Despite High Scoring Reputations, Wings & Lightning Tie At 1

It would be ironic to think that two of the three highest scoring teams in the NHL would end up in a 1-1 tie in their only meeting of the season, but that’s exactly what the Red Wings and the Tampa Bay Lightning did. The defensive trap can’t be blamed for this one since both teams disdain that system; give credit, rather, to stingy goaltending by Manny Legace and Nikolai Khabibulin.

Legace had to be sharp right away, when Chris Chelios stumbled and Vincent Lecavalier brought the puck in alone on a breakaway. Not only was Legace ready for Lecavalier’s low shot, but he made two more excellent saves on Lecavalier before the first period was done. At the other end of the rink, Khabibulin had his hands full knocking down shots by Brett Hull and Ray Whitney.

Legace kept Detroit in the game through the second period by flopping to stop Ruslan Fedotenko from point blank range during a Lightning power play, then following up with a big save against Brad Richards on a clean breakaway.

Tomas Holmstrom was the Wing to finally break the scoreless tie. Steve Yzerman made the rink-wide pass to Holmstrom as he skated across the blue line. Holmstrom squeezed in between Lightning defenders Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich, then beat Khabibulin high on the glove side as he was being pulled down to the ice, with 4:41 left in the second.

The superb goaltending continued into the third period. Legace made a glove save against the initial shot from a 3-on-1 rush, then stopped two rebounds with the side of his body before being able to cover the puck.

Tampa Bay finally ended Legace’s shutout bid with 7:21 left in regulation. Richards’ shot from the blue line bounced off the stick of Cory Stillman right in front of the goal crease, and Fredrik Modin was able to bang it into the net.

Lecavalier did his level best to end the game in regulation, but Legace stoned him cold again, stopping two quality shots against the big forward in the final minute of the third period. Khabibulin sent the game to overtime with a glove save on a Nicklas Lidstrom shot from the blue line.

The goalies dominated the overtime, just as they had dominated the entire game, and the game ended in a 1-1 tie. Legace made 37 saves on the 38 shots he faced. Khabibulin stopped 28 shots out of 29.

The Red Wings’ next game will be Thursday night, when they travel to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets.

Robert Lang left the game with an upper body injury in the third period and did not return. Team spokespeople said Lang would be out at least through Thursday’s game”¦. The Lightning clinched the top spot in the Southeast Division with the point they earned tonight”¦. The Red Wings have killed off 31 straight penalties, denying their opponents any power play goals for the past 8 games.

Canucks Have Trouble With Manny: Wings Win 3-1

Once again, goaltender Manny Legace held his team in the game so they could get the win. Legace’s goaltending and a three-point night from Nicklas Lidstrom propelled the Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Both teams played a very open game to start the first period, and both goalies had to be sharp. Dan Cloutier faced and stopped two quick rebound shots by Robert Lang from point-blank range before the game was even a minute gone. At the other end of the ice, Legace stoned Daniel and Henrik Sedin when they broke through neutral ice on a two-on-one rush.

Brendan Shanahan opened the scoring 3:15 into the second period. Lidstrom made a soft pass from the right point to Shanahan at center. Shanahan blasted a one-timer from nearly sixty feet in front of the net. Cloutier was unscreened, but the shot went right through.

The Red Wings got to take advantage of a five on three power play shortly thereafter. Daniel Sedin was sent to the box for high sticking. Just a few seconds into the power play, Mattias Ohlund tripped and slid into the boards while being closely followed by Tomas Holmstrom. Vancouver coach Marc Crawford believed Holmstrom should have been given a penalty, and he was very forthcoming in sharing this viewpoint with the game officials.

The referees didn’t seem to appreciate Crawford’s vocal opinion, so they assigned him a bench minor penalty, leaving the Canucks down by two men. Fedor Fedorov went into the box to serve Crawford’s time, and the Detroit power play went to work. After a lot of passing, a few wide shots, and a couple of good saves by Cloutier, Brett Hull‘s shot was the one that clicked. Lidstrom passed from the right point to Hull at the top of the left faceoff circle, and Hull fired off a one-timer which bounced off the goalpost and into the net.

Vancouver nearly got themselves into the game with 2:47 left in the second period, but Legace flung himself across the crease to make a sprawling glove save against Sean Pronger.

Legace gave the fans a scare early in the third. Matt Cooke shoved Mathieu Schneider into Legace just to the right of the net. Legace was slow to get up and seemed a little shaky for a moment, but he stayed in net and finished the game.

Lidstrom added a goal to his pair of assists at 6:07 of the third. He intercepted a bad pass by the Canucks and was away on a two-on-one rush with Ray Whitney. Brent Sopel, the only defender back, was unable to stop Lidtsrom’s pass to Whitney or Whitney’s pass back across. Lidstrom took the pass, got to just the right spot, and wristed a shot into the net on Cloutier’s short side.

Mike Keane spoiled Legace’s shutout bid with 4:59 left to play. Sean Pronger won a faceoff in Detroit’s zone. He pulled the puck back to Keane, who took a few steps to his left before firing the puck. The puck hit the short side goalpost and bounced into the net.

The Canucks pulled Cloutier with 1:27 left to play, but the extra attacker did them no good.
Legace made 23 saves on the 24 shots he faced, while Cloutier stopped 24 of 27 shots.

The Red Wings’ next opponent will be the Southeast Division leaders, the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Monday night at the Joe.

Boyd Devereaux came back into the lineup tonight to fill in for the injured Pavel Datysuk, while Mark Mowers, Anders Myrvold, and Jamie Rivers stayed in the lineup to fill the holes left by Kris Draper, Jason Woolley, and Mathieu Dandenault“¦. Shanahan’s 20th goal of the season makes this his 16th consecutive 20 goal season. He and Hull, who is in his 17th consecutive 20 goal season, lead all active players in that regard.

Datsyuk Out 10-14 Days

The injuries just keep piling up for the Red Wings.

The team discovered today that Pavel Datsyuk will be out of the lineup for at least ten days with an injured ankle.

Datsyuk injured his ankle in a collision during the first period of Wednesday night’s game against the Calgary Flames. He did finish the game, but the lingering soreness prompted the team to send the 25-year-old center for X-rays Friday morning.

The X-rays revealed that the ankle was not fractured, but was sprained badly.

This is the third key injury to the Wings this week; Kris Draper sustained a torn rotator cuff during Wednesday’s morning skate, and Mathieu Dandenault went down with a broken right foot after blocking a shot in the Calgary game. Draper and Dandenault will each be out for at least four weeks.

On the brighter side, Chris Chelios will be in the lineup Friday night against the Vancouver Canucks after missing three games with an injured shoulder. Derian Hatcher should make his long-awaited return from knee surgery Monday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Curtis Joseph, who has been out since February 12 with a sprained ankle, is expected to backup Manny Legace against the Lightning, then start against Columbus on March 11.

Shorthanded Wings Hold Off Flames

The Detroit Red Wings, already without defensemen Derian Hatcher, Chris Chelios and Jason Woolley and goaltenders Curtis Joseph and Dominik Hasek, lost center Kris Draper to injury during Wednesday’s morning skate and swingman Matheiu Dandenault in the first period of their matchup with the Calgary Flames. They still were able to build up a lead over Calgary and hold off a late-game push to get two much-needed points.

Draper is expected out for a month with a partially torn rotator cuff suffered when he collided with Joseph during the morning skate. Dandenault broke his right foot blocking a shot by Robyn Regehr late in the first period and is expected out for four-to-six weeks.

The Red Wings have battled injuries all season and were able to quickly adjust to having a depleted lineup.

After starting out slowly in the first period, Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring with 7:11 remaining in the second period. Zetterberg drove the net and picked up the rebound from a Mathieu Schneider shot. After bouncing a chance off Calgary goalie Roman Turek’s pads, he got his own rebound and knocked it into the net.

Mark Mowers, taken out of the Detroit lineup when the Red Wings traded for Robert Lang but brought back in when Draper went down, scored the eventual game-winner 8:02 into the third period. Breaking into the Calgary zone, Mowers flipped the puck past Flames’ defenseman Jordan Leopold and picked it up after breaking by him, effectively passing to himself. He broke in alone on Turek and lifted a backhander over his shoulder to put the Red Wings up by two.

Jarome Iginla pulled Calgary to within one with 4:59 remaining but the Flames couldn’t even things up.

Turek finished the game with 20 saves on 22 shots in net for the Flames, while Detroit’s Manny Legace stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced.

The Red Wings are next in action Friday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.