Sending a Message


Same teams, same score, different day, different ending.

In a reversal of Sunday’s game, the Red Wings closed out their home and home series with potential playoff first round opponents the Minnesota Wild with a 4-0 win.

The Red Wings had more jump to their game from the start. Igor Larionov got Detroit out to an early lead less than two minutes into the game. Mathieu Schneider made a good pass to spring Larionov on a breakaway. Larionov, with two Minnesota defensemen in hot pursuit, took a slapshot from just inside the left circle. The shot rattled past Dwayne Roloson and into the net.

Detroit extended their control of the game””the Wild didn’t have a single shot on goal until more then ten minutes had gone by. Marian Gaborik was then able to get through on a breakaway attempt, but Curtis Joseph turned the shot aside.

Sergei Fedorov increased Detroit’s lead with a power play goal early in the second. The play was concentrated on the right side of the ice, so Fedorov quietly made his way to the left side. Larionov saw his teammate open and sent a pass across the goal crease, and Fedorov wristed a shot into the net before Roloson or any of the other Wild could react.

After that, Roloson had a very strong second period. He turned away seventeen shots by Detroit. His teammates, however, mustered few chances to come back in the game. They took only seven shots on Joseph in the period, and of those seven, only three were high quality chances.

Henrik Zetterberg deflated the Wild further just 27 seconds into the third period. Schneider carried the puck deep into the zone and took a shot on net almost from the goal line. The rebound bounced straight out front for Zetterberg to flip into the net.

Tomas Holmstrom added a goal midway through the period. Larionov made the pass from behind the net to Holmstrom at the left circle, and Holmstrom took a well-placed wrist shot. Roloson had been being screened by both Mathieu Dandenault and Luc Robitaille. He and his defensemen pushed them both out of the way, but Roloson was out of position, and Holmstrom’s shot sailed into the net, giving him his first ever 20 goal season.

The final count of shots on net was 33 to 18 in favor of Detroit. The Red Wings’ next game will be late Thursday night, when they take a quick West Coast swing to face the San Jose Sharks.

The game was Joseph’s 40th career shutout and his 4th of the season…. Larionov’s 10th goal of the season gives the Red Wings a league-leading 12 players with 10 or more goals.

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