Red Wings Sweep Home-and-Home Series Against Predators

The Detroit Red Wings came back from two goals down after the first period to defeat the Nashville Predators, 3-2, in the second game of their home-and-home series.

The win gave Detroit a sweep of the series, moved them nine points ahead of the Predators for the Central Division lead, and put them in first place in the league.

Two power play goals gave the Predators an early lead.

Just 5:35 into the game, a series of tape-to-tape passes led to Scott Hartnell getting the puck at the side of the Detroit goal with netminder Manny Legace on the other post, leaving an open net to score into.

It was the first power play goal allowed by the Red Wings after forty-straight successful penalty kills.

Paul Kariya scored with 5:04 remaining in the first period to put Nashville up by two. During a mad scramble as the puck bounced around the crease, Legace was caught to one side of the goal and Johan Franzen sprawled out between the pipes. The puck came out to the top of the crease and Kariya pounced on it, lifting a shot over Franzen and into the net.

The Red Wings bounced back in the second period, holding off the continuing Nashville attack before Robert Lang finally put one past goalie Tomas Vokoun.

With 8:16 left in the period, Lang carried the puck into the zone and around two defensemen into the right circle before firing a shot under Vokoun’s arm and into the net.

Just 1:56 later, the Red Wings tied the game when Kris Draper banged home a loose puck from the side of the goal.

Mathieu Schneider scored the game-winner with 6:31 remaining in the game, completing Detroit’s comeback. Steve Yzerman carried the puck into the Nashville zone during a line change and hesitated in the high slot. Schneider raced to catch up and picked up a drop pass before stepping in and blasting a shot over Vokoun’s shoulder.

The Predators played the final minute of the game with Vokoun on the bench for an extra attacker but were unable to even the score.

Detroit finished the game scoreless on six power play chances while Nashville scored on two of their seven tries.

Vokoun faced forty or more shots for the fourth time in the last five games, making 42 saves on 45 chances against. Legace stopped 32 of the 34 shots he faced.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Sunday when they host the Colorado Avalanche in their last game before the Olympic Break.

Legace Notches Second-straight Shutout as Red Wings Defeat Predators

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace stopped all 20 shots he faced Wednesday night, leading his team to a 6-0 win over the visiting Nashville Predators. It marked the second game in a row that Legace did not allow a goal.

Detroit’s offense was productive from the start, with defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom scoring just 1:23 into the game. His slap shot from the point deflected off of Yanic Perrault and over Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun‘s arm to give the Red Wings the early lead.

At 7:14 of the second period, Brendan Shanahan scored his 25th of the season as the teams skated four aside. On a two-on-one rush with Pavel Datsyuk after a Nashville turnover, Shanahan wristed a shot from the right circle over Vokoun’s glove and into the far corner of the net.

Just 1:22 later, Mathieu Schneider extended the Wings’ lead. Henrik Zetterberg carried the puck into the Nashville zone backwards, barely staying onsides, before feeding Schneider for a blast from the left circle that went past Vokoun.

Zetterberg scored a goal of his own on Detroit’s lone power play opportunity with 5:09 remaining in the middle frame. After a faceoff win by Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom fired a one-timer from the left circle on net. Vokoun made the stop but at the far side of the goal crease, Zetterberg gloved down the rebound and lifted it into an open net.

Chris Mason replaced Vokoun in the Predators’ net to start the third period but Nashville couldn’t stage a comeback.

With 5:21 remaining in the game, Mikael Samuelsson added a backhand goal that deflected off the stick of defenseman Kimmo Timonen.

Datsyuk finished the game’s scoring with 1:08 remaining, scoring on a wrister from the right circle while on a two-on-one with Steve Yzerman.

Vokoun’s night ended after he made 24 saves on 28 shots. Mason stopped six of the eight shots he faced.

The Detroit power play converted on their only opportunity while Nashville was held scoreless on two chances with the man-advantage.

The two teams will meet again on Thursday night from Nashville, closing out their home-and-home series.

Red Wings’ Legace Blanks Avalanche

On his 33rd birthday, Detroit Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace gave his team the gift of a shutout of the Colorado Avalanche.

The Red Wings picked up a 3-0 win over the Avalanche as Legace stopped all 28 shots he faced, including a breakaway chance by Brett McLean with Colorado on a power play midway through the third period.

All of the game’s scoring came in that final period and began with a goal by Dan Cleary at 5:40.

After the Wings killed a Nicklas Lidstrom penalty, Johan Franzen sent a long outlet pass to a tired Henrik Zetterberg. Zetterberg gained the Colorado zone but couldn’t get a shot off before Alex Tanguay dove to knock the puck into the corner. Zetterberg got there first and sent a quick pass to a streaking Cleary in the slot, where he one-timed a shot on net that trickled through the pads of Avalanche goalie David Aebischer.

Tomas Holmstrom set up Detroit’s next goal with 9:59 remaining in the game.

Just inside the Colorado blue line, Holmstrom stripped Rob Blake of the puck and passed it off to countryman Mikael Samuelsson. Samuelsson stepped into the slot and wristed a shot through a screen and past Aebischer to put the Wings up by two.

Rober Lang finished the game’s scoring with 1:31 left in the third, taking an outlet pass from Jason Williams and breaking in all alone on Aebischer, waiting for him to sprawl across the goal mouth before lifting a shot over him.

Aebsicher finished the game with 29 saves on 32 shots.

Neither team scored on the power play, with Detroit having three chances and Colorado seven.

The Detroit is now 3-0 against Colorado this season, with the teams’ fourth matchup coming at Joe Louis Arena on February 12. The Red Wings next action will be on Wednesday when they host the Nashville Predators in the first game of a home-and-home series.

Red Wings Bounce Back to Beat Blues

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 2-0 deficit Wednesday night to defeat the St. Louis Blues, 3-2, despite going scoreless on the power play for the first time in sixteen games.

The Blues took an early lead when Lee Stempniak backhanded the rebound of a Dean McAmmond shot from the right circle past Wings’ goalie Manny Legace at 8:37 of the first period.

With 5:06 remaining in the opening frame, Keith Tkachuk put the Blues up by two. Vladimir Orszagh threw a shot on net from the slot and it was tipped in front by Petr Cajanek. The puck trickled past Legace and Tkachuk jumped in from the side of the net to knock it home.

Detroit’s comeback began at 5:05 of the second period with a tic-tac-toe play.

Niklas Kronwall, playing in his first game of the season after returning from a knee injury, sent the puck from the top of the right circle to Henrik Zetterberg at the bottom of the left circle. Zetterberg sent a crossing pass to Mikael Samuelsson on the far side of the slot and Samuelsson sent a one-timer into the open net, with St. Louis netminder Curtis Sanford unable to get over to make the stop.

Former Blue Brendan Shanahan tied the game 8:10 into the third period, rifling a shot from the top of the left circle just inside the far goalpost.

The Swedes connected again to give the Wings the win with 3:55 remaining in the final period.

As a penalty to Andreas Lilja came to a close, Kronwall sent the puck into the neutral zone. Lilja jumped out of the penalty box, as both teams made line changes, leaving him wide open to take a pass from Zetterberg. Lilja broke in alone on Sanford, faking a chance before taking a shot that was knocked aside but Zetterberg drove to the net and knocked in the rebound.

Kronwall and Zetterberg each finished the night with two points and Pavel Datyuk’s assist on the Shanahan goal broke a four-game point drought.

Legace finished the game with 29 saves on 31 shots, while Sanford stopped 35 of 38 chances against.

Detroit was held scoreless on their two power play chances but held St. Louis without a goal on eight power play tries, including a twenty-second five-on-three in the third period.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Saturday when they visit the Colorado Avalanche.

Captain America: Chelios to Wear “C” for Team USA

Team USA general manager Don Waddell announced on Wednesday that Detroit Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios will be the captain of the United States’ entry in the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament later this month, an honor given to Chelios for the third consecutive Olympiad.

The 44-year-old Chelios will become the United States’ oldest-ever Olympian. Along with St. Louis Blues forward Keith Tkachuk, he is one of the only two four-time Olympians in the hockey team’s history.

“I’ve been there before,” Chelios during a conference call. “(The veterans) have been there before. It’s our job to get (the young players) ready and prepare them for … a short tournament.

“The quicker you can put it together, the better it is for us. We’re going to have to make the young guys understand that.”

Chelios said that he would apply skills learned throughout his career from other great leaders that he skated with, including current Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman, toward leading the Americans.

“But now after having had guys teach me, guys like Bob Gainey, Dirk Graham, Steve Yzerman, over the years, I understand what it’s all about, being the captain. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the best player, but in the room, on the ice, providing leadership.”

The defenseman also captained the team in 1998 and 2002 and was a member of the 1984 squad.