Red Wings Down Blue Jackets on Filppula’s Shootout Goal

Valtteri Fillpula scored in the fourth round of the shootout Saturday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Filppula’s goal was the only one of the tiebreaker. Pavel Datsyuk, Jiri Hudler and Todd Bertuzzi couldn’t beat Columbus netminder Curtis Sanford while Rick Nash, Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard and Ryan Johansen failed to score on Detroit’s Jimmy Howard.

To beat Sanford, Filppula faked to his backhand, then pulled it back to his forehand and lifted a shot into the top of the net.

It was Detroit’s third consecutive 3-2 shootout win and their six consecutive win overall. The Red Wings also extended their franchise-record home winning streak to sixteen games.

Columbus’ Ryan Russell opened the game’s scoring at 8:51 of the first period, jumping towards the net to knock the rebound of a Dorsett shot past Howard.

With 8:26 left in the period, Niklas Kronwall tied things back up. Kronwall joined the rush and carried the puck into the Columbus zone, fighting off a check to get into the high slot before wristing a shot past Sanford.

The teams traded power play goals in the second period.

Nikita Nikitin beat Howard from the point off a faceoff win at 8:43. His shot deflected off Datsyuk’s skate to confuse the Detroit goalie.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 2-2 with 8:57 left in the frame. His shot from the blue line went wide of the net with Tomas Holmstrom screening in front, but the puck bounced off the back boards, then went off Sanford and into the net.

With 9:51 remaining in regulation, Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg was ejected from the game and given a five-minute major for boarding after he pushed Nikitin into the boards. Nikitin lost his balance and crashed feet-first. He needed to be helped off the ice and did not return.

Each team had one power play goal on the night. The Red Wings had four chances with the power play to Columbus’ three, though the Blue Jackets had more time with the extra skater due to Zetterberg’s major penalty.

Howard stopped 17 of the 19 shots he faced in earning the win. Sanford made 29 saves on 31 shots.

The Red Wings next game is Monday when they host the St. Louis Blues.

Jan Mursak and Jakub Kindl were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings. Former Red Wing Brett Lebda was Columbus’ only healthy scratch.

Bertuzzi Re-Ups with Red Wings

Todd Bertuzzi has agreed to a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings, the team announced on Wednesday.

The contract is reportedly worth $3.875 million for an annual cap hit of $1.9375 million. That’s a raise of over $400,000 from the $1.5 million he earned for the 2009-10 season.

With Bertuzzi signed, the Red Wings have retained each of their targeted unrestricted free agents. Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom signed new deals with the team earlier this month while Jason Williams and Brett Lebda aren’t expected to return to Detroit. Andreas Lilja and Kirk Maltby could return but were not stated to be high priorities for Red Wings’ general manager Ken Holland.

Holland will now focus on the team’s restricted free agents. That list includes Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Drew Miller, Patrick Eaves, and Derek Meech.

Report: Holmstrom Re-Ups with Red Wings for Two Years

Fox 2 reports that the Detroit Red Wings have agreed to terms on a two-year deal with forward Tomas Holmstrom. No official announcement has been made.

Greg Brady of Toronto’s AM 640 puts Holmstrom’s cap hit at $1.875 million per season, down from the $2.25 million he earned this season, in which he scored 25 goals and added 20 assists.

The Wings re-signed captain Nicklas Lidstrom earlier this week to a $6.2 million deal, down from $7.5 million annually. Combined, the two contracts give the Red Wings over $1.5 million in cap savings.

Detroit general manager Ken Holland said after the Lidstrom signing that unrestricted free agents Holmstrom and Todd Bertuzzi are at the top of his list, with restricted free agents Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves also requiring new contracts.

Unrestricted free agents Jason Williams and Brett Lebda are expected to be let go.

Red Wings Return Home to Defeat Penguins, 3-1

The Detroit Red Wings returned to Joe Louis Arena after a week-long, three-game road trip through Western Canada and didn’t appear worn down from their travels, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 Monday night.

The Red Wings earned points in all three of their games last week and added two more against the Penguins. They’ve picked up 17 of a possible 22 points since returning from the Olympic Break, going 8-2-1 in the eleven-game stretch.

Henrik Zetterberg figured into all three Detroit goals, scoring two of them and assisting on Valtteri Filppula‘s opening marker.

With 57 seconds left in the first period, Filppula took a cross-ice feed from Todd Bertuzzi and skated into the Pittsburgh zone. Cutting through the left faceoff circle, he dragged the puck as he cut inside and used defenseman Sergei Gonchar as a screen, snapping a shot between Gonchar’s legs and past goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Zetterberg made it 2-0 at 7:38 of the second. He carried the puck off the left wing boards through the faceoff circle and backhanded a shot on Fleury. With Bertuzzi set up in front of the goal, Zetterberg got his own rebound and lifted it over Fleury’s pad.

The Penguins pulled back to within one when Pascal Dupuis poked a loose puck past Jimmy Howard with 3:06 left in the second.

Zetterberg restored the two-goal lead 1:20 into the third, snapping a shot from the high slot past Fleury.

Fleury finished the night with 30 saves on 33 Detroit shots while Howard stopped 26 of 27 Pittsburgh chances.

Neither team scored with the extra attacker. Detroit had four power plays and Pittsburgh had one.

The Red Wings continue their three-game homestand on Wednesday when they host the St. Louis Blues.

Detroit was without Patrick Eaves and Dan Cleary for the second consecutive game. Defenseman Derek Meech filled in at forward and Brett Lebda dressed but did not see playing time.

Red Wings Ride Another Late Goal to OT Win over Canucks

One night after Brian Rafalski scored with 0.2 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime against the Edmonton Oilers, Henrik Zetterberg scored with 0.3 seconds left in overtime to give the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

In the closing seconds of the extra period, Henrik Zetterberg cut from the left wing boards to the slot. He backhanded a shot over Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo‘s glove to give the Red Wings the win before time expired.

Earlier in the game, the Red Wings had tied a team record for fastest consecutive goals scored, when Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk erased a 2-0 deficit with goals five seconds apart.

With 7:26 left in the second period, Todd Bertuzzi crashed the net and knocked home a loose puck in a scramble. Brad Stuart had originally thrown the puck on net and Valtteri Filppula had a rebound chance, leading to Luongo being out of position on Bertuzzi’s opportunity.

Datsyuk got possession of the puck on the ensuing faceoff and jumped across the blue line, whipping a shot past Luongo’s stick to tie the game.

Filppula gave the Red Wings the lead later in the period, scoring on a shorthanded breakaway with 2:21 left.

Kyle Wellwood had opened the scoring just 4:10 into the game, tipping a Christian Erhoff shot from the point past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, with Daniel Sedin also screening.

With 6:22 left in the first, Shane O’Brien made it 2-0 when his shot from above the left faceoff circle sailed through a heavy screen to beat Howard.

After the Red Wings rallied to take the lead, Daniel Sedin tied things back up at 4:40 of the third. Zetterberg deflected Kevin Bieksa’s shot from the blue line but the puck fluttered to Sedin at the side of the net. Sedin gloved it down, nearly throwing it into the net but getting his stick on it just before it crossed the goal line to make it a legal goal.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, with Filppula’s shorthanded tally the only special teams goal of the game. Each team had two tries with the extra attacker.

Howard made 29 saves on 32 shots while Luongo stopped 50 of 54 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings were without Patrick Eaves (head) and Dan Cleary (groin). With no cap room to call up replacements, defenseman Derek Meech played at forward while Brett Lebda was dressed but did not play.

Red Wings – Oilers Pregame Notes

After their short break in Western Canada this week, the Red Wings resume their drive to the playoffs tonight in Edmonton.

The Wings ended Monday night three points up on the Calgary Flames in the standings and one point behind the Nashville Predators. With both of those teams having played since then, Detroit remains in eighth place but now sit only one point up on Calgary and five back of Nashville.

The NHL-worst Oilers give the Wings a chance to earn back some of the points that the Flames and Predators have gained on them but, like Detroit, their position in the standings is less indicative of how they’ve played and more a sign of the injuries they’ve fought through.

The Oilers will be starting winless Devan Dubnyk in goal. Despite suggestions that Chris Osgood would start for Detroit, Jimmy Howard will be between the pipes again. Jonathan Ericsson rotates in on the Detroit blue line, replacing Brett Lebda.

Red Wings – Flames Pregame Notes

The story tonight sounds a lot like the one last Tuesday. The Wings come into the game looking for their first three-game winning streak since December. They’re sitting in eighth place, one point up on the Calgary Flames.

Like last Tuesday, Calgary is the opponent tonight. Win and sit three points up on them, one back of the idle Nashville Predators. Lose and drop back to ninth place, like last week.

One possible key difference from last week and this… Brett Lebda remains on the blue line while Jonathan Ericsson is a healthy scratch. With Jimmy Howard making his 127th consecutive start, the Wings are going with the same lineup they’ve used in their previous two games, both wins.

Leino Deal a Sign of Things to Come

It doesn’t look like we’ve seen any quotes out of Detroit on the Ville Leino trade just yet so I’m basing my thoughts purely on assumptions at this point.

Ole-Kristian Tollefsen only makes $200,000 less than Leino so this move alone doesn’t solve the Red Wings’ cap problems. Add in the fact that the Detroit blueline is already overloaded and you can see another move is coming.

The way I see it, there are two possibilities.

Tollefsen was acquired simply to be bought out, much like the Boston Bruins did with Patrick Eaves last summer. From what I understand, buying out Tollefsen means the Wings will have shed $500,000 from this year’s cap. Still not enough but a start.

The other option is that Tollefsen takes over as the Wings’ depth defenseman making both Brett Lebda and Derek Meech expendable. If that’s the case, the Wings will have dropped $1.333 million from their cap this season, a decent number.

This move was not about talent or potential or a need at a given position, simply a financal deal.

Bertuzzi Lifts Red Wings over Ducks in OT

Todd Bertuzzi scored his second goal of the game on a Red Wings power play 1:07 into overtime Friday night, giving Detroit a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Bertuzzi took a pass from Brad Stuart down low to the left of Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere, drove to the front of the net, and roofed a shot over Giguere’s shoulder.

The goal capped a Wings rally from down 2-0 entering the third period.

Saku Koivu had opened the game’s scoring at 8:05 of the second period, finishing a tic-tac-toe passing play with a tap-in from the slot.

Rookie Dan Sexton put the Ducks up by a pair with just 56 seconds left in the period. Sexton threw a shot at Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard from the side of the net. The puck bounced off of Howard’s stick, caught on his pad, and then dropped into the net.

Tomas Holmstrom got the Red Wings on the board during their seventh power play of the night, beating Giguere from the slot off of a feed from Ville Leino 2:17 into the third period.

Bertuzzi’s first goal of the night tied the game just after the expiration of another Detroit power play. At 9:36 of the third he sent a puck from the corner to the crease, banking it off of Giguere and into the net.

Sexton’s goal and both of Bertuzzi’s markers came from nearly the same spot on the ice.

The Red Wings finished the night with two power play goals on ten chances. The Ducks were held scoreless on four power play tries.

Howard made 25 saves on 27 shots while Giguere stopped 28 of 31 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings return to the ice Saturday night in Nashville.

Detroit defensemen Brian Rafalski and Brett Lebda each missed time during the game due to injury. Rafalski took a puck to the face in the first period while Lebda appeared to injure his shoulder in the play leading up to Koivu’s goal. Both blueliners returned later in the game.

Role Players Carry Red Wings over Stars

Detroit’s role players stepped up Monday night, accounting for all four of the Red Wings goals en route to a 4-1 win over the visiting Dallas Stars.

Drew Miller, Darren Helm, Dan Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi all scored in game where Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk could not beat Dallas netminder Marty Turco.

Backup goalie Jimmy Howard made 29 saves in the victory.

Miller got the Red Wings on the board with 6:12 left in the first period. Brett Lebda dumped the puck into the Dallas end on what should have been an icing play but Miller beat Stars defender Karlis Skrastins to the puck and threw it to the front of the net, banking it off of Trevor Daley and in behind Turco.

Brenden Morrow tied the game with 15 seconds left in the first but Helm put Detroit back in front at 5:35 of the second, taking a cross-ice pass from Kris Draper and banking a shot off of a sprawling Turco.

Cleary banged home a chance from the side of the net with 7:54 left in the period to put Detroit up by a pair.

Bertuzzi, the hero of Sunday’s shootout win over St. Louis, wrapped up the scoring with a shot from the right faceoff circle that deflected off of a Dallas defenseman on its way over Turco’s shoulder 3:35 into the final period.

Neither team scored a power play goal, each getting four tries with the extra attacker.

Turco made 28 saves on 32 shots as his career regular season record at Joe Louis Arena dropped to 1-9-2.

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