Zetterberg Leads Red Wings over Coyotes

Henrik Zetterberg scored his first career hat trick Saturday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Zetterberg also had an assist on Detroit’s fourth goal, an empty-netter by Jason Williams with 11 seconds remaining in the game.

Dominik Hasek, making his first appearance after missing four games with an inflamed wrist, stopped 20 of 21 shots against to pick up the win.

All of Zetterberg’s goals came on the power play, with the first coming 30 seconds past the game’s midway point, he slipped a wrist shot past goalie Mikael Tellqvist with Tomas Holmstrom screening in front.

The second goal came with 1:59 remaining in the second and only after a lengthy review.

Defenseman Derek Morris appeared to clear the puck out of the crease after a Zetterberg scoring chance went over Tellqvist. Over a minute later, when play was finally halted, the officials called for a review, showing that the puck had crossed the goal line before Morris’ clear.

Mike Zigomanis got Phoenix on the board just 25 seconds into the third but the Red Wings were able to hold on, with Zetterberg putting them back up by two with 4:24 remaining off of a smart pass by Pavel Datsyuk.

Tellqvist stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced.

Detroit went 3-for-6 on the power play and held Phoenix off the board in their five chances with the extra attacker.

Combined with the Nashville Predators’ loss to the Minnesota Wild, the Red Wings’ win moves them into the top spot in the Western Conference standings.

The Red Wings next chance to stretch their lead over the Predators will be on Wednesday when they host the Chicago Blackhawks.

Red Wings Extend Holmstrom’s Contract

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Saturday that they have agreed to terms with gritty forward Tomas Holmstrom on a three-year contract extension.

As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not announced.

The 34-year-old Holmstrom is in his 11th season with the Red Wings. He has made a career of going to the edge of the crease to screen goalies, picking up rebound and tip-in goals along the way.

Detroit’s 10th-round selection in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, Holmstrom has 145 goals and 190 assists in 678 NHL games.

In his career, Holmstrom has claimed three Stanley Cups with Detroit, as well as an Olympic gold medal in 2006 with Team Sweden.

Late Goals Lift Red Wings over Stars

Three goals on their final three shots helped lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars Wednesday night.

Dallas rookie netminder Mike Smith stopped the first 29 shots he faced on the night but it wasn’t enough to earn the win.

It took an incredible pass from Henrik Zetterberg to Pavel Datsyuk just to get Detroit on the board. With 8:46 remaining in the third, Zetterberg carried the puck behind the net and delayed until Smith moved from post to post before backhanding a pass between his legs out front to Datsyuk, who banged the puck into the open side of the net.

With 4:36 remaining, Zetterberg would get a goal of his own to put the Wings out front, drifting with the puck from the right circle into the slot and whipping a shot past Smith with Tomas Homlmstrom providing a screen.

Mathieu Schneider would add an empty net goal.

Making his first start since January 26, Detroit goalie Chris Osgood stopped 17 of 18 Dallas shots, with Mike Ribeiro picking up the lone goal against at 6:34 of the second.

With the Stars on a power play, Osgood came out of the net to cut down the angle on a Stephane Robidas shot. Jussi Jokinen defelcted the puck over to Ribeiro who had an open net to put the puck into.

The goal was the game’s only power play goal. Dallas had three tries with the extra attacker while Detroit had one.

Following Nashville’s 5-0 win over the San Jose Sharks, the win leaves the Red Wings one point behind the Predators in the standings. Detroit’s next chance to gain ground will be Saturday night in Phoenix, with Dominik Hasek expected to return to the lineup.

Wings-Flyers Non-Recap

With the Red Wings’ matchup against Philadelphia about to wrap up, I’ve decided not to do a game recap.

The Wings blew a chance to take over the Western Conference lead. Nashville will have a game in hand on them until this Saturday. That’s the cost of this loss.

Would starting goalie-of-the-future Jim Howard have made a difference? Who knows. Last week it was expected that Chris Osgood would start tonight but his finger injury continues to keep him out of the lineup.

I do wonder about Joey MacDonald‘s confidence. Somehow, teams seem to have the tendency to play better in front of their backup netminders but that simply hasn’t been the case for Detroit and MacDonald. The Red Wings simply play awfully with him in net.

At least Detroit should be getting healthier. Osgood and Dominik Hasek will be back. Mikael Samuelsson will be back. An insane number of their remaining games are at home, where they have a twelve-game winning streak.

Things to look forward to, since this game is nothing to look back on.

Red Wings’ Home Winning Streak Continues Against Flames

One game after their winning and scoring streaks came to an end in St. Louis, the Detroit Red Wings’ home winning streak continued, reaching 12 games with a 7-4 win over the Calgary Flames.

Joey MacDonald, making the start in place of the injured Dominik Hasek with Chris Osgood still out, picked up his first career win, needing to make only 16 saves on the night. At the other end of the ice, the Red Wings took a season-record 50 shots.

Henrik Zetterberg, who had a four-point night, opened the game’s scoring at 8:43 of the first period. Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff wiffed on the puck as it came behind the net and Jason Williams picked it up, sending a pass out to Zetterberg to rip a shot into the top corner of the net.

With 7:16 remaining in the period, Pavel Datsyuk scored to make it 2-0 on a rebound chance after a Tomas Holmstrom shot was stopped but not cleared.

Kiprusoff was pulled 1:10 later after a Mathieu Schneider blast beat him.

Zetterberg’s second goal of the night was the first allowed by backup Jamie McLennan, scored on a power play at 3:16 of the second.

Calgary got on the board 42 seconds later as Alex Tanguay stripped Johan Franzen of the puck in front of the Detroit goal and lifted a shot over MacDonald.

With 8:58 remaining in the period, Jason Williams scored the eventual game-winner and Tomas Holmstrom added one 38 seconds later.

The Red Wings coasted through the third period, allowing the Flames to mount a comeback with three goals late in the third period. Jeff Friesen, Roman Hamrlik and Mark Giordano all scored in a 3:40 frame before Johan Franzen extended the Detroit lead back to three goals with 1:23 remaining.

Kiprusoff made 11 saves on 14 shots before getting the hook, with McLennan stopping 32 of the following 36 shots.

Detroit scored the only power play goal of the game on one of their six chances with the extra attacker. Calgary had four tries with the man-advantage.

The win pulls Detroit back to within a point of the Nashville Predators for first place in the Central Division and the Western Conference. The Red Wings look to take the lead in the standings Monday night when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers.

Dominik Hasek’s injury is being described as an inflamed wrist. He is expected to be back in the crease on Detroit’s upcoming road trip… Jim Howard was called up to back up MacDonald…