Red Wings Hold Off Avalanche Comeback, Move into First Place with Win

The Detroit Red Wings weathered a late comeback attempt by the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday night, holding on to earn a 3-2 win.

The victory gives Detroit 94 points in the standings, one more than both the San Jose Sharks and the Boston Bruins for first place overall in the league. San Jose has three games in hand on the Red Wings while Boston has one.

Valtteri Filppula, Johan Franzen, and Kris Draper scored for Detroit. Colorado got goals from John-Michael Liles and Milan Hejduk.

Liles opened the game’s scoring with a blast from the high slot through a screen just 3:10 into the game. Ryan Smyth prevented Detroit netminder Ty Conklin from getting a read on the puck.

Filppula evened things up with 19 seconds left in the opening period, lifting a rebound chance past Avs goaltender Andrew Raycroft.

Franzen drove to the net and scored on his own rebound to give the Wings a 2-1 lead at 7:03 of the second and Draper banged home a nice feed from Derek Meech 6:30 later.

Hejduk scored with Raycroft on the bench for an extra attacker in the game’s final minutes but Colorado was unable to tie the game.

Conklin finished the night with 25 saves on 27 shots while Raycroft stopped 27 of 30 shots against.

The Red Wings were without Marian Hossa, who sat out after being injured Tuesday night in St. Louis.

Osgood Blanks Blues as Hossa-less Wings Win

Detroit netminder Chris Osgood stopped all 22 shots he faced Tuesday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-0 win over the St. Louis Blues.

The Red Wings were without leading scorer Marian Hossa, who left the game on a stretcher early in the first period after crashing headfirst into the boards. Hossa did not lose consciousness and all tests for injury came back negative.

With Hossa out, the Wings’ depth players were key in the game’s scoring. Tomas Kopecky has a goal and two assists while Kris Draper, Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula all scored goals.

Henrik Zetterberg was the only star player to score for Detroit.

Kopecky opened the game’s scoring with a shorthanded goal with 5:06 remaining in the first period. Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck into the St. Louis zone and Kopecky raced in behind him, picking up the puck and jumping behind the Blues’ defense before reaching around goalie Chris Mason to slide the puck into the net.

Zetterberg scored a power play goal 3:24 into the second period to put Detroit up by a pair, banging home a rebound after Mason stopped several shots in a row.

At 7:52 of the third Draper opened the floodgates with the first of three goals in the final frame, tipping a wide shot by Kopecky past Mason.

Kronwall scored a power play goal 3:02 later, blasting a shot from the blue line off Mason and into the net.

Filppula scored with 3:30 remaining in the game just as a Detroit five-on-three expired. Kopecky picked up a loose puck at one side of the crease and sent it across to Filppula to lift into the net.

With the last goal coming at the exact moment the penalties expired, the Red Wings finished the night two-for-seven on the power play.

Hossa is expected to be with the team when they travel to Denver for Wednesday’s matchup with the Colorado Avalanche. Detroit head coach Mike Babcock was doubtful he would play… The shutout was Osgood’s first of the season.

Hossa Injured Crashing into Boards in St. Louis

Red Wings forward Marian Hossa left the game on a stretcher early in the first period Tuesday.

Hossa was knocked headfirst into the boards by Roman Polak. He pulled his hand to his head immediately and play was blown dead.

Hossa never lost consciousness and waved to the crowd as he was taken off the ice.

FSN Detroit reported that all tests performed after Hossa arrived at the hospital came back negative.

Red Wings – Blues Pregame Notes

The Red Wings look to bounce back from their awful loss to Nashville last Saturday. I never saw it so I’m going from others’ accounts and the final score in calling it awful, as far as I’m concerned it never happened.

Chris Osgood gets the start for Detroit. Former Wing Manny Legace isn’t even with the Blues anymore, he’ll be hanging out with AHL Peoria. I guess that means Chris Mason gets the start for St. Louis.

Aaron Downey makes his secon appearance of the season with Detroit, alongside fellow call-up Jonathan Ericsson. Ericsson takes Andreas Lilja‘s spot on defense while Lilja stays in Detroit nursing injuries suffered in Nashville.

Brett Lebda also returns to the Detroit lineup, taking Derek Meech‘s spot on the blueline.

Unlike the Coyotes, Islanders, Maple Leafs, and seemingly a slew of other teams, neither the Wings nor the Blues are expected to sit any players in anticipation of trades tonight.

Helm and Leino Sent to Griffins, Ericsson and Downey Called Up

The Red Wings announced today that Darren Helm and Ville Leino have been returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins while Jonathan Ericsson and Aaron Downy have been called up from the AHL.

The move comes as a bit of a surprise given Leino and Helm’s contributions during their stay in Detroit. My guess is that it’s a combination of two factors.

As Malik posits, Tomas Holmstrom must be close to returning. The Red Wings organization has said from the start that they want to see Ericsson before the playoffs and they lose that chance when Homer gets back.

Ericsson’s cap number is higher than that of Leino or Helm. I don’t have the numbers in front of me but it’s probably high enough that he can’t just replace one of them in the lineup, that both need to go with a cheaper alternative brought up to play on a forward line. Downey fits the role of the cheaper player who fits with Ericsson’s cap hit.

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