First Period… I think the Red Wings came out the way they wanted to but were still a bit tentative. The offense definitely wasn’t clicking but despite the one Phoenix goal the defense was pretty strong.
As I mentioned at the time, I felt like the Wings were losing a lot of faceoffs (no matter what the stats actually showed) and getting beat along the boards.
Second Period… Detroit cranked the offense up to eleven but did it at the cost of the defense. You don’t want to see so many defensive mistakes but they’re overshadowed by the offense coming to life. It was a pretty neutral period, with Phoenix losing control of the game but the Red Wings not yet gaining it.
Third Period… After Justin Abdelkader’s goal, I finally felt like the Wings were going to win this one. Even when Shane Doan tied it up, Detroit had control. Zata and Fil and the ENG seemed inevitable. This was the Detroit team we want to see every night.
Overall… Obviously you’d like to see a full game more like the third period but I like the things Detroit did right in this one. There weren’t a lot of moments in Game One that felt like the high points of the third period tonight.
The power play scored on two of three chances and the PK was perfect, two wrongs from the series opener righted.
The top lines provided the offense and the third and fourth lines were physical.
Todd Bertuzzi looked fantastic out there. Two assists, three shots and four hits on the night.
Abdelkader jumps in and ties Zetterberg for most hits by a Wings forward with five, adding in a Datsyuk-like goal to give Detroit its first lead. You can’t ask for more than that. Jason Williams will never skate for the Wings again.
So we head back to Detroit tied up, with the Wings not in control of the series but sitting where they want. Not bad.