The Red Wings made a miraculous comeback to end all their troubles at Rogers Arena Saturday night. Gustav Nyquist, along with help from Detroit goaltender Petr Mrazek scored the game winner in overtime to win 3-2 over the Vancouver Canucks. The victory shattered Detroit’s four game losing streak ending their road trip on a positive note.
Detroit ends its dismal road trip as they try and pull out a victory against the Canucks. The Red Wings nearly put their three game losing against the Calgary Flames but a late goal killed that chance especially when they lost in overtime walking away with their first point in over a week.
While suffering losses, the Red Wings also lost a few players due to injuries that left them to recall players from their AHL team. Mike Green and Kyle Quincey became the new pair to hit the injured reserve having taken hits in the game against Calgary.
Both of Detroit’s trade acquisitions are out with injuries that clearly concerned the organization. While Alexey Marchenko and Jakub Kindl get back into action, the Wings will try and figure things out as they fight with all that’s left to play strong against Vancouver.
The Canucks immediately moved in to score after winning the opening faceoff. Despite being behind the play, it was Petr Mrazek who did the work to stop shots right away. It became a cause for concern, as the Red Wings defense was not yet up to par to fight off every offensive attempt from the Canucks. Though they kept the game scoreless, Detroit showed signs of struggle on both sides of the puck.
Being witness to their troubles, Vancouver continued to find their mark to be the first to score. It came at 13:03 with Christopher Tanev scoring his first of the season during the second minute of their power play. It’s the second game in a row that they have scored on the man advantage after failing to do so in the four previous games.
For the Red Wings, the game started to slow down some for them to get their act together. They ran out of time when the period came to a close but finished with seven shots on goal while Vancouver shot eight.
The Canucks owned the second period as they easily made their way into the Detroit end attacking anytime they wanted. Though they only took five shots on the net through ten minutes of play, it was more than Detroit had taken as their problems showed more than they wished. On another Vancouver power play, the Canucks set up a play to get some scoring chances in but watched as Mrazek made a stop. He couldn’t stop the shot from Brandon Sutter as his wrister easily went through to gain his third of the season.
With the 2-0 lead, the remainder of the period felt like an eternity for the Red Wings who were still showing signs of struggle. While the Canucks kept the pedal to the metal, Detroit had only tallied four shots by the time 40 minutes went into the books. With the lead in favor of Vancouver and the third left to play, it seemed unlikely that Detroit would be able to put their problems behind them.
Fighting with all they had left was the order of the third period as gaining possession was most important. In the fourth minute of play, the Canucks were trying to push the puck into the Detroit zone finding some trouble as the Red Wings defense was slapping away at gaining possession. When they gained control, a stretch pass from Tomas Tatar got to Teemu Pulkkinen who went in alone and scored on Canucks goalie Ryan Miller to get his fourth of the season.
The goal gave the Red Wings a newfound energy to press for the tie while there was still time on the clock. Vancouver made the opportunity greater with Yannick Webber high sticking Detroit’s Darren Helm. Knowing that they were in position, the Red Wings power play unit got set up with three in the back end to fire on Miller. About halfway into the penalty, Tatar drove the puck through traffic on the stick side scoring the tying goal for his second.
The period was only seven minutes into its start and Detroit knew that with their comeback now complete, there was still time to score the go ahead that would end all their past frustrations. Detroit kept the heat on the Canucks for the remaining minutes while improve their defense to cut Vancouver’s scoring chances on Mrazek.
It led to each team picking up a point going into overtime. It was Detroit’s second in a row and one that they would want to go their way. The Red Wings played a few shifts before bringing on their best in the third minute of play. The Canucks were on a move into the Detroit net about to attack Mrazek, but as the 25 year old goalie came out to break up the play, he slid the puck down the length of the ice finding Nyquist all alone to fire the puck off the post and into the net.
It was the signature victory Detroit is known for and the best way to end their long week of losses. “That was a good end of the night for him after a great performance, making that whole play happen, it’s all on him,” Nyquist said of his goalie. “He was for sure out best player tonight.” Mrazek evened his record winning his second game of the season with 30 saves on the night for a .938 save percentage.
“My D helped me there, stopping the puck on the line or it could maybe be 3-0 and a different game, but the game goes, you get more confident and build on that,” said Mrazek. “It’s a huge victory for us.”
With their first lengthy road trip complete, the Red Wings can get back home and play two games at home to end the month of October.