Red Wings Kick Off Road Trip with Win

The Detroit Red Wings started their four-game western road trip with a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings Monday night. The win extended their unbeaten streak against the Kings to 12 games.

Detroit netminder Chris Osgood, making his first appearance of the season, made 22 saves on 23 shots to earn the victory.

Los Angeles scored the game’s first goal on a miscue by Osgood. Handcuffed on a shot by Aaron Miller, Osgood let the rebound fall to the top of the crease. Former Red Wing Sean Avery and rookie Anze Kopitar rushed in to put it past the sprawling Detroit goalie with only 45 seconds remaining in the first period.

The Red Wings evened the score midway through the second with Jason Williams off for hooking.

Johan Franzen and Kris Draper carried the puck to the Kings’ blue line on a two-on-two when LA defenseman Rob Blake left Draper to put a big hit on Franzen. Franzen held the puck just long enough to get it to Draper, who skated in all alone to beat Kings netminder Dan Cloutier.

Just 1:37 into the third, a power play goal gave Detroit the lead. With Robert Lang controlling the puck at a bad angle to his right, Cloutier tried to cheat to the middle, but Lang threaded the puck just inside the post for his first of the season.

Lang scored again with 3:58 remaining in the game, locking up the Detroit win.

The Red Wings finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play and killed all eight of the Kings’ chances with the man-advantage.

Cloutier stopped 24 of Detroit’s 27 shots.

Detroit will be back in action on Wednesday when they visit the Anaheim Ducks.

The Red Wings haven’t lost to Los Angeles since October 12, 2002.

Where the Buffaslug Roams

I was surprised several times during the Red Wings game on Friday against the Buffalo Sabres.

From the aesthetic side, it was my first live look at the Sabres’ new “buffaslug” logo and jerseys. I still like the jerseys but that logo is an atrocity.

Somewhat similarly, I like the look of the Red Wings’ defense, just not the goaltending behind it.

Detroit is limiting their opponents to very few shots this season but we’re still seeing Dominik Hasek make stupid mistakes leading to goals. The game-tying goal was entirely because of his interference penalty, a move that was entirely unnecessary and he had the gall to argue about.

That said, Hasek did show a couple flashes of brilliance late in the game.

The Wings’ offense looked strong again, getting plenty of shots on goal and, more importantly, getting to the front of the net. Both of Detroit’s goals came when Jason Williams was parked near the crease, in the right place at the right time.

Outside the game, I was absolutely shocked by the number of Buffalo fans in the arena. The game was far from sold out (no matter what they announced) so it must have been easy for Sabres fans to get tickets and make the relatively-short trip over.

Understandable, somewhat, since an Eastern Conference team that visits once every three years and the Wings have no history with is not the most sought-after ticket in Hockeytown, but disappointing nonetheless.

Red Wings Offense Arrives in 9-2 Win over Phoenix

The Detroit Red Wings scored a total of only three goals in their first two games of the season but added to that in dramatic fashion in the third, scoring nine times on the Phoenix Coyotes en route to their second-straight win.

The nine goals were the most scored by the Red Wings in over ten years, since a 9-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings on February 13, 1996.

Mathieu Schneider led the way for Detroit, scoring three goals on the night, his first hat trick since November 26 of last season.

In all, eight Red Wings had multiple-point nights.

Detroit broke open the game in the second period. After entering that frame with a 2-1 lead, they scored five goals on former Red Wing goalie Curtis Joseph.

Mike Morrison replaced Joseph for the third but the Wings scored twice more before the Coyotes could respond with a lone goal to close out the scoring.

The Red Wings ended the night with forty shots on goal, the two Phoenix netminders having stopped 31 of them. Dominik Hasek made 19 saves on 21 shots against in the Detroit net.

The seven-goal margin of victory was Detroit’s largest since their surprising 7-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game Seven of the 2002 Western Conference Finals.

Red Wings Announce Johnson’s Retirement

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Wednesday that forward Greg Johnson has retired as a player.

Johnson was diagnosed with a heart condition during the team’s training camp and had not practiced since, ending a season – and career – that should have saw him rejoin the team with which he broke into the NHL.

Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, Johnson made his NHL debut with the Red Wings in 1993. He also played with Pittsburgh and Chicago before moving on to Nashville, where he was the team’s captain.

Johnson will join the Red Wings’ front office in a player development capacity, the team stated.

He becomes the second player this season to retire due to a heart condition. Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Konowalchuk left the game several weeks ago after a similar training camp diagnosis.

Wings Blank Pens for First Win of Season

The Detroit Red Wings picked up their first win of the 2006-07 season Saturday night, shutting out the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2-0 victory.

The Red Wings allowed only 13 shots on Dominink Hasek’s net, including only one Pittsburgh shot in the second period. The shutout is his eighth as a Red Wing and the 69th of his career.

Detroit came out strong and got on the board 6:00 into the contest when a Jason Williams shot from the left circle was picked up by Johan Franzen in front of the net and banged home.

The game turned quiet for more than fifty minutes, with both teams playing solid defensive hockey.

It wasn’t until there was only 1:21 remaining in regulation that Kris Draper scored to ensure the Detroit win.

With Mikael Samuelsson and Robert Lang fighting for the puck in the right wing corner of the Pittsburgh zone, Henrik Zetterberg had time to go to the Detroit bench for a change. Draper stepped over the boards and into the right faceoff circle, where Lang sent got him the puck for a one-timer past Penguin netminder Marc-Andre Fluery.

Both teams were held scoreless on the power play, with Pittsburgh having four opportunities and the Red Wings getting two.

Detroit will be off until Wednesday when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.

Detroit’s first fight of the season came 4:26 into the game, when Brad Norton fought Andre Roy to a draw.