I had joked before the game that Todd Bertuzzi was in the lineup for the Red Wings today because his skills would be needed for the inevitable shootout against Chicago. I was close, as it was Bertuzzi scoring with 39 seconds left in overtime to keep the Wings from a shootout with a 3-2 win.
Bertuzzi’s winner (and his breakaway goal in the first) were fantastic and it’s great to come away with two points, but I’m going to be a downer about this game.
The Red Wings absolutely dominated the first period. They had ten shots before the Blackhawks had one. If not for Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, Detroit could have had this game wrapped up in the first twenty minutes.
But they didn’t. They carried only a two goal lead into the second period and then proceeded to play as if Chicago was out of it.
An odd bounce got the Blackhawks back into the game and then it was their turn to dominate in the third period, firing the first eleven shots of the frame. It took them the entire period but eventually they tied things back up.
Thankfully, the Red Wings dominated the OT and pulled out the win. That said, they had nine shots in OT, compared to only eight in the second and five in the third. That’s a sign of how bad they were in those two periods, that they got more shots in a five-minute overtime than either of two entire twenty minute periods.
So, positives: Jimmy Howard was a rock, once again. Domination of the first period and overtime.
Negatives: Absolutely fell asleep in the second and most of the third. Let the Blackhawks back in it enough that they got a point in the standings to stay ahead of the Wings.
I’ll take the win but they’ve got work to do.