Streaks Snapped

I’ll admit right off the bat that I didn’t see tonight’s game against the Blues. Because of that, I don’t really feel like I should recap it and because of the outcome, I don’t really feel like going back and watching the game.

The Detroit News has their recap up already for anyone else who missed the game.

Bad news to take away from tonight: The Predators beat Toronto, stretching their Central Division lead to three points. Detroit’s scoring streak was snapped as they were shutout for the first time since January 7, 2004.

I was actually at that game against the Bruins, one of the more boring games I can remember watching. The Wings played horribly. From the sound of things, that wasn’t the case tonight, but that doesn’t change the outcome.

The loss also ended Detroit’s winning streak at five games. With the game played in St. Louis, their home winning streak is still intact.

Red Wings Winning Streak Continues Against Coyotes

The Detroit Red Wings won their eleventh-straight home game on Wednesday night, picking up a 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. The win was Detroit’s fifth in a row overall and pulled them to within a point of the idle Nashville Predators for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference.

The Coyotes got on the board first 9:06 into the game, when Owen Nolan swatted the puck past a sprawling Dominik Hasek from the top of the crease, where it was bouncing around several players’ skates.

Robert Lang got the Red Wings back even just 4:51 into the second, taking a perfectly-placed pass from the left wing boards by Brett Lebda at the far side of the crease and tipping it past former Detroit netminder Curtis Joseph.

Henrik Zetterberg‘s first goal of the night put the Red Wings out in front with 3:33 remaining in the period. Zetterberg attempted a wraparound but started to lose control of the puck. As he moved into the left circle, he backhanded a shot that went over the diving Joseph and into the net.

Shane Doan pulled Phoenix even with 17 seconds remaining in the period, skating down the left wing and cutting to the goal. As Hasek came out to knock the puck away, Doan moved around him and put it into the empty net with one second remaining on a power play.

Zetterberg’s second of the night was the eventual game-winner. Just 3:22 into the third, his wrister from the top of the right circle deflected off of a Phoenix skate and over Joseph’s shoulder.

Pavel Datsyuk would add a mostly-empty-net goal with one minute remaining to clinch the victory. With Joseph at the bench but not off the ice, Datsyuk whipped a shot into the open net.

Doan’s goal was the only power play goal on the night, with Phoenix going 1-for-4 and Detroit going 0-for-5.

Detroit fired 48 shots on Joseph and he stopped 44 of them. Hasek made 20 saves on 22 shots against.

The Red Wings will get their chance to pass Nashville in the standings Thursday night when they visit the St. Louis Blues while the Predators host the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Defenseman Danny Markov left the game late in the third period with an apparent chest injury after taking a hit from Jeremy Roenick. He was taken to Detroit Medical Center for precautionary x-rays.

Red Wings Bounce Back Again in New York

For the second time in a week, the Detroit Red Wings scored rallied in the third period to pick up a 4-3 win in New York.

Last Tuesday, the Red Wings scored three times in the third period and once more in overtime to down the New York Islanders. Monday night, three third-period goals erased an early deficit and gave Detroit a win over the New York Rangers.

Jiri Hudler kick-started the comeback with a goal off a giveaway by sophomore Ranger netminder Henrik Lundqvist 2:31 into the third. Lundqvist attempted to play the puck behind the net but coughed up the puck, leaving Hudler free for a wraparound attempt that was stopped by the New York defense before Hudler put in the rebound.

With 9:06 remaining in the period, Robert Lang tied the game when Dan Cleary threw a backhander on net from the right point and Lang tapped it between Lundqvist’s pads.

Henrik Zetterberg gave the Red Wings their first and only lead of the game with 7:24 remaining and Detroit on the power play. Pavel Datsyuk got the puck to Zetterberg at the top of the crease for a wrist shot into the back of the net to cap the game’s scoring and Detroit’s rally.

The Rangers had jumped out to an early lead on a high, hard wrist shot from the right circle by longtime Red Wing Brendan Shanahan just 2:18 into the game.

Only 13 seconds later, Michael Nylander stole the puck off goalie Dominik Hasek‘s stick when he tried to play it behind the net and poked it into the net, putting New York up by a pair.

Datsyuk pulled the Red Wings back to within one at 7:24 of the period, deflecting a long shot by Zetterberg past Lundqvist.

A power play goal with 5:36 remaining in the first would finish off the Rangers’ scoring. Marcel Hossa beat Hasek with a wrist shot from the right circle that the Detroit netminder could have had.

A scoreless second period showed a glimpse of things to come, as the Red Wings’ defense began to take control even with their offense not yet clicking.

Each team scored once on the power play. New York had three chances while Detroit was given four.

Hasek stopped 17 of the 20 shots he faced on the night. Lundqvist went 22-for-26 in the Rangers’ net.

The Red Wings will be back home on Wednesday when they host the Phoenix Coyotes in the second of three games in three cities in four nights. On Thursday they will complete that stretch in St. Louis.

Andreas Lilja was a healthy scratch for the second-straight game since Mathieu Schneider returned from injury… The Red Wings are 9-1 against the Rangers in their last ten games. They have not allowed more than three goals in a game to the Rangers since December 17, 1993.

I Love New York

I don’t plan on writing a game recap until after going back and watching the episode of “24” that is currently working its way onto my DVR but I figured I’d throw out some thoughts.

With the Red Wings picking up their second third-period, come-from-behind victory against a New York team in less than a week, I can’t say I’d mind playing the Atlantic Division more often.

Three third period goals on Long Island and an extra in overtime gave the Red Wings a 4-3 win over the Islanders last week and tonight three third period goals got the win in regulation. As Robert Lang said in the post-game interview, it’s not something you want to get used to but it’s nice to be able to do.

Detroit now has a league-leading nine third-period comebacks for wins this season. Three of those have come against the Atlantic Division in four games.

Detroit’s first win of the season was a shutout of Pittsburgh that did not require a comeback but on December 16 the Red Wings scored twice in the third to earn a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

One week from today, the Red Wings will visit the Philadelphia Flyers in their last game of the season against the division that has treated them so well this year.

While it’s easy to look at the result of the game and be satisfied, you can be sure the team will not be happy with their first period play.

Sloppy passing and awful decision-making gave the Rangers far too many chances. Cut that down and the need for these third-period rallies will disappear.

Red Wings Hold Off Blues’ Repeated Comebacks

The Detroit Red Wings took the lead four different times Friday night but the St. Louis Blues were only able to even things up three times, as Detroit picked up a 5-3 victory over the visiting Blues.

Kris Draper‘s shorthanded goal with 6:29 remaining in the third period was the first Detroit score to go unanswered by St. Louis. On a two-on-one with Draper, Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot that was partially stopped by goalie Manny Legace and Lee Stempniak, bouncing the puck into the air. Draper batted it into the net to give the Red Wings a 4-3 lead.

Dan Cleary would later add an empty net goal.

Henrik Zetterberg gave the Red Wings their first lead just 33 seconds into the game, skating through the left circle and cutting across the top of the crease before putting the puck past Legace.

Stempniak replied for St. Louis just 33 seconds later, wristing a shot from the right circle over the shoulder of Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek.

With Ryan Johnson in the penalty box for running Hasek, Tomas Holmstrom put Detroit back in front at 8:29 of the second, deflecting a blast by Lidstrom from the top of the left circle.

The Blues rallied once again when Johnson scored a shorthanded goal with 5:16 remaining in the second. Johnson took a pass from Dallas Drake to break in alone on Hasek, who came out of the crease to take away the puck. Johnson slipped a well-timed shot under him to put the game at 2-2.

Holmstrom’s second of the night gave the Wings another lead at 7:42 of the third. A series of quick passes from Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg put Holmstrom in on Legace and a quick one-handed move flipped the puck over the St. Louis goaltender and into the net.

Keith Tkachuk accounted for the Blues’ final comeback, deflecting a Dennis Wideman shot out of the air with what was determined not to be a high stick just 2:14 after Holmstrom’s goal.

Hasek finished the night with 24 saves on 27 shots against, while Legace stopped the same number of chances on 28 shots.

Detroit scored on one of their five power plays and St. Louis was held without a goal while skating with the extra attacker. Each team scored once while shorthanded.

The Red Wings’ next game will be Monday night in New York when they visit the Original Six rival Rangers.