The Canucks traveled to Detroit on Tuesday night as a surprisingly familiar foe for an out-of-conference opponent: this is the second meeting in a week between these two teams, as Detroit’s western Canada road trip just concluded. Despite a strong first two periods, the Red Wings gave up 5 in the third (and a hat trick to Bo Horvat) to lose 5-2 to the Canucks at home. Here’s the game recap, Gif of the Game, and Motor City MVP:

Thoughts and Highlights

  • The 1st period was a tale of two halves, with the Wings being slapped around for the first 10 minutes, before locking in and getting some assistance through Vancouver’s mistakes, scoring the period’s only goal on the 5-on-3. Shots in the period finished at 14-9 Canucks, despite being 9-3 at one point.
  • Detroit’s first goal was the typical PP goal this season. While the Red Wings’ power play has struggled mightily this year, when it has worked it has tended to look like this, with Mantha’s shot doing most of the work:

  • It’s amazing the extent to which the Red Wings play in such hills and valleys, seeming lethargic for large stretches of the game, just to roar to life after receiving a shot of confidence (like a power play or a goal)
  • I loved Dennis Cholowski’s goal to make it 2-0 Detroit. For a guy who has often seemed unsure of himself early in his young NHL career, the confidence to walk the puck in from the point and shoot his shot was great to see, and even better that it went in:

  • The Red Wings closed the second period with a terrific power play before Bertuzzi took a frustrating penalty with one second left in the frame, but they still won the period decisively: shots were 17-11 Detroit.
  • Speaking of that penalty, those penalties killed Detroit early in the third, ceding two power-play goals to begin the period, both of which on plays where Bo Horvat’s net front presence mucked things up on normally benign shots from the point
  • After that, the team’s momentum and streaky ways began to cascade, giving up two more goals around the midpoint of the period and you could feel the energy leave the building. Too much space being given to Vancouver’s shooters in the defensive end.

Gif of the Game 

The third period tonight in one gif.

Motor City MVP

Anthony Mantha

With secondary scoring continuing to struggle, the Red Wings are relying heavily on their top line and that worked well early in the game, with Mantha remaining the most dangerous scorer on the team and netting the game’s opening goal.