The Athletic’s Topher Scott looked back at the Red Wings’ 7-6 OT loss against the New York Islanders, examining the reasons why the Red Wings collapsed in the third period. According to Scott, Tyler Bertuzzi’s should’ve-been-a-minor-penalty on Cal Clutterbuck wasn’t the main reason why the Islanders rallied, though the major penalty certainly helped:
Most people would look at Tyler Bertuzzi’s major slash as the penalty that swung the game. But to me it was Justin Abdelkader’s second-period fight with Johnny Boychuk that shifted the entire momentum of the contest.
With only a few minutes left in the second period, the Islanders had nothing going. They had only 11 shots on net, including a measly three in the second period, and Detroit had the game firmly in its grasp. The Red Wings were playing a solid road contest – frustrating the Islanders with simple, boring, defensive hockey.
But as the road team, you never want to poke the bear.
And with just over one minute left in the second period, Abdelkader prompted a fight by slew-footing Boychuk in front of the net, getting the crowd and the Islanders’ bench engaged into the game.
Scott continues (paywall), and here’s the Abdelkader-Boychuk fight: