The Detroit Red Wings fell to the Minnesota Wild, 4-2, in both teams’ first game of the 2006 calendar year on Tuesday.
The Red Wings opened the game slow, never really getting any momentum in the first period despite outshooting the Wild by four and getting one more power play opportunity. Minnesota, on the other hand, capitalized on good bounces to take a 2-0 lead.
The Wild started the game’s scoring at 5:55 of the opening period with a goal by Andrei Zyuzin. From the corner to the left of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood, Brian Rolston sent a centering pass into the slot that deflected out to the defenseman Zyuzin. Zyuzin stepped into the high slot to meet the puck and one-timed it past Osgood.
Just 1:03 later, the Wild were up by two. Filip Kuba fired a shot from the point that deflected off Detroit defenseman Mathieu Schneider and past Osgood.
The Wings didn’t get on the board until 6:14 of the second period, while skating on the first half of a four-minute power play. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a slap shot from the blue line that Tomas Holmstrom deflected past Minnesota goalie Dwayne Roloson from the edge of the crease.
Detroit couldn’t crack Roloson or the Minnesota defense and Rolston put the Wild back up by two at 8:04 of the third period. Detroit’s Jason Woolley attempted to send a backhanded clearing attempt out of his own zone when Rolston stepped up to pick it off and rip a shot past Osgood, who was still repositioning himself after playing the puck behind the net.
Holmstrom added a second deflected goal to pull Detroit within one with 2:02 remaining but it wouldn’t be enough.
Alexandre Daigle added an empty net goal for Minnesota to finish the game’s scoring.
The Red Wings finished the game with a season-high 45 shots on net but Roloson stopped 43 of them. Osgood stopped 19 of 22 Minnesota shots.
Detroit, facing the vaunted Minnesota penalty killing unit, scored on one of their seven chances with the man-advantage. Minnesota was held scoreless in four tries with the extra skater.
The Red Wings are back in action on Thursday when they host the St. Louis Blues in the first of three games in four nights.