Eddie Lack’s Wolves were worried about scoring goals coming into the San Antonio series, not preventing them.
(Photo: Chris Jerina/AHL in Photos)
As expected, the Wolves andRampage played a very tight game to start off their first round series. But surprisingly, it wasn’t exactly the goaltenders duel most were expecting! Chicago burst out of the gate with three first period goals, but couldn’t hold the advantage over a very patient San Antonio team, going down 5-4.
Click past the jump for analysis, and some zone start and chance data.
– Finally provided with some lineup choices because the Wolves are again healthy, Craig MacTavish chose to keep his experienced veterans in the lineup, combined with all three of his newest youngsters. Nicklas Jensen, who finished the regular season with a hat trick, was promoted to the first line with Mark Mancari and Steve Reinprecht. The decision to favour the Dane over Swedish prospect Anton Rodin paid immediate dividends as Jensen scored a pair of power play goals, driving his team to a 4-2 lead. However, he did struggle some in his own end, and the third Rampage goal came when he allowed Jon Matsumoto free space in the slot. Curiously, Jensen didn’t see the ice again after the goal, whether he was benched or was injured is unclear.
– MacTavish also kept Frank Corrado and Tyler Matson in the lineup. Corrado was paired with Ryan Parent and played a very solid game as the 6th defenceman. Matson spent most of the game on the 4th line with Antoine Roussel and Mike Duco, although he did take a few shifts with Reinprecht and Mancari in the third period.
– San Antonio’s Matsumoto was stellar, scoring two goals and picking up two assists. The Wolves must find a way to neutralize him or this will be a very short series.
– The Wolves’ top two lines featured plenty of veteran talent, with Jensen being the only player under 25.
– Eddie Lack wasn’t really to blame on any one goal, but would probably say he should have had one or two. He’s been very dependable all season and will surely bounce back for game 2.
– Jordan Schroeder’s line created 8 scoring chances in the game. Billy Sweatt’s first period goal was a Jordan Schroeder shot from the slot that then bounced in off of Sweatt’s body. Schroeder had a glorious chance to seal the game in the third when Sweatt made a great rush to net and passed cross-crease only for Schroeder to whiff on his shot at the wide open net.
– The ice was absolutely abysmal. The puck bounced all over the place and many passes went astray as a result. Schroeder’s chance, among others, looked to have been affected by the ice trouble.
– Defensively, the Wolves were pretty sound. The first was rather loosey-goosey for both teams, but the Wovles tightened things up considerably as the game along. Both teams’ powerplays performed well, netting a pair of goals each. Undoubtedly both teams will be looking to improve their defensive work for next game.
SCORING CHANCE DATA & ZONE STARTS
|CHI:6||2nd||SA : 7|
|CHI : 16||3rd||SA: 15|
|CHI: 23||OT||SA: 19|
|CHI : 27||SA: 23|