Red Wings Keep it Close but Fall to Florida 3-2 in Overtime

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The Detroit Red Wings played a much better game Thursday night, but it yielded some similar results as seen before this season. In spite of a stronger performance from Thomas Greiss, the Wings could only muster two goals and fell in overtime 3-2 to Florida.

Troy Stecher had an assist on Detroit’s first goal (redirected by Adam Erne) and Givani Smith injected life into the lineup with a third period fight.

Anthony Mantha broke a 1-1 tie on a top shelf snipe that gave Detroit a one goal lead in the third. But Jon Merrill took a couple penalties and the second one burned the Wings, giving the Panthers the tying goal.

In overtime, the Red Wings had absolutely no offensive possession as the Panthers took it right to them before Alexander Wennberg buried the game winner, handing Florida a 3-2 victory and a series sweep.

Though they played better and Greiss had a solid game, it was another loss for Detroit.

Red Wings Goals

Red Wings Final Thoughts

  • Smith is becoming a fan favorite for no bigger reason than his willingness to stick up for his teammates. He can absolutely contribute offensively, but his physical presence in the lineup adds a dimension the Red Wings have sorely missed. Though there has been a movement away from fighting in the league, Smith was making two statements when he dropped the gloves with Riley Stillman. The first was in defense of his captain. The second in that the Wings won’t be pushed around. Every Wings fan would love to see him crush Radko Gudas  at some point, too.
  • Michael Rasmussen is playing with more confidence and it’s what the Red Wings desperately need. It was a mixed bag of reactions when he was drafted but Detroit absolutely needs its top ten picks to hit. His skating has been quicker and he’s driving the play more instead of waiting for plays to happen. His assist on the Mantha goal is an example of that. His awareness is light years ahead of what we saw two seasons ago and that’s a big positive.
  • Erne has become quite the story this season. It’s not as if Pavel Datsyuk has been centering his line and feeding him the puck. Erne has been scoring goals in different ways and with different line mates. The first trade Steve Yzerman made in his general manager role with Detroit continues to look better.
  • I have written extensively on Jeff Blashill’s coaching decisions this season and it’s easy to understand why some fans are “done” with him as the head coach. A decision that underscores that was not only benching Stecher but his decision to have Danny DeKeyser out there in overtime. DeKeyser is a step slower now, and against a speedy Florida team, he wouldn’t be the wisest choice to counter. I understand that Blash doesn’t have a stacked roster to work with but some of those decisions give his detractors the upper hand.

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