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WINGS-POST GAME: THE DEVILS CAME DOWN TO DETROIT

After a heartbreaking OT loss in Manhattan last night, the Wings flew home to host the New Jersey Devils tonight. Both teams were on the back half of back-to-back games. It was the Devils first game in Little Caesars Arena and they were looking for a victory after losing the last game at Joe Louis Arena. For their part, Detroit just needed a victory to snap their three game losing streak. Let’s dive in and see how they did.

THE RUNDOWN

It didn’t take Detroit long to open the scoring as David Booth deflected a Xavier Ouellet shot from the point past Keith Kinkaid. It was Booth’s first goal as a Red Wing.

As the period went on, the Devils started to take control. Brian Boyle had his own little deflection at 9:02 of the period to tie the game at 1. It was Boyle’s third of the season as he’s come back from his cancer treatment.

That was a tough one for Petr Mrazek and he didn’t have much of a chance on it. A few minutes later, though, Mrazek failed to stop a puck on the penalty kill. Taylor Hall had all the room in the world in the slot and fired a wrister through Mrazek’s five hole. Certainly, Hall should not have been alone in the slot like that, but Mrazek’s gotta be able to keep that one out. The period ended with the Wings down 2-1 in a lackluster performance.

Detroit had a much better second period as they outshot, out-attempted, and out-chanced the Devils at 5v5. Darren Helm wired a couple shots that Kinkaid turned away, but overall it felt like Detroit was playing a passive game and nobody wanted to shoot. Nick Jensen took a delay of game penalty midway through the period as he shot the puck out of play. At the end of the period, the Devils took a two minute penalty for holding Justin Abdelkader. Detroit had fifteen seconds of powerplay time before the period ended and started the third with the man advantage.

They didn’t score on that powerplay, but the third period was much better for the Red Wings. They didn’t get off to the best start as Petr Mrazek was run over by Adam Henrique charging the net. The puck went in, but the goal was disallowed and Henrique went to the box. The Wings, again, didn’t score on the powerplay and the Devils added to their tally as soon as Henrique got out of the box.

After that goal, Petr Mrazek was pulled for concussion protocol from the collision with Henrique earlier. Jimmy Howard took over in net as the Red Wings dominated the game from here on out. Mantha responded almost immediately to bring the Wings back within one.

Keeping the pressure up, Detroit scored again only a few minutes later. It was an unlikely candidate as David Booth netted his second of the game to tie it all up.

After that one, Booth got a couple of shifts with the top line to see if he could complete the hat trick. He got one more scoring chance, but wasn’t able to net the game winner. Instead, the Wings went back into overtime for the third time in four games. There was a little bit of back and forth, but it didn’t take long for New Jersey’s Brian Gibbons to intercept a Nick Jensen pass and walk into the slot where he’d bury it five hole on Jimmy Howard.

THE STATS

The chart tells the story of the game pretty well. The Devils were all over Detroit in the second period and the Wings took the game back in the third, where they clawed back from a two goal deficit to snag a point in overtime.

At 5v5, it was the Red Wings who played the better game as they had better shots for and shot attempt percentages. Unfortunately, their play was too passive early in the game and they didn’t come alive until the third. This team could be good if they played a full 60. They need to start getting two points out of these games instead of just one.

MOTOR CITY MVP

2 goals and one of them is the game tying goal. Tonight’s Motor City MVP has gotta be David Booth. Booth drew into the lineup tonight due to the Trevor Daley injury and he jumped into action immediately, scoring his first goal 34 seconds into the game. The team tried getting him his hat trick, but it just wasn’t in the books for him. A good game nonetheless for the veteran winger.

NEXT UP

After a tough couple of days, the Wings don’t take the ice until Tuesday when the Los Angeles Kings are in town for their first game ever at Little Caesars Arena. Seven of Detroit’s next eight games are at home. This is a great time for them to take control of their season and add some W’s to their record. Puck drop is at 7:30 P.M. ET on Tuesday night and you can watch the game on FS-D and FS-W. Also, if you’re in Canada, you can watch the game on SNE and SNO for some reason. As always, Brock Seguin will have the pre-game report on Tuesday afternoon on WingsNation.com