Swedish Red Wings Won’t Make Trip to San Jose

The Detroit Red Wings will be without the five Swedish players who earned gold medals in the just-completed Torino Olympics when they visit the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Tomas Holmstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg will instead travel to Stockholm to celebrate their accomplishment in the Swedish capital. They will rejoin the Red Wings before Wednesday’s visit to Anaheim.

Detroit center Pavel Datsyuk and San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov, Russian Olympians, are questionable for Tuesday after travel problems have delayed their return. The rest of Detroit’s Olympians are expected to play.

To help counter the shortage of players, the Red Wings called up Tomas Kopecky from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Red Wings Lead Sweden to Olympic Gold

Three goals from members of the Detroit Red Wings lifted Sweden to a 3-2 win over rival Finland in the gold medal game of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games on Sunday, with Nicklas Lidstrom scoring the game-winner just ten seconds into the third period.

On the period’s opening faceoff, Finnish center Saku Koivu (Montreal Canadiens) broke his stick and left and opening for the Swedes to gain the offensive zone. Lidstrom fired a blistering long shot past goalie Antero Niittymaki (Philadelphia Flyers) for what ended up being the game’s final goal.

The Finns had opened the game’s scoring with 5:15 remaining in the first period, when a powerplay shot by Kimmo Timonen (Nashville Predators) was deflected went past netminder Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers).

Sweden got on the board at 4:42 of the second period, when Henrik Zetterberg scored on the powerplay.

Niklas Kronwall added another Swedish powerplay goal with 6:36 remaining in the period but Ville Peltonen tied it up for the Finns just 1:36 later.

After the Lidstrom goal gave Sweden the lead, Lundqvist locked down the Swedish net, making ten saves on the period.

Lundqvist finished the game with 25 saves, as did Niittymaki.

The gold medal is Sweden’s first in men’s ice hockey since 1994, when Peter Forsberg beat Canadian goalie Corey Hirsch in a shootout in Lillehammer. The Finns’ silver is their first medal since earning the bronze in 1998 in Nagano and their highest finish ever.


The Czech Republic claimed the bronze medal on Saturday, defeating Russia for their first medal since winning the gold in 1998.

Finnished Off: Americans Eliminated by Finland

An exciting finish capped a lackluster Olympic run by the United States on Wednesday as Team USA was unable to complete a third-period comeback and fell to Finland, 4-3.

The American squad earned only one win in the preliminary round, earning a berth in the quarterfinals seemingly by default and finding their offense just in time for their defense to let them down.

The United States came back from two goals down once but couldn’t do it a second time.

Finland took an early lead when Ville Peltonen put the puck between the pads of American goalie Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders) 9:33.

The Finns extended their lead with 7:59 remaining in the period when Sami Salo (Vancouver Canucks) added a shorthanded goal.

Team USA began its first comeback just 1:13 later, getting on the board with a goal by Mike Knuble (Philadelphia Flyers).

The Americans tied it in the second when Mathieu Schneider (Detroit Red Wings) scored a power play goal just 1:29 into the second as a barrage of penalties took over the flow of the game.

Olli Jokinen (Florida Panthers) scored his first of the game on a Finland power play at 5:06 to put his team back in the lead and added a second goal on a five-on-three with 2:50 remaining in the period.

The United States got a goal by Brian Gionta (New Jersey Devils) with 4:27 remaining in the third period to pull back within one but they couldn’t get the tying goal.

Americans Advance as Latvia Loses

Team USA, which completed the Olympic round-robin with only one win, advanced to the Quarterfinals on Tuesday when Kazakhstan defeated Latvia. With their berth in the next round already determined, the Americans then went on to lose to Russia, 5-4.

After dropping twin 2-1 games to Slovakia and Sweden over the weekend, the United States looked to find it’s offence against the Russians. They succeeded, but goalie Robert Esche (Philadelphia Flyers) and the U.S. blue line couldn’t match the team’s performance with Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders) in the net over the weekend, allowing more goals to Russia than they did to the Slovaks and Swedes combined.

Alexei Kovalev (Montreal Canadiens) scored the game-winner late in the game, with other Russian goals coming from Alexander Korolyuk (San Jose Sharks), Evgeni Malkin, Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), and Andrei Markov (Canadiens).

The American goals came from Brian Rolston (Minnesota Wild), Brian Gionta (New Jersey Devils), Scott Gomez (Devils), and Erik Cole (Carolina Hurricanes).

Team USA will play top-seeded Finland in the Quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Americans, Canadians Drop Second-straight

The United States and Canada each dropped their second game in a row on Sunday, as the Americans suffered a 2-1 loss to Sweden and Canada fell to Finland, 2-0. It was the second time in as many days that the Canadians were held without a goal.

Antero Nittymaki (Philadelphia Flyers) made 24 saves to lead the Finns to the win while goals came from Teemu Selanne (Mighty Ducks of Anaheim) and Niko Kapanen (Dallas Stars).

With 8:46 remaining in the first period, Saku Koivu (Montreal Canadiens) beat Canadian defenseman Chris Pronger (Edmonton Oilers) in a battle for possession behind the goal. He sent a pass out to Selanne for an open shot at the goal.

Kapanen scored just minutes later when a shot by Kimmo Timonen (Nashville Predators) was tipped by Ville Niemenin (New York Rangers) off the back boards. The puck came to Kapanen for a tip in past Team Canada goalie Roberto Luongo (Florida Panthers).

Even without superstar Peter Forsberg (Flyers), Sweden was able to hold off a late comeback by the United States.

Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders) made 24 saves but two goals allowed were enough to hand the Americans their second loss.

Sweden’s Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa Senators) opened the game’s scoring at 7:50 of the first period, flipping a shot over the sprawling DiPietro.

Mike Modano (Stars) scored late in the period on a delayed penalty to tie the game but that was all the scoring the Americans would get.

At 4:22 of the third, Mikael Samuelsson (Detroit Red Wings) kicked the rebound of a shot by Alfredsson from his skate to his stick and banged it into the net for the eventual game-winner.

Canada is now 2-2-0 in the tournament and will advance to the quarterfinal round. The United States is 1-2-1 and can advance with a tie or win against Russia, a Latvian loss, or even a Latvian win in some cases.

Team USA Falls to Slovakia, 2-1

A late push by the United States wasn’t enough to pull them even with Slovakia as they fell to the Slovaks, 2-1, in a preliminary round matchup.

After a scoreless first period, Marian Hossa (Atlanta Thrashers) scored a power play goal in the second to open the game’s scoring. Hossa broke away from Brian Rolston (Minnesota Wild) and stepped into the right circle, where he fired a quick shot past Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders).

Team USA tied the game with a power play goal of their own just minutes later, when Rolston ripped a long shot past Peter Budaj (Colorado Avalanche).

Peter Bondra (Thrashers) scored the game’s final goal in the third period, taking a pass in the slot from behind the net by Mirsoslav Satan (Islanders) and banging it by DiPietro before the American defenders could collapse onto him.

Slovakia moved to 3-0 with the win, locking up their spot in the medal round, while the United States dropped to 1-1-1.

The Americans will need to earn a win over Russia or Sweden to have chance of advancing to the medal round.

Gerber Stops Forty-nine as Swiss Upset Canadians

Swiss goaltender Martin Gerber (Carolina Hurricanes) stopped all forty-nine shots he faced from Team Canada on Saturday, leading Switzerland to a 2-0 victory in the preliminary round matchup.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, native Paul DiPietro scored both of Switzerland’s goals.

“I don’t think we underestimated the Swiss,” said Team Canada coach Pat Quinn. “We were a stand-still hockey team. We played into the strong checking of the Swiss team. Yes, we had lots of chances, but that’s part of being in a tournament. You can think you’re doing well but great goaltending and good work by a team can beat you.

“We tried to rely on talent and it wasn’t good enough and if we don’t learn from that, we’ll be going home early.”

Canada had two apparent goals called back by the officials
and was unable to score on five power play chances.

With 1:41 remaining in the first, DiPietro scored on a pass from Patric Della Rossa to get the Swiss on the board.

DiPietro’s second came during a two-man advantage at 8:47 of the second period. A shot by Mark Streit (Montreal Canadiens) went off the skate of Robyn Regher (Calgary Flames) and came to DiPietro, who was open to put it into the net.

The loss drops Canada to 2-1-0 and lifts Switzerland to that same record.

Red Wings Complete Season Sweep of Avalanche

The Detroit Red Wings came from behind to pick up a 6-3 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche Sunday night, finishing the team’s first-ever season sweep of their bitter rival.

Since the Quebec franchise relocated to Denver for the 1995-96 season, neither Detroit nor Colorado had ever won all of the games against the other in a season. The Red Wings had previously been swept by the Nordiques in 1981-82 and 1987-88 before returning the favor in 1989-90.

Colorado took an early 2-0 lead in the game on goals by Patrice Brisebois and Milan Hejduk.

Brisebois scored at 5:36 of the first period, driving a one-timer from the top of the right circle through a screen, off of Detroit goalie Manny Legace‘s arm, and into the net.

Hejduk’s goal came 4:28 later, when Joe Sakic stole the puck from Andreas Lilja behind the Detroit net and sent a pass out to the slot. Hejduk was there to one-time a shot back betwen Legace’s pads.

The Wings pulled to within one with 6:07 remaining in the period, when Mathieu Schneider sent a blast from the blue line off of Brisebois and past Colorado netminder David Aebischer.

Pavel Datsyuk tied the game at 6:51 of the second period. After a bad line change by Colorado, Tomas Holmstrom drove to the net with the puck before leaving a drop pass for Datsyuk in the right circle. Datsyuk sent a quick wrist shot over Aebischer’s blocker, evening the score.

The Avalanche quickly regained the lead, with Dan Hinote scoring on a wraparound just 2:49 later.

Even more quickly, the Red Wings retied the game. A mere 1:03 after Hinote’s goal, Brett Lebda fed Jason Williams for a one-timer from the slot that blew past Aebischer.

The Red Wings took the lead with a power play goal at 4:43 of the third. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the high slot that was blocked with Tomas Holmstrom and Rob Blake in front of the goal. Blake went down on top of Aebischer and Holmstrom scrambled to flip a weak shot over the pile of players and into the goal.

Henrik Zetterberg put Detroit up by two at 8:06 of the period, putting in the rebound of a shot by Lebda.

Brendan Shanahan scored the game’s final goal, flipping a shot from the Red Wings’ zone down the ice and into the empty Colorado net with 1:21 remaining.

Detroit went one-for-four on the power play and did not allow a goal on Colorado’s three chances with the extra attacker.

Legace made twenty saves on 23 shots, while Aebischer finished the game with 33 saves on 38 shots.

The NHL begins it’s Olympic Break on Monday, with games set to resume on February 28. That night, the Red Wings will visit the San Jose Sharks.


Including the playoffs, the Red Wings are now 59-52-5 all-time against the Quebec / Colorado franchise.