This game was at times awesome, infuriating, and terrifying.
They’re all must-wins from here on out and Detroit played like it early, showing a lot of jump after playing less than 24 hours earlier. They controlled play for almost the first ten minutes and got the game’s first six shots. Of course, former Red Wing Valtteri Filppula got Tampa on the board with just their second shot, so it looked like it was going to be one of those nights.
The Wings responded, though. Joakim Andersson’s backhander from down low bounced off goalie Ben Bishop to tie things up and then Gustav Nyquist’s incredible individual effort put them up 2-1.
I think that first period really decided the game. If the Wings hadn’t rebounded then, they wouldn’t have later on.
The second and third were somewhat sloppier but with each team adding one goal, Detroit was able to hold on for the win.
Johan Franzen drives me nuts. Jonas Gustavsson drives me nuts. The officials drive me nuts. But it’s okay if I’m nuts at the end of the night as long as the Wings come away with two points.
It should also be noted that Justin Abdelkader was pretty invisible in his return from injury, which I’ll take as a good thing given his role tonight. He slotted in on the bottom six, didn’t make any egregious mistakes, that’s good enough.
The win ends Detroit’s run of 10 games in 17 days, during which they went 6-3-1. They’ve got two days off before they finish the season with seven games in 12 days.