Kronwall Out with Fractured Hip

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Saturday that they will be without defenseman Niklas Kronwall for one to two months.

For Kronwall, who suffered the injury 24 seconds into Friday’s loss to the Dallas Stars, it likely means an end to his season.

“It’s a tough break for Niklas and our team,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland. “Dealing with adversity is part of the NHL playoffs. We still feel we have good depth on defense.”

Kronwall was injured on a hit by Stars’ forward Joel Lundqvist. After the hit, Kronwall fell to the ice and stayed there until he was helped off by Chris Chelios and Valtteri Filppula.

It is the third major injury in Kronwall’s young career. He suffered a broken leg that ended the 2003-04 season for him and a knee injury that kept him out of much of the 2005-06 campaign.

The Red Wings will also be without captain Nicklas Lidstrom for Sunday’s matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Lidstrom has a slight back sprain and is expected to miss only one game.

“Given what’s occurred over the last 24 hours, we’re not going to take any chances,” Holland said.

To help fill the void, the Red Wings called Kyle Quincey up from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Stars Bounce Back for Shootout Win over Red Wings

The Dallas Stars scored three times in final ten minutes of regulation on Friday night, rebounding from a 3-0 deficit to the Detroit Red Wings before scoring the lone shootout goal to earn a 4-3 win.

Sergei Zubov roofed a shot over Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek in the second round of the shootout for the eventual game-winner.

The Stars were held scoreless until only 8:59 remained in the third, when a backhander from the slot by Brendan Morrow just trickled under Hasek and into the net for a power play goal.

With 3:29 remaining in regulation, Mike Ribeiro pulled Dallas to within one. A shot from the point by Nolan Baumgartner was pushed to the other side of the crease by Loui Eriksson and Ribeiro banged it home.

Just 47 seconds later, Philippe Boucher scored to even things up.

The Red Wings had controlled the play in the first two periods as they tallied three goals.

Todd Bertuzzi scored his first goal as a Red Wing at 7:04 of the opening period. Bertuzzi threw an attempted pass through the slot but it bounced off the stick of a Dallas defender and over netminder Mike Smith.

Kirk Maltby extended Detroit’s lead to two just 1:08 into the second, firing a shot from the bottom of the right circle that snuck past several defenders and through Smith’s pads.

Kris Draper finished Detroit’s scoring with 5:28 left in the period, taking a long lead pass from Mathieu Schneider and scoring on the breakaway.

After allowing Dallas’ three third-period goals, the Red Wings turned it up in overtime but were unable to score, despite outshooting the Stars 8-0.

Each team had five power play opportunities. Morrow’s goal was the lone tally with the man-advantage.

Both Hasek and Smith faced 34 shots, stopping 31.

The point for the shootout loss lifts Detroit to the top of the Central Division and Western Conference standings, breaking a tie with the Nashville Predators, who face Dallas on Saturday.

The Red Wings’ next game will be on Sunday when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first game of a home-and-home series.

The Red Wings were without defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who suffered a hip injury on a hit by Joel Lundqvist on the first shift of the game.

Red Wings Close Out Season Series with Win over Nashville

The Detroit Red Wings came from behind to earn a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators Thursday night, closing out the eight-game regular season series between the two teams.

With the two points, the Red Wings move into a tie atop the Central Division and Western Conference with Nashville. The Predators hold the first tiebreaker, with two more wins on the season than the Red Wings. The Red Wings have one game in hand.

The Predators opened the scoring with a power play goal at 9:10 of the first period. Jean-Pierre Dumont got the puck near the left side of the crease but threw it down to David Legwand at the bottom of the left circle. Legwand lifted a shot over Detroit netminder Chris Osgood to give Nashville the early lead.

Johan Franzen evened things up with 5:52 remaining in the period. Franzen passed the puck off to Todd Bertuzzi to gain the Nashville zone and then jumped forward. Bertuzzi sent it over to Pavel Datsyuk in the high slot, who pushed it forward to Franzen for a quick wrister past Nashville’s Tomas Vokoun.

Datsyuk added a goal of his own on the power play at 7:30 of the second. Bertuzzi put the puck out front from behind the net to Tomas Holmstrom, who’s attempt from the top of the crease didn’t get past Vokoun. Datsyuk jumped in and pulled the puck away from Vokoun before banging it past him for what would hold up as the game-winning goal.

Osgood made 24 saves on 25 shots while improving to 3-0-1 against the Predators this season. Vokoun stopped 28 of 30 shots against.

Each team had a power play goal. Detroit three power play tries while Nashville had five, including one in the game’s final minutes during which Vokoun was pulled for the extra attacker.

The Red Wings will look to pass Nashville for the divison and conference lead on Friday night when they host the Dallas Stars.

The two assists were Bertuzzi’s first points as a Red Wing.

Red Wings Blank Ducks to End Skid

The Detroit Red Wings snapped their four-game losing streak Monday night, holding the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks without a goal and picking up a 1-0 win.

The win moves Detroit three points ahead of Anaheim in the Western Conference standings and into a tie for points with the Nashville Predators atop the Central Division. The Predators currently have two more wins than the Red Wings but Detroit holds the second tiebreaker over Nashville, head-to-head points.

Pavel Datsyuk scored the game’s only goal at 4:50 of the second period. After winning a draw back to Mathieu Schneider, Datsyuk went to the front of the net. Schneider fired a shot from the blue line that was knocked down but not controlled at the top of the crease and Datsyuk picked it up, skating it into an open net.

Despite skating 6-on-4 with goaltender Jean-Sebastien Gigure on the bench and Schneider in the penalty box for the game’s final minutes, Anaheim couldn’t get on the board as the Red Wings held on for the win.

Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek made 25 saves to earn the shutout while Giguere stopped 27 of 28 shots against.

Neither team scored on the power play, with Detroit having three tries and Anaheim four.

The Red Wings will look to take sole possession of the Western Conference lead on Thursday when they visit Nashville. The Predators play once before that matchup, hosting the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

Tomas Holmstrom suffered a minor hand injury on the scoring play. He left the ice but returned before the end of the period.

Shot Out

I wanted to call this post “Upon further review” but the DetNews used that headline before I could. Oh well.

A wedding caused me to miss the game live but my DVR let me catch the game’s highlights and it’s hard to talk about the game without mentioning two things.

Ville Nieminen’s hit on Brett Lebda happened first but, to me, somehow seems less important.

The game’s end is the big thing. Doug Weight scored on St. Louis’ second shot and Dan Cleary was stopped on Detroit’s third but it wasn’t as simple as it sounds.

Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek stopped Weight’s shot and slid backwards into the net. The call on the ice was “no goal” replay reversed the call, as the puck did end up in the net.

What could have gone overlooked is that the puck did not drop from Hasek’s equipment and cross the goal line until after it was called a no-goal at ice level. The call on the review seemingly ignored that the play was blown dead before the puck crossed the line.

Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock didn’t comment on the goal after the game but after the review, his lips could be read saying “How the hell was that a goal?”

Cleary’s chance to tie it ended up being equally controversial. St. Louis goalie Jason Bacashihua made the initial stop but slid into the net. Replay seemed to show that the puck went into the net with him but by the time he got up, the puck was in the crease, and that was the call that stood.

As I mentioned in the forums, the Cleary call is almost understandable, just not after the Weight goal.

The calls just added insult to the injury that happened earlier in the game. Nieminen hit Lebda from behind early in the first period. Lebda’s face caught one of the metal stantions and he collapsed to the ice, bleeding.

Nieminen was ejected for the hit but it will be added to the list of incidents that seem to have plagued the NHL lately.

Shootout Loss Spoils Bertuzzi’s Detroit Debut

A shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets spoiled the debut of Todd Bertuzzi for the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night.

Bertuzzi, playing his first game since November when he was with the Florida Panthers, finished the night plus-one with no points and a missed shootout attempt.

Former Red Wing Sergei Fedorov clinched the win for Columbus, scoring in the sixth round of the shootout. Mikael Samuelsson had missed on Detroit attempt in the final round.

Neither team scored in the first forty minutes of play, which was controlled by Columbus as the Red Wings played a lazy game.

Pavel Datsyuk scored to get Detroit on the board at 8:30 of the third period. Jiri Hudler poked the puck to him in the neutral zone and Datsyuk carried into the Columbus end before wristing a shot past the glove of Blue Jackets’ goalie Fredrik Norrena.

Ole-Kristian Tollefsen tied things back up with 2:42 remaining, firing a shot from the top of the left circle that bounced off the blade of Robert Lang‘s stick and past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood.

Osgood finished the night with 29 saves on 30 shots against. Norrena made 35 saves on 36 shots, with half of those shots coming in the third period.

Neither team scored on the power play. Detroit five tries and Columbus had six, including a lengthy five-on-three.

The point for the shootout loss gives the Red Wings 100 on the year, the seventh season in a row that they’ve reached triple-digit points. They’ll look to add to that total on Saturday when they host the St. Louis Blues.

Dan Cleary also returned to the Detroit lineup. He was held without a point but scored in his fourth-round shootout attempt.

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