Lang Scores Overtime Winner to Beat Kings

Manny Legace‘s return from a knee injury turned out to be an exciting game, with the Wings letting a two goal lead slip away late in the third period. But thanks to Robert Lang‘s overtime winner, Legace’s stellar performance was not lost.

Lang’s goal came 1:39 into the extra session after Andreas Lilja found Nicklas Lidstrom‘s shot from the point along the boards behind the net. Lilja brought it back around and passed it into the slot where Lang put it past Los Angeles Kings’ goalie Jason Labarbera.

The Kings started the scoring 3:31 into the game while on the power play for a Mathieu Schneider hooking call. Michael Cammalleri took a shot from the left circle while Legace was screened.

Legace then came up big only moments later on a Sean Avery shot. Taking advantage of not going down 2-0, the Wings tied the game with a goal from Steve Yzerman at 8:18. The goal was set up by Daniel Cleary passing the puck around the left boards to the circle where Schneider fed Yzerman who had come in just left of the crease.

Legace and Labarbera traded great saves halfway through the second period to keep the game tied until Johan Franzen scored short handed at 12:34. Franzen was breaking for the slot and took a pass from Cleary.

Sixteen seconds into the third period Tomas Holmstrom scored when he pounced on a loose puck in front of the Kings’ net after Labarbera and Tim Gleason both mishandled the puck.

The Kings score four minutes later as Jeremy Roenick fired a shot from the left point to bring them within one goal again.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings up by two again with his second goal of the night from the slot after a nice give-and-go with Pavel Datsyuk on his left at 13:19.

Only 25 seconds later the Kings were within one goal again after Craig Conroy hopped on a rebound in the slot off a Pavol Demitra shot from the right circle. Then at 16:12 the Kings tied the game after Alexander Frolov tipped a Jiri Fischer pass just inside the Wings blue line. As Frolov was getting a handle on the puck, Legace came out to poke check, but Frolov moved around and slid the puck into the open net.

Both goalies faced a high number of shots, with Labarbera turning aside 34 of the Wings’ 39 shots, while Legace stopped 37 of the Kings’ 41 shots.

The Kings’ went one for six on the power play, while the Red Wings who were ranked first in the NHL going into the game, came up empty handed on their four chances with the man advantage.

The Wings next face the Minnesota Wild at home on Friday night.

Wings End Skid with Win over Blues

The Detroit Red Wings ended their brief two-game losing streak on Sunday with a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. The loss gave St. Louis a franchise-record eighth-straight loss.

Detroit bounced back from a sloppy 4-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes with strong play early and the first goal of the game just past the midway point of the first period.

With 9:53 left in the opening frame, Brendan Shanahan scored to put the Red Wings on the board. Jason Williams sent a cross-ice pass from the left circle that Robert Lang wisely let continue through the slot on to Shanahan on the right side. Shanahan’s first shot was stopped by St. Louis goalie Patrick Lalime but he put in his own rebound.

Detroit struck again early in the second period, with Tomas Holmstrom continuing his scoring streak. Just 1:06 in, Pavel Datsyuk made a strong backchecking play to steal the puck at the Detroit blue line before banking it off the glass and up to Holmstrom on a two-on-one. Holmstrom stepped into the right circle and put a snap-shot over Lalime’s blocker to give Detroit a two-goal lead.

The Blues pulled within a goal just 2:58 later with Lang in the penalty box for hooking. Former Red Wing Mike Sillinger fired a shot from the top of the left circle that deflected off the leg of Detroit defender Chris Chelios and past netminder Chris Osgood to get the home team on the board.

Holmstrom’s second of the night at 8:35 put Detroit back up by two.

With the Wings on the power play, a Nicklas Lidstrom shot from the blue line was knocked down in the slot by Henrik Zetterberg. Zetterberg sent the puck on net and Holmstrom picked up the rebound at the side of the goal, putting it in for his fifth goal in three games.

The Red Wings closed the game’s scoring at 1:31 of the third, when Zetterberg was left all alone in front of the St. Louis goal to take a pass from Pavel Datsyuk and fake out Lalime. Holmstrom picked up his third point of the night on the play, tapping the puck to Datsyuk along the right-wing boards before Datsyuk centered it to Zetterberg.

After being held without a point on Saturday, the Wings’ power play went one-for-five on Sunday. St. Louis was held to one goal on eight power play chances.

Osgood continued his strong play, stopping 26 of 27 St. Louis shots, while Lalime made 21 saves on 25 shots against.

Detroit will be back in action at home on Wednesday as the Red Wings host the Los Angeles Kings.

Frustrated Wings Drop Second Straight

The Detroit Red Wings took an early lead over Phoenix on Saturday but frustration with the speedy Coyotes and the officiating quickly showed and led to a 4-1 loss, their second in a row after their record-breaking start.

Tomas Homstrom put the Red Wings out front just 2:23 into the game. Pavel Datsyuk broke into the Phoenix zone and moved to split the two remaining defenders but the puck was knocked back to Holmstrom, who skated into the slot and put a shot past Coyotes netminder Curtis Joseph. It was Holmstrom’s 100th career goal.

The Red Wings carried the play throughout most of the period but Phoenix players managed to beat them to lose pucks and block shots, keeping the score at 1-0.

With 4:01 left in the period, Chris Chelios was called for cross-checking Oleg Saprykin after another Coyote elbowed him. Chelios yelled at referee Paul Devorski and was given an additional two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Chelios continuted to argue and was finally given a ten-minute and a game misconduct, leaving the Red Wings on a 5-on-3, without one of their penalty-killers, and short a defenseman for the rest of the night.

The Coyotes evened the game with the two-man advantage as Mike Leclerc banged the puck past Chris Osgood on a rebound with 2:58 remaining.

Phoenix got a jump on the Wings in the second, outshooting them 16-8 and scoring two more goals on the power play.

At 8:22, Zbynek Michalek fired a shot from the blue line that tipped off Detroit defender Andreas Lilja and past Osgood.

With 2:34 left in the period, Jiri Fischer was called for a hooking penalty that couldn’t be seen on replay and Mike Johnson put Phoenix up by two. Kirk Maltby failed to clear the zone and Phoenix recovered to send a flurry of shots on net. Osgood came to the top of the crease to make a stop on Keith Ballard and the puck bounced out to the right circle, where Johnson picked it up and sent it into the net before Osgood could recover.

The Red Wings regained momentum in the third after killing off a four-minute penalty – two for elbowing and two for arguing with referee Chris Lee – to Tomas Holmstrom.

After getting a 5-on-3 chance of their own, it looked like the Wings had pulled to within one on a goal by Brendan Shanahan. The goal was called back, however, after replay showed that Shanahan had kicked the puck in after a series of chances from right on the doorstep.

The Wings never challenged again and Phoenix added an empty-net goal – also on the power play – by Mike Comrie.

Detroit finished the game with no power play goals on seven chances while the Coyotes scoed on four of their nine opportunities.

Osgood made 25 saves on 28 shots against. Joseph stopped 36 of 37 Detroit shots.

The Red Wings are back in action Sunday night in St. Louis.

Oilers Snap Wings Win Streak in Overtime

The Detroit Red Wings’ win streak has ended at 9 games. It came at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers with a 4-3 win in overtime. However, even with the loss in overtime, the Wings have tied the NHL record for the most points in their first 14 games with 25.

The game winning goal came from Raffi Torres who skated into the Wings zone on a 2-on-1 break. He passed to Steve Staios on his right, who gave it back to him for a tap in past Chris Osgood‘s left pad.

The Oilers opened the scoring in the first period on a Shawn Horcoff goal at 4:34. Ryan Smyth was in with Horcoff on an odd man rush. Horcoff’s shots caromed off of Osgood’s skate and skittered over the line.

The Wings answered a little over 3 minutes later as Tomas Holmstrom intercepted a bad pass by Oilers’ Cory Cross in front of the net. Holmstrom skated to his right and sent his wrist shot over Jussi Markkanen’s glove.

The Oilers again opened the scoring in the second period with a power play goal from Ryan Smyth, who was standing all alone by the right post and took a pass from Ales Hemsky at 5:37.

The Wings answered again a little over three minutes later with a power play goal of their own. It was Tomas Holmstrom’s second goal of the game, taking a pass from Pavel Datsyuk at the right circle, and again went top shelf over Markkanen’s glove.

The Oilers continued the trend with the first goal early in the period, this time coming from Fernando Pisani who deflected a Chris Pronger wrist shot from the right point at 4:11 of the third period.

The Wings continued to play catch-up, scoring almost four minutes later with a power play goal from Jason Williams. He scored on a one-timer from the left circle after a pass from Henrik Zetterberg.

Chris Osgood came up big a few times to help the Wings send it to overtime. Twice in the tenth minute of the third period he stopped excellent scoring opportunities by the Oilers. For the game, Osgood stopped 21 of the Oilers’ 25 shots, while Markkanen stopped 35 of the Wings’ 38 shots.

The Oilers converted on one of their four power play chances, which included a 5-on-3 for just over 30 seconds. The Wings coverted on two of their 6 chances with the man advantage.

The Wings next face the Coyotes at home on Saturday night.

Red Wings Notes

Goaltender Manny Legace is expected to miss the next several games recovering from a “slightly sprained left knee.” Legace was injured when Chicago’s Matthew Barnaby fell onto his leg during the first period of the Red Wings’ matchup with Chicago on Tuesday.

Defenseman Brett Lebda was returned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins to make room on the Red Wings’ roster for goalie Jim Howard, who was called up to Detroit to backup Chris Osgood while Legace is out.

Defenseman Mathieu Schneider could return to the ice Thursday after missing Tuesday’s game with a sore groin.

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who suffered a torn ACL and MCL in a preseason game, will begin training next week for his return to the team. He will be able to skate in another month or two and is expected to rejoin the Red Wings in late-February to mid-March.

Red Wings Complete Sweep of Blackhawks with 4-1 Win

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks for the third time in six nights on Tuesday, completing a sweep of their three-game home-and-home-and-home series with a 4-1 win. The win gives the Red Wings nine-straight wins and a league-leading 12-1 record.

Detroit got a scare early when record-setting goalie Manny Legace was forced to leave the game during the first period with what was described as a strained left knee.

While fighting for position in front of the crease, Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer knocked Chicago’s Matthew Barnaby backwards onto Legace leg. As Legace lie on the ice, Fischer and Barnaby fought to a draw, with each player receiving a five-minute penalty. Legace left the game and was replaced by Chris Osgood, who defeated the Blackhawks on Saturday in his only NHL action of the season.

Osgood proved to be up to the task, playing the remaining 43:23 and allowing only one goal.

Detroit opened the scoring before Legace left the game with a goal by Kirk Maltby with 4:01 remaining in the period. Steve Yzerman sent a pass from the right point to Maltby as he broke into the Chicago zone alone. Maltby fired a shot from the high slot that bounced off the goalpost and back out to him. With Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin out of position after the first shot, Maltby took the opening to put the puck in the net from the right circle.

The Red Wings had a chance to extend their lead with a Robert Lang penalty shot just 4:00 into the second period but Lang was unable to convert. The puck rolled as he crossed the blue line and by the time he could settle it down, all he could get off was a weak shot that was easily stopped by Khabibulin.

Detroit did manage to get their two-goal lead 3:34 later, when Red Wings rookie and Chicago-area native Brett Lebda scored a fluke goal on the power play. From the corner to Khabibulin’s right, Lebda sent a shot towards the crease. The puck bounced off Khabibulin’s side and into the net for Lebda’s second goal of the season.

Brendan Shanahan gave the Red Wings a three-goal lead with 4:50 left in the period on a pretty play started by Jason Williams. Williams fired a two-line pass from the Wings’ defensive zone up to Lang at the Chicago blue line. Lang gained the zone before dropping the puck back to Shanahan to fire a quick shot from the slot over Khabibulin’s glove.

Chicago’s lone goal came with 1:37 remaining in the second, when Adrian Aucoin sent a blast from the point that may have been tipped in front of the crease past a screened Osgood for a power play goal.

Williams closed the game’s scoring with a one-timer from the point while the Red Wings were a power play with 8:20 remaining in the game.

Legace made eight saves before he left the game and Osgood finished with 23 saves on 24 shots. Khabibulin stopped 16 of the 20 shots he faced in net for Chicago.

Detroit’s power play went two-for-six, while their penalty killing units allowed only one goal on Chicago’s six chances.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Thursday, hosting the Edmonton Oilers.

Defenseman Mathieu Schneider did not play due to a sore groin. He is listed as day-to-day. Jamie Rivers took his spot on the Detroit blueline… Legace will undergo a precautionary MRI on Wednesday… Chicago’s lineup was bolstered by the return of forward Tuomo Ruutu.

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