Filppula Lifts Red Wings Past Oilers

Valtteri Filppula scored with just 25 seconds remaining Tuesday night, lifting the Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers in the second game of Detroit’s three-game western Canada road trip.

Filppula took advantage of Edmonton defender Dick Tarnstrom getting caught flat-footed at the Oilers’ blue line. Taking a pass from Pavel Datsyuk, Filppula gained the Edmonton zone and raced around Tarnstrom on the right wing, then pulled the puck to the inside and wristed a shot over the shoulder of goaltender Dwayne Roloson to put the Red Wings out in front for the game’s final seconds.

The goal came after a stretch that saw the Oilers able to pin the Red Wings in their own zone but unable to get a serious scoring chance.

Detroit had the only leads of the game, neither lasting for long.

At 4:00 of the second period, Henrik Zetterberg scored his tenth goal of the season on a Detroit power play to put the Red Wings out in front. Zetterberg took a cross-ice pass from Nicklas Lidstrom in the right circle and one-timed a shot past Roloson.

Only 1:49 later, Steve Staios put the Oilers on the board with a blast from the blue line off a faceoff in the Detroit end. The screened Red Wings’ goalie had no chance on the shot to the far corner of the net.

It was the only goal Osgood would allow on 16 Edmonton shots. Roloson stopped 32 of Detroit’s 34 shots.

Zetterberg’s goal was the only power play goal of the night. Each team had three power play tries.

The Red Wings close their road trip on Thursday night when they visit the Calgary Flames.

Detroit was without defenseman Niklas Kronwall for the second-straight game… Zetterberg’s goal gives him a 13-game point-scoring streak to start the season, one shy of tying the Red Wings’ franchise record… Dallas Drake and Johan Franzen returned to the lineup.

Late Night Game Notes: Edmonton Edition

Game thoughts? But it’s so late… Okay…

Overall, a pretty boring game. Almost no hitting, not a lot of scoring. Not a lot of what I’d call quality scoring chances. I don’t recall any spectacular saves by either goalie. Combined with the late start, it was a little bit of a hard game to watch.

With the stalemate that the teams seemed locked in until the final moments, you kind of had to figure that the first team to capitalize on a mistake would be the team to win. In the end, that’s exactly what happened, with Filppula’s game-winner coming on a play where Oiler Dick Tarnstrom got caught flat-footed, allowing Fil to get in behind him.

Not to take anything away from Filppula, though, ’cause that was a beautiful shot.

Talk about a goaltending controversy will only heat up now, with Chris Osgood undefeated on the season, with six wins in six starts. His GAA is around 1.50 (over a full goal less than Dominik Hasek‘s) with a save percentage of .930.

The look Osgood has on a regular basis now reminds me of my all-time favorite save. That clip doesn’t show it, but right after that save there was a closeup of Osgood and he seemed completely unfazed by what he had just done. Completely in the zone.

Late Night Game Notes: Vancouver Edition

Late night thoughts before I head to sleep…

Unlike some games this season, this one really was as close as the score showed. No lucky goals for either team. A lot of solid plays, not a lot of mistakes by either team.

One of the mistakes was Chris Osgood‘s giveaway that almost let the Canucks tie things up in the final seconds. He hesitated, had he come out and played the puck immediately the shot at the empty net would have worked but he paused for a second, giving Vancouver time to get up on him.

That said, if the game is being called correctly (and I’ll never assume that given some things we’ve seen), the goal doesn’t count even without the quick whistle because you can’t push the goalie into the net with the puck. Osgood had the puck held in his feet and his feet were pushed into the net. That’s it.

Zetterberg’s point-scoring streak reaches 12 games, two away from the Red Wings’ record to start a season. He’s also still the NHL’s scoring leader.

The Canucks had a shift near the midway point of the third period where they tried to play the Wings physical and then it kind of died off. Interesting that they only tried it for about 30 seconds.

Nothing to complain about on the Holmstrom Crease Watch front, always good to see.

That’s all I’ve got tonight, I’m supposed to be in a meeting in less than seven hours and at the dentist in less than nine, I don’t know which will be more painful at this point.

Red Wings Sink Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings scored early and never gave up the lead Friday night, en route to a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks.

Valtteri Filppula‘s first goal of the season put Detroit on the board just 1:23 into the game.

Filppula passed the puck off to Mikael Samuelsson in the Detroit zone and Samuelsson carried through neutral ice before breaking across the blue line and pushing it back over to Filppula. Filppula cut in on San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov and lifted a backhanded over his glove into the top of the net.

With 4:29 remaining in the period, Filppula would get on the scoresheet again, assisting on a tally by Andreas Lilja.

Filppula gained the San Jose zone and cut over to the right circle before spinning to drop the puck to Lilja, who rifled a shot from the high slot over Nabokov’s glove.

The Sharks would try to get back into the game in the second period, with Rob Davison providing energy in the form of a fight with Aaron Downey. San Jose just couldn’t get anything going and it would be the Red Wings who scored next.

Only 39 seconds into the third period, a Nicklas Lidstrom blast was knocked down at the top of the crease, deflecting straight to Tomas Holmstrom. Holmstrom banged the puck at the open net, deflecting it off of Henrik Zetterberg and in.

Zetterberg would notch another one at 8:12 of the period. Pavel Datsyuk drew three San Jose defenders and Nabokov to him cutting through the left circle. As the skaters converged, the puck squirted out to Zetterberg for another wide-open net.

Backup Dmitri Patzold replaced Nabokov in net but he would allow a goal on just the second shot he faced, with Kirk Maltby lifting the rebound of a shot by Kris Draper into the net just 22 seconds after Zetterberg’s goal.

An apparent sixth Detroit goal was called back after a goaltender interference call on Tomas Holmstrom. The Sharks scored their lone goal of the game on the ensuing power play.

San Jose’s power play goal came on one of their two chances with the extra attacker. The Red Wings were without a goal on their six power plays.

Chris Osgood stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced in net for the Red Wings. Nabokov made 26 saves on 30 shots against while Patzold went eight-for-nine.

The Red Wings begin a three-game Western Canada road trip on Sunday when they visit the Vancouver Canucks.

The lost Detroit goal was the fourth goal of the season called back due to a Holmstrom goaltender interference call… Henrik Zetterberg has a point in every game this season… After the game, Russian forward Igor Grigorenko refused his reassignment to Grand Rapids and left the team.

Grigorenko Returns to Russia

Less than a week into his career as a Detroit Red Wing, Igor Grigorenko is returning to Russia.

Bruce MacLeod blogs that the Russian was assigned back to Grand Rapids following Detroit’s 5-1 win over San Jose on Friday night. As was his contractual right, Grigorenko refused the assignment.

Grigorenko will join Russian Superleague team Ufa Salavat Yulayev. The Red Wings will retain his NHL rights.

Draper Signs Three-year Extension with Wings

The Detroit Red Wings agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension with forward Kris Draper on Thursday. The deal is worth $4.75 million over three years.

The 36-year-old Draper was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer but had no interest in leaving the Red Wings. The three-year deal virtually assures that he will spend the rest of his career in Detroit.

The new deal gives some salary cap relief to the Red Wings. Draper’s current contract will pay him $2.1 million this season while his cap hit under the new deal is only $1.583 million.

In the first ten games of the Red Wings’ season, Draper has five goals.

Hasek Out, Howard Up, Osgood In

Bruce MacLeod notes (in his recently redesigned blog) that the Red Wings have called up goaltender Jimmy Howard from Grand Rapids.

Dominik Hasek is suffering from hip irritation and is day-to-day. Injured forward Dallas Drake was placed on the IR retroactive to a week ago to make room for Howard in the lineup.

With Hasek out, Chris Osgood will start against the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.

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