Dec 29, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; The Detroit Red Wings celebrate a goal scored by Anthony Mantha (39) in overtime against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. The defeated the Red Wings defeated the Senators 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Two teams, the Red Wings and Ottawa Senators, try to rebound from tough Tuesday night losses as they square off at the Canadian Tire Centre.
But before puck drop, the Senators retired Daniel Alfredsson’s number. Nice of them to schedule this special occasion prior to a game against Detroit, for Alfie wore the Winged Wheel in the 2013-14 season, his eighteenth and final one.
Now it’s game time. The Red Wings came out strong in the first period, directing plenty of shots at Mike Condon. Fortunately the hockey gods decided to reward them: at 4:37 Thomas Vanek tipped in a Brendan Smith shot to put Detroit up 1-0. Yes, the Wings actually scored the game’s first goal. I’m just as surprised as you are.
This was exactly the start the Red Wings wanted—nay, needed. They sustained great offensive pressure… until the halfway mark of the first, that is, where things began to falter a bit. The Senators found their game and started aiming a flurry of shots at Jared Coreau, who stood tall for his team. But with fewer than 20 seconds left in the first, Ottawa’s forecheck caused Danny DeKeyser to turn the puck over, and Derick Brassard promptly deposited it past Coreau. Brutal.
The Senators started the second much like they concluded the first, and sure enough, Mark Stone found the back of the net. 2-1 Sens at 5:43.
Not so fast, sayeth the Wings. Less than four minutes later, Henrik Zetterberg saw Tomas Tatar step onto the ice, fed him a long pass that hit the tape of his stick–and Tatar did the rest. 2-2 now!
Following that goal, Detroit rediscovered their game, playing more like the team we saw at the beginning of the contest. And after killing off a 5 on 3 and receiving a power play of their own late in the second, the Red Wings held their heads high going into the dressing room.
The Senators took two more penalties early in the third period, giving the Wings a total of five chances to score their first road power play goal since October 9. But they could only muster four shots on goal in those ten minutes of power play time. Bleh. I was worried that this lack of capitalization would come back to bite them in the you-know-what.
Thankfully it didn’t. One minute into three-on-three overtime, a gassed Bobby Ryan turned the puck over to Niklas Kronwall. Kronwall then dished it to Anthony Mantha, who put the biscuit in the basket.
And just like that, the Red Wings collected a well-deserved two points.
Final miscellaneous thoughts:
In yesterday morning’s preview, I emphasized that the Wings needed to score first and that Jared Coreau needed to be superb. Check, check.
Speaking of Coreau, he now has a shootout win and an overtime win under his NHL belt. Go get ’em a regulation win now, boys!
Great effort tonight following an unpleasant loss against the Buffalo Sabres. Detroit fought hard after going down 2-1 early in the second and did an excellent job keeping Ottawa off the board for the rest of the game.
Next game is the Centennial Classic against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:00pm EST on New Year’s Day. LGRW!