DETROIT – The Red Wings were stunned by the New Jersey Devils when the two Eastern Conference teams met earlier this month for the first time this season.
The Devils erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to hand the Red Wings their second overtime road loss of the season, 3-2, at the Prudential Center on Dec. 11.
Damon Severson and Sergey Kalinin scored goals to force overtime, and Kyle Palmieri potted the game-winner with just 40 seconds remaining in the extra session,, while goalie Cory Schneider made 27 saves to earn his second career win against Detroit.
“First of all I know they’re a real good team,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “They played us real good shorthanded. They were missing some guys there. I know they’re very well coached but I knew that going in. I’m a big fan of (coach) John Hynes. He does a real good job. I think it’s like every game in this league. It’s extremely hard, it’s extremely close and it’s who makes the big plays at the big moments.”
Both teams were shorthanded Tuesday. The Devils were without Patrik Elias (knee) for the second straight game. Meanwhile, the Wings were without defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (upper-body), who was also missing his second consecutive game.
This definitely wasn’t one of the Red Wings’ better periods.
New Jersey scored three goals in little more than two minutes to build a three-goal lead and send goalie Jimmy Howard out of the game early.
The Red Wings had the first power play chance when native Detroiter Andy Greene was whistled for delay of game when his clearing attempt went over the glass. But the power play was short lived when Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg picked up a minor penalty for holding Adam Larsson.
And things didn’t go well from there as the Devils scored on three consecutive shots by Palmieri, Jordin Tootoo, and David Schlemko.
Howard was lifted with 5:43 left in the period after surrendering three goals on six total shots. It was the first time this season that a Wings’ goaltender has been lifted from a game for poor performance.
The Wings got one back on a late power play. Rookie sensation Dylan Larkin scored his first period on the man advantage, rocketing a shot passed Schneider that cut Detroit’s deficit to 3-1 before the end of the period.
The first period was also highlighted by a pretty big collision when Alexey Marchenko was rocked by Devils center Tyler Kennedy in the neutral zone. Marchenko was trying to settle a bouncing puck when Kennedy lowered a shoulder into the side of the defenseman’s face.
Joakim Andersson, who scored his first goal of the season last Friday, had a great opportunity to give the Red Wings an early lead, but his chance from in close was thwarted by Schneider’s blocker save.
NEW JERSEY 3, DETROIT 1
SCORING: 1. NJD, Palmieri PPG (Merrill), 12:05; 2. NJD, Tootoo (Greene), 12:47; 3. NJD, Schlemko (Palmieri), 14:17; 4. DET, Larkin PPG (Zetterberg, Kronwall), 18:32.
PENALTIES: 1. NJD, Greene (delay of game), 10:00; 2. DET, Zetterberg (holding), 10:37; 3. NJD, Severson (tripping), 18:02.
SHOTS: Detroit 13, New Jersey 7.
The period took a definite chippy tone as three separate skirmishes played out when the Devils focused much of their physicality toward Larkin, including defensemen John Moore and Damon Severson, and forward Lee Stempniak. All three Devils took liberty with the Wings’ rookie, including Severson, who appeared to intentionally slash Larkin across the arm at one point.
The Wings picked up the defensive tempo in the middle frame, which, quite honestly was a difficult thing to do considering the poor first period. Detroit held the Devils to just six shots.
Detroit chipped away at the Devils’ lead getting a goal back on the power play. Mike Green picked up his second goal as a Red Wing, scoring at 12:31 to trim the deficit to 3-2.
It’s the fifth time this season that the Wings have scored multiple power-play goals, and the second time against the Devils.
Petr Mrazek looked good in the period, making saves on all six shots he faced.
NEW JERSEY 3, DETROIT 2
SCORING: 1. DET, Green PPG (Richards, Datsyuk), 12:31.
PENALTIES: 1. DET, Abdelkader (slashing), 0:49; 2. NJD, Henrique (roughing), 0:49; 3. DET, Nyquist (too many men), 3:12; 4. NJD, Greene (holding the stick), 6:03; 5. DET, DeKeyser (roughing), 8:35; 6. NJD, Cammalleri (roughing), 8:35; 7. NJD, Gionta (tripping), 12:02; 8. Severson (roughing), 17:14; 9. DET, Abdelkader (double-roughing), 17:14.
SHOTS: Detroit 5 (18), New Jersey 6 (13).
New Jersey’s a pretty stingy team when it comes to blowing third-period leads. In fact, the Devils entered Tuesday’s game with a 9-0-1 record this season when taking a lead into the final 20 minutes of regulation.
So it was already an uphill battle for the Wings, but the climb got steeper when the Devils capitalized on Detroit miscue in the defensive zone to grab an insurance goal early in the period.
Mrazek stopped a shot and paddled the puck to Jakub Kindl, who chose to play the puck into the middle of the ice instead of trying to rim it around the net. Kindl’s attempt was swapped out of the air by Kennedy. Moments later Sergey Kalinin had his fifth goal of the season and the Devils had a two-goal edge at 2:24.
As they often do, the Wings made it interesting late, when Riley Sheahan’s fourth goal of the season at 14:23 made it a one-goal game again. Detroit took advantage of a neutral zone turnover, and Sheahan sniped a from the left faceoff circle that beat Schneider low to the glove side. The goal snapped a 16-game goal drought for Sheahan, who last scored on Nov. 16 at Ottawa.
The Wings pulled Mrazek for an extra attacker with 1:40 left. But the comeback effort ended when Niklas Kronwall was called for interference when he took down Stephen Gionta with 57 seconds left.
The Red Wings are now off for the next three days to observe the Christmas holiday. The Wings will return to action on Saturday in Nashville.
NEW JERSEY 4, DETROIT 3
SCORING: 1. NJD Kalinin (Josefson) 2:24; 2. DET, Sheahan (Jurco) 14:23.
PENALTIES: 1. NJD, Merrill (tripping), 7:46; 2. DET, Abdelkader (cross-checking), 10:23; 3. DET, Kronwall (interference), 19:02.
SHOTS: Detroit 10 (28), New Jersey 4 (17).