Wings Show Wild Some Variety in Win

If it’s true that a team needs offense from all possible sources in order to succeed in the playoffs, then the Red Wings look to be in pretty decent shape headng into next week. Five different players scored goals to overcome the normally stifling defense of the Minnesota Wild in a 5-3 win.

Darren McCarty opened the scoring early in the first. Kirk Maltby carried the puck into Minnesota’s zone and dropped a pass back to McCarty, who took a wrist shot from the top of the left circle. Wild goalie Manny Fernandez was sliding to his right, and the puck sailed over his catching glove.

Andrei Zyuzin tied the game up with a power play goal midway through the period. Zyuzin was able to drive to the net with no one covering him, then slam Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s centering pass past Manny Legace.

Jiri Fischer regained the lead for Detroit late in the first with a similar goal””he pushed his way to the net and banged in a centering pass from Brendan Shanahan.

Shanahan and Boyd Devereaux scored in quick succession to open the second period. Shanahan scored off a hard wrist shot set up by Ray Whitney‘s hard work shaking off a Minnesota defenseman in the right corner. Devereaux’s goal came after Jason Williams‘ shot bounced off the back of Willie Mitchell, who was tussling with Tomas Holmstrom in front of the goal crease. Devereaux was able to scoop up the loose puck and put it into an empty corner of the net while Fernandez was screened by Holmstrom and Mitchell.

Alexandre Daigle brought the Wild back within a pair a few minutes later. Wes Walz cleanly won a faceoff in Detroit’s zone, and Daigle one-timed the shot before Legace was quite ready for it. The puck barely squeezed through between the goalie’s pads.
Daigle outskated Derian Hatcher and put his own rebound into the net at a very tight angle to bring the Wild within one goal with 8:32 left in the game, but Pavel Datsyuk put the game out of reach with his 30th goal of the season. Datsyuk picked up the rebound from Brett Hull‘s shot, danced around three Minnesota skaters in the slot, then whipped the puck past Fernandez.

Detroit outshot Minnesota by a count of 38 to 24. The Red Wings will head out for their last road trip of the regular season after tonight. They’ll play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday and the St. Louis Blues on Thursday before returning home to close the season against Columbus on Saturday.

Detroit only needs one more point in the standings to clinch the Western Conference title”¦. Kris Draper and Robert Lang should be back in the lineup for Wednesday’s game. Mathieu Dandenault could return for Saturday’s game”¦. The Detroit chapter of the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association has nominated Steve Thomas as the Red Wings’ candidate for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is awarded to the player who most exemplifies perseverance and dedication to hockey.

Ducks Win 8-6: Wings & Ducks Defy NHL’s Current Low-Scoring Reputation

The Red Wings had plenty of jump and generated plenty of scoring chances on Sunday, but their defense just wasn’t quite as strong. With key players Mathieu Schneider and Kirk Maltby now out of the lineup, and Kris Draper and Derian Hatcher already missing, the Wings’ penalty killing suffered accordingly, allowing the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to score 2 power play goals in 6 tries en route to an 8-6 win.

Detroit made a point of starting the game strong. Pavel Datsyuk, Brett Hull, and Steve Yzerman got the Red Wings out to an early 3-0 lead, each putting a wrist shot past Jean-Sebastien Giguere before six minutes had passed in the game. Unfortunately, the Wings’ defensive play was not nearly so well-executed as their offensive play.

The Ducks got their first power play of the game when Boyd Devereaux was called for hooking, and Sergei Fedorov set up a good play for Joffrey Lupul to score. Fedorov circled the net and centered a pass across the goal crease, and Lupul was right at the side of the net to whack the puck past Manny Legace.

Steve Rucchin took advantage of Detroit’s inability to clear the puck. Vaclav Prospal shot on net from the left point. Vitaly Vishnevski took a whack at the rebound, and Rucchin pulled the second rebound away before Legace could cover it up, then slipped it around the side of the goalie and into the net.

Jason Williams took a double minor penalty for high sticking as the first period was ending. Detroit thought they caught a break when Niclas Havelid was given a hooking penalty with a minute and a half gone in the penalty to Williams, but the Ducks scored twice during the resulting four-on-four. Sammy Pahlsson‘s goal off a partly screened wrist shot tied the game at 2:10, and Fedorov moved Anaheim into the lead by slipping a rebound of Rob Niedermeyer’s shot past Legace’s right skate at 2:36.

Curtis Joseph came in for Legace at that point, but that didn’t give the Red Wings quite the shake-up they were hoping for. Jamie Rivers took a boarding call, giving Anaheim 15 seconds of 5-on-3 play with Williams still in the box. Prospal was able to make a hard pass across the goal crease, and Petr Sykora smacked the puck into the net.

Nicklas Lidstrom converted on a good centering pass from Henrik Zetterberg to get the Wings back within one just two minutes later, and Rivers jumped into the play from the blue line to tie the game with a high shot over Giguere with 3:07 left in the third. Joseph did his part by coming up with a big save against Lupul with only 1:25 left in the period.

Ray Whitney moved Detroit back into the lead early in the third. He got the rebound from Yzerman’s shot. Giguere had slid far to his left while making the first save, but defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was flopped in the crease trying to cover as much of the net as he could. Whitney whacked at the puck until he finally put it past Ozolinsh.

Vishnevski negated the momentum swing by tying the game back up just 26 seconds later. Detroit made an uncoordinated line change, and Vishnevski was able to drive to the net uncovered to put the rebound of Pahlsson’s shot past Joseph.

Fedorov flipped a deflection by Niedermeyer into the net at 7:01 to give the Ducks the lead for good. Rucchin capped off the scoring with an empty net goal with 14 seconds left.

Detroit outshot the Ducks by a count of 57 to 30. The Red Wings will have tomorrow off to try to regroup before facing the Pacific Division-leading Sharks in San Jose on Tuesday night.

Yzerman’s assist on Whitney’s goal was the 1041st of his career, moving him past Marcel Dionne into 8th on the all time assists list”¦. Schneider is listed as day-to-day with a groin injury. Hatcher wasn’t quite ready to play, so the Wings had to play with only five defensemen”¦. Maltby left the team after Saturday’s game to return to Detroit in preparation for the birth of his first child.

Wings Down Columbus in Tight Game

A player coming back into a team’s lineup after missing quite a few games usually hopes to get through the game without making any glaring mistakes in timing. If he can make a positive impact, then that’s a bonus. Jason Williams and Curtis Joseph both provided the Red Wings with excellent bonuses tonight. Williams scored two goals in his first game since January 16, and Joseph made 31 saves in his first game since February 11, propelling the Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

As always, the Blue Jackets were eager to play the Red Wings, and they got the game off to a good start. Trevor Letowski opened the scoring with 6:36 gone in the second period. Joseph made a save against Nikolai Zherdev, and his left side was still tight to the goalpost when he lost sight of the puck. The puck bounced off the back boards, and Letowski was able to get to it and slide it in to Joseph’s right before the goalie could get back across. Williams tied the game a little while later. Joseph settled the puck behind his own net and sent it along to Jiri Fischer. Fischer made a good pass to Brendan Shanahan to clear the defensive zone, and Shanahan sent it to Williams flying through center ice. Williams carried across the blue line, danced around defenseman Anders Eriksson, and backhanded a high shot past goaltender Marc Denis.

Detroit thought they had moved into the lead just a moment later when Tomas Holmstrom deflected a shot into the net, but the officials ruled that he had knocked the puck in with his stick higher than crossbar level.

The Blue Jackets had a very good chance to regain the lead early in the second period; they were awarded back to back 5-on-3 power plays. First Boyd Devereaux was sent out for hooking, and Darren McCarty followed with a tripping call. Chris Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Steve Yzerman did an excellent job of getting in the Blue Jackets’ way and sending the puck down the ice, and Joseph made a surprising kick save against Zherdev, who thought he had a wide open net.

Just as Devereaux jumped back onto the ice, the referees assessed a high-sticking penalty to Chelios. This time Derian Hatcher, Mathieu Schneider, and Kirk Maltby weathered the power play storm.

The Red Wings took advantage of a bad line change by Columbus to move into the lead shortly after returning to even strength. Lidstrom forced a turnover at Detroit’s blue line and passed the puck across to Schneider. Schneider sent the puck ahead to Ray Whitney, and Whitney got it to Williams just as he was crossing the Columbus blue line. Williams faked a forehand shot, then switched to his backhand and lifted the puck over Denis.

Zherdev tied the game up with just 3:11 left in the second with a shot that beat Joseph low to the glove side.

However, Joseph made an excellent poke check against Rick Nash midway through the third, which not only denied the young forward an excellent scoring chance, but also set up Brett Hull‘s game winning goal. Yzerman picked up the puck from Joseph and headed up the right wing side on a three on two rush. He passed to Lidstrom coming up the middle, and Lidstrom made a neat pass left to Hull. Hull one-timed a hard wrist shot which went right through Denis. Henrik Zetterberg finished up the game with an empty net goal with 5 seconds left to play. Detroit outshot Columbus by a slight margin: shots were 35 to 33. The Red Wings will return home to face their next opponent, the Dallas Stars, Saturday afternoon at the Joe.

Canucks Have Trouble With Manny: Wings Win 3-1

Once again, goaltender Manny Legace held his team in the game so they could get the win. Legace’s goaltending and a three-point night from Nicklas Lidstrom propelled the Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Both teams played a very open game to start the first period, and both goalies had to be sharp. Dan Cloutier faced and stopped two quick rebound shots by Robert Lang from point-blank range before the game was even a minute gone. At the other end of the ice, Legace stoned Daniel and Henrik Sedin when they broke through neutral ice on a two-on-one rush.

Brendan Shanahan opened the scoring 3:15 into the second period. Lidstrom made a soft pass from the right point to Shanahan at center. Shanahan blasted a one-timer from nearly sixty feet in front of the net. Cloutier was unscreened, but the shot went right through.

The Red Wings got to take advantage of a five on three power play shortly thereafter. Daniel Sedin was sent to the box for high sticking. Just a few seconds into the power play, Mattias Ohlund tripped and slid into the boards while being closely followed by Tomas Holmstrom. Vancouver coach Marc Crawford believed Holmstrom should have been given a penalty, and he was very forthcoming in sharing this viewpoint with the game officials.

The referees didn’t seem to appreciate Crawford’s vocal opinion, so they assigned him a bench minor penalty, leaving the Canucks down by two men. Fedor Fedorov went into the box to serve Crawford’s time, and the Detroit power play went to work. After a lot of passing, a few wide shots, and a couple of good saves by Cloutier, Brett Hull‘s shot was the one that clicked. Lidstrom passed from the right point to Hull at the top of the left faceoff circle, and Hull fired off a one-timer which bounced off the goalpost and into the net.

Vancouver nearly got themselves into the game with 2:47 left in the second period, but Legace flung himself across the crease to make a sprawling glove save against Sean Pronger.

Legace gave the fans a scare early in the third. Matt Cooke shoved Mathieu Schneider into Legace just to the right of the net. Legace was slow to get up and seemed a little shaky for a moment, but he stayed in net and finished the game.

Lidstrom added a goal to his pair of assists at 6:07 of the third. He intercepted a bad pass by the Canucks and was away on a two-on-one rush with Ray Whitney. Brent Sopel, the only defender back, was unable to stop Lidtsrom’s pass to Whitney or Whitney’s pass back across. Lidstrom took the pass, got to just the right spot, and wristed a shot into the net on Cloutier’s short side.

Mike Keane spoiled Legace’s shutout bid with 4:59 left to play. Sean Pronger won a faceoff in Detroit’s zone. He pulled the puck back to Keane, who took a few steps to his left before firing the puck. The puck hit the short side goalpost and bounced into the net.

The Canucks pulled Cloutier with 1:27 left to play, but the extra attacker did them no good.
Legace made 23 saves on the 24 shots he faced, while Cloutier stopped 24 of 27 shots.

The Red Wings’ next opponent will be the Southeast Division leaders, the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Monday night at the Joe.

Boyd Devereaux came back into the lineup tonight to fill in for the injured Pavel Datysuk, while Mark Mowers, Anders Myrvold, and Jamie Rivers stayed in the lineup to fill the holes left by Kris Draper, Jason Woolley, and Mathieu Dandenault“¦. Shanahan’s 20th goal of the season makes this his 16th consecutive 20 goal season. He and Hull, who is in his 17th consecutive 20 goal season, lead all active players in that regard.

Wings and ‘Yotes Play to Thrilling Tie

In a game which is all too often becoming noted for its defensive trapping than its offensive excitement, it’s rare to see a game in which both teams open up (even open up slightly) and try to generate as many scoring chances as they can. Yet, such was the case between the Red Wings and the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night. The fast skating, crisp passing, hard shooting, and excellent netminding, not to mention Steve Yzerman‘s 1700th career point, brought the teams to a not entirely satisfying 3-3 tie.

The teams started out cautiously enough, and the first period showed no hint of the way the game would open up later. Phoenix is one of those rare teams which can play the trap or play a multi-player forecheck equally well, and they devoted the first twenty minutes to defense. They held off three Detroit power plays through the first period before an unfortunate turnover by Jason Woolley allowed the Coyotes to open the scoring. Brian Savage stole the puck away and set off on a three-on-one rush. Shane Doan took a drop pass from Savage and shot towards the net. Curtis Joseph made the save, but Savage grabbed the rebound and slipped it in between Joseph’s left skate and the goalpost with only 28 seconds left in the period.

The lead was shortlived, however: Kris Draper put the Red Wings on the board just 30 seconds into the second period. Yzerman made a pass along the blue line to Nicklas Lidstrom. Draper tipped Lidstrom’s shot on its way to the net, and the puck redirected past goalie Brian Boucher.

Chris Chelios moved Detroit into the lead soon after. Boyd Devereaux passed the puck out from behind the net. Chelios stepped in from the blue line to take the pass and make the shot. The puck deflected off a skate and past Boucher.

The two teams really started to open the game up after that, skating end to end and coming up with at least a halfway decent scoring chance every time they would enter their opponents’ zones. The skaters worked hard and pushed through to try to score, but the goalies were solid.

Daymond Langkow tied the game back up midway through the period by redirecting a shot by Cale Hulse up and over Joseph.

Phoenix moved back into the lead with 8:45 left in the third period. Mathieu Dandenault mishandled the puck just enough so that Fredrik Sjostrom was able to steal it away, skate to the net, and backhand a shot over Joseph.

It looked like it would be a tough trick for the Red Wings to tie the game back up when Woolley was given a tripping penalty with just 4:18 remaining, but the Two Kids and the Old Goat came through. Brett Hull centered the puck to Pavel Datsyuk in the low slot. Mike Sillinger fell on the puck so Datsyuk couldn’t shoot it, but he was able to chip it away to Henrik Zetterberg at the side of the crease. Zetterberg’s backhand shot beat Boucher to tie the game with 1:44 remaining.

Joseph was called upon to hold off a furious onslaught of Phoenix shots in the last minute of regulation, and he did so gracefully. The Red Wings’ skaters controlled the overtime play, but Boucher kept himself always square to the shooters, and the buzzer finally sounded to signal the tie.

Detroit outshot Phoenix by a final count of 34 to 30. These two teams will meet again next Saturday night in Phoenix, near the end of the Red Wings’ upcoming road trip. The Wings will start off their trip with a flight to San Jose to face the Pacific Division leading Sharks.

Yzerman is only the 7th player to reach 1700 points. He is two points away from passing Mario Lemieux on the all-time points list…. Draper is just two goals behind Datsyuk for the team lead in goal scoring

Datsyuk Leads Wings Over Caps

Pavel Datsyuk scored twice and added two assists, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Datsyuk now has an NHL-leading 37 points on the season, with his 17 goals third-best in the league.

The Capitals started the game’s scoring when Jaromir Jagr powered his way around Datsyuk in the left faceoff circle and cut to his backhand near the top of the crease to roof a shot over the shoulder of Detroit netminder Curtis Joseph with 6:23 remaining in the first period.

Just 18 seconds later, Datsyuk fed Kris Draper, who blasted a shot from the half-boards past Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig to tie the game back up.

Datsyuk’s second assist came 20 seconds past the game’s midway point. As a Detroit power play ended, Brett Hull fed Datsyuk with a pass as he streaked in on goal. At the edge of the crease, Datsyuk drew Kolzig over and then dished the puck off to Brendan Shanahan at the side of the net, who put the puck into the open goal.

The first goal of the game for Datsyuk came on a Detroit power play with 6:28 remaining in the second. He sent a pass through the crease and a Washington defenseman knocked the puck into the net as he tried to clear it away from the goalmouth.

Just over a minute and a half later, Brett Hull was hauled down on a breakaway and was given a penalty shot. Hull stickhandled as he broke in on Kolzig, who came far out of the crease, and lost the puck, failing to convert on the attempt.

Jason Williams scored his second goal of the season 710 into the third period. Cutting through the slot, Williams took a pass from Boyd Devereaux on his backhand and held the puck long enough to settle it down and bank it off of Kolzig’s shoulder.

The last goal of the night was Datsyuk’s second. He picked up the puck at the Washington blue line and carried it into the high slot, wristing a shot past Kolzig to move into first place in the NHL points race.

Detroit went one-for-four on the power play while Washington was unsuccessful in all of their six attempts with the extra skater. Joseph stopped 18 of 19 shots against in net for the Red Wings. Kolzig stopped 21 of 26 Red Wing shots for Washington.

The Red Wings are next in action on Monday when they host the Florida Panthers.

Sabres Fall to Griffins— er, Wings

It wasn’t quite the game anyone expected. Sure, under normal circumstances, it should be easy enough for the Red Wings to gain a win over the Buffalo Sabres. But it shouldn’t have been quite so easy when a full third of the lineup (six of eighteen skaters) is straight from the Grand Rapids Griffins. And it certainly shouldn’t have been a triumphant 7-2 blowout, but there it was.

The Sabres managed to open the scoring a few minutes into the third period. J.P. Dumont made a pass to Daniel Briere just behind the net. Briere noticed Curtis Joseph just slightly out of position, so he banked the puck in off the goalie’s back. Joseph, also just recalled from the Griffins, looked a little shaky early on, but redeemed himself with a huge save against Taylor Pyatt on a breakaway a few minutes after Briere’s goal.

Pavel Datsyuk split through two Buffalo defensemen to make a give-and-go passing play with Kris Draper near the end of the period. Datsyuk pushed to the net, and when he got the puck back from Draper, he was able to flip it in behind goalie Ryan Miller. Kirk Maltby moved Detroit into a 2-1 lead just over two minutes later when some hard work in the corner by Mathieu Dandenault and a nice pass by Datsyuk left Maltby all alone in front of the net long enough to get the shot away.

Detroit carried their one goal lead all the way through the third period, holding off three Buffalo power plays.

The third period was a different story. An ordinary team might have shut down and played defensive hockey for the final twenty minutes, but these are the Red Wings (even if a lot of them were Griffins just yesterday), and they best defend their leads by adding to them. Datsyuk started the onslaught with his second goal of the night at 8:01. Jason Woolley threaded a pass through several pairs of legs to leave Datsyuk all alone in the high slot. He deked, then put the puck high over Miller.

Draper added a wraparound goal off a patient pass by Brendan Shanahan at 9:44, and Jiri Hudler scored the first goal of his NHL career by one-timing the puck from the high slot, after one of Woolley’s excellent passes found the way straight to him. It was a power play goal, with Eric Boulton in the penalty box for cross checking.

Jochen Hecht got the puck past Joseph to get the Sabres up to two, but Mathieu Schneider answered by putting a hard shot from the blue line right between Miller’s leg pads. Boyd Devereaux completed the Red Wings’ scoring by snapping a well placed wrist shot over Miller’s shoulder with 1:37 left to play.

The Sabres outshot Detroit by a margin of 25 to 23. Detroit was one for four on the power play. The Red Wings’ next opponent will be the Blackhawks, Thursday night in Chicago.

The Griffins playing as Wings tonight were Darryl Bootland, Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronwall, Kevin Miller, Mark Mowers, Jamie Rivers, and goalie Joey MacDonald, who played backup to Joseph with Hasek and Legace both out for a few days…. It was Kronwall’s NHL debut. He logged 13:26 of ice time, took two shots on goal, served two penalty minutes, and finished with a plus-one rating…. Kevin Miller is the cousin of Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.

Late Goal Lifts Wings over Blues

Boyd Devereaux scored his third goal of the season with just 2:23 remaining in the third period to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. The win puts Detroit two points ahead of St. Louis in the league standings and into sole possession of the Central Division lead.

The third period was dominated by each team’s top two lines, neither the Blues nor the Wings willing to roll four lines with the game on the line. Devereaux came out with Kirk Maltby and Mark Mowers as Detroit’s third line late in the game and made good on what little ice time was available. Defenseman Mathieu Dandenault pinched in to force a turnover near the bottom of the right circle anf got the puck to Devereaux, who deflected the puck between Blues goaltender and former Red Wing Chris Osgood‘s pads, giving Detroit the lead for the first time in the game.

St. Louis had opened the scoring just past the midway point of the first period. With the puck bouncing off a faceoff, Petr Cajanek had a clear lane to the net and blasted a shot past Detroit netminder Manny Legace.

The Wings escaped the period down only one after allowing 12 Blues shots and only taking five.

Former St. Louis captain Brett Hull tied the game with 4:48 remaining in the second period. Chris Chelios picked up the puck in the high slot and sent it to Hull who drifted to the top of the left circle. Osgood couldn’t see around a screen and didn’t know Hull had the puck, leaving a wide open net for him to blast a shot into.

After being outshot by seven in the first period, Detroit ended up with 28 shots to St. Louis’ 22.

The win is Detroit’s third in a row. They will next be in action on Wednesday, when Sergei Fedorov makes his first appearance at Joe Louis Arena since signing with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The following night they will be back in St. Louis for their third matchup of the season with the Blues.

Detroit and St. Louis have split the first two of the six games the teams will play against each other this season. Both teams won on the road… Boyd Devereaux’s goal was his tenth career game-winner in just 35 career goals.

Wings Trounce Oilers in Yzerman’s 1400th Game

It’s been a year of extremes for the Red Wings thus far. Either everything goes right, or everything goes wrong. This was one of the nights when they could do no wrong. Steve Yzerman celebrated his 1400th regular season game by scoring a power play goal, one of the four power play goals that helped lift the Red Wings to a lopsided 7-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Detroit knew it was important to start the game strongly. They did so, and then followed it up by taking advantage of power play opportunities, keeping the Oilers from setting up scoring plays, and continuously pressuring Edmonton goalie Ty Conklin.

Yzerman’s goal came ten seconds into the Wings’ first power play of the game. Brendan Shanahan shot the puck from the left circle. Yzerman was being knocked down repeatedly in front of the net, but he batted Shanahan’s shot down to the ice, then backhanded it past Conklin.

Darryl Bootland scored his first NHL goal late in the first. The puck was lying loose in front of Edmonton’s net. None of the Oilers seemed to know who was supposed to get it, so Bootland beat them to it and flipped it in.

Yzerman returned the favor to Shanahan early in the second, by making a pass which Shanahan converted into a power play goal of his own, but the Oilers got on the board with a strange goal just over a minute later. Radek Dvorak took a shot on net from the left corner. The puck glanced off Jiri Fischer‘s stick, which caused it to flutter, and Manny Legace hit it with his wrist instead of his catching glove. The miscalculation caused the puck to bounce into the net, making the score 3-1.

Detroit continued to press, and caused the Oilers to take another penalty. This time, Brett Hull scored the power play goal. Mathieu Schneider‘s shot hit Pavel Datsyuk in front of the net, and Hull grabbed that rebound to scoop past Conklin.

After Hull’s goal, the Red Wings never looked back. Kris Draper chased Conklin from the net by scoring off a nice pass from Boyd Devereaux, but Conklin’s replacement, Steven Valiquette, fared no better against the streaking Grind Line member. Draper scored his ninth goal of the season during a five-on-three power play.

Steve Thomas capped off the night with a late goal. Datsyuk wheeled around Mike York as he carried the puck into the Oilers zone. He fell, but still managed to center the puck. Thomas was in all alone, and carried the puck right to the goal crease to backhand a shot over Valiquette.

In the end, Detroit outshot Edmonton by a count of 43 to 16. The Red Wings’ next opponents will be the New York Islanders, Friday night at the Joe.

Tomas Holmstrom left the game with an injured shoulder late in the first period. More details will be provided as they become available… Draper is second only to Yzerman and Hull in goal scoring at this point in the season. Who knew?

Wings End Short Trip With Win Over Minnesota

Curtis Joseph made 27 saves in his first game since November 8, and Brett Hull added a goal and two assists to help lift the Red Wings over the Minnesota Wild, 5-2.

Detroit opened the scoring just two minutes into the game. Steve Thomas handed the puck off to Mark Mowers just inside the Minnesota zone. Mowers made a good pass through the slot to Hull on the left side of the net, and Hull flipped the puck in over goalie Dwayne Roloson.

The Wild answered with a power play goal late in the period. Jiri Fischer was in the box for cross checking when Richard Park brought the puck into the zone and took a wrist shot from just inside the blue line. Joseph seemed to be expecting Park to pass, so he was sliding the wrong way and couldn’t get back across in time to block the shot.

Minnesota took the lead early in the second period. Brent Burns and Alexandre Daigle were up on a two-on-one. Fischer dropped to take the pass away, but he was too far back and Burns got the pass across. Daigle was able to put the puck into the net over Joseph.

The Red Wings answered just 23 seconds later. Steve Yzerman got the puck out from the left corner to Boyd Devereaux coming up through the offensive zone. Devereaux one-timed a shot from the left circle, and the puck deflected off Brad Brown before beating Roloson through the five-hole.

Detroit dominated the second period after squelching Minnesota’s goal-inspired momentum. Pavel Datsyuk turned a clearing pass by Hull into a scoring play, carrying the puck into the Wild’s zone and around the net before making a sharp pass to Nicklas Lidstrom in the low slot. Lidstrom had time to settle the puck before putting it in just under the crossbar.

Kris Draper added a goal late in the second, taking a quick step in front of the net to throw Roloson off before converting Kirk Maltby‘s centering pass into a high shot and a goal.

The third period was a time of concern, since the Red Wings have had trouble protecting their leads through the ends of games this season. There were some defensive lapses on Detroit’s part, but Joseph was able to stop every scoring chance the Wild could come up with. His best save was probably against Daigle from right in front of the crease midway through the period, but Andrew Brunette and Marian Gaborik also had good chances which Joseph stopped. Datsyuk put the cap on the game with only two seconds remaining. Hull made a pass which sprang Datsyuk on a breakaway, and Datsyuk backhanded a shot which bounced off Roloson’s blocker and into the net.

Shots on net totaled 33 to 28 in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings’ next game will be at home against the struggling Washington Capitals on Monday night.

Dominik Hasek and Ray Whitney both sat out again with groin injuries…. Jamie Rivers came into the lineup for Jason Williams, who sat out with (what else?) a groin injury. Rivers played on the fourth line with his companions from the Grand Rapids Griffins, Mark Mowers and Darryl Bootland. The Griffins Line played about nine minutes together, and did a very respectable job as defensive forwards, coming out with a +1 rating thanks to Mowers’ assist on Hull’s goal.