Lang Leads Wings to Win in Detroit Debut

Between Robert Lang‘s playmaking and Nicklas Lidstrom‘s penalty killing, the Philadelphia Flyers didn’t have much of a chance to win this one. Lang had 3 assists in his debut with the Red Wings, and Lidstrom played his usual quietly spectacular defense in his 1000th career game, propelling Detroit to a 4-2 win over the Flyers.

Lang, acquired Friday from the Washington Capitals, scored his first Detroit point in his second shift of the game. He won a faceoff against Alexei Zhamnov in the Flyers’ zone, and the puck flew back to Mathieu Schneider at the blue line. Schneider’s wrist shot deflected off the stick of Chris Therien and over the shoulder of netminder Sean Burke. The Flyers had a chance to tie up the game a little while later when they wound up with just under two minutes of a four-on-three power play. Kris Draper, Steve Yzerman, and Lidstrom started the penalty kill, doing a good job of picking off Philadelphia’s passes and sending the puck down the ice. Brendan Shanahan and Henrik Zetterberg relieved the other two forwards, but Lidstrom stayed out for the entire time, doing whatever needed to be done to defend Manny Legace.

The Flyers finally managed to get on the scoreboard early in the second period. Mark Recchi trailed the play unnoticed into Detroit’s zone. Michal Handzus fished the puck out of a tangle of players in the right corner and centered it to Recchi, who placed a wrist shot just underneath Legace’s catching glove.

Yzerman regained the lead for Detroit 3 minutes later. Anders Myrvold bounced a pass to Lang, who centered it for Yzerman coming up center. The Captain leaned into the shot and flung the puck into the net to Burke’s far side.

Kirk Maltby increased the lead near the end of a power play with 5:41 left in the second. Maltby tipped Schneider’s point shot so that it slid into the net low to Burke’s left. Burke, who was being screened by Maltby, Darren McCarty, and two of his own defensemen, had no chance to see the redirection before it slid through.

Simon Gagne’s goal to put the Flyers back within a point came on a bad luck bounce for Detroit. Mattias Timander took a shot towards the net which hit Yzerman’s face protector. The puck bounced right onto Gagne’s stick, and he was able to whack at it until he put it past Legace’s shin pad.

Brendan Shanahan ended a nine game goal drought with a power play goal midway through the third period. Yzerman sent a rink-wide pass to Lang on the left side, who carried the puck forward a few steps before shooting. Burke made the save, but he swept the rebound straight to Shanahan, who was waiting just to the right of the goal. Shanahan put the puck high over Burke’s head for the bad angle goal.

Philadelphia pulled Burke for an extra skater with 1:12 left to play, but they still didn’t manage to muster much in the way of scoring chances.

Legace faced less work this game than he’s had to deal with in awhile, making 18 saves on 20 shots. Burke stopped 23 of the 27 shots he faced.

The Red Wings’ next game will be Wednesday evening when they face the Calgary Flames at Joe Louis Arena.

Lidstrom is the first player to reach 1000 career games out of those who entered the NHL in 1991. He has missed only 17 games in his entire career. The Flyers’ Tony Amonte is right behind him, however: this was Amonte’s 998th game”¦. Lang’s assists moved him past Martin St. Louis for the NHL scoring lead”¦. Maltby’s goal was the 99th of his career and only his 4th power play goal ever. (For comparison, Maltby has 19 career shorthanded goals.)

Wings get Lang from Capitals

The Detroit Red Wings made a move to deal with their lack of depth at the center position, trading prospect Tomas Fleischmann and two draft picks to the Washington Capitals for Robert Lang.

Lang is the fourth big-name Captial to be traded this season as Washington attempts to cut salary. Steve Konowalchuk was sent to the Colorado Avalanche, Jaromir Jagr was traded to the New York Rangers, and Peter Bondra was dealt to the Ottawa Senators.

Fleischmann is one of the Western Hockey League’s top scorers. Detroit’s second-round pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, he’s scored 28 goals and 69 points in 53 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors this season.

The draft picks sent to Washington were Detroit’s first-round pick in 2004 and fourth-round pick in 2006.

The Red Wings will be Lang’s fifth NHL team. He spent time with the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings before spending almost four seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the last two seasons with Washington. In eleven NHL seasons, Lang has scored 173 goals and added 289 assists in 640 games.

Lang is tied for the lead in the NHL’s scoring race with Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has 74 points this season.

Wounded Wings hold off Flames for 2-1 win

The Detroit Red Wings were without defensemen Chris Chelios and Jason Woolley but were still able to close out their Western Canada road trip with a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames Thursday night.

Pavel Datsyuk assisted on both Red Wings goals and callup Anders Myrvold filled in admirably for the injured Chelios as Detroit held of a third period push by the Flames.

Ray Whitney opened the game’s scoring with 3:24 left in the first period. The Flames attempted an outlet pass just as a penalty to Datsyuk expired. Datsyuk stepped out of the box and moved into the high slot, picking off the pass. He got the puck to Henrik Zetterberg, who skated through the left faceoff circle and faked the shot before passing to Whitney, who was all alone at the edge of the crease to tip the puck into the net.

Steve Thomas scored the only goal of the second period with 4:13 remaining in the middle frame. Datsyuk again stole the puck at the blue line and sent it down to Brett Hull in the slot. Hull tipped it to Thomas who skated in on Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff and rifled a shot over his shoulder.

Calgary’s Chuk Kobasew scored the Flames’ lone goal with 7:51 remaining in the game. Kobasew got the puck at the right point and had a clear lane to the goal. He stempt up into the faceoff circle and blasted a shot by Detroit netminder Manny Legace.

The Flames had a 6-on-4 manpower advantage in the games closing seconds with Kiprusoff on the bench and Detroit’s Steve Yzerman in the penalty box but were unable to tie the game.

Legace stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced in net for the Red Wings, while Kiprusoff stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced manning the Calgary crease.

The Red Wings are next in action on Sunday when they play their only game of the season against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Chris Chelios took the pre-game skate but was unable to play… Jason Woolley was retroactively placed on the injured reserve to make room for Myrvold. Woolley is eligable to return for Sunday’s game against Philadelphia.

Sedin Hat Trick Propels Canucks to Win over Detroit

Tonight, the Red Wings’ defensive strategy was effective against every Vancouver Canuck but one: Daniel Sedin. Sedin scored his first 4-goal game ever to put the Canucks over the Wings, 4-2.

Both teams had good jump to start the game. Brett Hull, Pavel Datsyuk, and Ray Whitney worked hard and tested Dan Cloutier early, making the Vancouver goalie jump and scramble to keep the puck out of the net.

Sedin’s first tally came on an almost-fluke goal with 7:27 left in the first. Marek Malik threw a pass from the right point to Sedin waiting near the side of the net. Sedin shot the puck along the goal line, and it banked off the back of Manny Legace‘s skate and into the net.

Henrik Zetterberg tied the game up with a power play goal a few minutes later. A pass by Whitney bounced off Hull in the slot area. Zetterberg was able to get his stick on the puck and lift a high shot just under the crossbar.

Darren McCarty livened up the end of the period with a fight against Bryan Allen. Allen, you may recall, was the player who broke Zetterberg’s leg with a slash on November 3. Allen was also involved in the collision which resulted in a torn ACL for Derian Hatcher back on October 16.

The Red Wings moved into the lead when Kris Draper‘s power play slapshot from the right circle deflected off of Allen and past Cloutier early in the second period, but Sedin retied the game just over three minutes later. Legace stopped Nolan Baumgartner’s breakaway shot, but was knocked into the net and didn’t have time to get back up before Malik fished the puck out of the corner and centered it for Sedin to bang it in low.

Legace held off the Canucks’ onslaught of shots in the third period, making huge saves against Sami Salo’s point shot and Brendan Morrison’s try from point-blank range, but Sedin finally moved his team back ino the lead. He carried the puck in on the right wing side. Jiri Fischer attempted to get in Sedin’s way, but Sedin managed to get a high shot over Legace’s shoulder.

The Wings pulled Legace for an extra skater with just over a minute to play. They gave Cloutier some anxious seconds, but Morrison managed to clear the puck from Vancouver’s zone, and Sedin was able to skate it down the ice to fire into the empty net.

Vancouver outshot Detroit by a modest margin of 33 to 30. The Red Wings will finish out their road trip with a Thursday night matchup against the Calgary Flames.

Chris Chelios left the game late in the second period after he fell and Todd Bertuzzi landed on him. The team is calling the injury a bruised left shoulder for now, but it will likely be re-evaluated in the morning”¦. Many of the Canucks’ fans showed a considerable lack of class by booing Chelios while he lay on the ice writhing in pain. The custom around the NHL is to clap for an injured opponent as he makes his way off the ice. Booing a fallen opponent, no matter what history he may have with your team, is the height of fan rudeness, in this reporter’s opinion. (To the Canucks’ fans who did clap politely: Thank you. Your class is appreciated.)

Wings’ 4th Goalie of Season Ties in Debut

Marc Lamothe made 29 saves on 30 shots in his debut as a Red Wing, holding off the Edmonton Oilers to allow Detroit to come back for a 1-1 tie.

The Oilers’ game plan was to test Lamothe early, hope he was nervous, and try to get as many shots against him as possible. It worked””at least, it got them on the board early. Georges Laraque carried the puck around the net, muscling Mathieu Schneider out of the way as he skated. Laraque threw the puck across the goal crease. Jason Chimera was waiting at the other side of the net in perfect position to bank the puck past Lamothe.

Lamothe looked a little shaky on a few of the saves he had to make after giving up his first goal. He seemed to have a hard time getting his glove on the puck and covering up rebounds, but he settled in as the game went by. Lamothe kept the Oilers from going up by a pair with a big leg pad save against Shawn Horcoff with 3:50 left in the first.

Tommy Salo was no slouch at the other end of the ice. He scrambled to keep a low shot by Steve Yzerman out of the net. The play was reviewed, and the officials determined that Salo’s leg pad just barely blocked the puck from crossing the goal line.

Detroit thought they had tied up the game on a goal by Brendan Shanahan late in the second, but the referee instead called an interference penalty on Tomas Holmstrom for keeping Salo from getting back into the goal crease, so the goal was disallowed.

Nicklas Lidstrom finally tied the game up for Detroit with only 7:04 left in regulation. Yzerman’s pass to the right faceoff dot was bouncing horribly, but Lidstrom didn’t care. With the flat of his stick against the the flat of the puck, he slung the puck towards the net and right past Salo.

Brett Hull, Pavel Datsyuk, and Jiri Fischer had a good passing play in overtime which could have ended the game had Hull’s shot reached the net, but the puck was bouncing strangely and the Oilers were able to get it away. Lamothe had to be sharp to make saves on Eric Brewer and Ethan Moreau to keep the game a tie.

The Oilers outshot the Red Wings 30 to 26.

The Red Wings continue their western road trip with a game against the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night.

Curtis Joseph skated on his injured ankle today. He is expected to return sometime next week. Manny Legace will likely get the start in the remaining games before Joseph’s return…. Derian Hatcher‘s knee is healing nicely, and he is still on schedule to return on or about March 8.

Ten Times Three: 3 Wings Hit 10-Goal Mark in Win Over Blues

The people complaining about scoring being down in the NHL obviously aren’t watching the Red Wings””tonight they made the offense look easy. Kirk Maltby, Henrik Zetterberg, and Ray Whitney all scored their tenth goals of the season tonight, contributing to a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.

Maltby opened the scoring shorthanded with 8:22 left in the first period. Darren McCarty was in the box for unsportsmanlike conduct, but it looked like Detroit was the team on the power play. Steve Yzerman couldn’t get a clean shot away in front of the net, but Maltby was trailing. He grabbed up the puck, deked around goaltender Reinhard Divis, and slid the puck in low.

Zetterberg increased the Wings’ lead with a power play goal early in the second. Whitney shot the puck towards the net, where Brett Hull was waiting to deflect it. The puck dropped just to the side of the goalie’s skate, and Zetterberg was right there to tap it into the net.

Manny Legace was strong in net for Detroit, showing his skills with the catching glove by making a breakaway save against Ryan Johnson a couple of minutes after Zetterberg’s goal.

It took a redirection for the Blues to finally beat Legace; Doug Weight deflected a tight angle shot by Keith Tkachuk at 14:38 to put the Blues within one goal.

Zetterberg brought Detroit back up to a two-goal lead with another power play goal late in the period. It was very similar to his first goal: Mathieu Schneider sent the puck deep into the zone, Whitney centered it, and Zetterberg tapped it past Divis.

The Red Wings didn’t sit back on their lead in the third period. Zetterberg and Steve Thomas set McCarty up for a wrist shot which beat Divis to the right side. Whitney capped off the scoring by one-timing a pass by Hull from the slot into the top corner of the net.

Detroit pretty much outplayed St. Louis all night: they outshot the Blues by 38 to 26, won 40 of 58 faceoffs, and killed off five St. Louis power plays.

The Red Wings start a road trip through the Northwest Division after tonight, beginning with a game against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.

Jason Woolley sat out his second game in a row with a sore back. Woolley is expected to return during the road trip…. Curtis Joseph will travel with the team and is expected to begin skating on his healing right ankle sometime next week…. The Red Wings have held their opponents scoreless in the first period for their past five games straight.

Hull Ties Record as Wings Defeat ‘Yotes

Brett Hull scored his 263rd career power play goal Wednesday night, helping lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. The goal put Hull into a tie with Tampa Bay Lightning forward Dave Andreychuk for first place all-time in career power play goals scored.

Hull’s goal was the second of the game, scored with 3:55 remaining in the second period. With Detroit leading by a goal and Phoenix’s Todd Reirden in the box, Hull took Henrik Zetterberg‘s pass from the right corner in the faceoff circle and blasted one of his trademark one-timers by Coyotes’ goalie Brian Boucher.

Detroit had opened the scoring with 6:15 left in the first period. Mathieu Dandenault, moved back to defense to compensate for the scratched Jason Woolley after playing recently at forward, fired a shot from the right point that deflected off a skate and by Boucher.

The Coyotes pulled back to within a goal after Hull scored. On a power play of their own, Chris Gratton banked a shot off the back of Detroit netminder Manny Legace‘s leg. Legace was left sprawling after Paul Mara‘s shot went wide of the net, the puck bounced off the back boards straight to Gratton, who couldn’t be stopped at the 6:22 mark of the third period.

Just 2:05 later, a second Detroit power play goal put the Red Wings up by two again. As the puck was kicked and tipped around the ice on a broken play, Mathieu Schneider stepped into the slot and picked it up, firing a wrist shot past Boucher.

The Coyotes pulled within one again 1:09 later, when Fredrik Sjostrom flipped a shot from the side of the net past Legace as he fell to the ice.

Kris Draper‘s career year continued with two insurance goals in the final two minutes of the game. With 1:50 remaining Draper intercepted a pass and wristed a shot at Boucher from the slot. The puck slipped through the goaltender’s pads and trickled across the goal line to put Detroit back up by two goals. He added an empty-net goal with 57 seconds left on the clock.

Legace stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced in net for Detroit. Boucher made 29 saves on the 33 shots he faced making the start for Phoenix.

The Red Wings are next in action Friday night when they host the St. Louis Blues.

Oilers Not So Slick: Wings Take 2-1 Win

The Red Wings caused the Edmonton Oilers’ playoff hopes to dwindle even further on Monday night. The Oilers are seven points out of a playoff spot, stuck in 11th place in the Western Conference and fighting for every point they can get, but Manny Legace‘s goaltending and Kris Draper‘s 5th shorthanded goal of the season denied them the opportunity.

The Red Wings pressured the Oilers early in the game. Brendan Shanahan had two very good scoring chances against Edmonton goalie Tommy Salo. His first one rang off the inside of the goalpost but didn’t cross the line, and his second hit the goaltender square in the chest.

The Oilers began to reverse the pressure after awhile, and the Red Wings caught their lucky break of the game. Legace made a glove save against Ales Hemsky while sprawled on the ice. Video replay showed that Legace’s glove was across the goal line, but the puck was not visible at all in the shot. Without conclusive sight of the puck crossing the line, the video officials had to confirm the on-ice ruling of no goal.

Draper opened the scoring with 6:23 left in the first period, in spite of the fact that the Oilers were on the power play. Detroit had cleared the puck deep into the Edmonton zone, and Kirk Maltby stripped the puck away from Eric Brewer behind Salo’s net. Maltby centered the pass to Draper coming up through the high slot, and Draper one-timed a shot which beat Salo high.

The Oilers had 17 shots to the Wings’ 8 after the first period, but Detroit completely dominated the second. They held the puck in the Oilers’ zone for the most part, and they did not allow their opponents a single shot on goal through the entire twenty minutes of play.

Even with all that time on attack, Salo only allowed one goal. Mathieu Schneider picked up a pass from Henrik Zetterberg, deked around a defenseman, delayed his shot until Salo committed to a low save, then put the puck high under the crossbar.

The Oilers’ offense came back for the end of the game. Legace had to be quick several times, especially early in the period when Georges Laraque had a near-breakaway.

Edmonton got on the scoreboard during a power play with Chris Chelios in the box for cross-checking. Jarret Stoll came down the left wing side with no one covering him, and he was able to get to the rebound from Laraque’s shot to slide the puck underneath Legace.

The Oilers pulled Salo for an extra skater with just under a minute to go, but the Red Wings kept the puck away from them well enough that they weren’t able to force overtime.

Legace made 29 saves on 30 shots, while Salo left the game with 24 saves on 26 shots.

The Red Wings’ next game will be Wednesday night when the Phoenix Coyotes come to the Joe.

Draper’s fifth shorthanded goal moves him into second place in shorthanded scoring this season. The leader is Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis, who has seven”¦. Mathieu Dandenault played center for the first time in his NHL career, between Steve Thomas and Darren McCarty. Thomas was heard jokingly referring to their new line as the “Donut Line” (nothing in the middle)”¦. The second period was only the third time in franchise history that the Oilers have had no shots in a period.

Avs Power Past Wings

The Colorado Avalanche scored twice on the power play, helping them earn a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

Down 1-0 in the second period, Teemu Selanne scored while Colorado skated with the man-advantage to even the game up. Joe Sakic added a power play goal in the third period to give the Avalanche a 4-2 lead.

The Red Wings opened the scoring with a power play goal of their own with 1:16 left in the first period. Brendan Shanahan carried the puck in to the Colorado zone and held up just inside the blue line. He sent a hard pass to Steve Yzerman, who was cutting to the goal. Yzerman deflected the puck past Colorado netminder David Aebischer from the edge of the crease to give Detroit the 1-0 lead.

Selanne evened the score with 7:06 left in the second period. He tipped a wrist shot from Sakic through Detroit goalie Manny Legace‘s pads. Red Wings defenseman Mathieu Schneider dove to stop the puck from trickling across the goal line but his clearing attempt bounced off the inside of the goal post and into the net.

The Red Wings regained the lead just 4:10 later, when a hard shot from the high slot by Jiri Fischer found its way under the crossbar. Colorado countered with 28 seconds remaining in the period when Karlis Skrastins fired a shot from the left point that deflected off a Detroit stick and into the top of Legace’s net.

The Avalanche took the lead 2:42 into the third period when Alex Tanguay put in the rebound of a shot from the blue line.

Sakic’s goal came on a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot and put the Avalanche up by two goals with 9:56 remaining in the game.

Peter Forsberg added an empty net goal to round out the game’s scoring.

Legace made 25 saves on 29 shots in net for the Red Wings. Aebischer stopeed 28 of the 30 shots he faced between the pipes for the Avalanche.

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