Red Wings to Open 2009-10 Season in Sweden

The National Hockey League officially announced today that the Detroit Red Wings will open the 2009-10 regular season in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Red Wings will face the St. Louis Blues in a pair of games at Ericsson Globe Arena on October 2 and 3.

Stockholm hosted two matches between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators last fall. Prague, Czech Republic, hosted the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lighting. In 2007 the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks met in London.

Helsinki, Finland, will host it’s first NHL Premiere event as the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers will meet there on the same dates.

“The NHL Premiere games are a signature event for the League, our players and our fans,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “Playing regular-season games overseas is an excellent way to further engage the passionate NHL fan base in Europe and encourage the growth of the game of hockey.”

“We’ve got a great fan base over there and it would be wonderful to play there,” Swede Henrik Zetterberg said. “The Cup was almost two weeks in Sweden, so Red Wings are big in Sweden, so I think they will be really happy if we can come there.”

“It’s something I’m really excited about and looking forward to,” Wings’ captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “Same with my teammates, too, they’re all looking forward to it, too, to get a chance to play overseas. I was hoping it was going to happen sooner or later, and I’m happy about the opportunity to play back home.”

Red Wings’ Power Play Downs Predators

The Detroit Red Wings scored five times with the man-advantage Wednesday night en route to a 6-2 win over the Nashville Predators. The league’s top power play finished five-for-six on the night.

Jiri Hudler, Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom scored one power play goal each and Johan Franzen tallied twice with the extra attacker. Lidstrom added Detroit’s lone even-strength goal.

Steve Sullivan scored both of Nashville’s goals, including one on a power play. The Predators were one-for-six with Detroit a man down.

Hudler opened the game’s scoring exactly five minutes into the game, backhanding a shot from the low slot past Nashville netminder Dan Ellis.

Zetterberg scored on his own rebound 3:26 later to put the Wings up by a pair.

Sullivan’s first of the night came with seven seconds left in the period and the Predators skating with the extra attacker. Sullivan fired a shot from the point off of both Pavel Datsyuk and Andreas Lilja before flying past Detroit goalie Ty Conklin for his first goal in over two years.

Lidstrom scored his even-strength goal on a one-timer from the left point at 10:01 of the second period. Niklas Kronwall attempted a pass down low from the right point but the puck deflected right to Lidstrom for the chance.

Sullivan scored again 2:41 later, converting on a three-on-two chance.

Franzen’s first came with 3:58 left in the middle frame. He corralled a bouncing puck at the side of the Nashville net and lifted a shot over the sprawling Ellis.

Just 1:08 into the third, Lidstrom slammed a one-timer from the left faceoff dot past Ellis to give the Red Wings a three-goal lead.

Franzen finished off the scoring with 4:22 left.

The win was Detroit head coach Mike Babcock‘s 200th with the Red Wings… Franzen returned to the Detroit lineup after missing five games with a hand injury.

Maltby Out, Franzen In vs. Predators

The Red Wings look to end their losing streak at two games as they host the Predators tonight.

Detroit has a couple lineup changes of note, as Kirk Maltby will be a healthy scratch with the return of Johan Franzen, who’s missed the last several games with bruised ligaments in his hand.

Ty Conklin will also return to the Wings’ crease, replacing Chris Osgood.

Friday the 13th Pregame Notes

It’s Friday the 13th and the Red Wings are hoping it won’t be unlucky for them as they face the Blue Jackets in Columbus. By my records, Detroit is 3-2-1 in franchise history on Friday the 13th, with a two-game losing streak.

Derek Meech comes into the Wings’ lineup to replace the injured Brett Lebda. That’s the only lineup change for the Red Wings as Chris Osgood gets a second start in as many nights.

Steve Mason gets the start for Columbus, returning from a bout with mono.

The Red Wings’ full Friday the 13th history?

12/13/1940 – 3-2 W vs. NY Rangers
11/13/1981 – 3-3 T at Washington
11/13/1992 – 8-0 W vs. Pittsburgh
10/13/1995 – 9-0 W vs. Edmonton
11/13/1998 – 5-1 L vs. Dallas
10/13/2006 – 3-2 SOL (2-1) vs. Buffalo

Red Wings – Wild Postgame Notes

That was a dominating effort from the Red Wings.

You might be able to fault Chris Osgood on the first goal but it was a five-on-three so I’ll cut him some slack. The second goal Mikael Samuelsson just got absolutely burned on. Yeah, he only faced 20 shots or so, but I’m calling that a solid night for Ozzie.

Playing with the lead let Detroit do a lot to prepare for tomorrow in Columbus. Tomas Kopecky was out for for a power play shift late in the game, that’s a sign of resting the top players on the first of back-to-back nights.

Also getting more playing time: Ville Leino and Darren Helm, who I have no idea how the Red Wings are going to keep from sending back to Grand Rapids but they need to find a way, they deserve to be in the NHL. Both have been moving all over the place and Leino’s been showing he’s not afraid to go to the net. His wraparound goal broke Minnesota’s back.

I don’t like that the hit that took Brett Lebda out of the game wasn’t called a charge but at least Derek Meech is healthy and will be able to go tomorrow. Hopefully Lebda’s not hurt too bad, with Brad Stuart out the Red Wings don’t have as much defensive depth as I’m sure they’d like.

No surprise to anyone but Marian Hossa is a machine. No goals tonight but two very nice assists.

Red Wings – Predators Pregame Notes

The Red Wings will use the same lineup they used in Pittsburgh on Sunday against the Predators tonight.

Johan Franzen remains out with bruised ligaments in his hand. He’s wearing a cast but hopes to return to the lineup on Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche.

Ty Conklin gets the start, fueling the the goalie controversey. Last year I said all along that Chris Osgood would be playing by the end of the playoffs but I’m not feeling the switch this year. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been an Ozzie fan so I give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it’s because in the last year I’ve picked up playing goalie (albeit in a different sport) so I’m seeing things differently. I dunno.

Red Wings Hold Off Predators for Fifth Win in a Row

The Detroit Red Wings fended off a late comeback attempt by the Nashville Predators Tuesday night en route to their fifth consecutive win after losing five-straight games.

Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa each scored to give the Red Wings an early 3-0 lead but the Predators battled back to 3-2 and 4-3 before Datsyuk added an empty-net goal to wrap up the game.

The Wings threw 27 shots at Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne in the first period, setting a new franchise record for the opening frame of a game. With a 51-shot total on the game, it was the fourth time in franchise history that the Red Wings have taken at least 50 shots on the Predators. No other team has done it once.

Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring 5:02 into the game, lifting the rebound of a Brian Rafalski shot over Rinne.

Datsyuk stretched the Wings’ lead to 2-0 with 9:43 left in the first, scoring on a snap-shot from the top of the left faceoff circle on a Detroit power play.

At 4:18 of the second, Hossa scored from the left circle on another Red Wings’ man-advantage.

Radek Bonk deflected a long Jason Arnott shot 1:12 later for a Nashville power play goal and Joel Ward scored on a rebound with 8:37 left in the middle frame to pull the Predators to within a goal.

Zetterberg added a second goal just 3:10 into the third, putting a backhander over Rinne’s shoulder after being sprung by a long pass by Rafalski.

Ward pulled the Predators back in it with 9:24 left, pushing past Rafalski and cutting across the crease to beat netminder Ty Conklin.

Datsyuk’s empty-net goal came with 12 seconds left in the game.

Conklin stopped 18 of 21 shots against. Rinne made 46 saves on 50 shots.

Former Pens Star in Red Wings’ Win over Pittsburgh

Marian Hossa scored a goal and Ty Conklin earned the shutout Sunday afternoon, helping the Red Wings defeat the Penguins in the pair’s first return to Pittsburgh since bolting for Detroit as free agents last summer.

Hossa heard boos every time he touched the puck but they were never louder than after he scored to make the game 2-0 with 8:51 left in the third period.

“I guess we expected them to boo him a little bit but, man, that was vicious at times,” Conklin said.

“These are great hockey fans, and they show you their emotions,” Hossa said. “Once or twice in your career you’ve got these games, so basically you try to enjoy it because this doesn’t happen often.

“You try to use their energy to your advantage.”

Hossa’s goal came as he looped through the Penguins’ zone, carrying the puck down the right wing before coming back up the left side, losing the trailing Jordan Staal and putting a backhander from the high slot past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

“I was just hoping it would get there. It kind of surprised me (it went in),” Hossa said.

Pavel Datsyuk scored Detroit’s other two goals, putting home a rebound on a power play at 10:08 of the second period and on a strong individual effort with 2:12 remaining.

Conklin stopped 25 shots en route to the shutout, his sixth of the season.

The Red Wings were without forward Johan Franzen who missed the game with a bruised hand suffered in Detroit’s win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.