I’m not blaming the refs for Detroit’s loss tonight but I’m still a bit p*ssed about the officiating at the end of the second period, directly leading to the eventual game-winning goal early in the third.
That said, if the Wings had scored a single power play goal we’re in overtime right now. San Jose took advantage of the chances they got and the Red Wings didn’t.
For the first time in these playoffs, the Wings lost a game where I was happy with their effort. Despite the loss, Detroit played a really solid game tonight and that bodes well for future games.
Things that I liked…
Dan Cleary. The guy was all over the place and it was great to see him come back after what looked like a head injury. Finally picked up a goal, too.
The entire fourth line. Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller were buzzing, whether or not Cleary was on the line with them.
The way the Red Wings fought back. Going down 3-0 so early in the game, Detroit could have given up pretty easily. They didn’t, though, and were a shot away from forcing overtime. Doesn’t do much good for the result but it shows they’re not going to be rolled over.
Things that I didn’t like…
Three fast goals against. This one’s easy. Though they rallied to make it close, you can’t expect to win a game when you give up that many goals so quickly.
Only 20 shots taken. Evgeni Nabokov is the weak link on this Sharks team and the Red Wings didn’t test him enough.
Bad night for Jimmy Howard. 23 saves on 27 shots isn’t bad but the last two goals shouldn’t have happened. He was out of position on the third goal and slow to shut his pads on the fourth.
On the Sharks…
San Jose did a great job of clearing the zone. They usually had a guy open in the faceoff circle during a battle along the boards so they could get the puck to him and get the clear. The Wings are going to have to battle along the boards better if they want to win this series.