Thrashers Win Wild Matchup with Red Wings

A four-goal, third period comeback wasn’t enough for the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night. They fell to the Atlanta Thrashers, 7-6, after coming back from a 6-2 deficit to start the final period.

Atlanta’s Patrik Stefan scored the game-winner with 4:11 remaining in regulation. With Detroit pressuring in the Thrashers’ zone, defenseman Andreas Lilja broke his stick on a shot and the puck went straight to Stefan. The stickless Lilja was the only blueliner back and couldn’t make the play, leaving Stefan free to skate in alone on goalie Chris Osgood and put one past him.

The Thrashers had opened the game’s scoring at 3:53 of the first. J.P. Vigier intercepted a pass in the Atlanta zone with the Red Wings on the power play. He was hooked by Tomas Holmstrom as he broke through the neutral zone but the delayed penalty was negated when he rushed in at goaltender Jim Howard – who started the game in net for the Red Wings – and scored.

Pavel Datsyuk scored the first of his two goals with 8:37 remaining in the period. As Detroit skated five-on-three, Brendan Shanahan sent a pass from one side of the crease to Datsyuk at the other, where he was free to put the puck in the net.

Stefan scored his first of the night with 2:55 left in the opening period, picking up a rebound in the left circle before spinning and putting a shot over Howard’s pad on the near side.

Datsyuk tied the game again at 2:04 of the second, scoring from the slot on another pass from Shanahan.

Bobby Holik scored on a 3-on-2 to put Atlanta back in front just 1:03 later, knocking in his own rebound.

Osgood entered the game in an effort to shake things up for Detroit but he was immediately faced with 4:14 of Atlanta power play time, including two times where the Thrashers had a two-man advantage.

Former Red Wing Vyacheslav Kozlov scored on the first five-on-three while Marian Hossa scored on the second. Ronald Petrovicky scored another power play goal on a three-on-none rush against Osgood.

Down by four with 20 minutes remaining, the Red Wings began their comeback on a two-man power play just 24 seconds into the third. Shanahan took the puck to the side of the crease and lifted a shot over the far shoulder of Atlanta netminder Michael Garnett.

Jason Williams scored 1:38 later to pull Detroit within two and Osgood made a huge save on an Ilya Kovalchuk breakaway just minutes later to keep the Red Wings in it.

With yet another two-man advantage, Detroit scored their third goal of the period at 8:01. Mathieu Schneider fired a shot from the right circle past Garnett as the Wings pulled to within one.

The game was tied when Tomas Holmstrom banged in a rebound on a power play 40 seconds later.

The loss broke Detroit’s three-game winning streak and three-game road winning streak. It was their first loss to the Thrashers in franchise history.

Osgood finished the night with 12 saves on 16 shots while Howard made 13 saves on the same number of chances against and Garnett stopped 30 of the 36 shots he faced.

Detroit went four-for-eight on the power play and allowed three goals on seven Atlanta power play chances.

The Red Wings continue their Southeast Division road trip on Thursday in Miami, where they’ll face the Florida Panthers.

Late Shanahan Goals Lead Red Wings Past Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings got two goals by Brendan Shanahan in the final five minutes of Saturday night’s matchup with the San Jose Sharks to lead them to a 7-6 victory. The second of the goals was Shanahan 99th career game-winning goal.

In a game that saw 13 total goals scored the first period was relatively tame, with each team scoring only once.

The Red Wings opened the game’s scoring just 2:14 in on a goal by Jason Williams. Williams had the puck behind the net and sent it to Robert Lang at the bottom of the right circle before looping around behind him. Lang couldn’t get a good shooting angle so he dropped the puck back to Williams, who ripped it into the net past San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

San Jose evened the game with a power play goal 9:58 later. Marcel Goc fired a shot on net that Detroit netminder Chris Osgood stopped, put the puck bounced out past the top of the crease. Scott Thornton got tied up before he could get to the rebound but Alyn McCauley snuck in and knocked the puck past Osgood.

Six minutes into the second, Marco Sturm gave the Sharks their first lead of the game. After Osgood made a stop on Goc, defenseman Andreas Lilja attempted to clear the puck through the slot. Sturm was there to pick off the pass and send it past Osgood.

Just 1:58 later, Mathieu Schneider pulled Detroit back into a tie with a fluke power play goal. He fired a shot from the blue line that deflected off the stick of Mark Smith before hitting Tom Preissing’s knee and going over Nabokov’s shoulder.

Schneider scored again 38 seconds later to put Detroit back in the lead. On a 4-on-2 rush, Lang carried the puck down the right side boards. Williams drove the net and drew a defender with him, leaving Schneider all alone to take a pass from Lang in the slot and one-time it past Nabokov.

The lead only held for 1:55, as Smith drove the net after Osgood made an initial stop on a McCauley shot, pushing the puck home before knocking the net off its moorings.

Mikael Samuelsson continued his hot streak, putting Detroit in the lead again 39 seconds later. On a rush with Schneider driving the net, Samuelsson ripped a shot from the right circle. Nabokov got enough of it to knock the puck into the air but it flipped over his head and into the net.

After a tame second half of the period, Detroit held a 4-3 lead going into the third.

Thornton tied the game 3:23 into the final period. On a delayed penalty to Detroit, Thornton got the rebound of a Nils Ekman shot and put it under Osgood.

Schneider completed his first career hat trick 3:14 later, scoring one a one-timer from the top of the right circle while the Wings had a 5-on-3 advantage.

Wayne Primeau, one of the players in the penalty box for Schneider’s third goal, scored while the Sharks were shorthanded to bring them into a tie. Just 1:18 after Detroit took the lead, the puck was chipped past the Wings defense and Primeau picked it up to skate in alone on Osgood. He rifled a shot over the goalie’s shoulder to knot the game at five goals apiece.

The Sharks took their second lead of the game with 7:11 remaining in the period on a 5-on-3 of their own. Preissing sent a pass from the goal line to Osgood’s right through the crease and to Goc on the far side, where he was free to put it in.

Shanahan’s first goal came 3:01 later, with the Red Wings on the power play. Williams carried the puck through the left circle and drew the defenders to him, before sending a pass over to Shanahan in the right circle, where he was all alone to put a one-timer past Nabokov.

With three minutes left in regulation, Shanahan scored again, deflecting the puck off the shaft of his stick while driving the net.

After all the special teams play, the Red Wings ended up going three-for-seven on the power play. San Jose scored on two of their eight chances.

Osgood stopped 27 of the 33 shots he faced, while Nabokov made 23 saves on 30 shots.

Detroit will complete their West Coast road trip Monday in Los Angeles.


Detroit captain Steve Yzerman did not play, he was reportedly “banged up” after Friday’s game in Anaheim. Mark Mowers took his place… Jim Howard was called up from Grand Rapids to back up Chris Osgood… Manny Legace is expected to miss at least two weeks after straining his MCL in his left leg… The Detroit Free Press reports that last Monday’s matchup with Nashville has been rescheduled for April 16, giving Detroit four games in as many nights. This was denyed by Detroit announcer Ken Daniels but NHL.com’s schedule confirms the Free Press report.

Lang Scores Overtime Winner to Beat Kings

Manny Legace‘s return from a knee injury turned out to be an exciting game, with the Wings letting a two goal lead slip away late in the third period. But thanks to Robert Lang‘s overtime winner, Legace’s stellar performance was not lost.

Lang’s goal came 1:39 into the extra session after Andreas Lilja found Nicklas Lidstrom‘s shot from the point along the boards behind the net. Lilja brought it back around and passed it into the slot where Lang put it past Los Angeles Kings’ goalie Jason Labarbera.

The Kings started the scoring 3:31 into the game while on the power play for a Mathieu Schneider hooking call. Michael Cammalleri took a shot from the left circle while Legace was screened.

Legace then came up big only moments later on a Sean Avery shot. Taking advantage of not going down 2-0, the Wings tied the game with a goal from Steve Yzerman at 8:18. The goal was set up by Daniel Cleary passing the puck around the left boards to the circle where Schneider fed Yzerman who had come in just left of the crease.

Legace and Labarbera traded great saves halfway through the second period to keep the game tied until Johan Franzen scored short handed at 12:34. Franzen was breaking for the slot and took a pass from Cleary.

Sixteen seconds into the third period Tomas Holmstrom scored when he pounced on a loose puck in front of the Kings’ net after Labarbera and Tim Gleason both mishandled the puck.

The Kings score four minutes later as Jeremy Roenick fired a shot from the left point to bring them within one goal again.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings up by two again with his second goal of the night from the slot after a nice give-and-go with Pavel Datsyuk on his left at 13:19.

Only 25 seconds later the Kings were within one goal again after Craig Conroy hopped on a rebound in the slot off a Pavol Demitra shot from the right circle. Then at 16:12 the Kings tied the game after Alexander Frolov tipped a Jiri Fischer pass just inside the Wings blue line. As Frolov was getting a handle on the puck, Legace came out to poke check, but Frolov moved around and slid the puck into the open net.

Both goalies faced a high number of shots, with Labarbera turning aside 34 of the Wings’ 39 shots, while Legace stopped 37 of the Kings’ 41 shots.

The Kings’ went one for six on the power play, while the Red Wings who were ranked first in the NHL going into the game, came up empty handed on their four chances with the man advantage.

The Wings next face the Minnesota Wild at home on Friday night.

Frustrated Wings Drop Second Straight

The Detroit Red Wings took an early lead over Phoenix on Saturday but frustration with the speedy Coyotes and the officiating quickly showed and led to a 4-1 loss, their second in a row after their record-breaking start.

Tomas Homstrom put the Red Wings out front just 2:23 into the game. Pavel Datsyuk broke into the Phoenix zone and moved to split the two remaining defenders but the puck was knocked back to Holmstrom, who skated into the slot and put a shot past Coyotes netminder Curtis Joseph. It was Holmstrom’s 100th career goal.

The Red Wings carried the play throughout most of the period but Phoenix players managed to beat them to lose pucks and block shots, keeping the score at 1-0.

With 4:01 left in the period, Chris Chelios was called for cross-checking Oleg Saprykin after another Coyote elbowed him. Chelios yelled at referee Paul Devorski and was given an additional two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Chelios continuted to argue and was finally given a ten-minute and a game misconduct, leaving the Red Wings on a 5-on-3, without one of their penalty-killers, and short a defenseman for the rest of the night.

The Coyotes evened the game with the two-man advantage as Mike Leclerc banged the puck past Chris Osgood on a rebound with 2:58 remaining.

Phoenix got a jump on the Wings in the second, outshooting them 16-8 and scoring two more goals on the power play.

At 8:22, Zbynek Michalek fired a shot from the blue line that tipped off Detroit defender Andreas Lilja and past Osgood.

With 2:34 left in the period, Jiri Fischer was called for a hooking penalty that couldn’t be seen on replay and Mike Johnson put Phoenix up by two. Kirk Maltby failed to clear the zone and Phoenix recovered to send a flurry of shots on net. Osgood came to the top of the crease to make a stop on Keith Ballard and the puck bounced out to the right circle, where Johnson picked it up and sent it into the net before Osgood could recover.

The Red Wings regained momentum in the third after killing off a four-minute penalty – two for elbowing and two for arguing with referee Chris Lee – to Tomas Holmstrom.

After getting a 5-on-3 chance of their own, it looked like the Wings had pulled to within one on a goal by Brendan Shanahan. The goal was called back, however, after replay showed that Shanahan had kicked the puck in after a series of chances from right on the doorstep.

The Wings never challenged again and Phoenix added an empty-net goal – also on the power play – by Mike Comrie.

Detroit finished the game with no power play goals on seven chances while the Coyotes scoed on four of their nine opportunities.

Osgood made 25 saves on 28 shots against. Joseph stopped 36 of 37 Detroit shots.

The Red Wings are back in action Sunday night in St. Louis.

Wings Down Columbus to Set Record Start

The Detroit Red Wings earned their ninth win in the first ten games of the season with a 6-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday. It marks the first time in the team’s 80-year history that they have started 9-1.

Like in Detroit’s 6-0 win at Columbus on Saturday, the Red Wings got into penalty trouble early, taking a penalty in the first minute of the game. Unlike on Saturday, they did not shake it off and the Blue Jackets scored the game’s first goal with Jiri Fischer in the box at 10:18.

Just four seconds into the power play, David Vyborny won an offensive-zone faceoff back to Todd Marchant at the right point. Marchant quickly got the puck to Bryan Berard, who moved into the high slot and fired a shot that deflected off a Red Wings’ skate and past Detroit goalie Manny Legace.

Detroit bounced back with 3:23 remaining in the first, as Brendan Shanahan banked a shot in off the back of Columbus netminder Marc Denis from behind the net.

The Red Wings took the lead on a goal by Pavel Datsyuk 7:38 into the second. Datsyuk batted the rebound of his first shot out of mid-air and past Denis.

He scored again on the power play just 1:40 later, putting in the rebound of a shot by Fischer.

Trevor Letowski cut Detroit’s lead to one with 8:22 left in the period but the Red Wings pulled further ahead after Columbus’ Steven Goertzen was sent to the box for a five-minute roughing penalty after riding Andreas Lilja into the boards on an icing call.

Shanahan scored his second of the night on a slap shot from the top of the right circle with 3:27 left in the second. Mathieu Schneider added another with 2:13 remaining while the Wings skated 5-on-3.

Henrik Zetterberg scored the third period’s only goal, skating around two Blue Jackets as he broke into the zone and then beating Denis with 8:08 left in the game. The goal was scored as the teams skated four aside after a scrum in front of the Detroit goal.

Legace stopped 31 of 33 shots against for Detroit while Columbus got the same number of saves on 37 shots from Denis.

The Red Wings went 3-for-9 on the power play. Columbus was 1-for-8.

Detroit will be in action next on Thursday as they begin a three-game series with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Changes: A New NHL, but Wings Remain Similar

With all the opinions on how this NHL season will go, someone has to be right.

You know the words “a new NHL” actually mean something when people are talking about how far the Pittsburgh Penguins will advance in the playoffs, or how the Nashville Predators are the real threat to take the Central Division.

Things are bound to change, but every season brings a few surprises. While the same teams were looked at as Cup contenders each year, there were others that shocked the world once, but not again. No one gave Carolina a shot before 2002, and they don’t get much respect now, despite making the Cup Final that year. Each team is going to see some changes in this new NHL. So, what stays the same in Detroit and what changes?

The roster looks a lot like it has in the past. Detroit may be the measuring stick for any team in the future trying to keep a core together. At the center is Steve Yzerman, as he has been for two decades. Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Tomas Holmstrom and Brendan Shanahan remain from the 1997 championship team at forward, with six-time Norris nominated (and three-time winner) Nicklas Lidstrom on defense.

Chris Osgood remembers that 1997 team, and he’s back in Detroit after spending a few years in New York and St. Louis. Including Ozzie, Detroit has ten players that have been with the team since before 2000. Manny Legace saw Osgood leave and return, and the two will have a healthy fight to become the number one guy. Relative newcomers Robert Lang, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are the guys who will be looked at to score goals this season. Gone from the long-time roster are Darren McCarty and Mathieu Dandenault, along with a few salary eaters (Dominik Hasek, Curtis Joseph, Brett Hull).

Players that will have to produce when they get their chances include Jason Williams, Johan Franzen, Mark Mowers and Dan Cleary.

If the officials call the game by the book, the defense needs to be ready. While Lidstrom is nearly perfect at his position, Jiri Fischer is still learning and may rack up the penalty minutes. This means the Red Wings are relying on a few older veterans to hold down the fort.

The play of Mathieu Schneider, Chris Chelios and possibly Jamie Rivers and Andreas Lilja will be the true test of this Wings squad. Niklas Kronwall again will miss most of the season, meaning the Wings may even look at some inexperienced defenders, as tight cap space may limit them from testing the free agent market or making a big trade.

A new trio now leads the Wings behind the bench: Coach Mike Babcock and his assistants Paul MacLean and Todd McLellan are all fairly familiar faces. Babcock coached the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim that knocked out the Wings in 2003, and MacLean played for the Red Wings. Interestingly enough, McLellan coached the Houston Aeros past the Grand Rapids Griffins in the 2003 Calder Cup playoffs. These three should lay down the law, making sure the Wings never get too comfortable trying to play their old style.

This Week’s Matchups

October 5 vs St. Louis – Chris Osgood won’t get a chance to open the season against his former team, so it looks like Manny Legace will get the start. The Blues now have Patrick Lalime in front of the net, but not Al MacInnis or Chris Pronger. If the Wings can come out hard and fast, they might be able to exploit the Blues’ young defense which is now led by Eric Brewer.

October 6 at St. Louis – The Blues and Wings get two of their eight meetings over with in a hurry. The Blues home opener may see Reinhard Divis and Jim Howard in the nets. St. Louis is the younger team, and they’ll be excited to open the Savvis Center. A split series with both teams winning their home opener is not out of the question.

Games this week: 2
vs. Western Conference: 2
vs. Central Division: 2
Home: 1
Road: 1

Wings Rout Flu-Ridden Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets came to Detroit missing thirteen players from their normal starting roster and certainly played like it, allowing nine goals and scoring none en route to a loss to the Red Wings.

Detroit got goals from Nicklas Lidstrom, Robert Lang (2) and Kyle Quincey in the first period to take a 4-0 lead into the intermission. The Blue Jackets managed only two shots to the Red Wings’ twenty-one on the period.

Dan Cleary and Rem Murray added goals in the second before Columbus goalie Marc Denis was replaced by Pascal Leclaire. Mathieu Schneider scored one more goal in the second before Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom added goals in the third.

Lidstrom scored the only goal of the shootout in the fifth round.

The Blue Jackets roster has been decimated by a flu bug going around the team.

The Red Wings were without captain Steve Yzerman, defenseman Jamie Rivers and goalie Chris Osgood, all suffering from groin injuries. Pavel Datsyuk did not play after practicing with the team for a second day and Andreas Lilja sat after playing the night before in Colorado. Niklas Kronwall was out with the knee injury he suffered in Denver.

Wings Sign Two for Added Depth

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland announced the signing of two depth players on Wednesday, as the Wings came to terms with veteran defenseman Andreas Lilja and center Don MacLean.

Lilja spent the 2003-04 season with the Florida Panthers and signed as a free agent with the Nashville Predators in the summer of 2004. With the cancellation of the 2004-05 season, he never played a game for the Predators, instead splitting his time in Europe between Sweden’s Mora IK and Switzerland’s Ambri-Piotta.

In 180 NHL games with Florida and the Los Angeles Kings, Lilja has scored 8 goals and 19 assists, adding 186 penalty minutes.

“Lilja brings NHL experience along with the size and toughness we needed on our blueline,” said Holland.

MacLean has spent most of his career in the American Hockey League after being drafted 33rd overall in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by Los Angeles. He played 22 games for the Kings in 1997-98 and didn’t return to the NHL until 2000-01, when he played three games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He appeared in three playoff games with Toronto the following season and four regular season contests with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2003-04.

“MacLean gives us depth on offense and will have a chance to compete in training camp. We’re happy to have both players signed and look forward to seeing them in the Red Wings’ jersey,” Holland stated.

Both players signed one year deals. As per club policy, financial terms were not released.

Tie with Panthers Leads Wings into Break

The Red Wings returned home Thursday night after their four-game road trip and played the Florida Panthers to a two-two tie in both teams’ final game before the All-Star Break.

Florida’s Viktor Kozlov scored with 12:30 remaining in the third period to force the tie.

Detroit had opened the scoring just past the midway point of the first period. Pavel Datsyuk beat Panthers’ netminder Roberto Luongo for his first goal since November 3, 2002, at 13:38 of the first.

Florida tied the game back up late in the opening period as Andreas Lilja beat the Red Wings’ Manny Legace with 47.2 second remaining.

The Red Wings regained the lead in the second period as Darren McCarty took a pass from Kris Draper and made a nifty move to beat Luongo at 9:39.

Both sides were scoreless for the rest of the game aside from Kozlov’s tying goal.

Legace stopped thirty-five of the thirty-seven shots he faced in net for Detroit, while Luongo turned aside thirty-three shots for the Panthers.

The Panthers were without defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh and left wing / defenseman Lance Ward, who were traded earlier in the day to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.


The Red Wings will return to action on Tuesday when Nashville visits Joe Louis Arena. Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov, along with coach Dave Lewis, will represent the Red Wings for the Western Conference in Sunday’s All-Star Game… Sandis Ozolinsh will still make his scheduled start for the Eastern Conference, despite having been traded to a Western Conference team.