Red Wings Rally but Fall to Oilers in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings spent almost the entire game Friday night rallying to pull even with the Edmonton Oilers but ended up dropping a 3-2 shootout decision.

Edmonton had a 2-0 lead before five minutes had been played and the Red Wings used every second of the remaining 55 minutes to tie things back up. Brian Rafalski forced overtime with 0.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

Andrew Cogliano opened the game’s scoring just 57 seconds into the game, scoring into the open side of the net on a cross-crease feed from Gilbert Brule.

4:01 later, Ryan Whitney scored his first goal as an Oiler, cutting from the top of the left circle in low to snap a shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Patrick Eaves put the Red Wings on the board with 8:09 left in the second period. Kris Draper raced in behind the Edmonton goal on the forecheck and won the puck, sending it out to Eaves in the right circle for a one-timer past Edmonton netminder Devan Dubnyk.

Rafalski tied the game when Henrik Zetterberg dug the puck out from under Edmonton Theo Peckham in the corner. With nearly everyone on the ice having moved to the left corner, Pavel Datsyuk sent it across for Brian Rafalski to bang into the net from the far side of the crease.

Ryan Potulny and Gilbert Brule scored on Edmonton’s first two shootout attempts before Howard stopped Robert Nilsson. Pavel Datsyuk rang a backhand chance off the post and Jason Williams scored before Valtteri Filppula was stopped to ensure the Oilers’ win.

Howard made 22 saves on 24 shots on the night. Edmonton took 13 of those shots in the first ten minutes of play. Dubnyk made 31 saves on 33 Detroit chances in earning his first career victory.

Eaves left the game with an upper-body injury after the second period… Combined with Calgary’s win in San Jose Friday night, the Red Wings are now tied with the Flames for eighth place in the Western Conference. Detroit has one game in hand.

Red Wings – Oilers Pregame Notes

After their short break in Western Canada this week, the Red Wings resume their drive to the playoffs tonight in Edmonton.

The Wings ended Monday night three points up on the Calgary Flames in the standings and one point behind the Nashville Predators. With both of those teams having played since then, Detroit remains in eighth place but now sit only one point up on Calgary and five back of Nashville.

The NHL-worst Oilers give the Wings a chance to earn back some of the points that the Flames and Predators have gained on them but, like Detroit, their position in the standings is less indicative of how they’ve played and more a sign of the injuries they’ve fought through.

The Oilers will be starting winless Devan Dubnyk in goal. Despite suggestions that Chris Osgood would start for Detroit, Jimmy Howard will be between the pipes again. Jonathan Ericsson rotates in on the Detroit blue line, replacing Brett Lebda.

Holmstrom’s Late Goal Lifts Red Wings over Flames

Tomas Holmstrom tipped a Johan Franzen shot past Calgary goalie Mikka Kiprusoff with 1:19 left in regulation Monday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 win over the Flames.

With the win, the Red Wings extend their lead over the Flames in the standings to three points. Detroit sits in eighth place with 80 points while Calgary is in ninth with 77.

After Brad Stuart held the puck in the Calgary zone, Franzen gained control and spun at the left point before blasting a shot that was heading wide of the net. Holmstrom reached out at the edge of the crease and tipped it into the top of the net.

Calgary had opened the scoring just 1:47 into the first period, when Craig Conroy shoveled the rebound of a Nigel Dawes chance past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, after the Red Wings failed to clear their own zone.

The Flames had the chance to make it 2-0 with 1:30 remaining in the second. On a Detroit power play, Curtis Glencross broke down the ice and was hooked by Jason Williams, leading to a penalty shot.

Streaking in on Howard, Glencross snapped a shot from the high slot that Howard knocked aside.

Only 40 seconds later, Pavel Datsyuk got the Red Wings on the board, skating from the top of the right faceoff circle to the edge of the slot to lift a shot past Kiprusoff through a Holmstrom screen.

Howard finished the game with 22 saves on 23 shots. Kiprusoff stopped 26 of 28 Detroit chances.

The Wings scored on their only power play chance of the night. The Flames were scoreless on four chances with the extra attacker, including a third-period four-minute power play.

The Red Wings are now off until Friday when they visit the Edmonton Oilers.

Red Wings – Flames Pregame Notes

The story tonight sounds a lot like the one last Tuesday. The Wings come into the game looking for their first three-game winning streak since December. They’re sitting in eighth place, one point up on the Calgary Flames.

Like last Tuesday, Calgary is the opponent tonight. Win and sit three points up on them, one back of the idle Nashville Predators. Lose and drop back to ninth place, like last week.

One possible key difference from last week and this… Brett Lebda remains on the blue line while Jonathan Ericsson is a healthy scratch. With Jimmy Howard making his 127th consecutive start, the Wings are going with the same lineup they’ve used in their previous two games, both wins.

Rafalski Scores OT Winner as Red Wings Defeat Sabres

Brain Rafalski scored 31 seconds into overtime Saturday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres.

It was Rafalski’s first game-winning goal of the season.

With the win, the Red Wings moved into eighth place in the Western Conference standings, one point ahead of the idle Calgary Flames.

The Red Wings were skating four-on-three with Buffalo’s Tyler Myers in the penalty box on a delay-of-game penalty that carried over from the end of regulation. Rafalski drifted to the top of the left faceoff circle and one-timed a pass from Nicklas Lidstrom past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller on the short side.

Detroit had opened the scoring with a pair of goals early in the first period.

Just 2:02 in, Pavel Datsyuk got the Red Wings on the board. Brad Stuart fired a shot that went wide to Miller’s left and deflected off the back boards, coming to Datsyuk on the other side of the goal. From an extreme angle, Datsyuk put it into the open net.

Patrick Eaves made it a two-goal lead 1:13 later, driving down the left wing and cutting to the net, rolling the puck up Miller’s stick and over him when the goaltender came out to poke-check it away.

Jochen Hecht scored the first of his two goals at 7:02 of the period, backhanding the rebound of a Jason Pominville shot past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard from in close.

Hecht tied the game at 5:30 of the second period. The rebound of Tim Connolly’s original shot came out to Pominville in the slot. Pominville couldn’t get a shot away as he cut towards the bottom of the left faceoff circle but he teed it up for Hecht who put it past a sprawling Howard.

Howard finished the night with 24 saves on 26 shots. Miller stopped 34 of 37 Detroit chances.

Detroit finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play while Buffalo was scoreless on three tries with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings now head out to Western Canada for a three-game road trip, starting Monday night in Calgary.

Rafalski’s goal gave Detroit a nine-game streak of scoring at least one power play goal.

Red Wings Bounce Back After Loss, Defeat Wild 5-1

The Detroit Red Wings – unhappy with having given up a third-period lead in a loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night – played a solid sixty minutes of hockey to pick up a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

Detroit limited Minnesota to 22 shots. After they came out of the first period with a 3-1 lead they clamped down defensively, holding the Wild to four shots in the second and five in the third.

Johan Franzen opened the game’s scoring 2:25 into the opening period with a blast from the top of the left faceoff circle. Minnesota goaltender Josh Harding got a piece of the puck with his right arm but it fluttered over him and into the net.

Tomas Holmstrom scored a power play goal at 9:19 to make it 2-0. Holmstrom fired a shot from just inside the right point. The puck deflected off of defenseman Nick Shultz and got past Harding.

Just 56 seconds later, Henrik Zetterberg extended Detroit’s lead to three when Patrick Eaves worked the puck from behind the net to Zetterberg at the top of the crease for a shap shot over Harding.

The Wild got on the board with 11 seconds left in the period when Andrew Ebbett threw the puck to the front of the net and it deflected off of Brad Stuart and in past goalie Jimmy Howard.

Drew Miller restored the three goal lead for the Red Wings with 7:02 left in the middle frame. He stole the puck at the left point on a Minnesota power play and fed Valtteri Filppula on the rush. Harding cut off Filppula’s angle but Filppula threw the puck on goal as Miller followed up, crashing the net. The puck bounced off Miller’s midsection and fell in past Harding.

Franzen wrapped up the game’s scoring with 5:17 left in the game, snapping a quick shot between the legs of defenseman Jaime Sifers and past Harding.

Harding finished the night with 25 saves on 30 Detroit chances. Howard made 21 saves on Minnesota’s 22 shots.

The Red Wings went 1-for-6 with the extra attacker while the Wild were scoreless on five tries with one shorthanded goal against.

Red Wings – Flames Postgame Thoughts

In a game where a win would at worst give Detroit breathing room in the playoff race and at best vault them from eighth to seventh in the standings, the Red Wings simply did not play like anything was on the line.

Detroit’s lone dominant shift for the night was a second period power play that ended in Tomas Holmstrom‘s goal, deflecting a Nicklas Lidstrom shot. They played patiently and moved the puck, the type of hockey we’ve come to expect from them over the last several years.

For the rest of the game, however, they were hesitant and slow. They were sloppy clearing their own zone and they were lazy gaining the Calgary blue line.

In short, they played the kind of game they didn’t deserve to win. It might not have looked as bad as last week’s loss to Vancouver but it was. Like that loss, this one was also unacceptable, but it’s happening far too often anyway.

Five-Goal Second Period Carries Red Wings over Blackhawks

The Detroit Red Wings rode five second-period goals to a 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday afternoon, bouncing back from a 2-0 deficit and holding off a third-period comeback by Chicago.

The Red Wings got goals from Brian Rafalski, Nicklas Lidstrom, Jason Williams and Valtteri Filppula in a 6:15 span and one more from Pavel Datsyuk in the final seconds of the middle frame.

Rafalski put Detroit on the board at 4:12 of the second, blasting a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Chicago netminder Cristobal Huet while the Wings skated with a four-on-three advantage.

Just 28 seconds later Lidstrom tied the game, rifling a shot right down the slot and past Huet, through a screen by Todd Bertuzzi.

Williams put the Red Wings out in front at 9:45 of the period. Henrik Zetterberg threw the puck to the front of the net from the bottom of the left circle and Williams – covered by two Blackhawks and falling to the ice – tipped it into the open side of the net.

Filppula extended the lead 42 seconds later beating Huet after getting the puck from Bertuzzi on a two-on-one.

Antti Niemi replaced Huet in the Chicago crease after Filppula’s goal and was beaten on a breakaway by Datsyuk with two seconds remaining in the period. Datsyuk stole the puck from Patrick Kane in the Detroit end of the ice with nine seconds left, broke in on Niemi, and beat him with a backhand shot.

The Blackhawks had opened the game’s scoring 4:24 into the opening period. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard directed the rebound of a Brent Seabrook shot straight to Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith, who fired a shot that deflected off of Rafalski’s leg and past Howard.

Andrew Ladd made it a 2-0 game with 8:23 left in the first, snapping a shot from the right faceoff dot past Howard off a giveaway by Filppula.

The Blackhawks thought they had made it 3-0 early in the second period but a power play goal was called back for goaltender interference, one of the game’s several contested plays around the creases.

Ladd resumed Chicago’s scoring 1:59 into the third period on a similar shot after the Red Wings failed to clear their own end.

To complete the hat trick and pull Chicago to within a goal, Ladd tipped a Keith shot from the blue line past Howard off of a faceoff win in the Detroit end with 7:54 remaining in the third.

Howard finished the afternoon with 28 saves on 32 shots to earn the win. Huet made 13 stops on 17 Detroit chances before getting pulled while Niemi stopped seven of eight shots but let in the eventual game-winner, giving him the loss.

Rafalski’s goal was the game’s only power play goal, scored on Detroit’s lone chance with the extra attacker. Chicago was scoreless on two power plays.

The Red Wings look to extend their winning streak to three games on Tuesday when they host the Calgary Flames.

Bertuzzi left the game in the second period with what the Red Wings called a lower body injury… Combined with Calgary’s win and Nashville’s loss, the Red Wings remain one point up on the Flames in the standings but climb to within a point of the Predators.

Red Wings Hold Off Predators for 5-2 Win

The Detroit Red Wings jumped out to a 4-0 lead Friday night and held on for a 5-2 win over the visiting Nashville Predators.

The Predators had pulled back to within two goals early in the third period but Henrik Zetterberg scored into the empty net in the game’s closing seconds to wrap things up.

Pavel Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring 7:44 into the first period. Datsyuk caught up with Nashville defenseman Kevin Klein behind the Predators’ net, poked the puck away from him as they wrapped around the side of the goal, then faked out goalie Dan Ellis at the top of the crease before backhanding a shot into the net over Ellis’ glove.

Tomas Holmstrom gave the Wings a 2-0 lead with 6:00 remaining in the period on a Detroit power play. Nicklas Lidstrom threw the puck on net from the right wing and it bounced off a Nashville defender to Holmstrom on the far side of a wide open net.

Darren Helm scored just 3:35 into the second period to extend Detroit’s lead. He gloved the puck down in the left faceoff circle and cut to the high slot before spinning around and snapping a shot off of Ellis’ shoulder and in.

Helm added a shorthanded goal at 9:10 of the middle period. He raced down the left wing to fire a shot that was stopped by Ellis. Helm continued driving to the goal and snatched up the rebound after Ryan Suter couldn’t control it, lifting a shot over the sprawling Ellis.

The Predators got on the board 1:44 later, when J.P. Dumont scored on a three-on-one.

Joel Ward made it 4-2 at 3:15 of the third period, blasting a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard after the Red Wings failed to clear their own zone.

Howard finished the night with 20 saves on 22 Nashville shots. Ellis stopped 27 of Detroit’s 31 chances.

Detroit finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play while Nashville was scoreless on four chances with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings played the game in their road white jerseys… The assist by Lidstrom on Holmstrom’s goal was the 800th of his career.

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