Joe Louis Arena is headed to the great barn in the sky after two more games. With Detroit falling short of the playoffs for the first time in 26 seasons, the home of the Red Wings made sure not to go quietly into the night.
The Senators couldn’t have been too amused by all the weird things the legendary building rolled out in its dotage. Then again, many of their recent horrors have been self-inflicted and have nothing to do with the house they played in.
Still, they did have to wonder just a little if their environs were haunted last night.
Detroit’s first two goals were scored from behind the end line, which is almost the hockey equivalent of getting a runner home from third on a flyball caught in foul territory. Well — at least if that’s the way you let in the first two goals of the game.
Not to be outspooked, however, Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson turned around and got one of those back, from, yep, behind the end line. And on his, it sure seemed like Mr. Poltergeist had taken up residence among the octopi.
|MOVEMENT WITHIN LEAGUE LEADER BOARDS (With Categories and League Rankings)|
|ERIK KARLSSON, Ottawa:
Deflection (Opponent’s Stick), 3rd of the Year
|ERIK KARLSSON, Ottawa|
|DEFLECTION (OPPONENT’S STICK)|
Karlsson was deep in the right corner of the Red Wings end when he pitched a centering pass toward the slot. But one of the ghouls who lives below the rink’s floor boards poked his digit through the ice, hoping to thwart Karlsson’s attempt. Instead, the puck deflected off his ectoplasm and took a right turn, rolling right past Detroit goalie Petr Venkman — er, Mrazek — and through the side door into the net.
With both goaltenders now getting suspicious about the funny stuff going on in the ice, the spirits at Joe Louis were lifted — literally — on the Red Wings third goal.
Detroit was on a power play and Gustav Nyquist sought to poke the puck over a sprawling Frederik Anderson, who dove from the Senators’ net to interrupt his in-close bid. The puck ended up caroming off the toe of Nyquist’s skate and then up the shaft of Anderson’s stick into the air.
Enter the invisible flying monkeys. The puck rose above the crossbar, hovering over the crease with eight players encircling it with momentarily fixed gazes. Nyquist then tried to swat it out of the air into the net, but whiffed. But from behind the net — where else? — another stick emerged, that of Tomas Tatar, who got just enough of the warbling disc to edge it past the goal line upon its landing, giving the Red Wings a 4-2 lead.
|TOMAS TATAR, Detroit:
Third Period, 11th of the Year; Batted Out of Air, 2nd of the Year
|TOMAS TATAR, Detroit|
|THIRD PERIOD||BATTED OUT OF AIR|
Ottawa would tie the game in pretty conventional fashion, although the goal that sent the game to overtime was scored directly from a won faceoff by Frederik Claesson, who has done that twice this year to tie for the NHL lead in that category, despite having just one other goal on the year.
And if you think the Joe had had enough for one night — or one lifetime — it made sure the overtime would yield to a shootout. From there, it took 13 shots until anyone scored. And that someone would turn out to be the Red Wings Evgeny Svechnikov, playing in his first NHL game.
It seems the old Joe was finally ready to give way to the new.
|KYLE TURRIS, Ottawa:
High Slot, 5th of the Year; Snap Shot, 7th of the Year; Screen, 10th of the Year; Third Period, 12th of the Year
|KYLE TURRIS, Ottawa|
|HIGH SLOT||SNAP SHOT||SCREEN||THIRD PERIOD|
|FREDRIK CLAESSON, Ottawa:
Directly from Won Faceoff, 2nd of the Year
|FREDRIK CLAESSON, Ottawa|
|DIRECTLY FROM WON FACEOFF|