Red Wings Return Home to Down Canucks

The Detroit Red Wings returned home from their four-game West Coast road trip Wednesday night and continued their winning ways, picking up a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

The win was Detroit’s fourth in the last five games and their first against Vancouver at Joe Louis Arena since January 26, 2006.

Rookie Matt Ellis extended his scoring streak to four games with his second career goal to get Detroit on the board with 2:26 remaining in the first period.

A shot on net was knocked down at the top of the crease. Ellis battled a Vancouver defender to get to it while Tomas Kopecky crashed the net behind him. Canucks’ goalie Roberto Luongo was pulled out of position just as Ellis whacked the loose puck into the open net.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Red Wings up by a pair with a power play goal at 2:23 of the second period, tipping a blue line blast by Brian Rafalski past Luongo.

The Canucks got on the board on a delayed penalty just 3:10 later. A long shot wide of the net bounced off the back boards and back out into the slot, where Matt Cooke jumped up to put put a shot on net. The puck deflected off the skate of Kris Draper and past Dominik Hasek to cut Detroit’s lead to a goal.

Holmstrom’s second of the night re-extended Detroit’s lead with 4:20 left in the middle frame. Two Canucks collided with Pavel Datsyuk and the puck came to Henrik Zetterberg at the bottom of the left circle. He threw a cross-crease pass to Holmstrom for a tip-in from the open far side of the net.

The assist extended Zetterberg’s career-high point-scoring streak to ten games and moved him into sole position of first place in the NHL’s scoring race.

The Canucks would push back in the third but their one goal would not be enough.

Daniel Sedin scored a power play goal just 1:47 into the period, getting to a rebound in front of the Detroit net and lifting a backhander over the screened Hasek’s shoulder.

Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had four chances with the advantage while Vancouver had five.

Hasek stopped 13 of Vancouver’s 15 shots on the night. Luongo made 36 saves on 39 shots against.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Friday when they host the San Jose Sharks.

Detroit was without Dallas Drake, expected out for two games with a hairline fracture in his cheekbone.

Grigorenko Brought Up to Red Wings

Bruce MacLeod reports that, as expected, Igor Grigorenko has been brought up to the Red Wings following a short stay with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Grigorenko’s contract includes an out clause that would allow him to return to Russia if he spends more than three weeks in Grand Rapids. The Red Wings asked him to remain with the Griffins and he refused.

Grigorenko was without a point in five games with Grand Rapids, with two penalty minutes.

To make room on the roster for Grigorenko, the Red Wings moved Johan Franzen to the IR. Franzen is expected to return from his MCL injury next week, at which point a forward will have to be moved off of the Detroit roster.

Red Wings Beat Coyotes to Wrap Road Trip

The Detroit Red Wings wrapped up their four-game West Coast road trip Saturday night, earning a 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Detroit got on the board just 4:37 into the game, seconds after the end of a power play. Dan Cleary got the puck down low and skated to the side of the Phoenix net before putting it out into the crease. A driving Niklas Kronwall couldn’t put it in but Jiri Hudler jumped up to bang the loose puck past goalie Mikael Tellqvist for his first of the season.

The Red Wings thought they had a two-goal lead at 9:13 but for the third time this season, an apparent Detroit goal was erased by a goaltender interference call on Tomas Holmstrom.

Still down by only one, the Coyotes were able to tie the game with 7:15 remaining in the period.

A rare giveaway by Pavel Datsyuk at the Detroit blue line put the Coyotes in on a four-on-one. Peter Mueller sent the puck from the right wing to Steve Reinprecht all alone in the slot to rifle a shot past Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek.

With 2:45 left in the period and just after the end of a Phoenix power play, Derek Morris put the Coyotes up by a goal on a blast from the high slot.

Kirk Maltby led the Red Wings’ comeback in the second.

With 8:34 left in the period, Maltby tipped a blast from the point by Chris Chelios through a Matt Ellis screen and into the Phoenix net to tie the game.

Hasek was on the bench for an extra attacker with a delayed penalty coming to Phoenix when Maltby put Detroit back out in front with only 26 seconds left. Maltby sent the puck down low to Henrik Zetterberg and moved into the right circle before getting it back and ripping a shot over Tellqvst’s shoulder.

Brett Lebda and Zetterberg would add third-period goals.

At 4:57 of the period, Lebda scored with Tellqvist stuck behind his own net. The Phoenix goalie had tried to play the puck to Ed Jovanovski but Ellis jumped up to take it away, sending it out front for Lebda to backhand into the open net.

Zetterberg scored his league-leading 17th point of the season with 5:23 left in the game. Datsyuk got the puck behind the net and drew in two defenders, leaving Holmstrom open to take a pass and send it across the crease to Zetterberg for an easy tap-in.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had three tries with the extra attacker while Phoenix had six. The Red Wings did score on one delayed penalty.

Hasek finished the night with 19 saves on 21 shots. Tellqvist stopped 37 of the 42 Detroit shots he faced.

The Red Wings finished their road trip with a 3-1 record. They will be back in action at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.

Zetterberg’s two points extend his point-scoring streak to nine games, a career high… Mikael Samuelsson returned to the Red Wings’ lineup after missing three games with a groin injury… Detroit was without Dallas Drake, who suffered a facial injury on Thursday in San Jose.

Brief Coyotes Post-Game Thoughts

Another strong game from the Red Wings. They did a great job of not getting frustrated early and just wore down the Coyotes. After Maltby’s second goal gave Detroit the lead late in the second, I don’t think Phoenix had any chance of coming back.

The Coyotes just don’t strike me as a mentally tough team. At no point in the third did they threaten to come back. Either the Red Wings really are that much better or the Coyotes gave up.

Same Old, Same… Oh, Nevermind

After the first period, I fully expected this game to be another like Detroit’s matchup with Anaheim earlier this week. Thankfully, the second and third periods were a bit better to the Red Wings.

San Jose made their mark – both on the scoresheet and on the Detroit lineup – early. Mike Grier scored a power play goal and Kyle McLaren got away with interference on Dallas Drake, driving Drake into the end boards and out of the game. The Red Wings would say nothing more than that Drake got “his bell rung.” McLaren would get what was coming to him later when Aaron Downey went toe-to-toe with him.

Detroit got on the board in the second period with goals by Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg. Both were on hard shots from the high slot, something the Wings haven’t been doing well. Those shots haven’t been getting through but tonight they did.

Another thing that had been going against the Wings but went for them tonight: Quick whistles. Detroit lost out on a goal in Chicago earlier this season on a quick whistle but tonight they were saved when the officials lost sight of the puck in Chris Osgood‘s crease.

Matt Ellis‘ third-period goal – the first of his NHL career – ended up as the game-winner. Pavel Datsyuk added an insurance marker on a five-on-three made possible by a slash to the stick of Kris Draper by Mike Grier – another play that has gone in reverse against Detroit earlier this season.

Osgood in Against Sharks

The San Jose Mercury News has some interesting news about the Wings’ lineup for Thursday’s matchup: Chris Osgood will be the starting goaltender.

It was assumed that Hasek would get the start and that Osgood might play in Phoenix. IIRC, Osgood got shelled in an early-season game in San Jose last season (or was that the year before?).

Also noted is that neither Nicklas Lidstrom nor Henrik Zetterberg practiced on Wednesday. They’ll be game-time decisions on Thursday.


When I created it, I called my blog “Misconduct” because I figured I’d spend a lot of time yelling about the refs. Tonight would be one of those nights but I really just don’t have the energy.

The Ducks did not score a five-on-five goal all night. The Wings only scored one. Of course that means the officials are going to be a big part of the story.

Here’s what I think sums up the calls in tonight’s game: Tomas Holmstrom was called twice for “knocking down” Chris Pronger. Chris Pronger. Big, tough, Norris Trophy defenseman Chris Pronger. And he somehow was felled twice by Holmstrom.

Yeah, I don’t know, either. I’m just going to bed.

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