Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame: Wings Fall to a Shootout in Anaheim

Yet another strong, but failing, showcase of this Wings team against a highly-competitive team in Southern California. The Red Wings lost to the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in a shootout on Monday night.

It was the 25th anniversary of the Ducks’ first ever NHL game, that happened to be against the Detroit Red Wings, and they earned the right to celebrate. Coming back from two separate deficits to eventually win in the shootout against their historic opposition.

For most of the game, the Red Wings were on the front foot. They controlled the shot attempts and had individual players that were getting the most scoring chances. But that is all for nothing when those players can’t put the puck in the back of the net.

Worth Mentioning…

  • The Wings relied heavily on their veteran presence all game. There were no rookie standouts, but they did not play awful.
  • Tyler Bertuzzi was able to score a beautiful goal in the first period. A slick mini spin-o-rama set-up by a seeking pass from Rasmussen. Rasmussen got his first NHL assist and point on this goal.

  • Bertuzzi now has two goals to his name this season, in just three games. He might just be the breakout star that none of us were expecting.
  • In the second period, the Ducks were able to tie it up with an absolute rocket from defenceman Hampus Lindholm. No one on the Wings can really be blamed for that goal in any way – it was a missile.

  • Vanek probably had his best game yet in his return to this Red Wings team. It isn’t saying much, but he got one high-danger scoring chance.
  • Later in the second, Darren Helm of all people was able to force the Wings back into leading position. You have to love a good 4th-line garbage goal.

  • After a second period that the Wings took control of, the Ducks took the advantage back in the third. Leading to an eventual tying goal that every single fan felt was coming.

  • Probably the only veteran that had an awful game was Justin Abdelkader. As seen by this clear fluke goal that Abdelkader did not help in any way to prevent from the get-go, he was just a non-factor this game.
  • Both teams head to a shootout and Ducks rookie winger Troy Terry was the only player of the bunch able to put it in the net for his team. Wings lose 3-2 in the shootout to the Ducks.
  • This had a similar feeling to the Kings game on Sunday night, a strong performance overall that just didn’t break right for the Wings.
  • The Nyquist-Larkin-Mantha line seems to be clicking extremely well this season. Another above-50% Corsi night for them.
  • Dennis Cholowski probably had his most unfortunate night so far this season. He left the game with a shot attempt differential of -9 – the lowest on the team.

Final Thoughts

This wasn’t a bad game to watch. It was clean and competitive all the way through and I feel like we didn’t get many of those types of games at all last season. The Wings faced a Ducks team without Perry, Kesler, Getzlaf, and Kase, but was still able to lose in a shootout. It might have been clean because of those Ducks forwards that were missing, but at least they got that game out of the way now.

The Wings led the expected goals battle for the second game in a row now. According to MoneyPuck, the Wings had 3.66 xGoals in all situations, to the Ducks’ 2.93 xGoals. There were able to get clean shots off enough to raise that bar. Now they just have to get players that really finish their chances. Anthony Mantha led this team with 0.52 xGoals individually.

This was a fairly even matchup all throughout. A couple of defensive misreads from both teams, but that’s what makes it fun in the end.

The Red Wings return to action with their first game within their division, against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. The Wings have faced mediocre competition so far this season. A Blue Jackets team without their best blueliner and two injury-ridden California teams that didn’t play to their highest potential. This will be a massive test for this young Red Wings team.