Samuelsson Scores in OT as Red Wings Down Blackhawks in Game Two

Mikael Samuelsson scored 5:14 into overtime Tuesday night, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Detroit now has a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Final matchup.

Samuelsson’s goal came on a three-on-one with Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula.

Samuelsson blocked a pass at the Detroit blue line to start the play. Hudler carried the puck into the Chicago zone before passing off to Filppula in the slot. Filppula faked the shot and passed back over to Samuelsson to blast a one-timer past Chicago netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.

Chicago had opened the game’s scoring with 7:11 left in the first period as a cross-crease pass from Jonathan Toews defelected off of defenseman Jonathan Ericsson‘s skate and between the pads of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood for a power play goal.

The Red Wings got on the board 3:54 later with a power play goal of their own, scored on a seeing-eye shot from the blue line by Brian Rafalski.

Dan Cleary scored a breakaway goal with 5:54 left in the second to give Detroit a lead. Cleary blocked a Brent Seabrook pass at the Detroit blueline and corralled the puck, racing in all alone to beat Khabibulin five-hole.

The Blackhawks tied things with another goal by Toews, who deflected a shot by Kris Versteeg past Osgood with 7:40 left in regulation.

Osgood finished the night with 37 saves on 39 shots. Khabibulin stopped 35 of 38 Detroit chances.

Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had four tries with the extra attacker while Chicago had five, including 59 seconds of five-on-three time in the first period.

The series now shifts to Chicago for Games Three and Four on Friday and Sunday.


Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock announced after the game that Kirk Maltby will return to the Detroit lineup for Game Three. Maltby has been out since Game Seven of Detroit’s second-round matchup with the Anaheim Ducks.

Game Two: Red Wings – Blackhawks Pregame Notes

Both the Red Wings and the Blackhawks are expected to be with their full Game One rosters for Game Two tonight in Detroit.

Marian Hossa was banged up in Game One but said he just “needed a breather” after a hit from Chicago’s Andrew Ladd. Jiri Hudler also took a big hit and Brad Stuart blocked a shot but all Wings were accounted for in Monday’s practice.

Duncan Keith did not practice for the ‘Hawks on Monday but is expected to play tonight.

One unknown is the status of Ville Leino. He practiced with the main squad (rather than with the rest of the Black Aces) yesterday but was not on a regular line. That could be Mike Babcock‘s way of getting him ready in case of injury or it could be that he wants to be able to make a lineup change to bring in more scoring, replacing a grittier player such as Justin Abdelkader.

Cleary Scores Twice as Red Wings Earn Game One Win over Blackhawks

Dan Cleary picked up the Western Conference Finals where he left off the previous round, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a win.

Cleary scored the game-winning goal in Game Seven against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, then moved on to score twice against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday to carry Detroit to a 5-2 win.

His first goal was a wrister from the left circle, beating Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin over the shoulder at 8:23 of the first period. Cleary created the play himself, stealing the puck from Brent Seabrook at the Detroit blue line and racing down the left wing boards.

Cleary’s goal knotted the game up at one, as the Blackhawks had taken an early lead when Adam Burish capitalized on a miscommunication between Chris Osgood and Jonathan Ericsson to steal the puck and slip it between Osgood’s pads just 5:25 in.

Johan Franzen put the Red Wings into the lead with 3:22 left in the second, beating Khabibulin on a wraparound.

Kris Versteeg tied the game, banging home a rebound from the side of the net on a Chicago power play at 3:12 of the third period.

Mikael Samuelsson put Detroit back in front 4:19 later, snapping a shot from the right faceoff dot past Khabibulin for a 3-2 lead.

Cleary added his second 1:27 later, tipping a Franzen shot in behind KHabibulin.

Henrik Zetterberg added an empty net goal to finish off the Blackhawks, giving the Red Wings a 1-0 lead in their series.

Osgood finished the game with 30 saves on 32 shots against. Khabibulin stopped 38 of 42 Detroit shots.

Game Two will be Tuesday night from Joe Louis Arena.

Game One: Red Wings – Blackhawks Pregame Notes

Just three days after wrapping up their second-round series with the Anaheim Ducks, the Detroit Red Wings kick off their Western Conference Finals matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The two teams haven’t met in the playoffs since the 1995 WCF, which Detroit won in five games, three of which went to overtime.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock experimented with a set of updated lines in Sunday’s practice, shifting rookie Justin Abdelkader to the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom while Holmstrom moved down to the fourth line with Kris Draper and Darren Helm.

Draper returned to the Wings’ lineup for Game Seven of the series against the Ducks, after having missed the entire playoffs to that point. He replaced Kirk Maltby, who is expected to remain out for Game One.

Red Wings to Open Conference Finals on Sunday

The National Hockey League announced the schedule for the Eastern and Western Conference Finals on Thursday. The round begins with the Western Conference on Sunday afternoon as the Detroit Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks.

Detroit is the third-overall seed and the Western Conference’s second seed. With the first-round elimination of the San Jose Sharks and the second round loss by the Boston Bruins, the Red Wings are the highest-seeded team remaining in the postseason.

Chicago finished fourth in the Western Conference, reaching the Conference Finals after upsetting the Vancouver Canucks.

The schedule for the series is as follows:

Game 1 – May 17 – @ Detroit – 3:00 PM
Game 2 – May 19 – @ Detroit – 7:30 PM
Game 3 – May 22 – @ Chicago – 8:00 PM
Game 4 – May 24 – @ Chicago – 3:00 PM
Game 5 – May 27 – @ Detroit – 7:30 PM
Game 6 – May 30 – @ Chicago – 8:00 PM
Game 7 – June 1 – @ Detroit – 7:30 PM

Red Wings Advance Past Ducks on Cleary’s Late Goal

Dan Cleary scored with just three minutes remaining Thursday night, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks in the deciding Game Seven of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup.

The Red Wings now advance to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals.

Cleary’s goal broke a 3-3 tie in the game’s final minutes. Henrik Zetterberg put the puck to the front of the net and Cleary jammed it past Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller.

Detroit had opened the scoring with a power play goal with 4:17 left in the first period. Johan Franzen snapped a shot on net and Jiri Hudler tipped the puck past Hiller to get the Wings on the board.

Darren Helm put Detroit up by a pair just 1:17 into the second, beating Hiller on a breakaway.

Teemu Selanne notched a goal with 5:10 left in the second period, jamming the puck in from the side of the net with Detroit goalie Chris Osgood stuck at the top of the crease.

Mikael Samuelsson restored the two-goal lead for Detroit just 33 seconds later, putting a wrister past Hiller on a feed from Pavel Datsyuk, who took a hit behind the net to make the play.

Corey Perry put in a rebound for a power play goal before the end of the period, scoring with 2:48 left in the second.

Bobby Ryan tied things up 7:37 into the third, tipping the puck past Osgood on a feed from Perry.

Osgood finished the night with 24 saves on 27 shots against. Hiller stopped 36 of 40 Detroit chances.

Each team finished the night one-for-five on the power play. The Red Wings had 22 seconds of five-on-three time while the Ducks had a two-man advantage twice for a total of 1:45.

The Red Wings will be off until Sunday when they open at home against Chicago.


Kris Draper made his first appearance of the postseason for the Red Wings, returning from an upper-body injury to replace Kirk Maltby in the lineup… With the Carolina Hurricanes’ win over the Boston Bruins, Detroit has the highest remaining seed in the playoffs, and would have home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Draper a Game-Time Decision for Game Seven

About seven and a half hours until Game Seven between the Red Wings and the Ducks and there’s not a lot of news coming out of either team’s camp.

Bruce MacLeod notes that Kris Draper will be a game-time decision tonight, the first time in the playoffs that he hasn’t been ruled out long before the start of the game. No word on who he would replace in the Detroit lineup should he be cleared to play.

Update, 12:05 PM: Helene St. James confirms what I’d already heard, that Justin Abdelkader has been told he’ll play tonight so it doesn’t appear Draper would replace him. This seems to point toward Draper replacing Kirk Maltby in the lineup, assuming Draper can even play.

Update, 2:05 PM: I’ve got an unconfirmed report that Draper is in fact in and Maltby is out.

Game Six Postgame Non-Notes

I’m not gonna write a game recap. Here’s the deal:

The Wings played the first two periods like they didn’t give a damn and it bit them in the ass. Had that last-second chance gone in I have no doubt they’d have won in OT. They turned it on for the last half of the third period and were looking good. But you can’t expect to win games like that so it should come as no surprise that they didn’t.

Red Wings – Ducks Game Six Pregame Notes

The Red Wings look to wrap up their Western Conference Semifinal matchup with the Ducks in Anaheim tonight.

Should they win, it would be the ninth series win on the road in a row for Detroit. The Wings haven’t closed out a series at home since defeating the Carolina Hurricanes in five games in the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals.

Defenseman Brian Rafalski is a game-time decision for the Red Wings. He’s missed the first five games of the series with an upper-body injury. No other lineup changes are expected.

Red Wings Down Ducks to take 3-2 Series Lead

Four different players scored for the Detroit Red Wings Sunday, carrying the team to a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks and giving the Red Wings a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference Semifinal series.

Chris Osgood stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced in net for Detroit, helping the team capitalize on the low number of shots allowed.

The Red Wings outshot the Ducks 14 to three in the first period but neither team got on the board until Johan Franzen scored at 3:23 of the second.

Justin Abdelkader, making in his first postseason appearance in place of the injured Tomas Kopecky, moved the puck on a rush to Franzen at the Anaheim blue line. Franzen stepped up and snapped a shot off of the crossbar and in behind Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller.

Just 39 seconds later, Jiri Hudler made it 2-0.

Henrik Zetterberg drove a shot on net that Hiller stopped but the rebound popped into the air. Hudler followed it up, whacking the puck in behind Hiller just after it dropped below crossbar height.

Ryan Whitney scored Anaheim’s only goal with 4:23 left in the period and the Ducks on a power play, snapping a shot past Osgood after a scramble left Detroit’s defense spun around and Osgood screened.

Darren Helm scored his first goal of the playoffs to restore the two-goal lead with 3:08 left in regulation, banging home a rebound after a goalmouth scramble with Dan Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg.

Zetterberg added an empty net goal for the second consecutive game, finishing off the scoring.

Each team had three power play chances. Anaheim made good on one of theirs while the Red Wings were held without a power play goal.

Hiller made 34 saves on 37 shots in the Ducks’ net.


Detroit played again without Brian Rafalski and Kris Draper, while adding Kopecky to the list of injured Wings… Derek Meech joined Abdelkader making his playoff debut, subbing in for Chris Chelios.