Hudler, Bertuzzi Lead Red Wings Past Avalanche

Todd Bertuzzi contributed to two goals and Jiri Hudler notched his first of the season Saturday night, carrying the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche.

Bertuzzi opened the scoring with 7:02 remaining in the first period and the Red Wings on the power play. Johan Franzen gained the Colorado zone and dished off to Bertuzzi to carry up the right wing boards. Bertuzzi cut to the right faceoff circle and snapped a shot over the shoulder of Colorado goalie Peter Budaj.

Hudler made it 2-0 just 30 seconds into the second period. After stepping out of the penalty box on a carry-over penalty from the first period, Hudler took a long pass from Nicklas Lidstrom to break in alone on Budaj. Budaj stopped his first chance but Hudler kept control of the puck and sent it out front from behind the net, banking it off of Budaj’s skate and in.

Danny Cleary put the Red Wings up by three at 5:52 of the second. Bertuzzi carried the puck down the right wing and sent it to Cleary in the slot for a backhand chance over Budaj’s shoulder.

John-Michael Liles scored Colorado’s lone goal at 5:28 of the third period, moving from the slot to the left faceoff circle and outwaiting Henrik Zetterberg and Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to get a shot at the open net.

The goal came on a five-on-three for the Avalanche. They finished the night one-for-five on the power play while the Red Wings went one-for-four.

Howard stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced in net for Detroit. Budaj made 22 saves on 25 shots.

Red Wings – Oilers Postgame Notes

Quick thoughts on Thursday night’s 6-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers…

Those new lines worked out pretty well, eh? I was especially worried about Todd Bertuzzi but he was all over the place. As was Justin Abdelkader, but I think that’s becoming expected.

Tomas Holmstrom‘s goals were typical Homer goals, mucking it out in front of the goal.

Jimmy Howard looked solid but I think he had his usual trouble controlling rebounds. It bit the Wings on the ass on Dustin Penner’s goal, not that the goal mattered.

Pavel Datsyuk‘s hit on Penner in the third? Fun.

Mike Modano‘s penalty shot attempt was a decent shot that I don’t think he put where he wanted to. Quick shot, on Khabibulin fast, but fired right into his pad.

Obviously a very good game overall. Not much more you can ask for.

Zetterberg Scores in Overtime to Carry Red Wings Past Coyotes

Henrik Zetterberg scored on a delayed penalty in overtime Monday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.

Zetterberg tipped a slap-pass from defenseman Ruslan Salei past Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov at 1:23 of the overtime period. Todd Bertuzzi, who had come on as the extra attacker, picked up the secondary assist.

Nicklas Lidstrom had tied the game at 7:24 of the third period, blasting a shot from the left point past Bryzgalov.

Danny Cleary opened the scoring for the Red Wings just 1:40 into the game. Brian Rafalski, playing in his first game back after arthroscopic knee surgery, fired a shot from the right point wide of the net. It bounced off the end boards and came out the other side, where Cleary knocked it into the open net.

Martin Hanzal got the Coyotes on the board with 55 seconds left in the opening period on a similar play, banging in the puck after a Derek Morris shot went wide and caromed off the end boards, coming back out in front.

Keith Yandle put Phoenix out in front at 7:31 of the second period on a broken play. Lauri Korpikoski carried the puck into the Detroit zone and cut to the slot, losing control. The puck slid into the left faceoff circle, where Yandle caught up with it and snapped it past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Howard finished the night with 29 saves on 31 Phoenix shots while Bryzgalov stopped 37 of 40 Detroit chances.

Though the game-winning goal came with the extra attacker, neither team scored on the power play on the night. The Red Wings had four chances to the Coyotes’ three.

Red Wings – Canucks Postgame Notes

I said in the second period that the Red Wings were getting killed by their mistakes. It was a trend on the night and a key factor in the loss. They gave away the puck, failed to clear their zone, and blew their defensive coverage. The power play was weak and the PK wasn’t fantastic. Despite scoring four goals, they probably didn’t deserve to win this one, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they didn’t.

The biggest thing to me, though (and I feel like I’m going to get killed for saying this), was that Jimmy Howard didn’t make a “big” stop when it was needed.

Go back to when it was tied at four and Vancouver was on the power play. Drew Miller makes a great pass to Darren Helm on a two-on-one and Roberto Luongo makes the initial stop on Helm, then a save on the rebound chance. Two stops when his team needed them, when he had to cover for their mistakes.

Howard didn’t have a moment like that. In the second period when Manny Malhotra broke in all alone shorthanded after a rare giveaway by Pavel Datsyuk, Malhotra scored to put the Canucks up 4-3. Howard didn’t come up with the save.

I’m not putting this all on Howard, I listed off plenty of things the team did wrong to make this loss happen, but I do think the lack of the big save was the difference tonight. It shouldn’t have to be, that’s where the rest of the team comes in. You don’t always need a stop like that from your goalie but tonight Luongo provided that and Howard didn’t.

Red Wings – Canucks Pregame Notes

I’m sick and it’s a late game tonight, all the makings of some fun.

Jimmy Howard gets back to back starts as the Red Wings visit the Canucks. That’s the first time this has happened all season, as the only other time the Wings even played on consecutive nights Howard started against Anaheim to open the season and Chris Osgood got the nod against the Blackhawks the next night.

Drew Miller will be back in the lineup with no word on who the odd man out will be. Khan suggests Patrick Eaves but with Mike Babcock‘s comments about missing Miller in the PK role last night (a role Eaves also fills) I wouldn’t be shocked if Hudler is back in the press box.

Other than that, it’s been a quiet day.

Howard Stops 29 Shots in Red Wings’ Win over Oilers

Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard allowed only one goal Friday night, stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced in leading the Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Howard is unbeaten in his last 22 games that ended in regulation, a streak stretching back to last March. He is 6-0-1 this season.

Justin Abdelkader scored his second goal in as many games to open the game’s scoring just 1:45 into the first period. He drove to the net on a two-on-one with Mike Modano and swatted the rebound from Modano’s shot under Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

The Oilers pulled back even on a power play at 5:26 of the second. Howard sprawled out in the crease to stop a chance from right in front by Shawn Horcoff but Horcoff dished the puck off to Taylor Hall, who roofed it from the side of the net.

Detroit responded with a power play goal of their own 3:20 later, as Nicklas Lidstrom and Danny Cleary combined to work the puck from the left faceoff circle to the right, where Valtteri Filppula snapped a shot into the open side of the net.

Cleary added an empty-net goal with 21 seconds remaining in the game to round out the scoring.

Khabibulin stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced, including a highlight-reel glove save in the second period.

Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had four tries with the extra attacker while Edmonton had five.

The Red Wings are back in action Saturday night as they visit the Vancouver Canucks.

Detroit forward Jiri Hudler was back in the lineup after missing two games as a healthy scratch. Drew Miller sat to make room for Hudler.

Third Liners Carry Red Wings Past Flames

The Red Wings got goals from their much-maligned third liners Wednesday night, with Mike Modano and Justin Abdelkader scoring to lead Detroit to a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames.

Modano hadn’t scored since the season-opener. Abdelkader made only his second appearance of the season, skating on the third line in place of Jiri Hudler, who was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game.

The Flames opened the scoring on a four-on-three with 4:02 remaining in the first period. Mark Giordano one-timed a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to make it 1-0.

Modano tied the game just 1:54 into the second. Danny Cleary fought off two Flames in the neutral zone to get the puck to Modano, who raced in alone and snapped a shot from the left faceoff dot past Miikka Kiprusoff‘s glove.

Abdelkader scored a similar goal with 7:55 remaining in the period. Pavel Datsyuk gained the zone and dealt the puck to a rushing Abdelkader, who moved up to the left side of the slot and snapped a shot past Kiprusoff on the glove side.

Jimmy Howard made 16 saves on 17 shots in his first game back after missing two with back spasms. Kiprusoff stopped 31 of Detroit’s 33 shots.

Calgary’s goal was the only power play goal of the night. The Flames had seven tries with the extra attacker, including a four-minute power play in the game’s closing minutes. The Red Wings also had seven power plays.

Detroit will be back in action on Friday when they visit the Edmonton Oilers.

Osgood Injures Groin in Practice; Howard, Ericsson to Play Wednesday

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood left practice early on Monday, suffering from a sore groin.

Osgood went to the hospital for tests. His status for the team’s three-game Western Canada road trip is unknown.

“Groin soreness and he’s being evaluated, so when I talk about groins normally that means day-to-day and then two weeks later we talk about it again,” head coach Mike Babcock said. “And for a goalie, it usually means day-to-day and three weeks later we talk about it.”

Jimmy Howard will return to the Detroit crease as the Red Wings visit the Calgary Flames on Wednesday and could play back-to-back in Edmonton and Vancouver over the weekend.

“Howie’s a young guy,” Babcock said, “he can probably play back-to-back, but we’ll see.”

Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will also return to the Red Wings’ lineup on Wednesday. Doug Janik was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room in the lineup.