Downey's double play
Late in the first period of the Detroit Red Wings' 5-4 shootout victory in Columbus, Sunday, Downey found himself hurtling towards the Blue Jackets' net after contact with a defender.
So Downey did what any self-respecting four-line mucker would do … he collided with goalie Pascal Leclaire, then gave the netminder a shot to the mask with his left hand that went undetected. That led to Leclaire punching Downey with his glove, then Jody Shelley punching Downey, then Shelley pushing the Columbus net off its moorings.
When the sequence was done, Columbus had two penalties -- Leclaire for roughing and Shelley for delay of game -- and Detroit had none.
On one play, Downey drew two penalties. On the ensuing power plays, Detroit scored two goals to take a 2-1 first-period lead.
"It was an opportunity," said Downey. "I tried to shove it on my backhand and I went into the net. There was just a little opportunity to give Leclaire a little jab with my left hand. I think that really bothered him a little bit. He hit me with his blocker. I think Jody Shelley saw me hit him, so Shelley he lost it. He came in and sucker-punched me. As soon as Shelley hit me a second time, I knew there'd be a second penalty. I just tried to keep my composure and get back to the bench.
"Drawing penalties is one thing I've done good over the years. I want to show that I can keep doing that here. It's kind of a chess game out there. The game nowadays is who makes mistakes."
It was also redemption for Downey who was called for goaltender interference earlier in the first period. That infraction led to the Blue Jackets taking a 1-0 lead.
"It's not a very good feeling when you get a penalty, they score and you're going across the ice," said Downey. "You seriously think about packing it in and heading home. It's got to be the longest skate of your life."
That was part of a long night for Leclaire, who faced 35 shots and saw his record drop to 8-4-1. Midway through the second period, Leclaire was pulled for 3:07 to get a lecture from coach Ken Hitchcock on the bench.
"He told me to calm down," said Leclaire. "Maybe I was a little back in my net. Sometimes it happens and you don't realize it. They created a lot of traffic, so maybe that was the tendency."