and Tats has an easy chip into the empty net. A very good start means a 2-0 lead for the Wings in the second.
A near one-man effort from Panthers’ D-man Mike Matheson(who beat the Red Wings in overtime earlier this season on December 11th) would tie the game up with only two seconds left in the frame. Matheson showed off some fancy moves and silky mitts on the way to a highlight-reel goal on Jimmy Howard. Yeesh. 2-1.
Aleksander Barkov followed up on Matheson’s score 3 minutes into the new period, taking a cross-ice feed on a poorly defended 2-on-1 and firing a shot past a stretched-out Jimmy Howard. 3rd period leads are fun, it’s 2-2.
Fortunately, this game would end a bit differently than some other games in which a 3rd period lead was blown. Anthony Mantha would pull out the clutch card on the powerplay 5 minutes after Barkov, tipping a Martin Frk shot from the left point. Mantha walked out in front of the net unattended, deflecting the shot that most likely would have gone wide just inside the right post.
Gus Nyquist put the nail in the coffin with 4-and-a-half to go, using the the backhand five-hole move to slip the puck past James Reimer on a breakaway, making the score 4-2. Nyquist reached the 100 goal milestone just a few games ago, but this goal would bring a historic milestone for another player.
Henrik Zetterberg hit Gus Nyquist with the backhand outlet pass leading to his breakway, which would give him the primary assist on the goal. As some of you may have known, Zetterberg had been sitting at 599 assists for a little while now, and this apple gave him the magic number 600. Congrats, Hank! 40 will be hanging in the rafters soon after Zetterberg hangs ’em up, that’s for sure.
Youth, Speed, and Enthusiasm
Dylan Larkin, Andreas Anthanasiou, and Anthony Mantha made their presence known again in this one, each picking up at least a point, while AA picked up 2. Mantha had the clutch 3rd period tally, Anthanasiou had the 1st period goal as well as an assist on the Tatar geno, and Larkin assisted on the Anthanasiou goal. It’s become evident that the youth on this team is going to be vital if Detroit wants to make any noise this year.
The younger players and the veterans have to understand their roles and fit it all together in a solid effort night in and night out. I would compare it to the cogs in a clock. They’re all different shapes, sizes, and spin different ways, but they mesh together to achieve one common goal. Weird analogy, I know, but it demonstrates what I’m trying to say more than anything else I could think of. So go with it, ok?
Player of the Game
Unlike in the past few games over this winning streak, no one out-shined Jimmy Howard tonight. Jimmy has been putting in really good work over the last few games, but there has seemed to be a superior effort from another Wing every time. But not tonight. Jimmy made quite a few clutch saves in this one. Even the two goals that he surrendered, there was only one that he had a shot at: He was a little out of position on the Matheson score. But, even then, Matheson did skate right past 2 Red Wings back on defense, so we can just credit that one to an amazing effort from the Panthers’ defenseman.
Howard finished with 38 saves on 40 shots; a .950 save percentage. It just goes to show that shots aren’t always everything-quality goaltending matters. For example, the Red Wings only had 19 shots on net, but they took advantage of 4 of them and won. Howard was a huge factor in this 4th straight win, so he rightfully deserves this P.O.T.G.
vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (29-8-3, 61 pts)
Sunday, January 8th, 2018
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
7:00 P.M. ET
- DRW Game Recap, Game 45: 2002 (Car 3, Det 1) - January 21, 2018
- DRW Game Recap, Game 44: Starstruck (Dal 4, Det 2) - January 17, 2018
- DRW Game Recap, Game 43: Chicag0 (Chi 0, Det 4) - January 14, 2018
- DRW Game Recap, Game 42: Phil, Cindy, and Geno (Pit 4, Det 1) - January 13, 2018
- DRW Game Recap, Game 41: Struck (TBL 5, Det 2) - January 8, 2018
- DRW Game Recap, Game 40: Going Streaking (Fla 2, Det 4) - January 6, 2018
- DRW Game Recap, Game 39: Greased Lightnin’ (Ott 1, Det 2)(OT) - January 4, 2018
- DRW Game Recap, Game 38: Hello 2018 (Pit 1, Det 4) - December 31, 2017
- DRW Game Recap, Game 35: Bergy (Bos 3, Det 1) - December 23, 2017
- DRW Game Recap, Game 33: Shots (NYI 3, Det 6) - December 19, 2017