Pregame: Canucks @ Red Wings – 11/30

The Red Wings close out November with an afternoon tilt against the Vancouver Canucks.

Detroit will ice a lineup that’s as healthy as they’ve been all season, as Brendan Smith returns from IR. Xavier Ouellet was returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room for Smith.

The only player remaining on injured reserve is backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson. Daniel Cleary and Joakim Andersson will be healthy scratches up front while Brian Lashoff is the odd-man-out on defense.

Jimmy Howard will get the start in goal opposite Ryan Miller, brother of Detroit forward Drew Miller.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 22-23 since 2005 in Sunday afternoon games.

Game time is 2:00 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Rally For Shootout Win over Devils

The Detroit Red Wings rebounded from down 4-1 for a 5-4 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Mike Cammalleri scored from the bottom of the left faceoff circle just 28 seconds into the second period to give the Devils their three-goal lead. It was his second goal of the night and New Jersey’s second on the power play.

Only 1:27 later the Red Wings pulled back to within a pair, as Xavier Ouellet scored his first NHL goal. Ouellet pinched up into the slot to take a pass from Darren Helm in the right circle and bang the puck past Devils’ netminder Cory Schneider.

With 7:08 left in the period, Justin Abdelkader scored from nearly the same spot, beating Schneider off a feed from Henrik Zetterberg at the side of the net.

Drew Miller tied things up at 10:07 of the third period, putting the rebound of a Niklas Kronwall shot past a sprawling Schneider.

Gustav Nyquist would score the only goal of the shootout in the third round, beating Schneider glove side. Schneider stopped Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar while Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek stopped Jacob Josefson, Cammalleri, and Michael Ryder.

Jaromir Jagr had opened the scoring at 2:18 of the first period, putting the puck into the open net as Mrazek recovered from blocking an Andy Greene shot with his mask.

Riley Sheahan tied things up 1:32 later, deflecting a Kronwall shot from up high past Schneider from in the slot.

Cammalleri’s first of the night put the Devils back in front. With 6:08 left in the first, Cammalleri’s shot from the top of the right faceoff circle sailed through a screen by Adam Henrique and past Mrazek to make it 2-1 on the power play.

Peter Harrold snapped a shot from the right wing past Mrazek 1:26 later to make it 3-1.

Mrazek finished the night with 21 saves on 25 shots while Schneider stopped 28 of 32 chances.

Both teams scored twice on four power play opportunities.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Devils – 11/28

The Detroit Red Wings visit the New Jersey Devils tonight in just their fifth visit to the Prudential Center.

Detroit will be rolling the same lines as were used in their 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday. Daniel Cleary, Joakim Andersson, and Brian Lashoff will be the healthy scratches.

Petr Mrazek gets the start in goal for the Red Wings.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 11-3-1 in games the day after the Detroit Lions win on Thanksgiving.

Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD.

Datsyuk Scores Twice in Return, Red Wings Down Flyers 5-2

Pavel Datsyuk returned to the Detroit lineup on Wednesday night after missing four games with an aggravated groin injury, scoring twice to help the Red Wings over the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-2.

Datsyuk’s first – the eventual game-winning goal – came with 8:13 left in the second period as he snapped a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle past Philadelphia goalie Steve Mason through traffic to make it 3-1 on a Detroit power play.

Mason was pulled in favor of backup Ray Emery after the goal.

With 1:21 left in the period, Datsyuk scored his second of the night to put the Wings up by three. Darren Helm‘s shot bounced off the post to the left of Emery and out the other side, where Datsyuk knocked it out of mid-air and into the net.

Jakub Voracek pulled the Flyers back to within a pair with 7:35 left in the third period, snapping a shot from the left circle past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard on a power play, off a feed from the opposite side of the net by Wayne Simmonds.

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg added an empty net goal in the game’s closing minutes to round out the scoring.

Stephen Weiss scored his third goal in two games since returning from a groin injury of his own to open the game’s scoring at 10:12 of the first period, tipping a Helm shot past Mason.

Claude Giroux tied things up at 2:31 of the second. Picking off a pass by Danny DeKeyser in the netutral zone, Giroux skated into the Detroit zone and snapped a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle off the skate of defenseman Kyle Quincey and past Howard.

Tomas Jurco would restore Detroit’s lead at 10:18 of the period, swatting the rebound of a DeKeyser shot past Mason from the right circle.

Mason finished the night with 11 saves on 14 shots before giving way to Emery, who stopped nine of ten shots. Howard made 22 saves on 24 shots.

Each team had a single power play goal. Philadelphia had four tries with the extra attacker to Detroit’s three.

The Red Wings are back in action on Friday when they visit the New Jersey Devils.

Kyle Quincey and Sean Couturier fought late in the second period… Daniel Cleary, Joakim Andersson, and Brian Lashoff were healthy scratches for Detroit.

Pregame: Flyers @ Red Wings – 11/26

Pavel Datsyuk returns to the Detroit lineup tonight as the Red Wings host the Philadelphia Flyers.

Datsyuk will skate on a third line made up of three natural centers, along with Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss. Tomas Jurco drops to the fourth line to make room for Datsyuk.

Joakim Andersson will join Daniel Cleary and Brian Lashoff as healthy scratches. Brendan Smith will miss at least one more game with his hand injury/infection while Jonas Gustavsson is weeks away from returning from a shoulder injury.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in goal.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 22-16-4 on the day before Thanksgiving since 1942.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD+.

Weiss Returns to Score Two as Red Wings Top Senators

Detroit forward Stephen Weiss made his return from injury Monday night, scoring twice to help the Red Wings to a 4-3 win over the visiting Ottawa Senators.

Weiss made just his second appearance of the season for Detroit after having spent much of last year injured. Over the weekend he scored two goals in two games for the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins in a conditioning stint.

With 6:24 left in the second period, Weiss scored his first of the game. After a shot from the point by Kyle Quincey, Weiss drove to the net to bang the rebound past Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson.

Weiss added the eventual game-winner with 2:08 left in the period. The rebound of a Darren Helm shot was loose in front of Anderson and Weiss knocked it past the netminder to make it 4-1.

Just 2:43 into the third period, Erik Karlsson made it a two-goal game, beating Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard from the high slot.

The Red Wings would hold off a Senators surge for most of the period until 34.3 seconds remained, when Chris Neil tipped a Mike Hoffman shot past Howard to pull Ottawa to within a goal.

Howard would shut the door in the closing moments, including one last save in the final second of the game to preserve the lead.

Kyle Turris had opened the game’s scoring at 5:19 of the first period, firing a one-timer from the top of the right faceoff circle past Howard for an Ottawa power play goal.

Gustav Nyquist responded with a power play goal for Detroit with 3:15 remaining in the period, jumping up to put the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg chance past Andersson from the slot.

Another power play goal gave the Red Wings the lead as Tomas Tatar‘s blast from the left wing was kicked right out to Riley Sheahan in the opposite faceoff circle for a shot into the open side of the net 2:23 into the second.

Detroit scored on two of their six power play attempts while the Senators scored once on four tries with the man-advantage.

Howard finished the night with 23 saves on 26 shots against. Anderson stopped 39 of 43 chances.

The Red Wings were without forward Pavel Datsyuk (groin)… Brian Lashoff was the healthy scratch on defense as Jakub Kindl swapped back into the lineup while Daniel Cleary was the odd-man-out at forward.

On Stephen Weiss and Expectations

Prior to Stephen Weiss‘ two-goal performance against the Ottawa Senators last night, Mlive’s Ansar Khan penned a note that shouldn’t be a surprise but is nonetheless a little interesting.

Weiss has played just one game for the Red Wings this season. It’s important that he plays regularly the rest of the season. They need to determine if he can contribute offensively and perform like the player he was in Florida.

If he can’t, they’re not going to keep his $4.95 million salary on their cap for the next three seasons, they’ll use a regular buyout on him in June, reducing their cap hit considerably.

That’s quite the statement. Not just that Weiss would be a buyout target, that he for certain will be bought out if he doesn’t justify his contract.

Less defined, though, is whether or not he “can contribute offensively.”

I don’t think anyone expects Weiss to score two goals a game from here on out. Last night was an awesome, well-timed outburst of scoring from him, not the start of a trend. That said, if we’re not expecting multi-goal games for the rest of the season, what are we expecting from him?

Is .71 points-per-game, his level from his last healthy season, acceptable? That’s what he was signed to provide.

He replaced Daniel Cleary in the lineup last night, does he just need to replace the .15 points-per-game that were good enough to get Cleary a contract for this year?

Some of that depends on how he ends up being used. In Florida, Weiss was a top-line player. Last night, he was in Cleary’s third-line spot.

That was with Pavel Datsyuk out of the lineup. With Datsyuk back, is there even a spot in the top six for Weiss to earn? Weiss may be in a Catch-22 here, needing top-six situations to put up the production expected from him but not being able to earn those minutes while playing on the third line.

He may be a perfectly adequate third-liner but in the salary cap world, you don’t pay a third-liner $4.95 million.

Are Weiss’ days with Detroit numbered? I don’t know. Given his paycheck, though, it looks like he’s facing an uphill battle.

Pregame: Senators @ Red Wings – 11/24

After failing to sweep their three-game road trip, falling to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, the Red Wings return home to host the Ottawa Senators tonight.

Former Senator and one-time Red Wing Daniel Alfredsson will not – as was briefly rumored – announce his retirement prior to the game. He’s still expected to do so sometime soon, just not now.

As the league gets closer to losing a player, the Red Wings get one back, with Stephen Weiss returning from his successful (two goals in two games) rehab stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Weiss will join Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm on the third line, replacing Daniel Cleary.

Meanwhile, Jakub Kindl gets back into the lineup on the blue line after four games as a healthy scratch, replacing Brian Lashoff.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in net for the Red Wings.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 63-24-22 all-time in the first game back home after a three-game road trip.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Maple Leafs – 11/22

So are we calling this another “You can’t win when you only play 20 minutes” game? ‘Cause the Wings had a pretty great second period and that’s about it.

Gustav Nyquist looks like he’s starting to try too hard to get out of his slump. Tomas Tatar has picked up the slack for the Wings but it’s not like Nyquist likes having gone cold.

Tatar’s goal in the second period was pretty amazing, too. But it wasn’t enough.

Jimmy Howard had the look of a goalie that didn’t want to try too hard if the team in front of him was going to hang him out to try.

The Jekyll and Hyde routine continues. Never know what Detroit team you’re going to see on a given night.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Maple Leafs – 11/22

The Red Wings visit the Maple Leafs looking to sweep their three-game road trip tonight.

Detroit’s visit to Toronto comes amid much drama for the Leafs. After a series of embarrassing losses, the team finally won a game on Thursday night, but drew the ire of some by not taking part in the postgame ritual of saluting their fans.

The Red Wings have significantly less drama, though they remain without several roster players. Pavel Datsyuk is still out with a groin injury, Brendan Smith‘s infected hand has him on IR, and former Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson is also still on IR. Xavier Ouellet will make his second appearance of the season on the Detroit blue line with Jakub Kindl the healthy scratch once again.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in goal for the Wings opposite Jonathan Bernier.

Stupid stat of the day: Detroit is 30-59-20 all-time in the final game of a three-game road trip. They’re 5-9-1 when that game is in Toronto.

Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD.

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