Filppula Scores Twice as Red Wings Rebound to Down Stars

Valtteri Filppula scored twice to lead the Detroit Red Wings back from a 1-0 deficit Tuesday night and earn a 4-1 win over the visiting Dallas Stars.

Filppula got the Red Wings on the board with 6:46 left in the second period. Pavel Datsyuk stole the puck behind the Dallas net and sent a pass out to Filppula all alone in the slot for a shot past Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen to tie the game, 1-1.

A Henrik Zetterberg goal with Detroit on a two-man advantage with 24 seconds left gave the team their first lead of the game, beating Lehtonen with a rocket shot from the top of the left faceoff circle.

Damien Brunner added his third career goal at 6:15 of the third period, deflecting a Johan Franzen shot out of the air and past Lehtonen.

Filppula closed out the scoring just 23 seconds later. Datsyuk drew three defenders in as he drove through the slot, then passed off to Filppula in the slot for a wrister past Lehtonen to make it 4-1.

Loui Eriksson had opened the game’s scoring at 10:22 of the middle period, knocking the rebound of a Cody Eakin chance past Jimmy Howard on a two-on-one.

Howard finished the night with 25 saves on 26 shots to get the win. Lehtonen stopped 21 of the 25 shots he faced in 55:15 of playing time before making way for Richard Bachman, who stopped two shots to close out the game.

Detroit went one-for-six on the power play while Dallas was scoreless on five tries with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings look to make it a streak on Friday when they host the St. Louis Blues.


Brian Lashoff was the healthy scratch on defense for the Red Wings, with Jakub Kindl sliding back into the lineup. Carlo Colaiacovo and Ian White remain on injured reserve… Darren Helm, Mikael Samuelsson (IR), and Jan Mursak (IR) were out up front… Tom McCollum once again backed up Jimmy Howard with Jonas Gustavsson still nursing a sore groin.

Postgame: Stars @ Red Wings – 1/29

Really solid win and really solid effort by the Wings tonight. Good to see after their struggles thus far this season.

As I said at the end of the second, Detroit could have given up or gotten frustrated when Kari Lehtonen was holding them off the board and a defensive breakdown led to a Dallas goal. They kept up the pressure, though, and broke through in a big way.

Unfortunately, they’ve bought themselves some skepticism, so I’ll temper my excitement with concern over whether or not they can do this consistently. St. Louis is up on Friday and that will be a pretty big test.

Red Wings Fall to Blackhawks in Overtime

The Detroit Red Wings rallied to force overtime in Chicago on Sunday night but fell to the Blackhawks, 2-1, on defenseman Nick Leddy’s tally in the extra period.

Leddy was left alone on the left side of the ice as the Blackhawks gained the Detroit zone and took a pass from Viktor Stalberg. Damien Brunner got back to cover Leddy just as he let a shot go, which deflected off Brunner’s outstretched stick and past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to give the ‘Hawks the win at 2:45 of the overtime period.

The Red Wings reached overtime on a Johan Franzen goal at 4:30 of the third period. Franzen jumped up to knock home the rebound of a Damien Brunner chance to tie the game 1-1.

Chicago had opened the scoring early with a Duncan Keith blast from the left faceoff circle just 2:24 into the game, beating Howard high on the stick side on the first power play of the night.

Howard finished the night with 25 saves on 27 shots. Crawford stopped 29 of Detroit’s 30 chances.

Keith’s goal was the lone power play marker of the night. The Blackhawks had three tries with the extra attacker while the Red Wings had six.

With the win, the Blackhawks moved to 6-0 to start the season for the first time in franchise history.

Detroit is back in action on Tuesday when they host the Dallas Stars for the second time in a week.


The Red Wings got defenseman Jonathan Ericsson back from injury, forcing Jakub Kindl out of the lineup as a healthy scratch… Patrick Eaves was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch on Friday against Minnesota, replacing Darren Helm, whose back injury flared up again and was unable to go. Helm will have an MRI on Monday… Remaining out of the lineup were the injured Jan Mursak, Mikael Samuelsson, Carlo Colaiacovo, Ian White and Jonas Gustavsson… With Gustavsson out, Howard was backed up again by Tom McCollum.

Postame: Red Wings @ Blackhawks – 1/27

I’m seeing the Red Wings’ official Twitter account quoting Wings’ coach Mike Babcock right now and it’s annoying me a bit.

“I thought we had lots of opportunity. We skated hard and competed and got better as the game went on.”

He seems pretty happy with his team’s effort considering they didn’t do anything worthwhile for the first 40 minutes of the game.

Yeah, they had plenty of opportunity early on. They had six power plays in the first two periods. Didn’t do anything with them.

The fact that the team did show up for the third period and managed to score to force overtime is encouraging. This loss wasn’t quite like the ones to Dallas or St. Louis and there are good things to take away from it.

This team is not a team that can keep shooting itself in the foot with late starts and an ineffective power play, however, which overshadows the positives.

It’s also telling that most of the positives were in the third period, a period in which Chicago was noticeably more tired, having played the night before in Columbus.

I don’t know, we’ll see what happens when the Stars come to Detroit on Tuesday. The lackluster power play has been the only real trend so far this season so it’ll be interesting to see what carries over into that game.

Bertuzzi Scores Twice in Return, Wings Down Wild 5-3

Todd Bertuzzi returned from the flu for his first game of the season Friday night, scoring twice in leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-3 win over the visiting Minnesota Wild.

All five Detroit goals came from the Red Wings’ top two lines after those units had only scored twice in the previous three games.

After a scoreless first period, Damien Brunner got Detroit on the board just 13 seconds into the middle frame. With the Red Wings on a carry-over power play, Brunner took a pass on the right wing from Henrik Zetterberg at the Minnesota blue line and raced to the right faceoff dot, snapping a shot over Wild netminder Josh Harding‘s shoulder into the far top corner of the net.

Bertuzzi’s first of the night made it 2-0 just 42 seconds later when Valtteri Filppula‘s backhanded bouncing chance from the slot deflected off Bertuzzi’s leg and past Harding.

Zach Parise cut Detroit’s lead to a goal with the Wild on a two-man advantage at 2:49. The rebound of a Mikko Koivu shot came out to Ryan Suter in the high slot. Suter sent it down to Parise in the right faceoff circle for a shot over the still-sprawling Jimmy Howard.

At 6:29 of the period, Minnesota’s Tom Gilbert tied things back up, snapping a shot from the high slot through a screen and past Howard just as a power play expired.

Zetterberg put the Wings back up with 7:05 left in the second. Datsyuk fed Zetterberg with a long backhand pass to the left faceoff circle. Zetterberg outwaited Harding, dropping almost to the goal line before putting a shot towards the net. The puck went past Harding’s glove, off the post, off a retreating Mikael Granlund, and into the net to make it 3-2.

With 2:36 remaining, Datsyuk restored the two-goal lead, snapping a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle through a Johan Franzen screen and past Harding on a Detroit power play.

Datsyuk fed Bertuzzi for the Red Wings’ final goal at 4:18 of the third period, sending a saucer pass from the left circle over two defenders and onto Bertuzzi’s stick in the right circle to bang off of Harding and into the net.

Parise’s second of the game closed out the scoring with 9:42 remaining when his attempted pass from behind the net deflected off of Zetterberg at the post and in behind Howard.

Howard finished the night with 23 saves on 26 shots against while Harding made 22 saves on 27 shots.

The Red Wings scored twice on five power play tries. Minnesota had one goal on eight power play attempts.

The Wings are next in action on Sunday when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks.


Bertuzzi, Darren Helm and Jakub Kindl all returned from various injuries to make their first appearances of the season… Kindl replaced Ian White on the blue line after he suffered a deep cut abobe his knee against Dallas on Tuesday… Patrick Eaves was a healthy scratch up front… Aside from White, the Red Wings were also missing Jan Mursak, Mikael Samuelsson, Carlo Colaiacovo, Jonathan Ericsson, and Jonas Gustavsson to injury… Thomas McCollum backed up Howard in place of Gustavsson.

Postgame: Wild @ Red Wings – 1/25

I wanted to step away from the game for a second before putting together my final thoughts on the Red Wings’ 5-3 win over Minnesota tonight.

With how poorly the Red Wings had played in their first three games (even the win over Columbus), it’s easy to look at any win as a giant leap forward, a righting of the ship. It’s important to remember that it’s just one game. It is a step forward, however.

It was fantastic to see the power play clicking. Two goals after going scoreless in the first three games is a pretty big deal.

More important is who was scoring. Before tonight, the Red Wings’ top six forwards accounted for two goals. Yeah, it was half of the team’s overall output, but that just shows how bad the team was. Tonight all five goals were by the top two lines. Brunner, Bertuzzi (twice), Zetterberg and Datsyuk.

And it’s not just the actual goal scoring. Datsyuk had quite the night, with a pair of really nice assists to Zetterberg and Bertuzzi.

Even Kyle Quincey, dedicated whipping boy, came out of it looking good with a +2 on the night.

That said, there were some downsides. As I said on Twitter at the time, the Wings’ first power play was horrible. Mickey Redmond called a play just before it happened and the Wild saw just what he did, breaking it up. You can’t telegraph your moves like that.

Taking that many penalties in general was bad. Eight power plays for the Wild. That’s putting a lot on your PK. Tonight the PK was awesome, so it worked, but that won’t be the case every night. And how much of the PK’s success was based on the return of Darren Helm to the lineup?

Overall it’s a win, and wins are great. Lets see if it can become a trend.

Red Wings Avoid Shutout but Fall to Stars

The Detroit Red Wings narrowly avoided being shutout for the second time in three games on Tuesday night, dropping a 2-1 decision in their home opener to the Dallas Stars.

One night after being the shootout hero who gave the Red Wings their first victory of the season, rookie Damien Brunner scored the team’s only goal. Pavel Datsyuk‘s pass across the top of the crease reached Brunner on the far side with a wide open net for his first career NHL goal, coming with just three seconds left in the game.

Michael Ryder provided all of the offense for Dallas.

At 5:41 of the first period, Ryder carried the puck from the left wing boards across the top of the faceoff circles and flung a shot on net. The puck deflected off of defenseman Kyle Quincey‘s stick early and sailed over goalie Jimmy Howard‘s shoulder, into the top corner.

Ryder struck again at 5:34 of the third period when he was left wide open in the left circle, taking a pass from former Red Wing Ray Whitney and snapping a shot past Howard.

Howard finished the night with 32 saves on 34 Dallas shots. Stars’ goalie Kari Lehtonen made 40 saves on the 41 shots he faced.

Though Brunner’s goal came with Howard on the bench for an extra attacker, the Wings were scoreless on four power play tries, still looking for their first power play goal of the season. Dallas did not score on either of their two tries with the man advantage.

Having completed three games in four nights, the Red Wings are now off until Friday when they host the Minnesota Wild.


Former Red Wing Tomas Holmstrom, who announced his retirement earlier in the day, participated in a ceremonial puck drop to start the game… The Red Wings were without forwards Mikael Samuelsson, Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi, and Jan Mursak, defensemen Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Carlo Colaiacovo, and goalie Jonas Gustavsson… Defenseman Kent Huskins made his Red Wings debut, having been signed earlier in the day due to the injuries decimating Detroit’s blue line… Forward Gustav Nyquist was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to fill in up front. He and goalie Tom McCollum were returned to the Griffins after the game.