Rookie Howard Leads Red Wings over Kings

Rookie goaltender Jim Howard stopped twenty-two shots en route to his first National Hockey League victory as his Detroit Red Wings defeated the Los Angeles Kings Monday night, 5-2.

Howard, making his first start in the NHL after backing up Manny Legace and Chris Osgood for 13 games and going unbeaten in six AHL contests this season, allowed his first career goal on a penalty shot at 7:39 of the second period.

Kirk Maltby dove to block a possible shot by the Kings’ Joe Corvo. As Maltby spun and reached with his stick to continue blocking Corvo, it was knocked out of his hands. Referee Wes McCauley quickly called Maltby for throwing his stick and awarded an automatic penalty shot to Corvo.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring at 4:03 of the second after a scoreless first period. After a long stretch of uninterrupted play while the teams went end-to-end several times, Chris Chelios took the puck in the high slot and ripped a hard shot past Los Angeles goalie Jason Labarbera.

Chelios was using one of Kirk Maltby’s sticks after trying it out during the morning skate and breaking four panes of glass with it.

Just 1:58 after LA’s penalty shot goal, Detroit regained the lead as Mathieu Schneider continued his hot streak, scoring a power play goal from the top of the right circle.

Captain Steve Yzerman, returning to the lineup after sitting out Saturday’s game in San Jose, scored the eventual game-winner with 6:17 left in the middle period. Jason Williams sent a hard shot from the top of the right circle that Yzerman tipped in the slot. The goal was scored on the power play with a delayed penalty coming against the Kings.

Henrik Zetterberg added to the Wings’ total with 4:41 remaining in the game, scoring on his own rebound while on a three-on-two with Pavel Datsyuk and Mikael Samuelsson.

Nicklas Lidstrom added an empty net goal off an intercepted pass at the Detroit blue line with 1:43 left.

The Kings closed out the scoring with 1:01 remaining when former Red Wing Sean Avery deflected a Nathan Dempsey shot from the point at the edge of the crease, over Howard’s shoulder.

Labarbera, also a rookie, stopped 24 of the 28 shots he faced.

Detroit went two-for-six on the power play while holding the Kings scoreless on their seven chances.

The Red Wings will be off until Thursday night when they host the Calgary Flames.

Robert Lang left the game during the second period with a groin injury.

Late Shanahan Goals Lead Red Wings Past Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings got two goals by Brendan Shanahan in the final five minutes of Saturday night’s matchup with the San Jose Sharks to lead them to a 7-6 victory. The second of the goals was Shanahan 99th career game-winning goal.

In a game that saw 13 total goals scored the first period was relatively tame, with each team scoring only once.

The Red Wings opened the game’s scoring just 2:14 in on a goal by Jason Williams. Williams had the puck behind the net and sent it to Robert Lang at the bottom of the right circle before looping around behind him. Lang couldn’t get a good shooting angle so he dropped the puck back to Williams, who ripped it into the net past San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

San Jose evened the game with a power play goal 9:58 later. Marcel Goc fired a shot on net that Detroit netminder Chris Osgood stopped, put the puck bounced out past the top of the crease. Scott Thornton got tied up before he could get to the rebound but Alyn McCauley snuck in and knocked the puck past Osgood.

Six minutes into the second, Marco Sturm gave the Sharks their first lead of the game. After Osgood made a stop on Goc, defenseman Andreas Lilja attempted to clear the puck through the slot. Sturm was there to pick off the pass and send it past Osgood.

Just 1:58 later, Mathieu Schneider pulled Detroit back into a tie with a fluke power play goal. He fired a shot from the blue line that deflected off the stick of Mark Smith before hitting Tom Preissing’s knee and going over Nabokov’s shoulder.

Schneider scored again 38 seconds later to put Detroit back in the lead. On a 4-on-2 rush, Lang carried the puck down the right side boards. Williams drove the net and drew a defender with him, leaving Schneider all alone to take a pass from Lang in the slot and one-time it past Nabokov.

The lead only held for 1:55, as Smith drove the net after Osgood made an initial stop on a McCauley shot, pushing the puck home before knocking the net off its moorings.

Mikael Samuelsson continued his hot streak, putting Detroit in the lead again 39 seconds later. On a rush with Schneider driving the net, Samuelsson ripped a shot from the right circle. Nabokov got enough of it to knock the puck into the air but it flipped over his head and into the net.

After a tame second half of the period, Detroit held a 4-3 lead going into the third.

Thornton tied the game 3:23 into the final period. On a delayed penalty to Detroit, Thornton got the rebound of a Nils Ekman shot and put it under Osgood.

Schneider completed his first career hat trick 3:14 later, scoring one a one-timer from the top of the right circle while the Wings had a 5-on-3 advantage.

Wayne Primeau, one of the players in the penalty box for Schneider’s third goal, scored while the Sharks were shorthanded to bring them into a tie. Just 1:18 after Detroit took the lead, the puck was chipped past the Wings defense and Primeau picked it up to skate in alone on Osgood. He rifled a shot over the goalie’s shoulder to knot the game at five goals apiece.

The Sharks took their second lead of the game with 7:11 remaining in the period on a 5-on-3 of their own. Preissing sent a pass from the goal line to Osgood’s right through the crease and to Goc on the far side, where he was free to put it in.

Shanahan’s first goal came 3:01 later, with the Red Wings on the power play. Williams carried the puck through the left circle and drew the defenders to him, before sending a pass over to Shanahan in the right circle, where he was all alone to put a one-timer past Nabokov.

With three minutes left in regulation, Shanahan scored again, deflecting the puck off the shaft of his stick while driving the net.

After all the special teams play, the Red Wings ended up going three-for-seven on the power play. San Jose scored on two of their eight chances.

Osgood stopped 27 of the 33 shots he faced, while Nabokov made 23 saves on 30 shots.

Detroit will complete their West Coast road trip Monday in Los Angeles.

Detroit captain Steve Yzerman did not play, he was reportedly “banged up” after Friday’s game in Anaheim. Mark Mowers took his place… Jim Howard was called up from Grand Rapids to back up Chris Osgood… Manny Legace is expected to miss at least two weeks after straining his MCL in his left leg… The Detroit Free Press reports that last Monday’s matchup with Nashville has been rescheduled for April 16, giving Detroit four games in as many nights. This was denyed by Detroit announcer Ken Daniels but’s schedule confirms the Free Press report.

Legace Injured as Wings Fall to Ducks

The Detroit Red Wings lost the game and their goaltender Friday afternoon in Anaheim, falling to the Mighty Ducks, 3-2, in a game that Manny Legace left after the first period.

Legace was shaken up near the end of the first period, appearing to injure his leg while kicking at a puck. On a strange play, he was forced to make two saves when officials did not blow play dead while the Red Wings had possession of the puck in the Anaheim zone before the Ducks carried it back in to Detroit’s end.

Legace was tended to by trainers after play was finally stopped and finished the period before Chris Osgood took over between the pipes at the start of the second. The extent of Legace’s injury was not announced.

Legace had allowed the games first goal before the injury. With 4:40 left in the first, Legace stopped a shot by Anaheim rookie Dustin Penner from the right circle. He kicked it out to his right but Andy McDonald snuck in to bang it back into the net.

Detroit evened things up in the second, with Henrik Zetterberg scoring a power play goal just 2:49 into the period. Pavel Datsyuk faked around a defender to gain the Anaheim zone and sent a pass to Zetterberg at the right side of the slot. Zetterberg skated in on goal and sent a backhand shot off netminder Ilja Bryzgalov’s shoulder and into the net.

The Ducks regained the lead with a power play goal of their own at 9:26 of the third period. Ruslan Salei fired a shot from the blue line that Osgood kicked out. McDonald picked up the rebound and couldn’t get a shot off. The puck came to Selanne at the edge of the crease and he popped it past Osgood.

The Red Wings couldn’t get their offense going to get the tying goal and Anaheim added a shorthanded empty-net goal by Johnathan Hedstrom with 16 seconds remaining.

Legace stopped nine of the 10 shots he faced while Osgood made 17 saves on 18 shots and Bryzgalov stopped 28 of 29 shots agains.

The Red Wings went one-for-five on the power play. The Mighty Ducks scored on one of their three chances with the man-advantage.

Detroit will continue their West Coast road trip on Saturday, facing the Sharks in San Jose.

Red Wings Bounce Back with 7-3 Win over Avalanche

The Detroit Red Wings had a lot of reasons to be down heading into Wednesday night’s matchup with the archrival Colorado Avalanche.

On the ice, they were on a season-high four-game winless streak. Of the ice, concerns about defenseman Jiri Fischer‘s health were still at the front of everyone’s mind. And just 1:30 into the matchup they had another thing to come back from, as the Avs already had a 1-0 lead.

Detroit was able to get past all of that and pick up a 7-3 win over Colorado, a win that comes at the time when it is most needed.

After Andrew Brunette opened the game’s scoring with a power play goal, Detroit took over.

Mikael Samuelsson scored the first of his four points just 48 seconds later, at 2:18. Jason Williams skated around the Colorado net for a wraparound attempt and picked up his own rebound as he skated along the goal line to Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj‘s left. He sent a crossing pass through the crease and Samuelsson was on the far post to knock the puck in.

Robert Lang scored on a two-on-one with Samuelsson at 5:32 of the second to give the Wings their first lead of the game.

Ian Laperriere tied it 2:22 past the game’s midway point. Alex Tanguay controlled the puck behind the net and sent it out to Laperriere, who blasted home a shot from the slot.

Detroit regained the lead on Dan Cleary‘s first goal as a Red Wing just 2:19 later. Samuelsson ripped a shot on net from the right circle and it was kicked aside. The long rebound came to Cleary in the left circle, who rifled it through the scrambling Budaj.

A power play goal by Brendan Shanahan put Detroit up by two with 1:30 remaining in the period. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line that Shanahan tipped in front of the net, setting the score at 4-2 after two periods of play.

The Avalanche pulled to within one when John-Michael Liles scored at 7:14 of the third. Joe Sakic sent a pass from the right circle to Liles on the edge of Detroit goalie Manny Legace‘s crease. Liles put the puck on net and Legace got a piece of it but not enough.

With 4:16 left, another two-on-one put the Red Wings back up by two. Pavel Datsyuk made a quick move at the Detroit blue line to break past a defender and he and Jason Williams faced Budaj and a lone defenseman. Datsyuk got the puck to Williams, who redirected it into the net from the top of the crease.

Samuelsson added his second goal and fourth point of the night with a wicked wrist shot from the slot just 55 seconds later and Johan Franzen added a shorthanded empty-net goal with 54 seconds remaining.

Legace ended the night with 24 saves on 27 shots, while Budaj stopped 22 of the 28 shots he faced.

The Detroit power play went one-for-three on the night. Colorado, whose power play had been slumping of late, scored on two of their seven opportunities.

The Red Wings will be back in action for an afternoon game from Anaheim on Friday.

Jamie Rivers took Fischer’s spot in the Red Wings lineup and Kyle Quincey was called up from Grand Rapids to serve as an extra defenseman… Fischer was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon and has been placed on the 24-day disabled list. Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill expects the situation to be sorted out in a month to six weeks.

Holland: Fischer “doing very, very well”

At a press conference from Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland was able to make a positive announcement:

Jiri Fischer is doing very, very well.”

After twelve hours of speculation and uncertainty, Holland and team doctor Tony Colucci spoke to the media to provide what information they could.

“Obviously it’s been a tough 12 hours for our organization,” Holland explained.

Holland thanked the Nashville Predators for “their understanding,” in agreeing to cancel Monday night’s game after Fischer’s collapse. Holland had met with Detroit coach Mike Babcock and captain Steve Yzerman before asking the team if they wanted to continue playing.

The players were in no shape to continue but after visiting Fischer in “little groups,” they’re feeling better today.

“I think that’s going to get guys ready for tomorrow night,” Holland said. “I think we’ve gotta play the games and see how it goes.”

To fill Fischer’s roster spot, Holland speculated, “possibly we will do something, maybe call somebody up from Grand Rapids.”

Colucci spoke about the medical side of Fischer’s situation.

“Everything appears to be well right now, all his tests are coming back within normal limits.”

He explained that when he arrived on the scene – summoned quickly by trainer Piet Van Zant – Fischer was having a convulsion. Colucci worked to maintain an airway when he discovered that he couldn’t feel a pulse. He began chest compressions while Van Zant set up an automated external defibrillator and shocked Fischer. Colucci continued chest compressions.

Fischer was moved when he had a good pulse and was breathing on his own. He was stable upon arrival at Detroit Receiving Hospital and had an unventful evening.

“There’s no way to speculate what triggered it,” Colucci announced. “He’s going through further testing over the next few days.”

He described it as a “rare situation” and would not speculate on when – or whether – Fischer’s career will continue.

Fischer does not remember the incident, only his first shift of the game. The next things he remembers are being in the ambulance and being brought into the hospital.

Wings-Preds Tilt Cancelled After Fischer Collapses

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer suffered a seizure on the bench with 7:30 remaining in the first period of Monday night’s matchup with the Nashville Predators, leading to the game’s cancellation.

Just 1:02 after Fischer was on the ice as Nashville scored the truncated game’s only goal he fell forward while sitting on the bench and collapsed. Red Wings players and staff quickly called for the Joe Louis Arena medical team.

As the Predators left the ice to go to their locker room, CPR was performed on the fallen Red Wing.

Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan skated a strecher over to the bench area and Fischer’s fiancee, Avery, was escorted across the ice.

Fischer was eventually taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital.

Red Wings’ Senior Director of Communications John Hahn later reported that Fischer had suffered a seizure. CPR and an auto defibrillator were used to revive him and that he was “stable and responsive.”

After the two teams conferred via phone with the NHL offices in New York, the game was cancelled, to be made up at a later date.

Nashville’s goal was scored by former Red Wing Greg Johnson with 8:32 remaining in the first… The Red Wings will be back in action on Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche… Information about the rescheduled matchup will be available in the coming days.

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