Once again, the Detroit Red Wings come up short as they lose their second straight one-goal game, falling to the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at the Wells Fargo Center.
Ilya Bryzgalov showed last night why he’s worth $51 million for the next nine years as he stopped 37 shots, including Valtteri Filppula late in the third period. Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux and Maxime Talbot scored for the Flyers.
Joey MacDonald stopped 20 shots for the Red Wings and was also a victim of some communication breakdowns in front of him. Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen scored goals for the Red Wings.
Zetterberg got on the board at the four-minute mark of the first period when he roofed a backhand from the bottom of the right faceoff circle past Bryzgalov for a 1-0 lead. Jakub Voracek capitalized on one of the Red Wings’ mishaps when MacDonald left the puck behind his net for his teammate Doug Janik, but Voracek was the first to get the puck and scored to tie the game at 13:50 . Giroux scored on a breakaway late in the first, giving the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
The Red Wings were unable to cash in on all four power-play opportunities, but the one that hurt them the most was when Ian White coughed up the puck from the left point and Giroux quickly recovered the puck and went to the races. Giroux was stopped by MacDonald, but Talbot, who was trailing on the play, picked up the rebound and scored to make it 3-1. That goal proved to be the deciding tally
Franzen scored his team-leading 25th goal for the Red Wings, but that was all that they could get past Bryzgalov, who was clutch in the remaining seconds of the game.
There was a “Kronwalled” sighting in the “City of Brotherly Love” as Niklas Kronwall layed out Jakub Voracek with one of his pattened hits. Voracek had his head down as he tried to get the puck along the boards and that’s something that an opposing player should never do when Kronwall is on the ice.
Voracek was down on the ice for a few moments, but was able to get up and skate on his own. The hit will likely be reviewed by the league’s office, but don’t expect a fine or suspension. Voracek didn’t return to the game and will be further evaluated later today.
Kronwall is the Ivan Drago of the NHL, because whatever he hits, he destroys.
Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr left with a hip injury and also didn’t return. The Red Wings should know all too well about injuries as they went into Philly without Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Jimmy Howard, Todd Bertuzzi, Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl. You could say that tonight’s lineup were a mixture of Red Wings and the team’s minor league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Besides the team’s miscues and rash of injuries, the team’s power-play are also a mess as they went 0-for-4 against the Flyers. What’s worse is that over their last nine games, the Red Wings have gone 3-for-34 with the man-advantage. It doesn’t help if some of the team’s best players aren’t in the lineup, but what fans may not know is that the Red Wings are tied for third in the NHL with 211 goals scored. With the depth and balance of the roster, the Red Wings be able to convert more on the PP.
It’s now 15 years and counting since the Red Wings won in Philadelphia. Their last regular season win was on January 25, 1997 but their recent win (if you want to call it that), was months later when the two met in the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals, with the Red Wings winning Game Two on June 3 by the score of 4-2.
Before the game, the Flyers honored Hall of Famer (and former Red Wing) Mark Howe as number 2 jersey was retired. Howe spent 10 seasons in Philadelphia and was part of one of the best defensive corps in recent history as he played alongside Brad Marsh and Doug Crossman and the late Brad McCrimmon during the 1980s.
Though he had his best seasons with the Flyers, Howe had his best season with the orange and black during the 1985-86 season as he registered 24 goals and 58 assists along with a jaw-dropping plus/minus rating of +85 in 77 games played. Both teams sat behind their respective benches and watched the ceremony.
The Red Wings look to snap out of their two-game slide as they head back to the Joe Louis Arena this Friday as they welcome the Los Angeles Kings.
About the Author: Alex lives in Hockeytown, USA. He is a huge Red Wings fan going back to the 1985-86 season when they were dead last with 40 points. He has seen the transition from the 'Dead Wings' to one of the top franchises in sports. You can also follow him at twitter.com/alexmuscat73.