Coyotes’ Acme Super-Goalie Does the Job

The Red Wings worked on their offense. Then they worked on their defense. Then they reminded Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille to shoot the puck hard and often. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to defeat Phoenix goaltender Sean Burke, and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

Detroit came in eager to play and shake off the ghosts of the losses to New Jersey and Colorado. Their first period showed off their new resolve. The Red Wings made a total of twenty-two shots against Burke in the first period alone, compared to the Coyotes’ four shots against Dominik Hasek. Hull, prominent on the power play and paired up with Pavel Datsyuk and Boyd Devereaux for five-on-five, was responsible for five shots against Burke after having gone two games with no shots at all.

In spite of the flurry of shots and two Detroit power plays in the first, Burke came up big for his team, stopping everything the Red Wings could throw at him.

It wasn’t until six minutes had passed in the second period that the Wings were able to break past Burke’s guarded play. During a Phoenix penalty to Mike Sullivan for cross-checking Tomas Holmstrom, Nicklas Lidstrom took a pass from Igor Larionov at the blue line. He carried it forward to try to pass to Hull, but instead the puck deflected off the right skate of Paul Mara and up into the net for the Red Wings’ ninety-ninth goal of the season.

Burke played like a brick wall for the rest of the game, not letting in another goal despite the multitude of shots sent against him. The Red Wings played a strong defense, managing to shut down the Coyotes’ forward units almost completely.

At least, until the final minute of the third period. Down by one, the Phoenix bench pulled Burke from net in favor of the extra attacker. Sergei Fedorov got a breakaway chance and sent the puck fluttering towards the empty net, but knocked the puck just wide as he tumbled to the ice, squeezed between two Phoenix skaters.

Phoenix brought the play back to Detroit’s zone, and Hasek lost his stick behind the net while trying to clear the puck away. Unable to get it back with the play deep in his zone, he was helpless to stop a wrist shot from Daymond Langkow, leaving the game tied with only thirty-three seconds remaining.

Both goalies played strong in the overtime. Hasek made two especially spectacular saves. On both, the Phoenix players were so certain the puck had gone into the net that they raised their arms to celebrate the “victory”, only to hear the referees shouting, “No goal!” Detroit kept the play in the Coyotes’ zone for the second half of the overtime, but Burke continued as he had done all night, leaving the game tied at one apiece.

The Red Wings leave town for a northwest road trip next week. They will play against Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver before returning home to the Joe.

Patrick Roy’s ‘A’ Game

The first meeting of the season for what is arguably the biggest rivalry in the Western Conference went down as a loss for the Red Wings, as they were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 at Joe Louis Arena.

The Avalanche opened the scoring only thirty-two seconds into the game. Milan Hejduk fished the puck loose from a struggle in the low left corner, then carried it out front and flipped it past Dominik Hasek. Joe Sakic and Alex Tanguay received the assists on the goal.

Colorado used the momentum from such an early goal to continue dominating the play. They took a two-goal lead on the power play, when Jiri Fischer was in the penalty box for tripping. Marty Skoula passed the puck up to rookie Radim Vrbata, who one-timed a shot past Hasek.

The Red Wings were not prepared to give up so early, especially to Colorado, and Steve Yzerman began to lead his team in applying offensive pressure, taking four shots against Patrick Roy among the Wings’ total of thirteen for the period. Even so, it was Sergei Fedorov who got Detroit on the board with 11:42 left in the first. Brendan Shanahan left the pass, and Fedorov carried the puck right across the crease and fooled Roy with a quick backhand shot.

The Avalanche had three power play chances in the second period, but Detroit’s penalty killing was very well-organized and kept the puck in Colorado’s zone through most of their short-handed play. However, Colorado did score the only goal of the second at even strength. Steve Reinprecht was able to pick up the rebound from Vrbata’s shot and slide it past Hasek, who was being screened by Chris Drury.

In the third period, Colorado accepted their lead and switched focus from offense to defense to keep the Red Wings from bringing the puck into their zone. Despite two well-organized power play opportunities on Detroit’s part, Roy was able to turn each shot aside and keep the Wings from scoring again.

Rob Blake clinched the win for the Avalanche with only 3:30 left in the game. Sakic passed cross-ice to Blake as he skated up the right wing side, and Blake was able to fire the puck between Hasek and the goalpost.

Hasek stopped only fourteen of the eighteen shots he faced. Roy was able to stop twenty-nine of the thirty the Red Wings put up against him.

Hasek stopped only fourteen of the eighteen shots he faced. Roy was able to stop twenty-nine of the thirty the Red Wings put up against him.

Bedeviled

The New Jersey Devils came up triumphant on their return home, as they defeated the Red Wings 4-1 in the second game of their home and home series.

Detroit opened the scoring midway through the first period. Boyd Devereaux carried the puck into New Jersey’s zone and passed back to Steve Duchesne, who fired on net. Martin Brodeur blocked the shot and the rebound got caught between the skates of two Devils. Pavel Datsyuk reached in to steal the puck and flipped it up into the net for his second goal of the season.

The Devils tied the game with just under five minutes left in the period. New Jersey sent its “A-line” of Jason Arnott, Petr Sykora, and Patrik Elias into Detroit’s zone to create havoc, and Arnott was able put the puck into the net while Dominek Hasek was flopped down to block Sykora’s shot.

The second and third periods really belonged to New Jersey. They created their offensive chances and managed to shut down the Red Wings’ attempts to score. Andreas Salomonsson scored the eventual game-winning goal 5:42 into the second period. Scott Gomez took the puck behind the net, and managed to get it out front to Salomonsson, who tipped it in past Hasek.

A bad pass from Tomas Holmstrom to Jiri Fischer gave the Devils another chance midway through the second. Arnott was able to snatch up the puck and carry it up ice to fire hard against Hasek. The rebound came right to the stick of Jay Pandolfo, who was easily able to left the puck into the net.

Arnott proved dangerous again with just over seven minutes left in the period, only sixteen seconds into a holding penalty to Igor Larionov. Some quick passing work from Elias and Bobby Holik got the puck to Arnott in front of the net, and he was able to score before Hasek could see what was going on.

The Red Wings had a five minute power play split over the end of the second and the beginning of the third periods, when Turner Stevenson was given a checking-from-behind penalty and a game misconduct for a hard cross-check against Kirk Maltby. Even so, Detroit didn’t get any scoring chances until the power play was nearly at its end.

Detroit got one more power play opportunity with eight minutes left to play, when Sergei Brylin high-sticked Chris Chelios, but the Devils’ penalty killing unit shut them down once again.

Hasek stopped twenty-five of the twenty-nine shots he faced. The Red Wings put only seventeen shots on Brodeur, their lowest total of the season. Duchesne’s assist on Datsyuk’s goal put the Red Wings into the league lead for points scored by defensemen.

The Red Wings will be off until Wednesday night, when they will host the Colorado Avalanche.