Three Questions: Wings-Kings
DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 32nd game
After a dominating home performance against the Sharks on Thursday, the Wings thrilled the Joe Louis Arena crowd again Saturday. Trailing by a goal in the closing moments, the Red Wings found their scoring touch, tallying three goals in the final 3:43 to cap off a 6-4 win – in perhaps the most exciting finish the Wings have been a part of this season.
Valtteri Filppula got the comeback started from just outside the Los Angeles crease, redirecting a fake slapshot from captain Nicklas Lidstrom. The initial shot hit the side of the net, but Filppula grabbed the loose puck, and found a wide-open Jiri Hudler on the other side of the net. Hudler buried the game-tying goal, recording his 13th goal of the season.
But the Wings weren’t done yet. Moments later, Dan Cleary flew down the right side of the ice, and stopped quickly right on the face-off dot. He proceeded to fire the puck towards the Los Angeles goal, and the puck found it’s way past goaltender Jonathan Quick with the help from a Hudler screen. Cleary’s fifth goal of the season proved to be the game-winner, as Kris Draper added an empty-net goal to put the game away.
How did they create the comeback?
The Wings won the game by wearing away at inexperienced Los Angeles squad. Detroit fired 15 shots in the first, 12 in the second, and nine in the third, all the while cracking away at the young goaltender Quick. Playing in only his fifth NHL game, Quick couldn’t contain the high-powered Wings attack for the full 60 minutes, and the end result was a Wings’ victory.
What was the Wings’ hit of the game?
The Wings-Kings game saw ten goals on the score sheet, but one of the best plays might not make the final highlight videos. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall celebrated his growth poster night by embarrassing one of his opponents. ‘Kron the Destroyer’ left his mark on forward John Zeiler at the midpoint of the second period. After a small fight for the puck, Kronwall put his glove right into Zeiler’s chest, and picked him and threw him to the ice. To top it off, the Wings’ defenseman threw the hit right in front of the LA bench. It was a statement play by one of the Wings’ best hitters.