The Detroit Red Wings out-battled the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night, winning 3-1, and after snapping a 3-game losing streak, the Wings will try to keep the good times rolling against the New York Rangers on Sunday night (7:30 PM on FSD/MSG/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM)
On Saturday night, the Red Wings played a tremendously solid final 40 minutes against the Hurricanes, with the Wings generating offense and withstanding a tremendous number of Hurricanes shot attempts–to the tune of a staggering 31 shots blocked (Danny DeKeyser blocked 7 shots alone).
Henrik Zetterberg also hit a milestone marker on Saturday:
— NHL (@NHL) February 25, 2018
Our friends from Carolina were disappointed that their superb start didn’t result in any offensive output, as they told CarolinaHurricanes.com’s Michael Smith:
The Hurricanes had the better start in tonight’s game. They possessed the puck and commanded play in the offensive zone.
“We were disappointed about last night. We wanted to come out and redeem ourselves a bit,” [Noah] Hanifin said. “I thought we had a good start to the game, but we’ve got to do a better job of scoring more goals.”
“We were moving and playing fast,” [Justin] Faulk said. “We weren’t letting them get established in the neutral zone. We were able to create a lot of turnovers. We thought there were rebounds to be had out there. We were trying to get pucks to the net.”
“I thought we came out, started on time and had a good start,” [coach Bill] Peters said.
The Canes were rewarded with the first power play of the game, and it looked as though the Canes had converted. Faulk banged in a rebound alongside the net, but upon further review, it was ruled that a distinct kicking motion resulted in the puck going in the net; since his stick didn’t touch it, the game remained scoreless, though the Canes had the 7-0 shot edge through eight minutes.
“Just missed it. Got it with his foot,” Peters said. “That was a big point in the game.”
Detroit got some momentum from the penalty kill, and it was Danny DeKeyser striking first, as he was able to walk in and score on a wrist shot from the top of the near circle. At the end of the first period, the Hurricanes had more than doubled up the Red Wings in shot attempts, 23-11, but trailed 1-0 where it counted, an all too familiar storyline.
The Hurricanes continued while speaking with NHL.com’s Dave Hogg:
Noah Hanifin scored, and Scott Darling made 19 saves for Carolina (27-25-10), which has lost five straight (0-4-1). The Hurricanes trail the Blue Jackets by three points for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Carolina was outscored 9-2 in back-to-back losses to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit.
“We’ve got to find a way to score more goals,” Hanifin said. “We were disappointed about last night, and I thought we were able to get off to a good start, but we’ve got to start putting more chances into the net.”
Justin Faulk appeared to give the Hurricanes the lead on the power play at 8:09 of the first period, but after a video review, it was determined he kicked the puck into the net.
“We got traffic and rebounds on that power play, but the goal didn’t count, and the power play wasn’t good the rest of the night,” Faulk said. “It hasn’t been very good for a while.”
DeKeyser gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead at 15:41 of the first period, skating in from the blue line and shooting off Darling’s glove.
Hanifin tied it 1-1 at 12:18 of the second period, taking a pass from Victor Rask and beating Howard with a wrist shot from the left face-off circle.
11 seconds after the goal, Hurricanes defenseman Elias Lindholm was called for a holding penalty, which led to Zetterberg’s goal at 13:22 to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead when he redirected Gustav Nyquist‘s pass past Darling.
“I thought the two turning points of the game were losing the goal off the skate, and taking the penalty right after we tied it up,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “They scored on that power play and we didn’t do much after that.”
The Associated Press’s recap repeats Faulk and Peters’ points before switching focus to the Red Wings, so that’s what we’re going to do as well:
“We’ve got to find a way to score more goals,” Faulk said. “Our first power play created some traffic and rebounds, but mine didn’t count and we didn’t get anything in after that. The power play wasn’t good after that, and it hasn’t been for a while.”
The Red Wings rallied to score first and Zetterberg’s goal seemed to give the struggling team an emotional lift. The Hurricanes pulled Darling to add an extra skater late in the game, but had to put him back in net because Derek Ryan was penalized for tripping.
“We had a good start, but having that puck go in off Justin’s skate was a big point in the game, and the second big one was getting the penalty right after we tied the game,” Peters said. “They got the game-winning goal on that power play, and we didn’t do much after that.”
The Red Wings were thrilled to see Zetterberg tie Ted Lindsay on the Wings’ all-time goals scored list, and even coach Peters, a one-time Red Wings assistant coach, was impressed by Zetterberg’s milestone:
“It’s a pretty cool list,” Zetterberg said.
To move up a spot in the record books, Zetterberg stood in front of the net and redirected a puck past Carolina goaltender Scott Darling.
“He’s an elite player because of his hockey sense,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “He knows where the puck is and where it needs to go, and he knows where he needs to be. That’s how he’s been making plays like that for his entire career.”
Zetterberg himself made sure to thank Mr. Lindsay while reflecting upon his accomplishment, as noted by the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:
“It’s a number I’ve been looking at for a while,” said Zetterberg of the goal totaland being able to catch such as legend as Lindsay. “He’s meant a lot to the players, not just this team, but what he did with the PA (players’ association) and starting that. We wouldn’t be at this point if not for him. It just pumps you up (the ovation from the fans). It’s awesome. It’s the greatest fans here. They’ve stood by me with the good and bad for 15 years here, so it was nice to get that goal here at home.”
And, coupled with a victory, it made the evening that much more special.
“Especially with how the games have ended lately,” Zetterberg said. “It was nice to get the two points.”
Niklas Kronwall, a longtime teammate of Zetterberg’s, was in awe of his friend.
“He just keeps breaking records and setting milestones as we go,” Kronwall said. “It’s pretty awesome to watch. He’s just one of those guys that will do whatever it takes to play. Pretty remarkable. It’s pretty awesome to watch from close range.”
As a team, the Red Wings insist that they’re going to challenge the Blue Jackets (7 points in arrears) and every other team in front of them as the Wings try to earn a playoff spot, despite long and real odds against that possibility…
“I still think we’re in it, it’s far from done,” said Dylan Larkin, whose assist in the first period allowed him to match his career high with 45 points.
Said Kronwall: “We all feel in here that when we do things right, we’re a pretty good team, and we can compete with anybody.”
And as Kulfan noted, while the Wings play 10 of their next 11 games away from home, the Wings believe that they’re going to be OK:
“We’ve been a lot better on the road a lot of times for whatever reason, so maybe it’s better we go on the road,” Kronwall said. “I just like the situation we’re in. We’re in a battle for two points every night.”
The Free Press’s Helene St. James blended retelling the tale of Zetterberg’s achievement with an acknowledgment of the fact that the Wings are still fighting, at least against their own standard of excellence (or mediocrity, depending on your point of view):
“We’ve had a tough stretch of games where our fate could have went the other way and it didn’t,” Blashill said. “We need wins. We haven’t done a good enough job at home and so we needed to win this game for sure. To get rewarded is good.”
That it included an in-game celebration made for a memorable night.
“Top five in a storied franchise like ours, it’s special,” Dylan Larkin said. “He’s a great player. He’s the leader of our team, so it’s pretty cool to see how he’s going through it. It’s pretty special the way he carries himself.”
arkin, 21, recalled the first time he met Lindsay, 92, a couple years ago.
“It’s special that he still comes around,” Larkin said. “Once a month he comes in the locker room and walks around, wears a shirt and tie and shakes everyone’s hands and looks you right in the eye and asks you how your day is going. The first time I met him, I was pretty nervous. I think we were talking about the equipment when he was playing back in the day. We talked about Red Berenson as well. It’s special to have him around. I know he was at a game a couple nights ago and it’s awesome to have him there.”
Zetterberg eagerly anticipates Lindsay’s next attendance at LCA.
“Hopefully he will sign the stick,” Zetterberg said.
Among DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji’s “Trending” recap’s notes:
1. Henrik Zetterberg: A little more than a minute after the Hurricanes had scored to tie the game at 1, the Wings got a power play and quickly recaptured the lead. Gustav Nyquist passed the puck to Zetterberg in the low slot and Zetterberg deflected it past Carolina goaltender Scott Darling at 13:22 of the second. The goal was even more significant as it marked Zetterberg’s 335th career goal, tying him for fifth in team history with Ted Lindsay. It also was Zetterberg’s 100th career power-play goal. Niklas Kronwall got the second assist for an all-Swedish score. Zetterberg now has to catch Sergei Fedorov, who is in fourth place with 400 goals. The goal ended up as the game-winner, which meant Zetterberg hit another milestone, passing Brendan Shanahan for fifth place in Wings history with 64 career game-winning goals. Zetterberg played a team-high 24:28 and had a team-high four shots.
Quotable II: “Unreal. It’s been a pleasure to play with a guy like that. He’s a classy guy away from the game and obviously you guys get to see what he does during the games. Obviously special for him to be able to be a part of it. Pretty cool. He also played 25 minutes, too. He’s pretty amazing. Good for him, he’s a special person so I expect stuff like that coming out of him.” — Daley
Quotable III: “It was cool. He keeps breaking records and setting milestones here as we go. It’s pretty awesome to watch. He’s just one of those guys who’ll do whatever it takes to play. He surrounds himself with the right people and the hours and the work that he puts in is pretty remarkable and it’s been pretty awesome to watch from a close range what he’s been through and how he’s battled through things.” — Kronwall
Quotable IV: “I think it’s great. He’s going to go down as a great Red Wing for sure, there’s no question about it. His competitive fire is unreal. He played probably too many minutes tonight but part of that is for the last month he’s been our best player on a nightly basis. Doesn’t really practice much and just goes out there. I didn’t think early he was skating great but as the game went along it looked like he loosened up and was skating really good. And he’s so hyper-competitive that he just refuses to lose battles. Combine that with a hockey sense and skill set and you get certainly one of the great Red Wings.” — Wings coach Jeff Blashill
Highlights: NHL.com posted a 4:01 highlight clip…
Fox Sports Detroit posted post-game comments from Henrik Zetterberg:
Photos: The Free Press posted a 20-image gallery;
The Detroit News posted a 6-image gallery;
Michigan Hockey posted a 49-image gallery;
ESPN posted an 12-image gallery;
Here’s the Game Summary…
And the Event Summary:
The shot attempts were 70-43 Carolina, but Detroit blocked 31 Hurricanes shots, holding Carolina to 29 attempts on Howard and 41 wide/blocked.
Red Wings notebooks and also of Red Wings-related note:
From the Free Press’s Helene St. James:
Mike Green is traveling with Red Wings tonight to New York. Wings play Rangers Sunday night.
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) February 25, 2018
Among the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan’s notes:
Zetterberg entered Saturday’s game against Carolina with 41 points (8 goals, 33 assists), trailing only Dylan Larkin (44). Though not getting any younger and possibly dealing with some lingering injuries, Zetterberg has again played every game this season.
If Zetterberg plays every game this season, it would be the third consecutive season of playing every game.
Zetterberg’s plus-3 rating ranks second behind defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (plus-5).
“You look at the production, point-wise, you look at the scoring chances for and against, Hank gives up such a little amount of scoring chances, so his differentiation is always excellent,” Blashill said. “Like I said, he’s probably been our most consistent and best forward over the last month, month and a half.”
Many of Zetterberg’s strengths, said Blashill, don’t necessarily have to be perfected during practice.
“His brain, his strength on the puck, his competitiveness, it comes through on a nightly basis,” Blashill said. “It just shows what a special player he still is and what he’s been throughout his career.”
Coach Blashill also spoke with Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff regarding the likelihood of Jimmy Howard going back-to-back this weekend:
“I’m obviously fully aware that Jimmy plays great at Madison Square Garden,” Blashill said. “I’m also aware that Carolina is a team we’ve got to track down in order to make the playoffs. I’ll make those decisions, but those things will factor into it.
“We’re trying to win hockey games here right now. I certainly believe Jared Coreau is a good goalie. Jimmy Howard is a proven very good NHL goalie. I’m going to put the lineup out there that gives us the best chance to win right now.
“We’ve got life in us, we got fight in us, so I’m not looking at it from a standpoint of his personal development. I’m looking at it as, ‘Who do I put out there to give us the best chance to win?’”
Finally, from DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji:
The Wings celebrate Hockey is for Everyone month with their celebration tonight, welcoming Affirmations, an LGBTQ organization; Michigan Warriors Hockey Program, a military organization; the Michigan Sled Dogs and Grand Rapids Senior Sled Wings; Clark Park Coalition Hockey; Special Olympics Michigan Poly Hockey; and the Michigan Senior Women’s Hockey League.
“I think it’s a great initiative,” Blashill said. “I think the everyone is the key to that. There’s lots of different groups of people that love hockey. I think all should be welcome to enjoy their passion for this great game and the game that’s certainly treated me great. When I grew up, it was probably seen as just a game for boys. Now it’s a game for boys and girls and those with disabilities, just across the board. I think that’s an awesome thing.”
For Blashill, it affects him personally because his daughter, Josie, plays hockey.
“I know from my own perspective from my daughter, I think it’s great,” Blashill said. “It’s another team sport that she can play and I think it’s great that she has that opportunity and we’re lucky here in Detroit, she can play with girls, which is important to her. She doesn’t want to play with boys so I think it’s great that she has that opportunity.”
The Wings will use sticks with pride tape during warm-ups and those will be auctioned off at http://www.DetroitRedWings.com/auction with the proceeds benefiting You Can Play.