Wednesday Wrapup

General notes from Wednesday about the Red Wings…

Jakub Kindl was sent to Grand Rapids on a conditioning assignment, having not played in a game since November 3. He immediately entered the Griffins lineup, playing 19:48 in a 3-2 win over the Milwaukee Admirals.

Kindl had two shots and finished with an even plus/minus rating.

On the other side of the state, the Red Wings hosted the Nashville Predators, dropping a 3-2 decision.

If you’re looking for positives, both Detroit goals were highlights in different ways. Pavel Datsyuk batting the puck out of mid-air was pure circus, a fun goal to see. Johan Franzen pulling the Wings to within one in the final minutes was a goal-scorer’s goal, a great shot finding its way through a mass of bodies in front.

Unfortunately, there were more negatives.

A two-on-one and a flukey goal gave Nashville a 2-0 lead. The back-breaker was another two-on-one in the third that put the Predators up 3-1.

As I said in the GDT, I put that one on Jimmy Howard. I thought at the time that he maybe cheated to cover the pass and then got beat on the shot. Ken and Mickey later pointed out that after getting beat by not covering the pass on the first goal he may have been respecting that option a bit too much.

Either way, Howard has to make that save and he didn’t. He’s not playing poorly lately but he’s getting outplayed. If the Wings are going to rely on him the way they are (and I’m not saying that’s right), he has to be better than he was last night.

Power Play Goals Not Enough For Wings in Loss to Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings scored two first-period power play goals Monday night but could manage nothing else against the San Jose Sharks as they dropped a 5-2 decision at Joe Louis Arena.

It was just the team’s second home regulation loss of the season.

Tomas Holmstrom redirected a Nicklas Lidstrom slap shot past San Jose goalie Antti Niemi at 7:48 of the first to open the game’s scoring.

An apparent goal by Valtteri Filppula was waived off minutes later but officials blew the play dead as the puck slipped under Niemi, before it rolled out from under him and into the net.

With Detroit’s momentum halted Joe Thornton got the Sharks on the board while shorthanded.

Playing the point on the power play, Jiri Hudler pinched in to swat at a loose puck but Dany Heatley got it past him. Heatley and Thornton went in on a two-on-one, with Heatley passing across for an easy goal by Thornton with 4:01 remaining in the period.

Johan Franzen put the Red Wings back in front 2:36 later, scoring from an acute angle on a nice passing play from Brian Rafalski and Holmstrom.

Niclas Wallin’s shot from the point at 4:53 of the second was deflected past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to tie the game back up and Logan Couture put the Sharks out front eight seconds later, snapping a shot from the left circle past Howard.

Heatley scored on another two-on-one with 1:03 left in the period, this time keeping the puck and snapping it past Howard from the right faceoff circle.

Couture’s second of the night wrapped up the game’s scoring as he tipped a Ryane Clowe pass in behind Howard with 8:43 to play.

Niemi stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced, with only 11 of those saves needing to come in the second and third periods. Howard made 30 saves on 35 shots.

Detroit scored on two of their six power plays and allowed one shorthanded goal. The Sharks were scoreless on four tries with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings are back in action on Wednesday when they host the Nashville Predators.

Red Wings Close Road Trip with OT Loss to Kings

The Detroit Red Wings wrapped up their three-game California road trip with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night. The Red Wings took five of a possible six points while on the West Coast.

The loss spoiled the return of goaltender Chris Osgood, making his first start after missing a month with a groin injury. Osgood made 22 saves on 25 shots on the night.

Detroit took a 1-0 lead with 4:31 left in the first period when Jonathan Ericsson pinched in to slap the rebound of a Pavel Datsyuk shot over diving LA goalie Jonathan Quick.

The Kings tied things back up 24 seconds into the second period, when Justin Williams tipped a Rob Scuderi shot in the slot to beat Osgood.

Todd Bertuzzi restored the Detroit lead just 48 seconds later with a goal similar to Ericsson’s, pinching in from the point to put a rebound into the top of the net.

Like Detroit, Los Angeles’ second goal mirrored their first. Alec Martinez fired from the point and the puck deflected off of Darren Helm, pulling the Kings back into a tie at 7:18 of the second.

Anze Kopitar won it for the Kings in overtime. On a three-on-two with Dustin Brown and Martinez, Kopitar slowed up to get open at the top of the right circle for a one-timer past Osgood with 56 seconds remaining.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, each having two tries with the extra attacker.

Quick made 27 saves on 29 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings now return home for a three-game homestand, starting Monday against the San Jose Sharks.

Kris Draper made his first appearance of the season, having missed the first 23 games after surgery for a sports hernia. He was -1 in 5:14 of play.

Red Wings – Kings Pregame Notes

Chris Osgood gets his first start in over a month and Kris Draper makes his first appearance of the season tonight as the Red Wings visit the Los Angeles Kings.

No word on who’s out to make room for Draper but it’s expected to be either Patrick Eaves or Drew Miller.

Detroit is on a four game winning streak and has a chance to sweep their California road trip. The Kings started their season on a tear but are 3-7 in their last ten games.

Red Wings – Ducks Pregame Notes

It’s the middle game of Detroit’s three-game West Coast road trip tonight, as the Red Wings visit the Anaheim Ducks.

The only lineup change for the Wings is a minor one. Chris Osgood is back from his groin injury and will back up Jimmy Howard, with Joey MacDonald having been sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Osgood is expected to get the start tomorrow in Los Angeles, a game which should also see Kris Draper make his season debut.

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Zetterberg’s Four Points Lead Red Wings over Sharks

Henrik Zetterberg factored in all but one of Detroit’s goals Tuesday night, notching four points as the Red Wings picked up a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks to open a three-game West Coast road trip.

Zetterberg helped the Red Wings open the scoring at 4:50 of the first period, working the puck to Danny Cleary at the top of the crease for a tap-in on a Detroit power play.

Pavel Datsyuk made it 2-0 8:01 into the game, splitting a pair of defenders just inside the blue line and skating around San Jose goalie Antero Niittymaki. Zetterberg picked up the second assist on the goal.

The Sharks pulled to within a goal just 1:34 later when a Joe Thornton chance from the bottom of the right faceoff circle deflected off of Dany Heatley and past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard for a power play goal.

Zetterberg made it 3-1 2:58 into the second, swatting the puck out of mid-air in the slot and past Niittymaki. The goal came just seconds after the expiration of a Detroit power play.

San Jose once again replied quickly, with Benn Ferriero driving to the net and knocking the puck past Howard 1:54 later.

Patrick Eaves restored Detroit’s two-goal lead with 11 seconds left in the period, deflecting a shot from Cleary past Niittymaki.

Zetterberg finished off Detroit’s scoring at 7:55 of the third, roofing a shot into an open net off a fantastic pass from Datsyuk.

Ryane Clowe scored once more for San Jose after the Sharks killed a four-minute Detroit power play but the Red Wings would hold on to win.

Detroit finished the night one-for-four on the power play. The Sharks scored once on two chances with the extra attacker.

Howard made 25 saves on 28 shots to earn the win. Niittymaki stopped 24 of 29 shots.

The Red Wings will continue their road trip on Friday as they visit the Anaheim Ducks.