Red Wings Add Cross, Deal Rivers at Trade Deadline

As the National Hockey League’s trade deadline came near on Thursday, the Detroit Red Wings made two moves to change up their defensive corps.

Jamie Rivers, in his second season with Detroit, was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes for a seventh-round draft pick in the 2007 NHL Entry draft.

In 15 games with the Red Wings this season, Rivers had an even plus/minus rating and tallied one assist.

“It’s tough to leave a contender, but it’s not a secret that I’ve been more of a depth guy this year and haven’t really contributed much in terms of games played,” Rivers told Canadian sports network TSN. “I just think it’s an opportunity to show that I can play more minutes in this league and maybe play a bigger role.

“You never know where the Coyotes might end up in a couple of years.”

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland then moved to add a grittier reserve defenseman to the team, picking up veteran Cory Cross from the Pittsburgh Penguins for a fourth-round draft pick in the 2007 draft.

“We’re very pleased to have Cory join the Red Wings,” Holland said. “He’s a veteran NHL defenseman that brings size, strength and depth to our blueline. He moves the puck well and will fit in to our style of game.”

Cross started the season with the Edmonton Oilers, playing 34 games before being traded to the Penguins on January 26. He only played six games with Pittsburgh before joining the Red Wings.

On the season, Cross has scored two goals, added four assists, and compiled a -6 plus/minus rating.

Red Wings Fall to Coyotes in Return Home

In their first game at Joe Louis Arena since February 12, the Detroit Red Wings were defeated by the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-2.

The loss comes on the second half of a home-and-home series that saw the Detroit win the opening game in Phoenix. That night, it was Coyotes goalie Curtis Joseph that was plagued by inconsistant play; Tuesday, Red Wings netminder Manny Legace stumbled, making only 19 saves on 24 shots.

University of Michigan product Mike Comrie opened the game’s scoring at 6:50 of the first period, banging in the rebound of a Dave Scatchard redirection while crashing the net.

Just after a penalty to Detroit expired at 9:54 of the period, former Red Wing Boyd Devereaux was left all alone at the side of the crease to take a pass from Steven Reinprecht and lift a shot into the net, putting the Coyotes up by two.

Scatchard gave Phoenix a three-goal lead with 5:58 remaining in the opening period, scoring on an odd-man rush that saw him skate right up the middle untouched to take a pass and put a quick shot past Legace.

Detroit got on the board just 1:30 later, when Pavel Datsyuk banked a bad-angle shot off of Joseph and into the net while the Red Wings skated five-on-three.

The Red Wings pulled to within one at 2:53 of the second period when Kris Draper went behind the net and sent a pass out to Brendan Shanahan alone in front of the goal. Shanahan took two wacks at the puck and put it past Joseph.

At 9:05 of the final period, Comrie scored his second of the game with the Coyotes on the power play, tipping a shot from the blue line by Zbynek Michalek past Legace.

After Joseph appeared to get away with throwing his stick while making a save, the Red Wings were given a penalty shot when Mike Comrie shot a teammate’s dropped stick into the path of a pass to Nicklas Lidstrom with 5:03 remaining. Mark Mowers couldn’t convert on the chance and Detroit remained down by two.

Shane Doan put the game away with a power play goal with 4:09 remaining. Doan got the puck on the right side of the slot and lifted a shot over the sprawling Legace.

Joseph finished the game with 35 saves on 37 shots.

Detroit scored only once on six power play chances, while Phoenix scored two power play goals on seven tries.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Thurday when they host the Los Angeles Kings.

Nicklas Lidstrom picked up career assist number 600 on Datsyuk’s goal.

Red Wings Rout Coyotes, 7-3

The Detroit Red Wings faltered late in the first period but controlled the rest of their Saturday matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes, crusing to a 7-3 win in the first game of a home-and-home series.

All seven goals were scored on former Red Wings goaltender Curtis Joseph, who was replaced for the third period after making twenty saves on 27 shots. His replacement, Philippe Sauve, stopped all seven shots he faced while his former understudy, Manny Legace, finished the game with 32 saves on 35 shots.

With Mikael Samuelsson out with a sore wrist, Mark Mowers re-entered the Red Wings’ lineup and made an impact immediately, scoring the game’s first goal.

Just 59 seconds into the game, Mowers drove to the net and took a pass from Tomas Holmstrom, reaching out for a backhand deflection over Joseph and into the top of the net.

At 3:26 of the first, Detroit got a second goal on a delayed penalty. The Red Wings barely kept control of the puck before Nicklas Lidstrom poked it into the slot. Brendan Shanahan jumped up and pounded a shot past Joseph to put Detroit up by two.

The Wings extended their lead again 9:10 later, when Henrik Zetterberg scored on a three-on-one rush.

Zetterberg tried to pass to Pavel Datsyuk on the play, but the Phoenix defenseman cut off the option and the puck bounced back to Zetterberg. Joseph was already cheating to the far side, so the Swede was left with the near corner of the net open to put a shot into.

The Coyotes surged back late in the period, scoring twice with the man-advantage after a cross-checking call put Chris Chelios in the box.

With Datsyuk already serving a penalty when Chelios was called, Phoenix had a long five-on-three to capitalize on and Shane Doan did just that, one-timing a blast past Legace with 1:22 remaining in the period.

Steven Reinprecht tipped a shot by Zbynek Michalek past Legace with 50 seconds remaining in the period to pull the Coyotes within one.

Steve Yzerman started Detroit’s scoring back up with 8:31 remaining in the second period, putting in his own rebound from the slot after Robert Lang got him the puck from behind the goal.

Phoenix responded just 1:20 later on a goal by Mike Recci but the Red Wings went on to score three-straight to end the period.

With 4:50 remaining in the second, Zetterberg scored his second of the night as the Wings skated with a four-on-three advantage. Lang got the puck at the bottom of the left circle and sent it to Zetterberg, who was all alone in the slot to settle it down and rifle a shot past Joseph.

Just 15 seconds later, with Joseph improperly set to face a shot and the teams skating four-aside, Lidstrom fired a sixty-footer that slipped past the Phoenix goalie.

Shanahan’s second of the night closed the game’s scoring with 1:03 remaining in the period, when he deflected a Matheiu Schneider blast from the high slot.

Neither team scored in a third period that saw Lidstrom given a penalty shot while the Coyotes were on a five-on-three.

The Red Wings finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play. The Coyotes scored on two of their ten power play chances.

The two teams will meet again in Detroit on Tuesday for the second half of the home-and-home series.

Yzerman’s goal was his 93rd career game-winning goal.

Red Wings Blank Mighty Ducks as Swedes Return

The Detroit Red Wings’ lineup was bolstered by the return of their five Swedish Olympians Wednesday night and their impact was immediately felt, as the Swedes scored the game’s only goals en route to a 2-0 Detroit win over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Goaltender Chris Osgood, making his first appearance since January 30, made 24 saves in the shutout effort. It was his second shutout of the season.

All of the game’s scoring came in the first period, when Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg beat Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

At 7:28 of the period, Holmstrom scored just after coming out of the penalty box.

Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck into the Anaheim zone before sending a pass in to Zetterberg, who tapped it along to Holmstrom who was cutting through the crease. Holmstrom lifted a backhander over Giguere’s glove to put Detroit on the board.

Just 46 seconds later, Zetterberg extended his team’s lead.

When Anaheim’s Vitali Vishnevski was called for tripping in his own zone, Zetterberg won the ensuing faceoff over to Datsyuk, who cleared the puck back to Nicklas Lidstrom at the blue line. Lidstrom fired a shot on goal as Holmstrom went to the front of the net to screen, and the puck ended up deflecting off the inside of Holmstrom’s leg. The puck came to the side of the net where Zetterberg was wide open to tap it into the net.

Giguere shut the Wings down for the rest of the night, making 31 saves on 33 shots against, but the damage was already done.

The Zetterberg goal was Detroit’s lone power play tally in eight attempts, while five power plays were not enough for the Ducks to get onto the board.

The Red Wings will continue their road trip on Saturday when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes in the first game of a home-and-home series.

The only point in the game not scored by a Swede was Russian Pavel Datsyuk’s assist on Tomas Holmstrom’s goal.

Shorthanded Red Wings Fall to Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings were shorthanded in more ways than one on Tuesday night as they dropped a 5-1 decision to the San Jose Sharks in both teams’ first game back.

The Red Wings were without Tomas Holmstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg, the Swedish gold medal winners who had not yet returned from a celebration in Stockholm. With only 17 skaters on the Detroit roster, they were further undermanned by penalties, with all five San Jose goals coming with the man-advantage.

Nils Ekman opened the scoring just 3:34 into the game, getting the puck along the goal line to Detroit goalie Manny Legace‘s left before moving in on goal and bouncing a shot off Leagce’s arm and into the net.

Jonathan Cheechoo extended the San Jose lead at 6:54 of the second period, lifting a shot over Legace after a cross-crease pass Joe Thornton while on a five-on-three.

The Red Wings drew within one with their only goal of the game when Brett Lebda beat Vesa Toskala with a shot from the left circle after an end-to-end rush by Pavel Datsyuk with 1:31 remaining in the second.

Legace stopped Ekman on a penalty shot to start the third period but the Wings never got back in the game.

Patrick Marleau put in a rebound from the side of the goal with 9:24 remaining in the game and just 1:05 later Christian Ehrhoff scored on a blast from the right circle.

Thornton closed the scoring with 6:12 remaining in the game, putting a shot from the right circle between Legace’s pads.

The Sharks finished the game with goals on half of their ten power plays, while the Red Wings were scoreless on six chances.

Legace made 27 saves on 32 shots and Toskala made 28 saves on 29 shots.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Wednesday when they visit the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, where their Swedish Olympians will rejoin the team.

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