Three Questions: Wings-Stars
DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 42nd game
Though they couldn’t hold on for the win, goaltender Chris Osgood was the star of the night for the Red Wings. Put in an unusual situation, Osgood actually had to make more saves then his opposing netminder. Dallas outshot the Wings 49-30, something that rarely happens for the winged wheel. But Osgood stood tall, and he’s the man responsible for the Wings leaving Dallas with a point to add to their season total. He made 45 saves, only one save off his career high, and 12 more than any other game he’s played in this season. And he made them in style. ‘Ozzie’ assembled his own highlight-reel tape during this game, but his best came in the second period, when he reminded center Brad Richards about how quick his glove hand can be. With Dallas on a power play, Richards took a cross-ice feed and let a rocket one-timer go towards the Detroit goal, but Osgood slid from post to post and snatched the puck out of mid-air. Osgood turned in the performance of the year from a Detroit goaltender thus far with his 45-save night.
What was the play of the night?
The best play of the game, in my opinion, came on the penalty kill for the Wings. Henrik Zetterberg showed off his hockey smarts while on the kill early in the third period, when the Wings were killing off a four-minute penalty to Chris Osgood for a high stick. Zetterberg lugged the puck all the way into the Dallas zone, and instead of taking a low-percentage shot, he drove towards the Dallas defense and goal. In doing so, he forced forward Mike Modano to play a little defense, and Modano responded with hooking Zetterberg. Modano headed to the box, which meant that with one move towards the goal, Zetterberg killed off two of the four power-play minutes. Plays like that are why Zetterberg is one of the best in the game, because he helps his team in more ways then just on the scoresheet.
What should the Wings take out of this game?
The most impressive numbers for the Wings this game? One-for-seven. That’s the end results of the Dallas power play. The Red Wings penalty kill, which has struggled a bit on the road, killed off the first six penalties they faced, and allowed only one goal while playing shorthanded. Without an impressive performance by the penalty-kill guys and Osgood behind them, this game wouldn’t have been close. If the Wings can continue their stellar play on the penalty kill, they could have an even better second half of the year than the first.