Wings Postgame: Phanope

Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY SPORTS

If you looked at just about any major media outlet today, you could tell that tonight’s game wasn’t going to be about the Red Wings, no matter what happened in them. It was always going to be to be about Dion Phaneuf’s long and treacherous journey from one bad team from Ontario to the other. Our coverage will also involve his journey because without him, this 3-1 win for the Red Wings would not be possible.

Danny Dekeyser opened up the scoring just three minutes into the first period, making an intelligent pinch to scoop up the puck and roof it past Craig Anderson. The timing couldn’t have come better, either; the Sens had been taking most of the shots at the start, so getting some pre-insurance was huge. The Wings righted the ship shortly afterward, but by the time the period started reaching a close, they began to make things very difficult for themselves.

A penalty to Alexey Marchenko with 21 seconds remaining in the frame didn’t seem like a huge deal on the surface, especially when the Wings were able to kill it off. But it was the start of a nasty trend, which saw the Wings take seven of the next eight infractions.

Thankfully, in the midst of the insanity, Henrik Zetterberg managed to double up the lead, blowing past Phaneuf to tuck home his 10th goal of the year.

On the last of those eight penalty kills, the Sens finally struck with a goal of their own, preventing Petr Mrazek from putting up his second shutout with just two minutes to spare. Thankfully, that was the only thing the Senators were able to spoil; Darren Helm added an empty netter and the Wings shut the game down from there. Unfortunately, they lost Danny Dekeyser in the process, but if it’s any consolation, their two earned points leapfrogged them above the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division playoff race.

Play of the Game

I’d like to think that this ankle-breaking session by Gustav Nyqvist set the tone for the entire night. Don’t get me wrong, I actually quite like Phaneuf (I also write on The Leafs Nation and have said very nice things about him there), but it was this little move that reminded you that there was a hockey game to be played and that the Red Wings were there to be the better team.

Hockeytown Hero

Petr Mrazek is out of this world. He was last game too, and most of the games before that, but I need to remind you of that once more. 22 saves on 23 shots. The only goal given up came from an awful bounce. Give this man some Vezina votes.

See You Next Time

Three in a row is great! You know what’s better? Four, against an arch rival. That’s exactly what’s at stake on Friday night when the Wings take on the Colorado Avalanche. It’s the last matchup between the two teams before the Stadium Series, so expect some fun. The game is at the Joe and puck drop is at 7:30.