HOW Many Goals????

Steve Yzerman scored his 650th career goal, Brett Hull scored his 1200th career point, and Manny Legace extended his unbeaten streak to seventeen games, as the Red Wings downed the Minnesota Wild, 8-3.

The game started off slowly enough. Detroit put offensive pressure on Minnesota throughout the first, but were unable to score until Tomas Holmstrom backhanded a rebound of Pavel Datsyuk‘s shot past goalie Dwayne Roloson.

It was in the second period that Detroit began to unleash their true offensive capabilities. Only thirty-six seconds in, Yzerman scored his historic goal. Minnesota’s Sylvain Blouin was in the penalty box for hooking. Brendan Shanahan passed from the left wing side back to Yzerman at the blue line, and he rifled the puck past Roloson.

Nicklas Lidstrom added to Detroit’s total four and a half minutes into the period. He took a pass from Luc Robitaille, and fired the puck from the blue line, off a Wild player’s stick, and over Roloson’s shoulder for the goal.

Yzerman added goal 651 halfway through the second. Kris Draper was in the penalty box for hooking, but Hull was able to hit a Minnesota power play player and knock the puck loose, so that Yzerman was able to pick it up and break away to fake out Roloson and hit the back of the net.

Robitaille made a contribution to the goal collection during a cross-checking penalty to Marian Gaborik. Robitaille took up position near the net, and Yzerman was able to thread a pass right between two Minnesota defensemen who had left Robitaille and the puck uncovered, and just like that, the Red Wings had a five goal lead with which to start the third period.

The Wild did not give up. They took Roloson out for goalie Manny Fernandez, to shake things up for their players, and scored three goals in the first ten minutes of the third period. Richard Park was able to flip the puck over Legace and into the net only 1:18 into the period. Aaron Gavey took a pass from behind the net and stuffed the puck home for the goal 5:55 in.

Then, just as the Red Wings were starting a power play resulting from an interference call on Park, Holmstrom was called for holding the stick. He argued with the referee and was given an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and a ten minute game misconduct, sending him out for the rest of the game. During the Wild’s resulting power play, Andrew Brunette was able to slide the puck past Legace off a pass from Gaborik.

Just as the Detroit fans were starting to wonder if the Wild might be able to come back from trailing by five, the Red Wings’ offensive juggernaut kicked into gear and set those fears to rest. Robitaille got his second goal of the night by tipping in a Chris Chelios blue line shot with 6:20 left in the game.

The goal-scoring momentum continued, and Shanahan scored only twenty-seven seconds later by positioning himself in the perfect place to grab up the rebound from Freddy Olausson‘s shot and get the puck over the sprawling Fernandez from the side of the net.

Then, as if making sure that the Wild will never forget that Detroit is Hockeytown, Hull and Boyd Devereaux got a two-on-one rush down the ice. Hull passed cross-ice to Devereaux, who flipped the puck in behind Fernandez, who had apparently been expecting Hull to shoot, not pass.

Detroit was able to end the game with a full 3:20 of power play time, two minutes of which were five-on-three. Brad Brown started and continued a fight with Draper, and was given two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting, a ten minute misconduct, and a game misconduct. Jim Dowd was sent to the box for elbowing with only 2:20 left to play, but the Red Wings did not score again.

Legace now has a record of 5-0-0 for the season. He stopped 17 of 20 shots. Roloson was only able to stop 19 of 24 in the first two periods, and Fernandez blocked 13 of 16 in the third.

Detroit has two more games at home before heading back out on the road. They will host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

‘Canes Still Can’t Win in Detroit

The Carolina Hurricanes will leave Detroit with their six game unbeaten streak snapped, as they lost to the Red Wings, 4-3. The Hurricanes have not won a game at Joe Louis Arena since November 14, 1989, when they were still playing as the Hartford Whalers.

With Detroit’s loss on Saturday night to the Los Angeles Kings, and with Tomas Holmstrom back in the lineup after missing five games with a wrist injury, Scotty Bowman rearranged the forward lines to generate more offense. However, it was the power play, not the regular five-on-five, that got the Wings their first goal of the game.

Two power play opportunities had already been broken up by the Hurricanes’ penalty killers, when defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was called for tripping with 1:21 left in the first period. It took exactly three seconds for Steve Yzerman to win the faceoff and get the puck back to Nicklas Lidstrom, for Lidstrom to pass along the blue line to Sergei Fedorov, and for Fedorov to fire hard from the right point to beat goaltender Artus Irbe.

Detroit scored again 7:35 into the second period. Fedorov got the puck from Yzerman, then faked out Irbe by passing instead of shooting. Brendan Shanahan picked up the pass and shot it past Irbe to score his eleventh goal of the season, moving past Luc Robitaille for the team lead in goals.

The Red Wings continued to pressure the Hurricanes, and were rewarded with another power play when Bates Battaglia was sent to the box for tripping with 9:31 left in the period. They scored only twenty-five seconds later, when Yzerman got the pass from Lidstrom and fired hard from the left point. It was first announced that this was Yzerman’s 650th career goal, but upon review, it was discovered that the puck had banked in off of Holmstrom’s skate, giving him credit for the goal.

Not done yet, Mathieu Dandenault got the Wings their fourth goal of the evening with 7:21 left in the second. Carolina’s goalie and defense were covering Holmstrom and Igor Larionov, and Dandenault was able to sneak up and flip the puck into the net.

With only 3:08 before intermission, Battaglia hit Larionov from behind. Darren McCarty, not being one to let people get away with such things, jumped to his teammates defense, and came away with a two minute minor penalty for instigating, a five minute major for fighting, and a ten minute misconduct. Battaglia was given two minutes for roughing, so it was the five minute penalty which needed to be killed off by the Red Wings.

Detroit succeeded in keeping Carolina from scoring on McCarty’s penalty, which bridged the second and third periods. The Hurricanes came back hard in the third period, though. Niklas Wallin was able to score 7:31 into the period, and Martin Gelinas scored only twenty-nine seconds later, beating Dominik Hasek directly off an offensive zone faceoff.

Carolina was able to bring the score within one with only 2:32 left in the game, when Shanahan was in the penalty box for interference. They pulled Irbe from the net with 1:17 left, but the Red Wings kept the Hurricanes from scoring again.

Shots on goal were even at twenty-four per side. Thirteen of Carolina’s shots came in the third period. Detroit scored on two of five power plays, and the Hurricanes scored on one of four.

The Red Wings will play again Friday night, when they host the Minnesota Wild.

King Palffy

It took most of a five minute overtime to decide it, but the Los Angeles Kings were able to get by the Red Wings, 3-2.

The Wings took the first power play of the game. Ziggy Palffy, who had missed the Kings’ previous four games with back spasms, was called for tripping. Detroit’s power play got off to a slow start. They did manage to settle it down and take a few shots against goalie Felix Potvin before the power play’s end, but Potvin was able to block each time.

Detroit got another power play opportunity with 11:05 left in the first period when Steve Heinze was sent to the box for interference. This time, the Kings decided to put their penalty kill on the offensive, and managed a three-on-one rush, but Dominek Hasek was able to stop the puck in time.

Just five seconds after the penalty ended, before Heinze had much of a chance to get back in the play, Detroit scored. Freddy Olausson took a blue line pass from Nicklas Lidstrom, and fired from the right side. The shot managed to go between Darren McCarty‘s legs, off Igor Larionov‘s shin pads, and behind Potvin for a goal.

The score remained 1-0 through the second period, despite two power plays for the Kings and one for the Red Wings.

LA got on the board 3:41 into the third period. Eric Belanger took a pass from Ian Lapierre, and managed to fake out Pavel Datsyuk to get up to the net and flip the puck high over Hasek’s shoulder.

The Kings took the lead with just over nine minutes left in the third. The Red Wings’ old adversary Adam Deadmarsh managed to score by banking in Jason Allison’s shot from behind the net.

Chris Chelios tied up the game with 5:33 left to play. Steve Duchesne carried the puck into the offensive zone, the spun around and passed back to Chelios at the blue line. Chelios let go a hard one-timer, and scored his first goal in eighty-five games.

With only thirty-six seconds left in the play, Kris Draper took a boarding penalty, and was sent to the box. The Red Wings played a tight defense, and kept the Kings from scoring before the overtime.

The Kings started the overtime with 1:24 of leftover penalty, which gave them four men to the Red Wings’ three. Lidstrom, Chelios, and Steve Yzerman stayed in a tight triangle formation in front of the net, and kept the Kings from getting many shots against Hasek.

They killed off the penalty, but it proved to be not quite enough. With only 1:27 left, Palffy, who had been stopped by Hasek four times already, took the puck on a breakaway, and was able to slide the puck underneath Detroit’s goalie, to give the Kings the win.

Hasek stopped twenty-six of the twenty-nine shots he faced, and Potvin stopped twenty out of twenty-two. The Red Wings currently lead the league with a record of 14-3-0-1, for twenty-nine points. They are tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for the highest number of goals, at fifty-eight, and have allowed forty-one goals against them this season. The New York Islanders and Boston Bruins hold the current lead for goals-against, with thirty-five.

The Red Wings return home to begin a four-game homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night.

600 And Counting

Luc Robitaille scored his 600th career goal, and Dominik Hasek earned his first shutout of the season, as the Red Wings took a 1-0 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Detroit dominated the play in the first two periods. Robitaille’s historic goal was scored on a power play opportunity. 7:32 into the game, Anaheim’s Niclas Havelid was sent to the penalty box for holding. Brendan Shanahan shot the puck from the blue line, and Robitaille was on hand to tip it past goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

A fight broke out a few minutes later. Some Anaheim players took offense to Chris Chelios‘s hit on Paul Kariya, but Kris Draper and Brendan Shanahan were on hand to help their teammate. Shanahan fought his opponent, Dan Bylsma, down to the ice, and both were given five-minute major penalties for fighting. Shanahan currently leads the NHL in penalty minutes.

Thorughout the first two periods, Detroit had 22 shots on goal. The Ducks were only able to generate 11 shots against Dominik Hasek, in spite of two power play chances late in the second.

The Ducks kicked up their play for the third period. Hasek showed himself equal to the task, demonstrating his acrobatic skills on a rolling save to block a shot from Paul Kariya and a rebound shot from Patrick Kjellberg.

Chelios got into another fight near the end of the period. Kirk Maltby had dropped to the ice to block a shot, and an Anaheim player tried to whack the puck out from under him. Chelios came to stick up for his teammate, and he and Mike Leclerc were given offsetting two-minute penalties for roughing.

Anaheim pulled Giguere for the extra skater with 1:23 left to play, but the Ducks were unable to score.

Darren McCarty rejoined the “Grind Line”, playing in his first game since sustaining a knee injury against the Islanders on October 13. Max Kuznetsov and Tomas Holmstrom sat out, with injuries to hip and wrist, respectively. Brent Gilchrist, whose eye was injured by a high stick in Wednesday’s game against the Coyotes, also sat out, but Wings trainer John Wharton said the eye was not seriously damaged, and Gilchrist should be fine soon.

Hasek’s shutout was the fifty-seventh of his career, putting him within one of overtaking the Dallas Stars’ Ed Belfour for the lead in shutouts among active goaltenders. Robitaille is only the thirteenth player in NHL history to score 600 goals. He and teammates Steve Yzerman and Brett Hull make the Red Wings the first team in history to have three 600-goal-scorers.

The Red Wings will finish up their West Coast road trip Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Coyotes Not Wily Enough

The Phoenix Coyotes must have hoped to benefit from the World Series-winning ways of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the Red Wings showed them that maybe the desert is better suited for baseball than hockey, as the Wings won, 3-1.

Scotty Bowman made a few changes in the lineup, as is to be expected. With Max Kuznetsov and Tomas Holmstrom both injured, Mathieu Dandenault was moved back to defense, and forward Yuri Butsayev was recalled from Cincinnati to help out.

The first period went scoreless, even though Detroit had a four-minute power play opportunity just sixteen seconds into the game. Phoenix’s Brad May got called for cutting Brent Gilchrist‘s chin with a high stick. The Coyotes ran their penalty kill in a tight box formation in front of their net, keeping the Wings to the outside and allowing few shots on goalie Sean Burke.

Detroit had another power play chance late in the first, but this one would be a greater scoring chance for the Coyotes than the Red Wings, when Daymond Langkow was able to get off a breakaway shot on net. Fortunately, Dominek Hasek was alert and able to stop the puck.

Freddy Olausson opened the scoring with only 6:41 left in the second period. The Wings were shorthanded, with Chris Chelios in the box for tripping, but Brendan Shanahan got the puck and headed up the ice on the left wing side, Olausson trailing on the right. When Shanahan passed across to Olausson, Burke seemed to expect the puck to be passed back again, and Olausson was able to flip it into the net.

With just over 3:10 left in the second, May was given another double minor for high sticking, again on Gilchrist. The Wings were unable to score before the buzzer, but carried fifty seconds of power play over into the third.

Just five seconds after the power play had ended, before May was able to catch up to the play, Sergei Fedorov picked up a blue line pass from Nicklas Lidstrom and fired hard into the net from the right point, to bring Detroit ahead by two.

Kirk Maltby scored his first goal of the season less than a minute later. Chelios cleared the puck off the glass, Maltby picked it up, and fired past Burke from the right side.

The Coyotes answered exactly one minute later. Krys Kolanos stole the puck when Jiri Fischer mishandled it, and fired against Hasek, who blocked. May was able to pick up the rebound and slide it underneath Detroit’s goalie for his second goal of the season.

Phoenix pulled Burke for the extra skater with three minutes left, then sent him back in when the faceoff came outside the Detroit zone. They pulled him out again with 1:49 left to play. Just as the buzzer sounded, it looked as if Brett Hull had scored a goal into the empty net, but the goal was ruled down after review.

Hasek made sixteen saves on seventeen shots, while Burke made twenty-eight saves on thirty-one shots. Detroit currently leads the league in games, with a 13-3-0-0 record, and in shorthanded goals, with five. They continue their West Coast road trip in Anaheim Friday night.

Blackhawks Strong At Home

In spite of valiant play in the second and third periods, the Red Wings’ six-game road unbeaten streak was snapped Sunday by the Chicago Blackhawks, who won the game 5-4.

Chicago opened the scoring on the power play. While Sergei Fedorov was serving a penalty for slashing, Chicago’s Eric Daze fired on Dominek Hasek. Hasek blocked the shot, but Kyle Calder picked up the rebound and shot it into the net.

The Blackhawks scored again with just under three minutes left in the period. Daze shot the puck from behind the net and banked it off the skate of Michael Nylander, and between Hasek’s legs. As if adding insult to injury, the Blackhawks added another goal barely a minute later. On a two-on-one rush, Igor Korolev was able to get the puck past Nicklas Lidstrom and over Hasek to make the score 3-0.

Chicago’s penalty killing unit, ranked 27th in the NHL, had to go into action early in the second, when Daze was sent to the box for tripping. They were no match for Detroit’s power play. Igor Larionov passed from behind the net to Steve Yzerman, who fired the puck, and Luc Robitaille was on hand to sweep it in behind goalie Jocelyn Thibault.

Despite the energy generated by Robitaille’s goal, Chicago got the next two goals. Steve Thomas scored with a bouncing puck just ten seconds after the end of a Detroit penalty to Hasek (served by Brent Gilchrist) for delay of game by firing the puck over the glass. The next was scored by Aaron Downey with 8:46 left in the second period, and was the first goal of his NHL career.

Down by four goals, the Detroit bench pulled Hasek out of the game and sent in Manny Legace to take his place. Hasek, still recovering from stomach flu, had let in five goals on fifteen shots.

The Red Wings got a 5-on-3 opportunity late in the period. Jaroslav Spacek was given two minutes for delay of game for laying on the puck with 4:02 left to play. Just over a minute later, Tony Amonte was sent to the box for slashing. Larionov scored by shooting the puck from behind the net and banking it off the skate of Alexander Karpotsvev and into the net.

They continued with a 5-on-4 power play, since Amonte’s penalty had not yet ended. This time, Larionov passed to Robitaille behind the net. Robitaille got it out front to Brett Hull, who fired hard and beat Thibault for the goal.

Detroit held Chicago to only three shots against Legace in the third period, but was only able to score once more. With 8:22 left to play, Larionov won an offensive zone faceoff. The puck bounced free to Robitaille, who shot it past Thibault to score his 599th career goal.

The Red Wings controlled the puck for most of the remainder of the game. Even when they pulled Legace to send in the sixth skater, however, they were not able to beat Thibault again.

Chicago, with new coach Brian Sutter, has not lost a home game yet this season. Shots on goal were 29-18 in the Red Wings’ favor.

Detroit will continue their road trip with a game against the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday night.

Wings Down Isles in Osgood’s Return to Joe

Kris Draper outshined former roommate Chris Osgood as the Red Wings defeated the Islanders, 2-1, in Osgood’s first game back in Detroit after being sent to the New York Islanders in the NHL’s waiver draft.

The Islanders took an early lead in the match when Shawn Bates beat Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek from in front of the net just 1:05 into the game.

Draper took over from there. With Brendan Shanahan in the box at 16:06, Draper picked up the puck at center ice and beat Osgood on a breakaway chance.

Draper struck again in the second period, poking the puck past Osgood at 9:19.

The Islanders had their chances to tie the game up, but Hasek held strong and preserved the lead. With the Isles skating six men to four late in the third period Hasek turned aside shots from Adrian Aucoin with half a minute left and Roman Hamrlik with 7.2 seconds remaining.

Hasek ended the night with twenty-five saves on twenty-six shots, Osgood stopped twenty-six of twenty-eight. The Wings next hit the ice on Sunday in Chicago.

Happy Hull-o-ween!

Brett Hull came up big time on Halloween night, scoring an assist and two goals, including the game winner, as the Red Wings took revenge on the Dallas Stars, 4-3.

The Stars opened the scoring just over four minutes into the game. Joe Nieuwendyk was in the penalty box for high-sticking, giving the Red Wings a power play opportunity, but Jere Lehtinen was able to pick up the puck on a breakaway from Mike Modano and tip it in behind goalie Manny Legace.

The Wings came back only thirty seconds later. Hull passed to Nicklas Lidstrom, who got the puck to Sergei Fedorov. Fedorov shot the puck while Ed Belfour was screened, and it went into the net to tie the game.

The Stars scored again with 9:05 left in the period. Donald Audette picked up a pass from Sergei Zubov, squeezed between two Red Wings defensemen, and slid the puck under Legace’s left side.

Detroit then scored twice in quick succession. Hull got the equalizer with 7:42 left to play. The Stars’ Brenden Morrow and Detroit’s Maxim Kuznetsov were given offsetting penalties for slashing thirty seconds later. In the resulting four-on-four play, Brendan Shanahan tipped in a shot from the right point by Fredrik Olausson.

The Wings were not able to take their lead into the locker room for break, however. Benoit Hogue picked up an errant pass and fired from the blue line to get past Legace with less than four minutes left in the period.

The second and third periods were both scoreless. Both teams were able to generate multiple opportunities, including four Dallas power plays in a row in the second period, but solid play from Legace and Belfour kept the score even until the overtime.

Only forty-three seconds in, Hull took the pass from Lidstrom and beat Belfour on a three-on-one rush.

Legace stopped twenty shots in his second game back since his neck injury in Saturday night’s game against the Nashville Predators, bringing his record for the season to 4-0-0, and extending his unbeaten streak to fifteen games. The Red Wings generated twenty-eight shots against Belfour.

The Red Wings season record of 11-2-0 is the best thirteen game start in franchise history, and now leads the NHL. They hope to improve to twelve wins Friday night when the team in the second position, the New York Islanders, bring Chris Osgood back to Detroit to play against his old team.

Wings Down ‘Canes in a Whirlwind

Red Wings netminder Manny Legace bounced back from a neck injury suffered Saturday night against Nashville to lead Detroit to a 5-2 win over the Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.

Legace stopped twenty-six of twenty-eight shots in a game he didn’t expect to even dress for. With Dominik Hasek sick, Legace became the starter and shut down the Hurricanes.

Detroit jumped out to an early lead when Mathieu Dandenault scored on the rebound from a Pavel Datsyuk shot just 1:22 into the first period. Datsyuk scored his first NHL goal exactly five minutes later, flipping a backhand shot past Carolina goaltender Tom Barrasso.

We got two goals out of the young line,” Detroit coach Scotty Bowman said. “Mathieu Dandenault scored one and Pavel Datsyuk scored his first NHL goal. They give us a lot of energy out there.”

Brendan Shanahan added his ninth goal of the season just over two minutes later and the Wings carried a three goal lead into the first intermission.

The Hurricanes bounced back during the second period. Sami Kapanen took a pass from Sandis Ozolinsh to get a breakaway and score with 6:35 remaining in the period. Former Red Wing Aaron Ward also assisted on the goal.

Ron Francis deflected a shot past Legace 2:09 later to bring the ‘Canes within one. Carolina kept the pressure on for the rest of the period but Legace came up strong and kept the Wings in the lead.

Steve Yzerman put the Red Wings back in control, beating Barrasso at 4:10 of the third. The Hurricanes were never able to get back in the game, and Kris Draper ended it with an empty net goal with 1:19 remaining in the game.

The Red Wings complete their three game road trip tonight against the Stars as Brett Hull makes his first trip back to Dallas since signing with Detroit. Faceoff is at 8:30 PM.

A Storm Brewing

Part five of the Red Wings Reunion Tour 2001-02 takes place tonight as Detroit heads to Carolina to face former Wing defenseman Aaron Ward and his new Hurricane teammates.

Ward’s team holds the top spot in the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division after an overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday and Ward himself already has two assists and a plus-five rating heading into tonight’s matchup.

The Red Wings are coming off a one-to-zero win over the Nashville Predators in a game which saw backup goaltender Manny Legace suffer a minor neck injury. Legace could dress for tonight’s game. To compound matters, starting goaltender Dominik Hasek felt ill during practice Monday, forcing the Red Wings to take shots against minor-league call-up Jason Elliot.

Should both Hasek and Legace be unable to start tonight, Elliot would be forced to make his first NHL start. Elliot is 0-3-0 with Cincinatti of the AHL this season, with a 5.09 goals against average and a .813 save percentage.

Hasek is expected to start, but Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland acknowledged that any of the three netminders could play between the pipes tonight.

In the meantime, the Red Wings look to continue their road unbeaten streak. Detroit is 4-0 on the road this season, including overtime wins over the San Jose Sharks and New York Islanders.