Coyotes Not Wily Enough

The Phoenix Coyotes must have hoped to benefit from the World Series-winning ways of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the Red Wings showed them that maybe the desert is better suited for baseball than hockey, as the Wings won, 3-1.

Scotty Bowman made a few changes in the lineup, as is to be expected. With Max Kuznetsov and Tomas Holmstrom both injured, Mathieu Dandenault was moved back to defense, and forward Yuri Butsayev was recalled from Cincinnati to help out.

The first period went scoreless, even though Detroit had a four-minute power play opportunity just sixteen seconds into the game. Phoenix’s Brad May got called for cutting Brent Gilchrist‘s chin with a high stick. The Coyotes ran their penalty kill in a tight box formation in front of their net, keeping the Wings to the outside and allowing few shots on goalie Sean Burke.

Detroit had another power play chance late in the first, but this one would be a greater scoring chance for the Coyotes than the Red Wings, when Daymond Langkow was able to get off a breakaway shot on net. Fortunately, Dominek Hasek was alert and able to stop the puck.

Freddy Olausson opened the scoring with only 6:41 left in the second period. The Wings were shorthanded, with Chris Chelios in the box for tripping, but Brendan Shanahan got the puck and headed up the ice on the left wing side, Olausson trailing on the right. When Shanahan passed across to Olausson, Burke seemed to expect the puck to be passed back again, and Olausson was able to flip it into the net.

With just over 3:10 left in the second, May was given another double minor for high sticking, again on Gilchrist. The Wings were unable to score before the buzzer, but carried fifty seconds of power play over into the third.

Just five seconds after the power play had ended, before May was able to catch up to the play, Sergei Fedorov picked up a blue line pass from Nicklas Lidstrom and fired hard into the net from the right point, to bring Detroit ahead by two.

Kirk Maltby scored his first goal of the season less than a minute later. Chelios cleared the puck off the glass, Maltby picked it up, and fired past Burke from the right side.

The Coyotes answered exactly one minute later. Krys Kolanos stole the puck when Jiri Fischer mishandled it, and fired against Hasek, who blocked. May was able to pick up the rebound and slide it underneath Detroit’s goalie for his second goal of the season.

Phoenix pulled Burke for the extra skater with three minutes left, then sent him back in when the faceoff came outside the Detroit zone. They pulled him out again with 1:49 left to play. Just as the buzzer sounded, it looked as if Brett Hull had scored a goal into the empty net, but the goal was ruled down after review.

Hasek made sixteen saves on seventeen shots, while Burke made twenty-eight saves on thirty-one shots. Detroit currently leads the league in games, with a 13-3-0-0 record, and in shorthanded goals, with five. They continue their West Coast road trip in Anaheim Friday night.

Blackhawks Strong At Home

In spite of valiant play in the second and third periods, the Red Wings’ six-game road unbeaten streak was snapped Sunday by the Chicago Blackhawks, who won the game 5-4.

Chicago opened the scoring on the power play. While Sergei Fedorov was serving a penalty for slashing, Chicago’s Eric Daze fired on Dominek Hasek. Hasek blocked the shot, but Kyle Calder picked up the rebound and shot it into the net.

The Blackhawks scored again with just under three minutes left in the period. Daze shot the puck from behind the net and banked it off the skate of Michael Nylander, and between Hasek’s legs. As if adding insult to injury, the Blackhawks added another goal barely a minute later. On a two-on-one rush, Igor Korolev was able to get the puck past Nicklas Lidstrom and over Hasek to make the score 3-0.

Chicago’s penalty killing unit, ranked 27th in the NHL, had to go into action early in the second, when Daze was sent to the box for tripping. They were no match for Detroit’s power play. Igor Larionov passed from behind the net to Steve Yzerman, who fired the puck, and Luc Robitaille was on hand to sweep it in behind goalie Jocelyn Thibault.

Despite the energy generated by Robitaille’s goal, Chicago got the next two goals. Steve Thomas scored with a bouncing puck just ten seconds after the end of a Detroit penalty to Hasek (served by Brent Gilchrist) for delay of game by firing the puck over the glass. The next was scored by Aaron Downey with 8:46 left in the second period, and was the first goal of his NHL career.

Down by four goals, the Detroit bench pulled Hasek out of the game and sent in Manny Legace to take his place. Hasek, still recovering from stomach flu, had let in five goals on fifteen shots.

The Red Wings got a 5-on-3 opportunity late in the period. Jaroslav Spacek was given two minutes for delay of game for laying on the puck with 4:02 left to play. Just over a minute later, Tony Amonte was sent to the box for slashing. Larionov scored by shooting the puck from behind the net and banking it off the skate of Alexander Karpotsvev and into the net.

They continued with a 5-on-4 power play, since Amonte’s penalty had not yet ended. This time, Larionov passed to Robitaille behind the net. Robitaille got it out front to Brett Hull, who fired hard and beat Thibault for the goal.

Detroit held Chicago to only three shots against Legace in the third period, but was only able to score once more. With 8:22 left to play, Larionov won an offensive zone faceoff. The puck bounced free to Robitaille, who shot it past Thibault to score his 599th career goal.

The Red Wings controlled the puck for most of the remainder of the game. Even when they pulled Legace to send in the sixth skater, however, they were not able to beat Thibault again.

Chicago, with new coach Brian Sutter, has not lost a home game yet this season. Shots on goal were 29-18 in the Red Wings’ favor.

Detroit will continue their road trip with a game against the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday night.

Wings Down Isles in Osgood’s Return to Joe

Kris Draper outshined former roommate Chris Osgood as the Red Wings defeated the Islanders, 2-1, in Osgood’s first game back in Detroit after being sent to the New York Islanders in the NHL’s waiver draft.

The Islanders took an early lead in the match when Shawn Bates beat Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek from in front of the net just 1:05 into the game.

Draper took over from there. With Brendan Shanahan in the box at 16:06, Draper picked up the puck at center ice and beat Osgood on a breakaway chance.

Draper struck again in the second period, poking the puck past Osgood at 9:19.

The Islanders had their chances to tie the game up, but Hasek held strong and preserved the lead. With the Isles skating six men to four late in the third period Hasek turned aside shots from Adrian Aucoin with half a minute left and Roman Hamrlik with 7.2 seconds remaining.

Hasek ended the night with twenty-five saves on twenty-six shots, Osgood stopped twenty-six of twenty-eight. The Wings next hit the ice on Sunday in Chicago.

Happy Hull-o-ween!

Brett Hull came up big time on Halloween night, scoring an assist and two goals, including the game winner, as the Red Wings took revenge on the Dallas Stars, 4-3.

The Stars opened the scoring just over four minutes into the game. Joe Nieuwendyk was in the penalty box for high-sticking, giving the Red Wings a power play opportunity, but Jere Lehtinen was able to pick up the puck on a breakaway from Mike Modano and tip it in behind goalie Manny Legace.

The Wings came back only thirty seconds later. Hull passed to Nicklas Lidstrom, who got the puck to Sergei Fedorov. Fedorov shot the puck while Ed Belfour was screened, and it went into the net to tie the game.

The Stars scored again with 9:05 left in the period. Donald Audette picked up a pass from Sergei Zubov, squeezed between two Red Wings defensemen, and slid the puck under Legace’s left side.

Detroit then scored twice in quick succession. Hull got the equalizer with 7:42 left to play. The Stars’ Brenden Morrow and Detroit’s Maxim Kuznetsov were given offsetting penalties for slashing thirty seconds later. In the resulting four-on-four play, Brendan Shanahan tipped in a shot from the right point by Fredrik Olausson.

The Wings were not able to take their lead into the locker room for break, however. Benoit Hogue picked up an errant pass and fired from the blue line to get past Legace with less than four minutes left in the period.

The second and third periods were both scoreless. Both teams were able to generate multiple opportunities, including four Dallas power plays in a row in the second period, but solid play from Legace and Belfour kept the score even until the overtime.

Only forty-three seconds in, Hull took the pass from Lidstrom and beat Belfour on a three-on-one rush.

Legace stopped twenty shots in his second game back since his neck injury in Saturday night’s game against the Nashville Predators, bringing his record for the season to 4-0-0, and extending his unbeaten streak to fifteen games. The Red Wings generated twenty-eight shots against Belfour.

The Red Wings season record of 11-2-0 is the best thirteen game start in franchise history, and now leads the NHL. They hope to improve to twelve wins Friday night when the team in the second position, the New York Islanders, bring Chris Osgood back to Detroit to play against his old team.