Detroit Red Wings
RedWingsSeasonTickets.com Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Slovakia's Tatar shines in loss to USA

Americans' six-goal second period does in Slovakia in tourney opener

Thursday, 02.13.2014 / 10:01 AM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Slovakia\'s Tatar shines in loss to USA
Tomas Tatar celebrates his second-period goal against the U.S. with his Slovakian teammates Zdeno Chara and Michal Handzus (26). (Photo by Getty Images)

When Tomas Tatar netted a goal to tie the game 1-1 between Slovakia and Team USA, the Red Wings forward pointed towards the sky, no doubt paying tribute to his late father in his Olympic debut.

It was a memorable goal for more than one reason, but it didn’t come without controversy. Chicago’s Marian Hossa corralled the puck at the blue line after a turnover by Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter, and waited for Tatar to scramble back into the neutral zone to avoid an offsides call. But Hossa crossed over the blue line before his younger teammate could clear Team USA’s zone, a violation that wasn’t called and ultimately led to the 23-year-old’s first Olympic goal just 24 seconds into the second period.

But the Slovakians had little time to celebrate, as Tatar’s goal seemed to spark a scoring frenzy among the Americans. Team USA went on a ruthless scoring spree, notching six goals in nearly 14 minutes of play during the second period to take a commanding 7-1 lead that would stand as the game’s final score.

“It was a little bit of a slow start, a little feeling-out period but found our game in the second and had a great stretch where we buried a few pucks and then the third’s a six-goal difference,” Blues forward David Backes told NBC Sports Net’s Pierre McGuire. “I think we would’ve like to have better happens but that happens sometimes.”

Washington defenseman John Carlson put the USA on the scoreboard first in the opening period, scoring on his first shot of his Olympic debut. After Tatar tied the game early in the second, forwards Ryan Kesler and Paul Stastny scored two minutes apart to give the Americans a 3-1 lead.

Team USA controlled the rest of the second period, as Backes found the back of the net, followed by Stastny’s second goal of the game. Trailing 5-1, Slovakia pulled Jaroslav Halak from the goal in favor of Canadiens goaltender Peter Budaj.

The change did little to stifle the Americans, though. Forwards Phil Kessel and Dustin Brown added two more goals before the second intermission to give the USA a six-goal advantage.

“Guys were laid back and ready to go out there and do some great work and put the team first and I think we did a lot of that today,” Backes said.

Kesler, a Livonia, Michigan native, shined in his second Olympic appearance, scoring the game-winning goal and earning an assist in Team USA’s first preliminary tournament game.

Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard didn’t dress for the USA’s first group matchup against Slovakia, and forward Tomas Jurco recorded two shots in just over 13 minutes of ice time.

Both teams will return to the ice Saturday morning, as Slovakia will face Slovenia at 3 a.m. on MSNBC and the U.S. will take on Russia at 7:30 a.m. on NBC Sports Net. Russia defeated Slovenia 5-2 Thursday morning and Backes knows Saturday’s matchup against the host country will be a difficult one.

“They’re in home town, they’ve been getting a lot of press and a lot of attention and you expect them to have firing in their own cylinders and they got a lot of fire power so we have a great test ahead of us we have two days to prepare for it,” Backes said.

Follow Andrea Nelson on Twitter @Nelson_Andrea

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80