Red Wings Blanked by Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings closed out their four-game West Coast road trip Thursday night, dropping a 2-0 decision to the San Jose Sharks.

The Wings had won the first three games of their trip and were looking for their first-ever four-game sweep of a Pacific Time Zone stretch.

In addition to losing the game, forward Johan Franzen went down with a lower body injury and did not return for the third period.

Joe Pavelski opened the scoring for the Sharks with just 1:01 left in the first period. With the puck behind the net, Pavelski made a wraparound attempt but the puck came out and deflected off defenseman Niklas Kronwall before sliding past goalie Jimmy Howard to give San Jose the 1-0 lead.
Brent Burns made it 2-0 just 2:07 into the third period. Detroit defenseman Brian Lashoff turned the puck over to Joe Thornton in the right faceoff circle and Thornton passed it off the skate of Brendan Smith to Burns for a snap past Howard.
Howard finished the night with 22 saves on 24 shots while Antti Niemi stopped all 27 shots the faced in earning the win for the Sharks.

Detroit failed to score on the game’s only power play, ending their streak of games with a power play goal at six.

The Red Wings now return home to host the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon.

Red Wings Hold off Sharks for 23rd Consecutive Home Win

The Detroit Red Wings held off a late push by the San Jose Sharks Sunday afternoon, picking up a 3-2 victory for their twenty-third consecutive win at Joe Louis Arena.

The win extends the team’s own NHL record for single-season wins in a row at home and sets a new record for consecutive home wins across multiple seasons, breaking the mark of twenty-two set by the 1929-30 and 1930-31 Boston Bruins.

The Red Wings twice had a two-goal lead cut in half, but the Sharks were never able to pull even, with Darren Helm‘s third-period goal standing up as the game-winner.

Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring at 6:30 of the first period. Zetterberg circled through the left faceoff circle and backhanded a shot from the high slot that went through defenseman Colin White and past goalie Antti Niemi, who was screened in front by Jiri Hudler.

On Hockey Day in America, two U.S.-born players teamed up to create Detroit’s second goal just 40 seconds past the game’s halfway point. Justin Abdelkader carried the puck from the Detroit end and into the San Jose zone and then fed it off to Drew Miller. Miller sent it back to Abdelkader in front for a chance stopped by Niemi but Miller pounced on the rebound and put it into the back of the net.

Logan Couture would be credited with the power play goal that got San Jose on the board with 5:27 left in the second period. Couture batted a fluttering puck out of mid-air and onto the top of the goal. The puck bounced forward and came back down, deflecting off Abdelkader’s stick and into the net to make it 2-1.

Helm gave the Red Wings a 3-1 lead at 7:01 of the third period. Miller stole the puck from Torrey Mitchell and gained the San Jose zone, then fed it off to Helm for a shot from the slot past Niemi for his first goal in sixteen games.

With 4:44 left in regulation, Detroit defender Ian White turned the puck over in his own end and Brent Burns put a shot on goalie Joey MacDonald. MacDonald made the initial save but Patrick Marleau was there to scoop up the rebound and put it into the net.

In a frantic final minute, Detroit couldn’t score into the empty net and the Sharks couldn’t beat MacDonald to tie things up.

MacDonald finished the contest with 31 saves on 33 shots for his sixth consecutive win. Niemi stopped 25 of 28 chances.

Detroit had three power play tries, on which they were held off the board. Couture’s goal came on one of San Jose’s four power play attempts.

Their six-game homestand wrapped up, the Red Wings will next be in action in Chicago on Tuesday.


Mike Commodore was the lone healthy scratch for the Red Wings… MacDonald got the start in place of Jimmy Howard, who was originally expected to return from injury in this game. Howard will get the nod in goal on Tuesday.

Postgame Thoughts: Sharks @ Red Wings

Okay, let’s get the caveat out of the way: The refs did not cause the Red Wings to lose tonight. That said, I feel like every game between the Detroit and San Jose can be summed up by two calls tonight.

For the Wings, it’s Holmstrom’s no-goal in the first period. We’ve seen worse allowed around the crease (and cleaner plays called back) but that doesn’t make any of it right. It’s a reputation call and it’s a play that I am just f*cking tired of seeing.

For the Sharks, it’s Brent Burns in the final minutes. In a scrum around and behind the San Jose net, Burns throws a closed-fist, gloved punch to Holmstrom’s face. No call.

It’s not okay to get bumped by the goalie but it is okay to punch someone in the face. I can handle one or the other but when it’s both, it just sits wrong with me.

As for the parts of the game that didn’t have to do with officiating… The goat tonight is former Shark Ian White. He got burned on one goal and jumped out of position on another. The second one (third San Jose goal) wasn’t as bad because, really, Lidstrom or Cleary should have been with Thornton, but White has to know where they are and that he has to be available to cut off the pass.

There were a lot of positives to take from the game, though. Jimmy Howard looked solid, even with allowing three goals. He kept the Wings in it early.

As much as I liked the Abdelkader / Helm / Bertuzzi line, Abdelkader looked good back at center on the fourth line. I feel like I didn’t hear Eaves’ or Miller’s name much.

In all, it was a much better effort than the previous two losses. Pretty easily could have been a different game, which you can’t say about Washington or Columbus. Malik just called it a “template game” and he’s right, there’s a lot done right and a lot left to learn from on that game tape.

Red Wings Clinch Central Division with Win over Wild

The Detroit Red Wings locked up their ninth Central Division title in the past ten seasons with a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild Sunday afternoon.

The division championship was clinched one day after Detroit made the playoffs for the twentieth consecutive season, the active record in North American pro sports.

Darren Helm opened the scoring for the Red Wings just 2:46 into the game. Helm took a pass from Patrick Eaves in the slot and drifted towards the right faceoff circle before snapping a shot past Minnesota netminder Jose Theodore.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 2-0 with 20 seconds left in the first and the teams skating four-on-four with a blast from the blue line that went through a screen set by Pavel Datsyuk, playing in his first game since March 17.

The Wild pulled back to within a goal at 4:32 of the second period, when Brad Staubitz knocked the puck out from under Jimmy Howard and into the Detroit net.

Detroit regained the two-goal lead with 7:22 left in the period. With the Red Wings on the power play, Tomas Holmstrom got the puck in the high slot and skated around a diving Brent Burns before snapping a shot past Theodore.

Johan Franzen banged the puck past Theodore from in close at 6:11 of the third to put the Red Wings up by three.

Detroit thought they had a 5-1 lead later in the period when a Brad Stuart shot beat Theodore but the goal was waived off because Justin Abdelkader had been knocked into the net.

The Wild finished off the game’s scoring with 3:06 remaining when Carson MacMillan beat Howard on a rebound try for his first career goal.

Howard finished the night with 27 saves on 29 shots while Theodore maade 30 saves on 34 chances.

The Red Wings went one-for-three on the power play. Minnesota was scoreless on five power play tries.

Detroit is now off until Wednesday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes before a season-ending weekend series with the Chicago Blackhawks.


With Datsyuk’s return to the lineup, the Red Wings rested forward Mike ModanoNiklas Kronwall remained out of the lineup on the blue line and Kris Draper was a healthy scratch.

Red Wings Down Wild, Lose Cleary to Fractured Ankle

The Detroit Red Wings cruised to a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild Sunday night but their already-depleted forward ranks took another blow.

After blocking a shot from Brad Stuart in the third period, Danny Cleary will miss four weeks with a fractured ankle. Cleary returned to play after blocking the shot and appeared to be fine but the extent of the injury wasn’t known until after the game.

With the Red Wings already missing Mike Modano until March and Pavel Datsyuk for a month, Jan Mursak was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Cleary figured into the game’s scoring, notching the eventual game winning goal at 8:59 of the first period when he threw a shot from the right corner on goal. It deflected off goalie Niklas Backstrom and into the net.

Henrik Zetterberg had opened the scoring 4:28 into the game on a similar play from the left side.

Kris Draper scored his first of the year at 5:30 of the second, tipping a Niklas Kronwall shot past Backstrom from the left faceoff circle to extend Detroit’s lead to 3-0.

Tomas Holmstrom wrapped up the Red Wings’ scoring on the power play with 6:30 left in the period, knocking home the rebound of a chance by Zetterberg.

Brent Burns scored on the power play with 3:40 left to play to break up Jimmy Howard‘s shutout bid.

Howard stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced while Backstrom made 23 saves on 27 shots.

Both teams went one-for-six on the power play.

Mursak will join the team for Monday’s matchup in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche.


Jakub Kindl was in the Detroit lineup for the first time since returning from his conditioning stint with the Griffins. He took the place of Ruslan Salei, who was given an extra day off by the team to spend with his California-based family for the holidays.

Red Wings Rally but Fall to Wild in OT

The Detroit Red Wings rallied back from down 2-0 Friday night, taking a 3-2 lead before the Minnesota Wild mounted a comeback of their own to win 4-3 in overtime.

The Red Wings were trailing 2-0 when Justin Abdelkader brought the puck out front from behind the net and sent a cross-crease pass to Darren Helm for a tap-in with 34 seconds left in the second period.

Johan Franzen tied the game at 2:37 of the third period, throwing the puck on net from the bottom of the right faceoff circle. It bounced off defenseman Greg Zanon and past goalie Jose Theodore for a power play goal.

Patrick Eaves put the Red Wings in front 2:38 later on a wraparound after picking up the rebound of his own chance from in front.

Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu tied the game back up with 1:23 remaining in regulation. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard directed the rebound of a Nick Schultz shot right to Koivu in the slot to put it back past Howard.

With 52 seconds left in the extra period, John Madden drove to the net and put the rebound of a Martin Havlat deflection past Howard to win the game for the Wild.

Brent Burns had opened the scoring at 8:16 of the first, sending a seeing-eye shot from the top of the right faceoff circle through traffic and past Howard.

Cal Clutterbuck made it 2-0 1:25 into the second, sneaking a bad-angle shot in between the post and Howard’s pad.

Howard finished the night with 23 saves on 27 shots. Theodore stopped 41 of the 44 shots he faced.

Minnesota’s top-ranked power play did not score on three tries, though Burns’ goal came three seconds after the expiration of a Detroit penalty. The Red Wings scored once on four power play chances, including a lengthy five-on-three.

Osgood Returns to Lead Red Wings Past Wild

Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood made his first appearance in net since a December 15 loss in Colorado, stopping 33 shots and two shootout attempts to lead the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.

Osgood had been struggling before a groin injury kept him out for over two weeks, posting a 3.19 goals-against average and a .876 save percentage in sharp contrast to his 12-2-4 record.

“I want to win, that’s all,” Osgood said. “It’s a fresh start to the year, a new chance to have a real good second half, and that’s what matters most to me. The most important thing for me is I feel real good for the first time all year, so that’s good.”

Pavel Datsyuk scored a highlight-reel goal in the shootout, faking out Wild netminder Josh Harding before putting the puck into the top of the net. Combined with Osgood’s stops on Krys Kolanos and Mikko Koivu and a missed chance by Brent Burns it gave the Red Wings the win.

Detroit scored first with 3:43 remaining in the opening period. Henrik Zetterberg took the puck behind the net during a Detroit line change and four Wild players followed him, leaving Mikael Samuelsson wide open as he jumped off the bench and into the play for a one-timer into the back of the net.

The Red Wings carried that lead into the third period but lost it quickly as the Wild scored twice in the first minute of the final frame.

Just 35 seconds into the period, Owen Nolan put a backhander past Osgood from in front of the net, scoring on the rebound of a Brent Burns chance from the blue line just after a five-on-three for Minnesota expired.

Sixteen seconds later, Antii Miettinen capitalized on a turn over by Niklas Kronwall and snapped a shot past Osgood to put the Wild in front.

Detroit tied the game on a disputed power play goal with 4:37 remaining. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot off the glass behind the goal and as it bounced back out front, Johan Franzen swatted it out of the air and into the net. Initially ruled to have been played with a high stick, video replay overturned the call and made it a goal.

The Red Wings will be back on the ice on Tuesday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.


Harding stopped 35 of 37 shots against and made a save on Henrik Zetterberg in the shootout… Brett Lebda was a healthy scratch in favor of Derek Meech, who got his first playing time on defense since November 11… The Red Wings’ first power play of the game came with 8:12 remaining in the third period.

Red Wings Fall to Wild in Preseason Home Opener

The Detroit Red Wings played their first home game of the 2007 exhibition season Thursday night, dropping a 3-2 decision to the visiting Minnesota Wild.

Dominik Hasek started the game in the Detroit net, surrendering power play goals to Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Brent Burns on 13 shots against before Jimmy Howard took over in the Detroit crease.

Mark Hartigan got the Red Wings on the board, banging in the rebound after a shot from Matt Ellis rang off the post.

Minnesota picked up another power play goal when Brian Rolston was left all alone to pick up a pass at the back door, whipping a shot past Howard.

Mattias Ritola added Detroit’s second goal, puting a quick shot from the left circle off of a Minnesota defender and over the shoulder of Harding.

Harding finished the night with 28 saves on 30 shots. Howard made seven saves on the eight shots he faced.

The Red Wings will hit the ice again tomorrow when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins before visiting Pittsburgh on Saturday.

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.

Tie With Wild Spoils Wings’ Road Trip Record

The Minnesota Wild have a very efficient defensive system under the tutelage of their head coach Jacques Lemaire. It becomes even more efficient once the Wild gain a lead. Even so, some timely saves by Dominik Hasek and a late goal by Steve Yzerman let the Red Wings salvage a 1-1 tie with the Wild Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild came out with a lot of pressure to start off the first period. Hasek held them off early, and the Red Wings were eventually able to gain control of the play. At the other end of the ice, goalie Dwayne Roloson was solid, stopping all eight of the shots his defensemen let through””including a point shot by Nicklas Lidstrom which hit Roloson’s helmet so hard that it broke one of the straps.

Minnesota managed to open the scoring when Kris Draper was sent to the penalty box for slashing midway through the second period. Jim Dowd won a deep zone faceoff back to Marian Gaborik. Gaborik shot the puck towards the net, and Andrew Brunette banged at it until it slid beneath Hasek’s outstretched right arm for the goal.

Hasek kept Detroit in the game later that period when he and Chris Chelios were able to stop rookie Brent Burns on a breakaway.

Pavel Datsyuk had an excellent opportunity to tie the game early in the third period when he was awarded a penalty shot after Filip Kuba dragged him down to the ice on a breakaway attempt. He made the shot attempt without his usual speed, and Roloson was able to make the save.

Yzerman tied the game up with 7:42 left in regulation play. Chelios made a high pass from the right corner. The puck hit Yzerman in his midsection, but he was able to catch the puck and glove it down to the ice, then get his stick on it to put a rising shot past Roloson.

The Red Wings started well in the overtime period. They handled the puck well and created a few offensive chances. The Wild managed to creep in and take back control of the play, however, and Hasek had to be sharp to keep the 1-1 tie.

Detroit outshot Minnesota 28-26. The Red Wings’ next game will be at home Wednesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.


This was Brett Hull‘s 1200th career game…. Yzerman made the decision to play in back-to-back games. His knee seems to be holding up just fine…. The Red Wings gained five of six possible points on this road trip.