0

WINGS POST-GAME: Lottery Division Showdown Ends In Red Wings Favour

The playoffs are no longer a concern for the Red Wings. Now, the focus should be turned towards the draft and acquiring the highest possible pick at the draft lottery in April. The Wings don’t seem to want to be doing that, though. They played a hard game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday, but came up short against a much better team. Luckily, they lost in regulation. Monday night, with the Montreal Canadiens in town, the Wings were playing for a chance to move up (down?) in the lottery division. A win would see them leap over the Habs in the standings while a loss would push them further behind. Let’s see how they fared.

THE RUNDOWN

It was a bit of a slow start as the team lethargically moved the puck up and down the ice. Detroit struck first only five minutes into the frame when Zetterberg fed the puck to the slot where Nyquist was waiting to bang it in.

The kick-started some momentum in the Wings as Andreas Athanasiou took off on a breakaway when a Montreal defender coughed the puck up at the Wings blueline. AA seemed to be lacking in confidence, though, as he couldn’t decide whether to shoot or deke and missed the net. Luckily, he managed to draw a penalty on the play.

The Wings couldn’t convert on the ensuing powerplay, but when it ended, Athanasiou created another chance when he and Luke Glendening had a two-on-one. This time, AA passed it and Glendening just couldn’t tip it past Carey Price.

Towards the end of the period, Dylan Larkin was serving a hooking penalty and Paul Byron tied the game up. The Habs were moving the puck around very quickly and Jared Coreau just couldn’t keep up with the play. The teams would head to the locker room in a 1-1 tie.

The Canadiens carried the momentum through to the second period where within ten minutes they had the lead. Both goals were garbage, though. The first was scored by Brendan Gallagher, but was actually scored by Danny DeKeyser. Gallagher threw the puck towards the front of the net, it hit DeKeysers skate and went in.

The second one was a slow motion disaster as Mike Reilly lobbed a puck on net from the blueline that snuck past Coreau and slowly trickled into the net.

.Just as it seemed the Red Wings were ready to lay down and die, Tyler Bertuzzi breathed some life into them as he banged the puck in amidst a scrum in front of Carey Price. It was Bertuzzi’s fourth goal of the season.

The third period left much to be desired. The most exciting play was probably Anthony Mantha hitting a post. In the final five minutes, Nyquist was serving a penalty and the Canadiens powerplay went back to work. It was another garbage goal, but, seriously, can’t Jared Coreau hold on to a puck!?

Less than a minute later, Charles Hudon targeted Henrik Zetterberg along the boards and he went really low. Like, towards the knees low. Bertuzzi did not like the way it looked, so he immediately dropped his gloves and went to work in defense of his captain.

Detroit then pulled the goalie in an attempt to even it up, but, as they so often do in the third period, they came up fruitless. The Habs would close this one out by a score of 3-2.

THE STATS

I mean, it’s not as bad the last time these two teams met, but there’s still lots of room for improvement from the Red Wings. They started off pretty close in the first and the gap widened as the game went on. Carey Price was surely a factor here, but I’m not convinced the Wings would have won if it was a back-up. They just didn’t have it in them.

MOTOR CITY MVP

Tonight’s Motor City MVP is Tyler Bertuzzi for never giving up. Bertuzzi scored his fourth of the year in the second period and also recorded an assist tonight. Lil’ Bert now has three points in his last two games. In addition to his offensive contributions, Bertuzzi came to the defense of his captain at the end of the game. It was inspiring and a positive showing by a young player. The kid’s got a bright future.

NEXT UP

The Wings are back in action tomorrow as they are visited by the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second half of their back-to-back. The Pens have yet to clinch their playoff berth yet, so they’ll be looking to do so against Detroit. That’s good news for the Wings. Puck drop is at 7:30 P.M. ET and you’ll be able to watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit or the NHL Network.

As always, we’ll have your pre-game report on WingsNation.com early tomorrow afternoon.