Mrazek (9-8-3, 3.11 GAA, .896%) got the start. He needed to be better, especially with Howard injured, and if he wants to be the starting goalie for this team. Gibson would start for the ducks.
Blashill altered the obviously struggling power play, putting five forwards on the man advantage, including Steve Ott.
The Wings played okay in the first period. They had some good bursts of pressuring and puck movement but fell apart after the half of the first. An Ericsson turnover and more bad rebound control from Mrazek lead to a Ducks goal by Ritchie at 13:59. Their penalty kill did well, not allowing any shots.
You could have been more entertained by watching paint dry then this second period. Smith got a goal early on but it would be overturned for goalie interference. Smith would then leave later on in the game due to a lower body injury and will likely be out (again) for a bit. The refs showed more inconsistencies on calls not being made. Wings went empty on the powerplay again (shocking, I know). Just 2 shots on it.
The third begun in hopes for a comeback in this most boring game. Wings got another crack at the powerplay, but Ott went off for goalie interference to make it 4-on-4. The same Ott that was put on the power play to produce. Sigh. 8:44 to play, Wings went back on the penalty kill and kept the Ducks from scoring again. 5:25 left in the game, another powerplay for the Wings, and another 2 minutes without scoring would happen.
2:54 to play and the Ducks added another goal thanks to Kase. Less then a minute left, we head to the penalty kill, but ducks don’t convert. And that’s the game.
Final: 2-0 Ducks. Shots are 22-23 in the winners favor.
Overall, Mrazek looked better and is in the right direction moving forwards. But our offense was once again no where to be found. I’m sure we’re all tired of hearing this but guys like Sheahan, Nyquist and Tatar need to step up their game considerably. The fact that Larkin, having a slump, is still leading our teams in goals is just pathetic. And this team will get nowhere closer to playoff chances if you can’t score on a powerplay (which is still absolutely completely unacceptably beyond horrible).
It was also announced Smith and Kronwall would not return to the game. Smith appeared to hurt his knee that he sprained in late November, but there was no update on Kronwall. Thankfully the Wings expect Marchenko to be back tomorrow.
The Ducks are 26-45-12 against the Red Wings in the all-time series. We won’t see them again until next season. Next game is in LA on Thursday.