Red Wings Hold Off Wild Comeback

The Detroit Red Wings took an early four-goal lead over the Minnesota Wild Monday night but had to fend off a second-period comeback to earn a 5-4 win.

Andreas Lilja‘s goal on a one-timer from the high slot with 8:07 remaining in the third period – his first goal as a Red Wing – stood up as the game-winner. Detroit took a 5-3 lead with the goal.

Filip Kuba pulled Minnesota to within one with 5:49 remaining in the game, scoring on a slap shot from the point that got past Detroit goalie Manny Legace despite Legace having a clear view of the shot.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring at 4:19 of the first period, when Steve Yzerman scored his 200th career power play goal. Jason Williams sent a shot from the point on net that was knocked aside by Minnesota goaltender Manny Fernandez. Yzerman picked up the rebound at the top of the crease and banged it back into the net for the Red Wings’ ninth-straight power play goal.

Detroit’s first even-strength goal since January 21 gave the Red Wings a two-goal lead just 53 seconds later. On a pass from Williams, Robert Lang put a one-timer from the slot between Fernandez’s pads.

Another 4:47 after that, Mikael Samuelsson scored Detroit’s third goal, backhanding the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg chance past the Minnesota netminder.

Zetterberg himself scored Detroit’s final goal of the period, outwaiting the Wild defense and goalie while moving from one faceoff circle to the other before lifting a shot over Fernandez.

With Fernandez replaced in the Minnesota net by Dwayne Roloson to start the second period, the Wild came alive to cut Detroit’s lead to one.

A long outlet pass sprung Marian Gaborik free for a break in on Detroit netminder Chris Osgood, with Gaborik scoring at 3:53 to get the Wild on the board.

With 3:07 remaining in the period, Todd White got behind the Detroit defense on an end-to-end rush and Brian Rolston hit him with a pass, giving White an opening to rifle a shot past Osgood to pull the Wild within two goals.

Minnesota cut Detroit’s lead to one goal just 58 seconds later, when Andrei Zyuzin was left wide open on the left wing to blast a shot past Osgood.

Legace replaced Osgood in the Detroit net to start the third period.

Detroit finished the game one-for-three on the power play and held Minnesota scoreless on five power play chances.

Osgood made seven saves on ten shots through the first two periods, with Legace stopping one of six shots against in the third for the Red Wings. Fernandez made ten saves on 14 shots against Minnesota in the first period while Roloson went 12-for-13 in the final two frames.

The Red Wings will be back in action when the return home to Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday to host the St. Louis Blues.

Stars Hand Red Wings First Shootout Loss

The Dallas Stars scored on three of their four shootout shots to defeat the Detroit Red Wings, 2-1, on Saturday. The shootout was only Detroit’s second of the season and their first such loss.

The game appeared to be over after Detroit’s third shooter, Henrik Zetterberg, was unable to get a shot off and the Stars already leading by a goal. After review it was determined that Dallas goalie Marty Turco threw his stick on the play, an infraction resulting in an automatic goal.

Detroit netminder Manny Legace stopped Antii Mietinen to force extra shooters, but when Turco stopped Robert Lang and Mike Modano beat Legace with a quick, high shot, the game was over.

The Red Wings had previously gotten a goal by their second shooter, Jason Williams. Pavel Datsyuk was stopped on their first shot. Sergei Zubov and Jussi Jokinen had scored on Dallas’ first two shots.

The only goals of the game during regulation came in the third period.

The Red Wings opened the scoring 2:53 into the period. With Detroit on a power play, Jason Woolley fired a shot from the high slot that Turco got his pad on. In front of the goal, Tomas Holmstrom picked up the rebound and backhanded it into the net. The goal was Detroit’s eighth-straight on the power play.

Dallas tied the game with 5:12 remaining. Jere Lehtinen one-timed a shot from the slot past Legace on a pass from Jokinen.

The Stars had a power play in the final minutes of regulation and early in overtime but could not convert. Similarly, the Wings could not score on an opportunity with the extra attacker in the overtime period.

Detroit had appeared to score early in the game when Henrik Zetterber knifed the puck out of the air and in behind Turco but it was knocked in with a high stick.

Legace finished the game with 19 saves on 20 shots and one-for-four in the shootout. Turco stopped 27 of 28 shots against as well as two of Detroit’s four shootout attempts.

The Red Wings return to action on Monday when they visit the Minnesota Wild.

New Name Coming for Mighty Ducks

As originally reported by the Web site SportsLogos.Net on Wednesday, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim confirmed on Thursday that they will be known as the Anaheim Ducks following the completion of the current NHL season.

Nearly two thirds of fans surveyed said they supported the switch.

The unconventional name, placing the team nickname first followed by “of Anaheim,” was chosen by Disney chairman Michael Eisner when the team entered the league in 1993. The team was named after the Disney childrens’ movie “The Mighty Ducks.”

At the time, the choice was ridiculed by hockey purists, including original Ducks’ head coach Ron Wilson, who asked, “How can they do this in the National Hockey League?”

The change came after months of research by a public relations firm.

“While there was support for keeping the current name, the majority of those surveyed, nearly two thirds, supported some sort of name change,” David Paine, CEO of PainePR, said in a release. “At the same time, the research found strong support generally for preserving the history of the team in some way.”

“In selecting the name the Anaheim Ducks,” said Ducks owner Henry Samueli, “we are respecting the heritage of a tremendous organization that has been a very important and visible part of the community, not to mention Western Conference champions and a Stanley Cup finalist.”

Two-time Mighty Duck Teemu Selanne was happy with the name change.

“It’s really good that the new owners are going to keep the same Ducks name. People know the Ducks are from Anaheim. The Ducks were part of the original name. Maybe the ‘Mighty’ was more about the Disney side of it.

“Anaheim Ducks feels great.”

The team’s logos and uniforms are also expected to change.

“The process is still very much underway and we do not expect to be ready to make any further announcements until the end of the season,” Samueli stated.

Power Play Lifts Red Wings over Canucks

The Detroit Red Wings scored both of their goals Thursday night on the power play and that was all they needed to defeat the Vancouver Canucks, 2-1.

Detroit’s power play has been active in recent games, accounting for the team’s last seven goals and striking in twelve-straight games.

The Red Wings’ first power play goal came with 8:53 remaining in the second period. With two Canucks in the penalty box, Nicklas Lidstrom took a pass from Robert Lang and scored on a one-timer from the inside edge of the left faceoff circle.

With 7:00 remaining in the game, a Brendan Shanahan wrist shot from the right circle beat Vancouver goalie Alexander Auld to put Detroit in the lead. The goal would stand up as the game-winner, the one-hundredth of Shanahan’s career.

Anson Carter had opened the scoring for Vancouver with 6:50 remaining in the first period. A pass from Daniel Sedin broke Carter in behind Detroit defenseman Brett Lebda. Carter cut in from the left wing in front of goaltender Manny Legace and skated around him to put the puck in the net.

The Canucks nearly tied the game with approximately 40 seconds remaining in regulation. With Auld on the bench for an extra attacker, severak Vancouver players tried to jam a rebound under Legace. The puck slipped across the goal line but not before referee Mike Leggo made the decision to blow play dead.

The Detroit power play finished the game two-for-six while the Red Wings held the Canucks scoreless on their four chances with the extra man.

Legace made 14 saves on 15 shots while Auld stopped 33 of 35 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday when they visit the Dallas Stars.

Combined with the Nashville Predators’ loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, the Red Wings’ win moves them into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.

Kariya Leads Predators to Overtime Win over Red Wings

Paul Kariya was quiet for most of the night but made his presence felt when it mattered, scoring just 35 seconds into overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

After the Red Wings had a chance to begin the extra period, the Predators regained control and a series of outlet passes put Kariya breaking through the Detroit zone with the puck. Goalie Manny Legace sprawled out after a quick fake and Kariya lifted the puck over him to give Nashville the win.

Nashville’s first goal of the game also came on a breakaway.

At 8:32 of the first period, Steve Sullivan snuck behind the Detroit defenders on a Red Wings power play and a long pass through the neutral zone sprung him free to break in alone on Legace. Sullivan faked around Legace, who sprawled across the crease before Sullivan lifted a shot into the net.

Detroit had opened the scoring with a five-on-three goal with 8:28 remaining in the first period. Mathieu Schneider put a one-timer from the top of the right circle into the net behind Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun as Brendan Shanahan set a screen in front of the goal.

The goal was Detroit’s only tally in the game and their only power play goal on seven chances. The Red Wings held Nashville without a power play goal on their seven tries.

Legace stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced while Vokoun made 38 saves on 39 shots agains.

Detroit will be back in action on Thursday when the Vancouver Canucks visit Joe Louis Arena.

With Detroit earning one point for the overtime loss and Nashville picking up two points for the win, the two teams are now tied atop the Central Division and Western Conference standings. They meet five more times this season, including a home-and-home series before the Olympic Break and the last game of the season in Nashville.

“Super Mario” Calls it Quits

Mario Lemieux, the legendary Pittsburgh Penguins owner-player, announced his retirement as a player on Tuesday.

“The time is right because I can no longer play the game at the level I’m accustomed to,” Lemieux said at a press conference. “I think the best decision is to retire as a player and turn the game over to the younger guys who are the future of this team and this league. It’s a young man’s game now.”

Lemieux had not played in over a month due to problems with an irregular heartbeat. A similar heart condition caused Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer to collapse on the bench during a November 21 game.

The condition did not stop Lemieux from working out, preparing to return to the ice.

“If I could still play this game I would be on the ice,” Lemieux said.

The retirement is Lemeiux’s second. He left the game in 1997 after several injury-filled seasons in the mid-1990s.

In 1999 a Lemieux-led group purchased the Penguins out of bankruptcy and he returned to the ice in 2000, becoming the first player-owner of the NHL’s modern era.

Red Wings Fall to Predators in Rescheduled Matchup

The Detroit Red Wings scored the same number of goals as the Nashville Predators on Monday night but came away from the game with a loss in what is likely an NHL first.

The Predators started the game ahead by a goal, having been credited for the goal that Greg Johnson scored on November 21 before that game was postponed when Detroit defenseman Jiri Fischer collapsed on the bench.

Johnson’s goal, with assists to Ryan Suter and Scottie Upshall, was the only statistic retained from the postponed game. Upshall’s assist becomes an interesting statistic, as he did not play in the rescheduled game and is not currently on the Nashville roster, having been assigned to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League.

Although approximately seven minutes remained in the first period that night, the clock was reset for the makeup matchup.

The Predators scored the game’s first true goal to take a 2-0 lead at 3:56 of the first period. Steve Sullivan took a long pass from Danny Markov to start a breakaway into the Detroit zone before beating Red Wings’ goalie Manny Legace between the legs.

The Red Wings responded just 40 seconds into the second period with a power play goal just seconds after a five-on-three advantage ended.

Robert Lang flipped a rebound shot on net that seemed to bounce off the padding inside the net and back out. In the flurry that followed, Pavel Datsyuk put another rebound off Nashville netminder Tomas Vokoun and in.

Lang was credited with the goal after the first review but that was later overturned and Datsyuk’s goal was left standing.

Just 4:35 later, the Red Wings evened the game with another power play goal. With the teams skating four-on-three, Mathieu Schneider fired a one-timer from the top of the right circle that beat Vokoun.

At 9:30 of the period, the Predators pulled back ahead when Scott Hartnell tipped a shot from the point by Kimmo Timonen past Legace with Nashville on the power play.

After a scoreless second half of the game, Hartnell’s goal stood up as the game-winner.

Detroit went two-for-nine on the power play and stopped six of Nashville’s seven chances with the man-advantage, including one five-on-three. Detroit had two five-on-three opportunities on the night.

Legace faced only 14 shots on the night, making 12 saves. Vokoun turned aside 39 of the 41 shots he faced.

The Red Wings and Predators will meet again Tuesday night, also in Detroit.

The game originally scheduled to be played in Nashville in place of this game has been rescheduled for March 30… Henrik Zetterberg returned to the Detroit lineup after missing two games with a hip flexor… The Predators are now just one point behind the Red Wings for first place in the Central Division.

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