|Luke Glendening is all smiles after his first goal just two games into the new. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings) |
DETROIT — It took Luke Glendening 52 games last season to do what took him just two games to do this season.
Despite losing 3-2 to the Anaheim Ducks on a questionable goal in the final 24 seconds of regulation, Glendening was relieved to get on the score sheet and record his first goal of the season.
“It is frustrating no doubt about it, to at least get one (point) out of this game," he said. "That’s the way it goes sometimes and it’s an 82-game season so you’ve got to learn from it and move on.”
Trailing 1-0 with 4:27 left in the second period and the Wings in the middle of a line change, defenseman Niklas Kronwall moved the puck through the neutral zone to Justin Abdelkader at the Ducks’ blue line. He gained the zone and passed it to Glendening who was streaking down the left wing with fresh legs off of the line change. On his backhand, Glendening let a shot go from the faceoff dot that squeaked past Ducks’ goalie Frederik Andersen, tying the game at 1-1.
“It’s probably not a goal that he’s going to be very happy to give up," Glendening said. "Abby made a nice pass over to me and I just shot a backhand and fortunately it slid in.”
The spark Glendening provided may have been bigger than the tally he put on the scoreboard. Earlier in the period, defenseman Brendan Smith was taken off his feet when Ducks center Ryan Kesler delivered a big hit behind the Wings’ net. Glendening came to Smith's aid, igniting a shoving match between him and Kesler, and while Glendening spent two minutes in the penalty box serving a roughing penalty, it was one he felt he had to take.
“I don’t like when guys are taking runs at guys on our team and you gotta stand up for people that are getting run like that,” he said.
The rate of play picked up after that, and while the score remained 1-0 at that time, the Wings began to carry the play physically and gained some momentum after big hits by Smith and Abdelkader.
Following his game-tying goal, Glendening continued his efforts on a four-on-three penalty kill at the end of the second period. Being the lone Wings forward with just 10 seconds remaining in the period, Glendening deflected a pass from Corey Perry and the puck spilled into the neutral zone. Glendening won a race to the errant puck and went in one-on-one against Andersen as time ticked down. He made a forehand-to-backhand deke but was unable to capitalize on the opportunity as the period came to a close.
While he may not have been able to make good on the breakaway, Glendening’s high energy and ability to create opportunities as well as killing off crucial penalties lit a fire under his team. The Wings carried that momentum early into the third by claiming their first lead of the game. Henrik Zetterberg gathered the puck near the Wings’ bench and sent a cross-ice pass through the neutral zone hitting an open Gustav Nyquist who carried the puck into the offensive zone. With a clear view of the net, Nyquist faked a slap shot freezing the Ducks goalie for a moment, then let a wrist shot go beating Andersen over his far shoulder.
“They went for a change and Hank made a great pass right up to me far side and just tried to fake him down and put it high,” Nyquist said.
The go-ahead goal was Nyquist’s second in as many games. The Wings led 2-1 for only a moment though, as Matt Beleskey score just 1:20 later, making it a 2-2 tie which stood until the final moments of the game.
Ryan Getzlaf broke the deadlock with his second goal of the game on a questionable no-call with 24 seconds left in regulation.
Kronwall chased down a loose puck in the defensive zone with Getzlaf trailing behind. Kronwall fell to the ice allowing Getzlaf to pick up the loose puck and go uncontested to the net, scoring the game-winning goal.
“Initially, I thought it was his stick in around my hands but again everything happens so fast. Regardless, I can’t let that happen,” Kronwall said. “After I went down, you’re hoping the puck stays out of your net. This time, he made a nice play, he’s a good player.”
Babcock felt his team should have been on the power play in overtime with a chance to win the game and at the very least, earn one point in the game. Despite the tough loss, he is still pleased with the way his team competed.
“It was a competitive game, I thought for game two of the regular season it was a competitive game,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We knew it was going to be competitive because they had lost the way they did in game one. They’re supposed to be a real good team. But I liked our team tonight, they played real hard.”