Red Wings Rally to Snap Skid, Edge Blues in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits Saturday night to earn a 4-3 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues, ending their losing streak at three games and breaking a shutout streak that had almost reached three games.

Todd Bertuzzi scored the game-winner for the Wings, beating St. Louis goalie Chris Mason in the fourth round of the shootout and coming up big at a time when his lack of offense (three goals and nine points on the season) is a concern.

Henrik Zetterberg had tied the game with just 57 seconds remaining in regulation. With Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard on the bench for an extra attacker, Zetterberg threw the puck to the front of the net from behind the goal line and banked it off of defenseman Barret Jackman after a flurry in front. It bounced off Jackman and into the net before Mason even saw it.

David Backes opened the scoring for the Blues with 6:36 left in the first period, tipping a shot by David Perron past Howard.

Roman Polak put St. Louis up by a pair with a seeing-eye shot from the blue line through a screen 3:38 later.

Tomas Holmstrom tipped in a pass from Zetterberg on a Detroit power play to get the Red Wings on the board at 2:35 of the second period.

Nearly a period later, Kris Draper finished on a net-front scramble, tying the game at 2:27 of the third.

Brad Boyes banged home a rebound to put the Blues back in front at 8:32 of the third before Zetterberg tied it.

Detroit scored on their only power play of the game while the Blues were held off the board on two chances with the extra attacker.

Howard made 32 saves on 35 shots against. Mason stopped 33 of 36 chances.

Despite Montreal Comeback, Red Wings Pick Up 3-2 Win

The Detroit Red Wings couldn’t hold onto a 2-0 lead Saturday night but still managed to earn a 3-2 shootout victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

Montreal forward Michael Cammalleri scored twice in the third period to erase Detroit’s lead and force overtime. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg scored in the tiebreaker to give the Red Wings the win.

Detroit had taken the lead in a bizarre first period that saw twelve minutes of penalties called on the Canadiens and only two on the Wings.

The first three of those calls came at the same time to Montreal forward Georges Laraque. Laraque high sticked Darren Helm at one end of the ice, drawing blood. Before the play was over he stuck his leg out for a knee-on-knee hit to Niklas Kronwall at the opposite blue line.

Kronwall had to be helped off the ice and did not return.

Brad Stuart got the Red Wings on the board during the fourth minute of the six-minute power play, blasting a shot from just inside the blue line that powered its way past Montreal goalie Carey Price.

During the time of the third Laraque penalty, Canadiens defender Paul Mara went off for cross-checking Tomas Holmstrom in front of Price. Just as the ensuing five-on-three expired Detroit tallied again when Brian Rafalski sent a shot intentionally wide for Datsyuk to tip in from the side of the net.

After a scoreless second period, Cammalleri scored just nine seconds into the third to pull the Canadiens within a goal, snapping a shot from the high slot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

At 8:45 of the period Andrei Kostitsyn picked off a Nicklas Lidstrom pass around the boards and fed Cammalleri for a tap-in from the edge of the crease.

In the shootout, Datsyuk and Zetterberg both deked to score on Price while Howard stopped Cammalleri and and Tomas Plekanec hit a post.

The Red Wings finished the night two-for-seven on the power play while the Canadiens were scoreless on their one try with the extra attacker.

Howard made 16 saves on 18 shots against. Price stopped 32 of 34 Detroit chances.

Kronwall is expected to miss at least two weeks with an MCL injury but further tests will be necessary… The Canadiens played in blue sweaters with a white C and white trim, throwbacks to their first year of existence in the National Hockey Association.

Red Wings Fall to Panthers in OT

A Pavel Datsyuk goal wasn’t enough for the Red Wings Friday night, as the Florida Panthers scored in the third period and again in overtime to earn a 2-1 win over Detroit.

Goalie Scott Clemmensen made 39 saves for the Panthers, holding his team in the game early.

Detroit outshot Florida 11-2 in the first period but couldn’t get on the board. It wasn’t until Datsyuk scored late in the second period that the Clemmensen was beaten.

During a Detroit power play Henrik Zetterberg and Brian Rafalski fought to keep the puck near the net, where Datsyuk drove in to slide his own rebound around Clemmensen with 2:02 left in the period.

Stephen Weiss tied the game at 8:13 of the third, banging home a chance from down low after being left wide open on the far side of the crease.

Bryan McCabe won the game in overtime on a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that slipped through Detroit netminder Chris Osgood‘s pads.

Osgood made 18 saves on 20 shots in his first appearance in over a week after being sidelined by illness.

Detroit will be back on the ice Saturday night in Montreal, with Jimmy Howard getting the start in net.

NHL “Explains” No Goal Call

The NHL has attempted to explain what happened on Brad May‘s no goal last night while simultaneously raising another question.

“In all cases we want to get the right call. In this case it appears we didn’t.”

That’s NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Mike Murphy during an appearance on NHL Live! today. Murphy clarified that the play was – in fact – deemed dead by the “intent to blow” rule.

“In this case Dennis LaRue was clear with what he saw and clear with what he interpreted and that was, ‘I had killed the play before the puck entered the net.’ When we scrutinize it and go through video review I think everybody would concede that the puck was in the net, and Dennis didn’t see that unfortunately.”

The question now is why did LaRue intend to blow the play dead? The puck was in the open, in the slot, on May’s stick.

There is no denying that this was the wrong call. At least the league agrees on that point. I am extremely disappointed that the league doesn’t seem to have a problem when LaRue’s description of what happened.

There is simply no reason to intend to blow that play dead. We deserve to know what LaRue thought he saw, not empty reasoning from an NHL suit.

Losing Sight of the Real Issue

Aside from not being funny, one of the reasons I’m not a good blogger is that I don’t like to make a post that’s just in reply to a post from another blogger on another site.

I’m still an old-school forum fan, I like threaded discussion, so I just reply at the blog itself. I figure that if you all want to read what other people have to say you’re already reading them. I don’t want to clutter up A2Y with my babbling, though, so this time I’m breaking my thoughts off there and bringing them back home.

Bill at Abel to Yzerman took offense to Greg Wyshynski’s comment that the worst thing about last night’s no goal was that it would fuel anti-Detroit conspiracy theories. Wyshynski linked to A2Y as an example.

And thus, twelve hours after the call that inspired it all, discussion was reduced to whether or not Wyshynski insulted Wings fans, whether or not he’s biased, etc.

Here’s the deal: I don’t care if he’s biased. I don’t care what he says about Wings fans. What I care about is as many people as possible talking about what an awful call that was.

I don’t think there’s a logically-minded hockey fan out there who doesn’t see that this was a bad call. We’re all united in that. The league doesn’t have to respect its fans and give us an answer, though, because it knows we’ll fall into name-calling and forget what the original issue was.

Why are blog posts being made about the reaction to the bad call? The focus should be the call itself.

It shouldn’t be about conspiracy theories or whether or not a similarly-bad call has ever gone the other way. As a whole, hockey fans should be upset every time this happens. A Coyotes fan watching Vancouver get robbed or a Flyers fan seeing a bad call against Florida, we shouldn’t brush these things off based on the team it happens to because the next time it could be our team.

Henrik Sedin had a goal waved off? Show me the video, I’ll complain about that one, too, if I think it’s justified. We live in the age of YouTube, there’s no reason not to let the video evidence speak for itself rather than our own biases towards or against individual teams.

Officiating like this hurts us all and we should all take offense to it.

There Is No Goal

You think I’m gonna recap tonight’s game? Not a chance in hell.

“There is no goal. The whistle stopped play.”

Here’s the deal: The Dallas Stars played a fine game. I’m not willing to say they deserved to lose. They might have won anyway. The butterfly effect says that anything after Brad May‘s third-period no goal would have changed; we can’t count on Dallas’ late power play goal happening but it could mean the Stars would have scored three instead.

That doesn’t matter to me. My only concern is that calling off the goal was simply the wrong call. Absolutely, unequivocally wrong.

For those who don’t want to see it on YouTube, here’s the recap of the play:

Brad May gets the puck in front of the net and backhands it on goal. The puck slips between the post and Alex Auld’s pad to get into the net, where Auld pushed it against the inside of the goal.

No one sees that the puck is in the net until after play is blown dead, at which point the Wings begin celebrating. The team of officials confer and it looks like the “War Room” in Toronto phones in their thoughts.

“There is no goal. The whistle stopped play.”

Yes, the whistle that came seconds after the puck was in the net stopped the play in time for the goal to not count.

We’ve seen the “intent to blow the whistle” bite the Wings in the ass before. Play is technically dead as soon as the official decides to blow play dead, not when the whistle actually blows.

That can’t apply here, though.

Leading up to the puck going into the net it was never covered up. The puck was live when May shot it and it was in play the entire way into the net. If the officials intended to blow play dead they would have been doing so in the middle of a shot.

“As dumb as I’ve ever seen.”

That’s what the normally-reserved Mike Babcock called it. I dare anyone to put it more calmly.

This is the kind of play that gives credence to conspiracy theories. Either the official intended to blow the whistle in the middle of a play or he deliberately called a good goal back.

Neither is a scenario that I find acceptable in a supposed major sports league.

Red Wings Hold Off Ducks with Wild Third Period

Henrik Zetterberg scored three third-period goals for the first Detroit hat trick since 2008 and the Red Wings held off a comeback by the Anaheim Ducks for a 7-4 win Saturday night.

The Wings had taken a 2-1 lead into the game’s final frame before the teams combined for eight goals in twenty minutes.

“He kind of took over,” Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall said of Zetterberg. “He’s been playing really strong for us of late and he had some chances early. He stuck with it and he really came through when we needed him the most.”

Detroit lost three leads in the game after going up 2-0 in the first period.

Bobby Ryan tied the game at two just 3:47 into the third on a power play goal.

Pavel Datsyuk put the Wings out front again with a power play goal of their own at 5:17 only to have Joffrey Lupul tie it again 1:09 later.

Zetterberg’s first put the Wings up 4-3 at 9:10 but Ryan Getzlaf tied it on an Anaheim five-on-three with 5:33 remaining.

Zetterberg scored again to put Detroit up for good just 1:02 later, beating Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller with a fluttering slap shot from the top of the right circle.

Darren Helm snapped a shot from the left circle over Hiller’s shoulder to restore Detroit’s two-goal lead with 2:15 remaining.

Zetterberg completed the hat trick with an empty-net goal in the game’s final second.

Dan Cleary had opened the game’s scoring with 6:28 left in the first period, tipping a Niklas Kronwall shot past Hiller on a Detroit power play.

Brian Rafalski extended the lead with 44 seconds remaining in the first on another power play goal.

Corey Perry pulled the Ducks to within a goal in the second, taking a feed from Getzlaf after a Jonathan Ericsson giveaway in the Detroit end.

Wings goalie Jimmy Howard finished the night with 19 saves on 23 shots against in his third consecutive start. Hiller stopped 30 of the 36 Detroit chances he faced.

Detroit went three-for-six on the power play. Anaheim went two-for-four with one goal on a five-on-three.

The Red Wings are now off until Wednesday when they host the Dallas Stars.

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