Zetterberg Out 4-6 Weeks with Broken Leg

Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg is expected to miss four to six weeks with a broken right fibula.

The bone was fractured during Detroit’s 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks Monday night. Zetterberg was slashed on the back of the leg by Vancouver’s Bryan Allen and immediately fell to the ice. He later returned but was noticably favoring that leg.

Allen was not penalized for the slash.

Zetterberg, who celebrates his 23rd birthday on Sunday, has seven points in twelve games this season. He was runner-up for the Calder Memorial Trophy, given to the NHL’s rookie of the year, last spring after scoring 22 goals and 44 points in his first campaign with Detroit.

Slump Continues Against Canucks

Things went from bad to worse for the Red Wings and beleaguered backup goalie Manny Legace on Monday night. The team turned over the puck repeatedly, hung their goalie out to dry, and suffered a 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

The game started out slowly for both teams. The Red Wings had two power plays, but the Canucks did a good job of breaking up the passes and sending the puck down to the other end of the rink.

Vancouver’s first goal seemed to originate with a piece of bad luck. A linesman accidentally got in Darren McCarty‘s way, giving Markus Naslund the chance to steal the puck away from McCarty. Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi crossed into the zone on a two-on-one against Chris Chelios. Chelios was unable to take the passing lane away, Naslund sent the puck across, and Bertuzzi put the puck into the net over Legace’s left shoulder at 18:32.

The second period was completely dominated by Vancouver, while Detroit just couldn’t seem to muster a defense or an offense and continued to turn the puck over at very bad times. Brendan Morrison opened the second period goal-fest by putting in the rebound from a Naslund breakaway shot before anyone could get the puck to safety.

Jason King increased the Canuck’s lead when Jason Williams missed a pass from Tomas Holmstrom. King one-timed the errant puck into the net.

Naslund picked up a goal to go with his two assists when Mattias Ohlund picked off another pass at the blue line. Ohlund passed across to Naslund just inside Detroit’s zone. Mathieu Dandenault attempted to block Naslund’s shot with his stick, but instead he wound up deflecting it up over Legace’s shoulder.

King added his second goal on Vancouver’s only full power play of the game, with Steve Yzerman in the box for hooking. Henrik Sedin got the puck up to the corner of the net, and King kept whacking at it until it rolled underneath Legace.

Brett Hull spoiled Dan Cloutier’s shutout with 12:52 left in the game. Kirk Maltby passed from the high slot to Hull at the left side, and Hull wristed a shot into a tiny puck-sized space between Cloutier and his goalpost.
The Red Wings straightened up and did a better job of protecting their goalie in the third period, but it was far too late for it to make a difference in this game.

Williams got some extra playing time in the third period. The coaching staff kept Yzerman on the bench to rest his knee, letting Williams play center for both his normal line with Holmstrom and Boyd Devereaux, and for Yzerman’s line with Ray Whitney and Brendan Shanahan. Yzerman, however, was very much in evidence on the bench, shouting out suggestions and advice to try to keep his team from falling apart altogether.

Vancouver outshot Detroit by a count of 25-23. The Red Wings will finish their road trip tomorrow night when they visit the Calgary Flames.

Team owner Mike Illitch was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame tonight.

Losing Streak Ends In Tie With Oilers

Four quick goals and a good performance by Manny Legace let the Red Wings hang on against a late rally to tie the Edmonton Oilers, 4-4.

The Red Wings had a good chance to open the scoring early in the game when Oilers goalie Tommy Salo was assessed a penalty shot for throwing his stick while making a save against Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan’s shot didn’t get quite high enough off the ice, and Salo was able to stack his leg pads to make the save.

The Oilers opened the scoring midway through the first. Radek Dvorak cycled the puck behind the net. Raffi Torres was waiting on the left side. Pavel Datsyuk attempted to shove Torres out of the way, but was not able to do so before Dvorak completed the cross-crease pass and Torres put the puck in behind Manny Legace.

Edmonton increased their lead with 2:22 left in the period. Torres shot the puck on net from just behind the goal line. Legace made the save, but the rebound went out to Marc-Andre Bergeron on the right wing side. Bergeron took a wrist shot which went into the net.

Detroit played a more focused game in the second period, and were rewarded by scoring four goals in the space of 5:17. First they successfully weathered two penalties assessed to Jiri Hudler. Legace made some impressive saves, and Nicklas Lidstrom was right at the net to block the one save Legace wouldn’t have been able to make. Then Darren McCarty got the goals going.

McCarty received a pass from Kirk Maltby just inside the Oiler’s blue line. He shot the puck, using big defenseman Eric Brewer as a screen, and the puck reached the net at just the right height to sail over Salo’s shoulder.

A mistake cost the Oilers their lead. Alexei Semenov turned the puck over in front of his own net. To make matters worse, he gave it up to the NHL’s leading active goal scorer. Brett Hull skated the puck a little way towards the right boards before firing. Salo was sliding over, but he was being screened by Tomas Holmstrom, and the puck slid in underneath Salo’s left leg.

The Oilers, understandably, wanted their lead back. Legace had to make a huge save against Marty Reasoner at point blank range to keep Detroit’s momentum going.
Kris Draper moved Detroit into the lead. He carried the puck across Edmonton’s blue line, then made a back pass to Maltby. Maltby shot the puck from the left side, and Draper tipped it into the net.

Datsyuk increased the lead with a power play goal. The Oilers almost cleared the puck out of their zone, but Hull held it in at the blue line and made a pass to Datsyuk in the high slot. Datsyuk put a perfectly placed wrist shot just underneath the crossbar.

Both teams committed defensive turnovers in the third period, but the Oilers were the ones able to capitalize and score. Ales Hemsky added a power play goal with Mathieu Schneider in the penalty box for slashing. Chris Chelios cleared the puck away from the front of the net, but it took a strange bounce right back to Hemsky, who stuffed it in from behind the goal line.

Ethan Moreau tied the game up with only 3:57 left in regulation. Fernando Pisani squeezed past Shanahan to create a two-on-one rush. Schneider wasn’t able to take the passing lane away, so Pisani got the puck across for Moreau to scoop into the net.

Legace was the hero of the overtime period. The Oilers came out on the attack, but Legace made all five saves he needed to make so that the game would end in a tie.
Edmonton outshot Detroit by a count of 33 to 31. The Red Wings will continue their road trip when they face the Canucks Monday night in Vancouver.

Curtis Joseph slightly injured his groin during morning practice, which is why Legace got the start. Joseph played backup, and Dominik Hasek is still day-to-day with his own groin injury…. The last Red Wing to score on a penalty shot was Igor Larionov in 1995.

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