Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wings Win 2-1 Over Avs, Howard Shines

Recently, coach Mike Babcock put a call out to his goalies saying they needed to step up and be better.  Jimmy Howard has answered that call ever since, and did so again last night as the Red Wings defeated Colorado 2-1.  Jimmy Howard made 36 saves and came ever-so-close to earning his 13th career shutout, but everything the Avs threw at Howard was not enough.

Detroit was bolstered in the 2nd period when Johan Franzen finally got the monkey off his back and scored for the first time since coming back from injury.  Damien Brunner fed the Mule a marvelous stretch pass that left Franzen free and clear of both Colorado defensemen, and the following wrist shot whistled by goaltender J. S. Giguere to open the scoring at 1-0 Wings.

Later in the same period, Niklas Kronwall would blast a puck toward the net, and some argue that he intentionally shot wide of the net to look for a favorable bounce off of the notoriously lively Joe Louis Arena boards.  The bounce Kronner got could not have been more favorable, as the puck careened back toward the net, ricocheted off Giguere's skate, and back into the net to make it 2-0 Detroit.

All was well until the final stages of the 3rd, when Franzen sullied his otherwise good play by half-heartedly trying to clear the puck out of the defensive zone while Colorado had their net empty.  The puck stayed in, and Paul Stastny got a shot on goal.  Howard responded with a great save, but a rebound came right back to Stastny and he did not waste his second chance.  With just 1:30 left in the game, the Avalanche broke Howard's shutout, making it 2-1.  The Wings, however, would hold on from there and claim their 2 points.