The Detroit Red Wings lost a 7-6 overtime decision to the New York Islanders on Friday night, finding a way to lose a game that they led 3-0 and 5-2 at various junctures due to a horrific penalty-kill on a 5-minute major called on Tyler Bertuzzi:
“That was a huge play by Clutterbuck,” said Barzal, who finished with a game-high five points. “He made a good play to get someone pissed off at him. It was a whole team effort tonight.”
To say that the game was bizarre is an understatement, but the winning team was fine with that:
“It was a pretty incredible display of a power play,” head coach Doug Weight said. “They just went at it, shot the puck and were hungry around the nets. They made some great plays by some great players.”
Weight credited the Red Wings for suffocating the Islanders for much of the game, especially by preventing them from skating and playing freely. But once that third-period power play rolled around, fortunes turned in the Islanders’ favor.
Josh Bailey scored at 18:11 in the third to give the Islanders their fifth score of the frame and the 6-5 lead. But Jaroslav Halak, who relieved Thomas Greiss earlier in the period, coughed up the equalizer to Mike Green with just 29 seconds left in regulation.
In overtime, Brock Nelson completed his second career hat trick for the winner. All three of Nelson’s unlikely goals came in the third period or overtime.
“[Mathew Barzal] made a hell of a pass,” Nelson said of his game-winning goal. “I was trying to drive hard to the net. … I didn’t have to [yell for the puck]. He has some pretty good vision.”
As Newsday’s Brian Heyman noted, the Islanders admitted that the game’s narrative was a bit surreal…
“That was a wild one for sure,” Nelson said. “I can’t remember being a part of a game like that.”
The winner came off a two-on-one. Barzal led Nelson perfectly for the goal that beat Petr Mrazek with 1:45 left in the extra session. The two points allowed the Isles to jump over Columbus and take hold of the second wild card.
“The standings are so tight,” Nelson said. “We need all the points we can get.”
The Islanders wouldn’t have gotten these two without Bertuzzi slashing Cal Clutterbuck to light the spark.
“Clutter is obviously a guy that gets under people’s skin,” Barzal said. “ . . . As soon as we got that five-minute call, I think everyone’s energy level kind of jumped up a little bit.”
Nelson deflected in a shot with 5:26 left. The penalty kept on giving when Anders Lee scored on a rebound to cut the deficit to 5-4 with 4:32 to play.
Then Nick Leddy scored with 3:21 left and Josh Bailey scored from the right circle with 1:49 remaining. Amazingly, 5-2 Detroit had turned into 6-5 Islanders.
There were 11,847 in the stands, and the crowd filled the building with the loud sound of joy after each goal. “It was a pretty incredible display of a power play,” Weight said.
Among NewYorkIslanders.com’s Cory Wright’s “6 Takeaways“:
Things looked dire for the Islanders when Darren Helm and Anthony Mantha scored two goals 2:12 apart to give the Red Wings a 5-2 lead in the third period.
Head Coach Doug Weight pulled Thomas Greiss in favor of Jaroslav Halak and, even for one of the NHL’s more explosive teams, a three-goal rally in the back half of the third period on the back end of a back-to-back was a tall task.
But with 6:33 to play, the Islanders got their opening, as Tyler Bertuzzi was given a five-minute major for slashing Cal Clutterbuck on top of the knee. The door opened just an inch for the Islanders and they kicked it down, scoring a franchise-record four power-play goals over the next five minutes.
“It was a pretty incredible display of power play,” Weight said. “They just went at it and shot pucks and were hungry around the net and made some great plays by some great players.”
Nelson’s second goal of the period got the ball rolling, as he deflected a Barzal shot past Petr Mrazek at 14:34. Fifty-six seconds later, Anders Lee knocked in a rebound for his team-leading 29th of the season and the Isles could feel the energy surging in their favor.
Nick Leddy‘s half-slapper went through traffic and past Mrazek for the tying goal and Josh Bailey one-timed a cross-ice feed from Tavares to give the Isles a 6-5 lead at 18:11.
“As soon as we got that five-minute call everyone’s energy level kind of jumped up a little bit,” Barzal said. “We knew something was going to go. We were fortunate to get a power-play there and we have some guys who can put the puck in the net and they did.”
The Associated Press’s recap will serve as our pivot point between the Islanders and Red Wings’ perspectives:
The Islanders had allowed an NHL-high 200 goals this season going into the game. They also had scored 181, third most in the league.
“It’s good to have (our offence) in our back pocket,” Bailey said. “But I think we’re a better team when we’re the ones controlling the pace and making the other team chase the game a little bit.”
Barzal became the first rookie in NHL history to have a pair of five-assist games in a season. It was also his third five-point game, the first rookie in 100 years to accomplish that feat. Joe Malone did it in the NHL’s first season (1917-18).
Barzal is the fifth player overall to have multiple five-assist games in a season over the last 30 seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Peter Forsberg and Pat Lafontaine.
Jaroslav Halak made six saves on seven shots in the third period to pick up the win. He replaced starter Thomas Greiss, who allowed five goals on 32 shots.
Jordan Eberle also scored for New York. Anthony Mantha, Martin Frk, Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm and Niklas Kronwall scored for Detroit.
“It’s not the ending we wanted,” Mantha said. “Every point is important and losing one tonight like that hurts.”
Added Zetterberg: “We lost a point instead of getting one.”
The Red Wings were pretty upset with themselves after the game, as NHL.com’s Brian Compton noted…
“We can control one thing, that’s our actions and our attitude,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We can’t take a penalty at that point in the game. We can’t take a retaliatory penalty. It was unnecessary. The game’s over. We’ve taken their life away, and then we gave them life.”
“Every point is important, and losing one tonight like that hurts,” Mantha said.
And Tyler Bertuzzi was on the defensive:
“It was more or less sticking up for myself, not taking stuff from anyone. I regret it. At the end of the day I don’t think it was a five-minute penalty.” — Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi
Bertuzzi continued while speaking with the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan…
“Heat of the moment and I turned and slashed,” Bertuzzi said. “I don’t think it deserved a five. A two-minute penalty, but not a five. It was more or less sticking up for myself and not taking stuff from anyone. A young guy in the league, in the heat of the moment, obviously I regret it. But in the end of the day, I don’t think it was a five-minute penalty.”
To sit and watch the Islanders then score four times on his penalty was not a great feeling.
“It stinks being in the dressing room and watching it and knowing you took the penalty,” Bertuzzi said. “But just suck it up and eat it and own what you did.”
Blashill felt Bertuzzi will learn from the situation.
“That’s not acceptable and he knows that,” Blashill said. “I hear he owned it already. I’ll deal with that privately. He knows it’s not acceptable and our team knows it’s not acceptable.”
Blashill wasn’t pleased a penalty kill, which had been stout all season, allowed the four goals in that particular situation.
“That’s the other thing we can control is how we reacted on the kill,” Blashill said. “We have to bail the young guy out. He’s played real good hockey for us, he’s a heart and soul type of guy, and you have to bail him out. We didn’t do it. We needed guys to do it. It became a bit of a shooting gallery and we need better execution than that.”
The Wings mostly agreed with Bertuzzi regarding the duration of his penalty, however, as noted by the Free Press’s Helene St. James:
“I was right in front of it,” Anthony Mantha said. “Obviously Clutterbuck tries to crosscheck Bert, Bert turns around and I think the linesman thought it was harder maybe than what it actually was.”
Henrik Zetterberg said “it better be really, really serious if you’re going to call a five-minute on that. That’s a tough call to take even though we probably should have figured out how to kill a little bit better.”
Blashill called the penalty “not acceptable. He has to learn to keep skating to the bench and not react to it. Clutterbuck is a veteran player, does a good job selling the call, and they called it. But in the end, we don’t control whether they call it or don’t call it, you can debate whether one should be a penalty, one shouldn’t, how long it should be, but we don’t control that. What we control is our actions and we can’t take a penalty at that point.”
Blashill also said he didn’t think it should have been a five-minute penalty.
So the Wings left Brooklyn frustrated…
“I have never been part of a game like this, I think,” Zetterberg said. “It’s tough to be on the losing side in a game like this.”
The Wings started so well, too — Mantha, Martin Frk and Zetterberg scored in the first 15 minutes, and Darren Helm and Mantha scored again in the third period to restore Detroit’s three-goal lead. All that, and the Wings still left stung.
“A five-minute penalty, they score four goals and I’m just sitting in here watching on the TV,” Bertuzzi said. “It sucks.”
And DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji offered both a wise assessment of the game and a superb quote in her “Trending” recap:
What happened Friday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn has to go down as one of the craziest games of the season.
It was the kind of game that makes you wonder what you might have done to offend the hockey gods.
The Detroit Red Wings held leads of 3-0 and 5-2 but ended up with a 7-6 loss to the New York Islanders in overtime.
The Wings fell to 21-23-9 overall and 10-12-2 on the road while the Islanders improved to 27-23-6 overall and 15-8-4 at home.
Anthony Mantha (two), Martin Frk, Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm and Mike Green scored for Detroit while Jordan Eberle, Brock Nelson (three, including overtime winner), Anders Lee, Nick Leddy and Josh Bailey scored for New York.
As the coach suggested, the Wings are smarter than this:
“You got guys out there, I think Zetterberg, (Niklas) Kronwall, they’re calm, calm players and so they know the game is 60 minutes long. Getting out of here, it’s disappointing, it’s bitter, but we got a point, let’s go find a way to win in Washington.” – Blashill
Highlights: NHL.com posted a 5:29 highlight clip:
Fox Sports Detroit posted clips of comments from Tyler Bertuzzi…
The Detroit News posted a 16-image gallery;
Here’s the Game Summary…
And the Event Summary:
The final shot attempts were 63-52 Detroit.