Pregame: Red Wings @ Ducks – 3/24

The Red Wings and Ducks meet again in Anaheim tonight, two days after Detroit downed the Ducks 5-1 at the Honda Center.

It’s only the fourth time since 1957 that the Red Wings have played consecutive games against a team in the same arena in the regular season. The Red Wings are 5-6-3 all-time in the second game of those matchups.

The only lineup change for Detroit will be that Damien Brunner will sit as a healthy scratch while Jordin Tootoo swaps back in. Technically, Carlo Colaiacovo is also a healthy scratch but he was on IR for the first game of this series, so the blue line remains unchanged.

Jimmy Howard gets the start for the Wings.

Game time is 8:00 PM on FSD.

Thoughts on Possibly Signing DeKeyser

Western Michigan defenseman Danny DeKeyser is officially a free agent and the Red Wings are among a group of pretty much every team interested in signing him. TSN’s Bob McKenzie says that, while Detroit has long been considered the front-runners, several teams are interested.

I’ll admit that I haven’t seen him play in person but I’ve been on DeKeyser watch for awhile now based on scouting reports alone. As I said a couple days ago, I’m probably more hopeful that the Wings sign him than I should be.

The reasons for that are less about what DeKeyser could do for the Wings on the ice and more about what his signing could signify.

Here’s a guy who – whether he should be or not – is a much-sought-after player. He has his pick of places to play. And the Red Wings are in on that.

Does that sound like a familiar scenario? To me, it sounds a lot like last summer, when the Red Wings ended up spurned by everyone in that position.

Brad Stuart left Detroit to go back “home” to play in San Jose. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter chose Parise’s home of Minnesota over Detroit (among many others). Even Nicklas Lidstrom decided it was time to go back home to Sweden.

Here’s a guy for whom the Red Wings organization would be home. He’s from Macomb, where he played with Red Wings’ assistant GM Jim Nill‘s son Trevor. He played four years in Kalamazoo with the Broncos, coached for one of those years by former Wings’ assistant coach and current Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill. The Griffins and the Red Wings are his home teams.

Some times you can’t compete with the opportunity to play at home. That’s what we heard from the Wings’ brass when they lost out on all of those players last. What does it mean, though, if even with that opportunity on their side, Detroit still can’t sign DeKeyser?

We’ll see. I’m still hopeful. Every team that gets added to the list of suitors casts doubt on that, though.

Abdelkader’s Hat Trick Leads Red Wings in Rout of Ducks

Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader scored his first career NHL hat trick on Friday night, carrying the Red Wings to a 5-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks in the first of a pair of meetings between the teams.

The Red Wings’ win snapped Anaheim’s home winning streak at 13 games. Their last loss at home had been the home opener.

The Ducks thought they had gotten on the board midway through the first on a play in which Emerson Etem was ruled to have kicked the puck in behind Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. Teemu Selanne got one that counted with 8:29 remaining, however, tipping a pass from Kyle Palmeri past Howard on a three-on-two.

Abdelkader tied things up 2:05 later. After getting the puck in the neutral zone, Abdelkader broke into the Anaheim zone alone down the right wing. He got around Sheldon Souray in the corner and cut to the front of the net, shoveling the puck between Viktor Fasth‘s pads to make it 1-1.

After a scramble to the left of Fasth, Pavel Datsyuk corralled a loose puck on the other side of the crease and lifted it into the open side of the net on a Detroit power play to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead with 5:01 left in the opening period.

Abdelkader was back on the board at 3:06 of the second, snapping a shot from the left faceoff dot past Fasth and chasing the Anaheim netminder from the net. He completed the hat trick with 7:14 left in the middle period, snapping a shot past Jonas Hiller from the high slot after a Ducks turnover at the blue line.

Johan Franzen closed out the scoring with 4:43 left in regulation when his attempted centering pass to Abdelkader in the slot was deflected in off an Anaheim defender.

Datsyuk’s goal – the game-winner – was the only power play goal of the night. The Red Wings had two tries with the extra attacker while the Ducks had three.

Howard finished the night with 33 saves on 34 shots to earn the win. Fasth took the loss with eight saves on 11 shots in 23:06 of play while Hiller stopped ten of the remaining 12 Detroit chances.

The two teams will meet again at the Honda Center on Sunday.

With the win, the Red Wings improved to 6-5-4 all-time in the first game of two consecutive regular season games against the same opponent in the same venue.

Postgame: Wild @ Red Wings – 3/20

Tonight’s Red Wings’ effort against the Wild reminded me a lot of my own work day.

Up too late last night playing SimCity, looking forward to the evening, spent most of the day today just coasting, trying to get through. I don’t know if the Wings were looking forward to something after the game or spent too much time before it playing video games, but they for damn sure coasted when they were supposed to be working.

Passes that didn’t connect. Dump-ins that weren’t chased down. Shots from the point through no traffic right into the goalie’s chest.

Overall, a wasted opportunity.

At least Nyquist’s goal was pretty sweet?

Pregame: Wild @ Red Wings – 3/20

The Red Wings host the Minnesota Wild tonight in Detroit’s only home game between their just-completed three-game Western Canadian road trip and a four-game West Coast road trip that begins in Anaheim on Friday.

Darren Helm, who suffered a setback in his return from injury on Monday, will not be available against the Wild. Neither will Patrick Eaves, who sprained the joints in his jaw when he took a puck to the face in practice on Tuesday.

Gustav Nyquist has been called up to fill in on the third line with Joakim Andersson and Daniel Cleary.

The Wings’ blue line will see no changes from Saturday’s win over the Canucks. Ian White remains in for the injured Kyle Quincey. Carlo Colaiacovo could return during the Wings’ West Coast trip.

Jimmy Howard gets the start for Detroit against Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom.

Game time is 7:30 on NBCSN.

Quincey Out 4-6 Weeks, Helm Suffers Setback

The Detroit Red Wings announced two updates on the team’s injury front on Monday.

Prior to an optional skate at City Sports Arena, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said that defenseman Kyle Quincey is expected to miss four to six weeks with multiple fractures to his cheekbone. Whether or not surgery will be required will be determined later in the week.

Quincey suffered the injury late in Saturday night’s matchup with the Edmonton Oilers when a puck rolled up his stick and caught him in the face.

Prior to the practice, Darren Helm was hopeful for Wednesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. He skated for only ten minutes, however, and suffered a setback.

According to MLive’s Ansar Khan, Detroit head coach Mike Babcock called Helm playing on Wednesday a “pipe dream.”

Forward Gustav Nyquist, who was a healthy scratch on Sunday in Vancouver, was sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday morning to make room for Helm’s expected return. If Helm can’t make the team’s four-game California trip, Nyquist is expected to be called back up. As the Wings have been carrying eight healthy defensemen on the roster, no moves are expected in response to Quincey’s injury.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Canucks – 3/16

Since it worked so well last night, we’re going with more pre-game notes tonight as the Red Wings visit the Vancouver Canucks.

As I noted via Twitter earlier today, the Red Wings are 12-17-4 all-time in the third game of a Western Canadian road trip. They’re 4-5-3 all-time when that third game is in Vancouver.

By my count the Wings are unbeaten, however, when playing a team wearing throwback jerseys to an era before the founding of the NHL. The Canucks will be dressed as the 1915 Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, that year’s Stanley Cup Champions.

Detroit will be without defenseman Kyle Quincey, who suffered a broken cheekbone last night in Edmonton. Ian White will take his spot in the lineup.

No other roster changes are expected. Jimmy Howard will get the start for the second consecutive night.

Game time is 10:00 on FSD+, CBC and NHLN.

Zetterberg, Abdelkader Score Twice as Red Wings Down Canucks, 5-2

Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader each scored twice for the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, leading the team to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

The Canucks opened the scoring a team-record six seconds into the game. After Vancouver won the opening faceoff, Detroit defenseman Brian Lashoff pressured and left an opening for Daniel Sedin and Alexandre Burrows to advance on a two-on-one. Niklas Kronwall failed to cut off a cross-ice pass from Sedin to Burrows, who rifled a shot from the inside edge of the right circle past Red Wings’ netminder Jimmy Howard.

Pavel Datsyuk‘s bank shot 6:08 in got the Wings on the board. Datsyuk threw the puck on net with Abdelkader driving to the edge of the crease, banking it off Abdelkader’s skate and in behind Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo.

Datsyuk set up the goal that put the Red Wings in front with 6:03 left in the second period. He gathered up the puck at the bottom of the left faceoff circle after an initial Red Wings chance and threw it to Zetterberg in the slot for a snap past Luongo for a power play goal to make it 2-1.

Zetterberg would score just 1:20 into the third period to extend Detroit’s lead, one-timing a feed from Valtteri Filppula past Luongo from the top of the right faceoff circle.

Daniel Cleary make it 4-1 at 5:57 of the third on a smooth passing play with Damien Brunner and Joakim Andersson. Brunner gained the Vancouver zone and cut into the high slot before passing off to Andersson on the left wing. Andersson sent it all the way across to Cleary at the top of the right circle where he snapped a shot past Luongo.

Detroit’s scoring was rounded out with 5:16 to play on another Datsyuk attempt that deflected off Abdelkader and in for Abdelkader’s second goal. Datsyuk lofted the puck from the right wing towards Abdelkader as he cut to the net. The puck went off Abdelkader, bounced around off of Luongo, and eventually dropped into the net for a goal that had to be confirmed by video review.

Off the rebound of a Burrows deflection from in front, Kronwall knocked the puck past his own goalie to round out the scoring and give the Canucks their second goal with 2:38 remaining.

Zetterberg’s first goal was the only power play marker for either team on the night. Detroit had three power plays and Vancouver had six, with each team going scoreless on a five-on-three. Jannik Hansen also missed on a penalty shot for the Canucks.

Howard finished the night with 33 saves on 35 shots. Luongo stopped 21 of 26 chances.

Having completed their first Western Canadian road trip of the season, the Red Wings are now off until Wednesday when they host the Minnesota Wild.

Defenseman Ian White was back in the Red Wings’ lineup after Kyle Quincey was injured on Friday night in Edmonton… Gustav Nyquist was a healthy scratch up front, while Kent Huskins continued to be a healthy scratch on defense.

Red Wings Rally for 3-2 OT Win over Oilers

The Detroit Red Wings went into the third period down 2-0 but rallied for a 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.

Pavel Datsyuk won the game for the Red Wings with 1:21 left in the overtime period. Datsyuk took a pass from Johan Franzen in the neutral zone and raced into the Edmonton zone, faking around defender Jeff Petry and snapping a shot past netminder Devan Dubnyk.

Taylor Hall had opened the scoring at 3:34 of the first period, picking up the puck at the Detroit blue line and cutting to the middle, splitting the Red Wings’ defense through the slot and snapping a shot under Howard to make it 1-0.

Edmonton went up 2-0 with 3:42 left in the second period on a goal by Sam Gagner. After Hall tied up Jonathan Ericsson behind the Detroit net, Nail Yakupov picked up the puck and cut in from the left wing boards, around Niklas Kronwall, and shoveled a shot on Howard from the slot. Gagner was there to bang home the rebound.

Valtteri Filppula cut the Edmonton lead in half at 4:27 of the third. Henrik Zetterberg won a battle along the boards in the left corner and Filppula came in to pick up the puck. Filppula cut through the left faceoff circle on the backhand and flung a shot on net, through a screen by Damien Brunner and past goalie Devan Dubnyk.

Detroit tied things up with 5:53 remaining in the third on their second road power play goal of the season. Niklas Kronwall threw a shot on net from the blue line and Dubnyk kicked it aside. Defender Jeff Petry turned to knock it away but ended up putting it in behind his own goalie.

Howard finished the night with 30 saves on 32 shots while Dubnyk stopped 25 of 28 Detroit chances.

Detroit went one-for-five on the power play. Edmonton was scoreless with three power play attempts.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday in Vancouver as they close out their Western Canadian road trip.

Ian White, Kent Huskins and Patrick Eaves were healthy scratches for the Red Wings… Kyle Quincey left the game late in the third after taking a puck to the face. He will not travel with the team to Vancouver.

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