Bertuzzi Scores Another Pair as Red Wings Sweep Bruins

Todd Bertuzzi scored two goals for the second consecutive game, helping the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins and a sweep of the home-and-home series between the two teams.

Bertuzzi’s four goals is more than the Bruins scored as a team over the two games, with Detroit outscoring them by a combined 10-3.

Like Detroit did on Friday, the Bruins jumped out to an early lead. Just 1:29 into the game, Tyler Seguin knocked the rebound of a Blake Wheeler wraparound chance past Wings goalie Jimmy Howard.

Bertuzzi’s first of the afternoon tied things up at 6:09 of the opening period. Bertuzzi chased Brad Marchand into the Boston zone and picked off a blind pass in front of the goal. He recovered from a poke-check by Bruins netminder Tim Thomas and lifted a shot into the net.

Marchand would make amends for Boston with 7:43 left in the period, when he got open in front of the net to take a pass from a rushing Michael Ryder and put the puck behind Howard in the closing seconds of a power play.

The Red Wings took control of the game in the second period, outshooting the Bruins 19-6 and scoring twice.

Pavel Datsyuk tied the game up 3:54 in. A Bruin defender fell on Thomas as he made the stop on a Brian Rafalski chance from the right point, giving Datsyuk an open net to fire the rebound into.

Kris Draper gave Detroit their first lead with 7:16 left in the period, taking a feed from Patrick Eaves in the slot and snapping a shot past Thomas.

Bertuzzi wrapped up the game’s scoring with 6:25 to play, taking a feed from Johan Franzen on a two-on-one. Franzen outwaited Boston captain Zdeno Chara before sending the pass across to Bertuzzi for the shot into the back of the net.

Marchand’s goal was the only power play marker of the afternoon. Each team had three tries with the extra attacker.

Howard made 23 saves on 25 Boston shots in earning the win. Thomas stopped 32 of 36 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings will be off until Thursday when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Red Wings’ Goal-Scoring Back on Track in 6-1 Rout of Bruins

The Detroit Red Wings scored more goals on Friday night than they had in their previous four games combined, ending a goal drought with a 6-1 win over the Boston Bruins.

Detroit had been shutout twice in the four games leading up to Friday’s win, with a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers and a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators giving them only four goals combined over that stretch.

Todd Bertuzzi led the Red Wings with a pair of goals, including the one that opened the game’s scoring just 1:10 into the first. He moved up the right wing on a two-on-one with Brian Rafalski and blasted the puck from the top of the right faceoff circle over the shoulder of Boston netminder Tuukka Rask.

Exactly two minutes later, Danny Cleary made it 2-0 when he drove to the net and took a feed from Jiri Hudler, banging it past Rask.

David Krejci cut the lead in half with a power play goal with 2:07 remaining in the first. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard got tangled up with Milan Lucic at the side of the net and Lucic got the puck to Krejci to bang into the open goal.

Hudler restored the two-goal lead at 1:09 of the second, going to one knee to roof a shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle past Rask on a feed from Henrik Zetterberg.

Zetterberg added a goal of his own with 3:46 remaining in the period, coming from the side of the net to backhand a shot over Rask on a Detroit power play.

Bertuzzi’s second of the night made it 5-1 just 24 seconds later when he got to a loose puck behind the net and banked it in off of Rask.

Tomas Holmstrom wrapped up the game’s scoring, beating Tim Thomas from the top of the crease off a feed from Hudler with 6:09 left in the game and the Red Wings on a five-on-three. Thomas had replaced Rask to start the third period.

The Red Wings scored twice on six power play chances on the night while the Bruins’ lone goal came on one of their three tries with the extra attacker.

Howard finished the night with 25 saves on 26 shots. Rask made 14 saves on 19 shots and Thomas stopped 14 of the 15 chances he faced.

The two teams will meet again on Sunday in Detroit for the back end of the home-and-home series.

Red Wings – Predators Postgame Notes

I think last night’s debacle was the first Red Wings game all season I turned off partway through. It was that bad.

I’m not going to dwell on it ’cause I don’t have to. The Wings do. They’ve cancelled a scheduled day off today and Mike Babcock says they’ll be working hard at practice. His postgame comments sum things up pretty well…

It’s absolutely unacceptable to compete like we did. It’s beyond ridiculous. We’re all in it together. We weren’t good enough. We weren’t mentally prepared. The other team skated right through us. They deserve full credit for the win.

Datsyuk Returns to Lead Red Wings Past Rangers

Pavel Datsyuk returned from injury Monday night and immediately made his presence felt, scoring a goal and adding an assist as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the New York Rangers, 3-2.

Datsyuk had missed 19 games after suffering a broken hand in Detroit’s 5-4 overtime win over the Vancouver Canucks on December 22.

After a scoreless first period, Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring at 2:52 of the second period. He knocked the puck away from Brian Boyle in the left corner and then went to the net, where he took a pass from Jiri Hudler. Datsyuk stuffed a shot into the pads of New York goalie Martin Biron but reached back to knock his own rebound home.

The Rangers replied at 3:09 of the third period. Wojtek Wolski sent a cross-ice pass to Matt Gilroy in the right faceoff circle and Gilroy put it back across to the far side of the goal for Derek Stepan to knock past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

Hudler restored the Red Wings’ lead 1:55 later. He sent a between the legs pass to Pavel Datsyuk along the right wing boards and then cut to the goal. Datsyuk sent the puck to Jonathan Ericsson on the rush and Ericsson fed it back across to Hudler to rifle a shot over Biron into the top of the net.

With 5:23 left in regulation, Drew Miller made it 3-1. Justin Abdelkader fired a shot from the left faceoff circle on Biron and Miller knocked home the rebound.

Brandon Dubinsky scored with 4:05 left to pull the Rangers back within a goal, snapping a shot from the left faceoff circle past Howard on a two-on-one.

The Red Wings would hold on despite a late five-on-three for New York.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had two tries with the extra attacker while the Rangers had five, including 44 seconds of five-on-three and a six-on-four with Biron on the bench to close out the game.

Howard stopped 45 of 47 shots in earning the win. Biron made 32 saves on 35 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings continue their stretch of five games in eight nights on Wednesday when they host the Nashville Predators.

Detroit lost forward Valtteri Filppula to a lower-body injury early in the third period. He did not return.

Red Wings – Rangers Pregame Notes

Pavel Datsyuk makes his return to the Detroit lineup tonight as the Red Wings host the New York Rangers. He’s missed 19 games with a broken hand.

To make room for him on the roster, Jan Mursak was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Mursak was the last of the three Griffins called up when Detroit’s injury troubles began to be returned to Grand Rapids.

Not ready to come back from his own broken hand is Tomas Holmstrom. He hopes to be back in the lineup later this week.

Jimmy Howard gets the start for the Wings after Joey MacDonald started in Nashville on Saturday.

Red Wings Blanked by Blue Jackets

On the heels of a game in which they scored seven goals against the Ottawa Senators, the Detroit Red Wings came up empty against the Columbus Blue Jackets, dropping a 3-0 decision Friday night.

Columbus netminder Steve Mason made 34 saves in earning the shutout. It was the third time in his career that he held the Red Wings without a goal.

Antoine Vermette opened the game’s scoring with 7:31 left in the first period. Vermette came over the boards on a line change while the Blue Jackets had possession deep in the Detroit end. He raced over the blue line to take a pass from Matt Calvert before the Red Wings knew he was there and blasted a shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Jared Boll made it 2-0 with 6:49 left in the second. Andrew Murray sent a pass from behind the net to Boll in the slot, where he put it back past Howard.

Murray added an empty-net goal with 1:12 left to play to finish the scoring.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. The Blue Jackets had three tries with the extra attacker while the Red Wings had six power plays, including a second-period five-on-three.

Howard finished the night with 21 saves on the 23 shots he faced.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday when they visit the Nashville Predators.

Detroit was once again without forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom. They are day-to-day, both hoping to return on Saturday in Nashville.

Franzen’s Five Goals Carry Red Wings over Senators

Johan Franzen scored five goals Wednesday night, equaling the output of the Ottawa Senators as the Detroit Red Wings earned a 7-5 win.

The five goals were the most by a Red Wing since Sergei Fedorov scored all of the Detroit goals in a 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals on December 26, 1996.

Ottawa’s Alexei Kovalev opened the game’s scoring just 1:15 in, when he lifted a shot over scrambling Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard for a power play goal.

Franzen scored his first at 6:52 of the opening period, banging the puck past Ottawa netminder Robin Lehner from the side of the crease.

Just 48 seconds later, Franzen made it 2-1 when he beat Lehner from the high slot off a feed from Henrik Zetterberg.

The Senators replied one minute later, with Peter Regin deflecting a shot from Kovalev past Howard to tie the game back up.

With 8:48 left in the period, Daniel Alfredsson found a wide open Chris Campoli in the left faceoff circle to snap a shot past Howard, putting Ottawa up 3-2.

Kris Draper put a rebound chance past Lehner with 9:24 left in the second period and Niklas Kronwall blasted a shot into the back of the net 13 seconds later to make it 4-3 Detroit and chase Lehner from the net.

Milan Michalek tied the game back up 29 seconds after Kronwall’s goal, beating Howard on his own rebound chance to make it 4-4.

Franzen’s third of the night came just 30 seconds into the third period. He snapped a shot from the left faceoff dot past Brian Elliot on a rush and a Detroit power play.

Michalek’s second goal of the game tied it back up 29 seconds later. He tipped a Kovalev shot past Howard to make it 5-5.

Franzen scored on a two-man advantage at 7:10 of the third to put the Red Wings back out in front. Brian Rafalski‘s shot went wide of Elliot but the puck bounced off the back boards and came out the other side, where Franzen lifted it into the net.

The Senators appeared to tie the game with about eight minutes left when Chris Neil poked the puck out from under Howard and into the net but the play was blown down.

With 34 seconds left, Franzen completed the scoring, adding an empty net goal.

The Red Wings finished the night with two goals on three power play chances. The Senators scored once on two power play tries.

Howard made 29 saves on 34 Ottawa shots. Lehner stopped 15 of 19 shots faced while Elliot took the loss, stopping 16 of 18 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings are back in action on Friday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Danny Cleary returned to the Detroit lineup after missing 14 games with a broken ankle… Pavel Datsyuk is expected to return from his broken hand on Friday or Saturday. Tomas Holmstrom could also return from injury this weekend.

Stating the Obvious: The Red Wings Lucked Out Again

I said it when Detroit beat New Jersey and I’ll say it again tonight: The Red Wings caught a break.

Last Wednesday, Ilya Kovalchuk appeared to tie the game late. He was ruled to have pushed Jimmy Howard into the net with the puck, even though replay showed that not to be the case.

Tonight, the Senators appeared to tie the game with about eight minutes left when Chris Neil jammed the puck past Jimmy Howard. There’ll be an uproar about this one and some of it is right.

Howard made an initial save and the puck was under him. Neil jumped in and knocked it loose and into the net. In the time that the puck was under Howard, the referee deemed play to be stopped but he didn’t blow the whistle until after the puck was in the net.

It’s an infamous “quick whistle” combined with the dreaded “intent to blow” rule.

From a technical standpoint, the call was the right one. The ref lost sight of the puck so he had to blow play dead. He was slow on the whistle so “intent to blow” comes into play.

The explained call was wrong, however. After replay – which shouldn’t have mattered as the call was not reviewable – it was announced that the goal was called back because Howard was pushed into the net with the puck.

Much as in the New Jersey game, this simply did not happen.

Quick decision to stop play? Weak but explainable. “Intent to blow” rule? No one seems to like it but it’s in play here. Goalie pushed into the net? Absolutely not the case.

The call that was explained was wrong and the call that appeared to actually be made was weak. The Wings lucked out.