Osgood Stops 27 as Wings Defeat Stars

Detroit goalie Chris Osgood stopped 27 of 28 shots, including 12 of 13 in the first period, leading the Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars Tuesday night.

The Stars were the dominant team early, outshooting the Red Wings 13-8 in the first period. Osgood held Detroit in the game, though, and the period ended tied at one.

Mikael Samuelsson opened the game’s scoring on just Detroit’s third shot. At 8:34 of the period, Henrik Zetterberg picked off a pass along the boards by Dallas netminder Marty Turco. He centered the puck from the right circle to Samuelsson, who tipped it into the net.

Dallas responded with 3:11 left in the period as Jaroslav Svoboda scored on a one-timer. After being hit into the end boards by Kirk Maltby, Niklas Hagman sent a pass from his knees to Svoboda in the right circle, where he was open to score.

Zetterberg’s second of three points on the night came as he scored at 4:14 of the second, tipping a pass from the right circle between Turco’s pads.

Tomas Holmstrom gave Detroit a two-goal lead at 8:34 of the second. A centering pass by Zetterberg was tipped by defenseman Brett Lebda before bouncing off Holmstrom and Turco and into the net.

Maltby finished the game’s scoring with an empty net goal, skating in all alone from the Detroit blue line.

Turco finished the game with 19 saves on 22 shots.

After Dallas outshot the Red Wings in the first period, the two teams were even on shooting for the remainder of the game.

Both teams were held scoreless on the power play, with Detroit getting three chances and the Stars having five opportunities with the man-advantage.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Saturday night in their annual New Years’ Eve game. This year they host the Columbus Blue Jackets, who they defeated in a shootout last week.

Kirk Maltby missed several shifts after taking a stick to the face but did not leave the bench… The Stars lost forward Stu Barnes to a “lower-body injury” in the first period.

Red Wings Down Blue Jackets in Team’s First-Ever Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in Detroit’s first-ever shootout Tuesday night as goalie Chris Osgood stopped former Red Wing Sergei Fedorov on Columbus’ final shot.

As Fedorov – who was taunted by the crowed throughout the night – skated in on Osgood, he fired a high shot that Osgood deflected with his shoulder.

Jaroslav Balastik had scored on Columbus’ first shootout chance before Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Williams scored for Detroit. Henrik Zetterberg, who was scheduled to take Detroit’s third shot, was not required to shoot with Detroit already up by a goal.

The Red Wings were the last NHL team to be involved in a shootout.

Robert Lang, back from eight games off with a groin injury, scored the first goal of the game just 4:16 in. Brett Lebda sent a hard pass from the point to Lang at the side of the crease, where he redirected it into the net.

Rick Nash tied the game for Columbus with 6:47 left in the period. He was left all alone in the slot to take a pass from the right wing boards. Defenseman Chris Chelios tried to stop him by tripping him on a play that was going to be called a penalty but Nash kept control of the puck and slipped it between Osgood’s pads.

The Red Wings regained the lead 3:14 later when Mark Mowers deflected a shot from the point by Lebda.

The Blue Jackets rallied in the third period, when Duvie Westcott scored a power play goal at 8:30. As Lebda skated without a stick, Westcott was able to jump from the blueline into the slot and take a pass from behind the net, one-timing it past Osgood.

Brendan Shanahan put the Red Wings back in the lead 2:10 later, tipping a shot from Nicklas Lidstrom at the blue line in mid-air in the high slot.

Nikolai Zherdev forced overtime, scoring with 4:09 remaining in the third period on a wraparound attempt that caught Osgood looking the wrong way.

Osgood finished the game with 30 saves on 33 shots while Columbus’ Pascal Leclaire stopped 35 of the 38 shots he faced.

Detroit was held without a goal on their seven power play chances and held Columbus to one goal on five tries with the man-advantage.

The Red Wings are back in action on Friday when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks.

Red Wings Finish Southeast Trip with Win over Lightning

A three-goal third period helped the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night as Detroit closed out a three-game Southeast Division road trip.

Mikael Samuelsson scored just 2:12 into the final frame to give the Red Wings their first lead of the game at 4-3. After the end of a Tampa Bay power play, the Red Wings took control and kept pressure on in the offensive zone. The Lightning never got properly set up and when a rebound came to Samuelsson off the right wing boards, he one-timed it back past goalie John Grahame and into the net.

Pavel Datsyuk scored 35 seconds later, putting in a rebound with Grahame out of position.

Sean Burke took over the net for the Lightning after the Datsyuk goal, his second of the night, but he couldn’t stop good friend Brendan Shanahan at 9:31 of the period.

With Detroit on the power play, Henrik Zetterberg took the puck behind the Tampa Bay goal and sent a pass out front to Shanahan, who was wide open outside the crease. He banged it in to close out the game’s scoring.

The Lightning had scored first when Rob DiMaio knocked a rebound out of the air on a power play at 4:29 of the first.

Detroit responded 1:24 later when Datsyuk scored his first of the night, rushing into the Tampa Bay zone and stepping around a defender to wrist a shot from the right circle into the far side of the net.

Tampa Bay regained the lead with another power play goal at 3:18 of the second, as captain Dave Andreychuk tipped a shot from the point between the pads of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood.

Johan Franzen tied the game again when he drove the net as Kris Draper fought his way to the side of the goal with the puck. Draper sent a centering pass to Franzen, who had a wide open net to score at 6:17.

Rookie Ryan Craig scored his first goal of the season to give the Lightning their final lead 2:27 later, tipping a shot from the point past Osgood.

Jason Woolley evened the game with 1:21 left in the middle period. Jason Williams sent a smart cross-ice pass from the point to Woolley as he streaked into the zone and through the left circle. Woolley moved quickly to put a shot past Grahame to tie the game after two periods.

The Red Wings finished the game converting one of their five power play chances and allowing two Lightning goals on their eight chances with the man-advantage.

Osgood stopped 28 of 31 shots against in net for Detroit while Grahame made 19 saves on 24 shots and Burke turned aside four of the five shots he faced.

Detroit is off until Thursday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Red Wings defenseman Mathieu Schneider left the game in the first period with a hamstring injury. He did not return… Jamie Rivers was inserted into the lineup in place of rookie Brett Lebda.

Red Wings Notes

Goaltender Manny Legace is expected to miss the next several games recovering from a “slightly sprained left knee.” Legace was injured when Chicago’s Matthew Barnaby fell onto his leg during the first period of the Red Wings’ matchup with Chicago on Tuesday.

Defenseman Brett Lebda was returned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins to make room on the Red Wings’ roster for goalie Jim Howard, who was called up to Detroit to backup Chris Osgood while Legace is out.

Defenseman Mathieu Schneider could return to the ice Thursday after missing Tuesday’s game with a sore groin.

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who suffered a torn ACL and MCL in a preseason game, will begin training next week for his return to the team. He will be able to skate in another month or two and is expected to rejoin the Red Wings in late-February to mid-March.

Red Wings Complete Sweep of Blackhawks with 4-1 Win

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks for the third time in six nights on Tuesday, completing a sweep of their three-game home-and-home-and-home series with a 4-1 win. The win gives the Red Wings nine-straight wins and a league-leading 12-1 record.

Detroit got a scare early when record-setting goalie Manny Legace was forced to leave the game during the first period with what was described as a strained left knee.

While fighting for position in front of the crease, Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer knocked Chicago’s Matthew Barnaby backwards onto Legace leg. As Legace lie on the ice, Fischer and Barnaby fought to a draw, with each player receiving a five-minute penalty. Legace left the game and was replaced by Chris Osgood, who defeated the Blackhawks on Saturday in his only NHL action of the season.

Osgood proved to be up to the task, playing the remaining 43:23 and allowing only one goal.

Detroit opened the scoring before Legace left the game with a goal by Kirk Maltby with 4:01 remaining in the period. Steve Yzerman sent a pass from the right point to Maltby as he broke into the Chicago zone alone. Maltby fired a shot from the high slot that bounced off the goalpost and back out to him. With Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin out of position after the first shot, Maltby took the opening to put the puck in the net from the right circle.

The Red Wings had a chance to extend their lead with a Robert Lang penalty shot just 4:00 into the second period but Lang was unable to convert. The puck rolled as he crossed the blue line and by the time he could settle it down, all he could get off was a weak shot that was easily stopped by Khabibulin.

Detroit did manage to get their two-goal lead 3:34 later, when Red Wings rookie and Chicago-area native Brett Lebda scored a fluke goal on the power play. From the corner to Khabibulin’s right, Lebda sent a shot towards the crease. The puck bounced off Khabibulin’s side and into the net for Lebda’s second goal of the season.

Brendan Shanahan gave the Red Wings a three-goal lead with 4:50 left in the period on a pretty play started by Jason Williams. Williams fired a two-line pass from the Wings’ defensive zone up to Lang at the Chicago blue line. Lang gained the zone before dropping the puck back to Shanahan to fire a quick shot from the slot over Khabibulin’s glove.

Chicago’s lone goal came with 1:37 remaining in the second, when Adrian Aucoin sent a blast from the point that may have been tipped in front of the crease past a screened Osgood for a power play goal.

Williams closed the game’s scoring with a one-timer from the point while the Red Wings were a power play with 8:20 remaining in the game.

Legace made eight saves before he left the game and Osgood finished with 23 saves on 24 shots. Khabibulin stopped 16 of the 20 shots he faced in net for Chicago.

Detroit’s power play went two-for-six, while their penalty killing units allowed only one goal on Chicago’s six chances.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Thursday, hosting the Edmonton Oilers.

Defenseman Mathieu Schneider did not play due to a sore groin. He is listed as day-to-day. Jamie Rivers took his spot on the Detroit blueline… Legace will undergo a precautionary MRI on Wednesday… Chicago’s lineup was bolstered by the return of forward Tuomo Ruutu.

Osgood Returns as Wings Beat Blackhawks

Chris Osgood made his first start for the Red Wings since 2000, helping them beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2, for their eighth straight win. It was also a homecoming of another sort for the Wings’ Brett Lebda, who was playing his first NHL game in his hometown of Chicago.

With the game tied at 2-2 early in the third period, and the Wings on the power play, Robert Lang stepped in front of a bad clearing attempt by the Blackhawks’ Jason Morgan. Lang then snapped the game winning goal from the right slot past Nikolai Khabibulin at 4:39 of the period.

The Wings had jumped out to an early lead, just three and a half minutes in, when Kirk Maltby was left alone in the slot to take a feed from Steve Yzerman at the left half boards.

The Blackhawks tied the game at 1-1 in the opening minutes of the second period. Tyler Arnason took a deflected pass that had squirted out from behind Osgood who was turned around and facing the left corner, coming out to cut down the angle on the rush.

Less than three minutes later the Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead on a goal from Kyle Calder, taking a pass from Matt Ellison behind the net.

The Blackhawks’ lasted less then four minutes as Mikael Samuelsson scored a power play goal off a rebound, tying the game at 2-2.

The Red Wings’ fourth goal was an empty-netter from Henrik Zetterberg with 28 seconds left in the game.

Osgood faced 25 shots, stopping 23, while Khabibulin stopped 32 of the Wings’ 36 shots. Both goalies had to come up with some great saves. The Wings’ two power play goals came on eight chances, while the Blackhawks couldn’t capitalize on their four power play chances.

The Wings and Blackhawks head back to Detroit to play their third game in a row Tuesday night.

Week 2: October 9-15

Sure, the Red Wings can beat a St. Louis team which added a new goalie and lost two all-star defensemen, but what does that mean?

Detroit had a light first week this season with only two back-to-back games, the same way they started out the 2003-2004 season. That year, they quickly beat the Los Angeles Kings and the Ottawa Senators for a 2-0-0-0 start. They have won the season opener for six straight seasons, and have finished the regular season in the top five of the Western Conference for a long time. There isn’t much you can take from the first two games, but here are a few notes:

The new guys are contributing already. Mikael Samuelsson and Brett Lebda have more points than Kris Draper and Nicklas Lidstrom. Jason Williams isn’t new, but he’ll get more ice time this year and had three assists on Thursday.

There should not be a goalie controversy. Manny Legace has proven himself as a great goalie no matter how often he plays, and you can bet on Chris Osgood to win 30 games every year if healthy. Jim Howard might get in a game or two this month, but he looked good in preseason and is well liked so far by the other goalies.

Draper and Kirk Maltby will have to go above and beyond what they’ve normally done as defensive forwards. The Wings were shorthanded 11 times in Thursday’s game at St. Louis, and these two are the best penalty killers on the team.

With the signing of Jason Woolley, the Wings can make the decision to either rest the veterans Chris Chelios and Lidstrom a bit or take time away from youngsters Lebda and Jiri Fischer. These players are all going to have to adjust with the penalties being called, and a deep defensive core will help.

This Week’s Matchups:

October 9 vs. Calgary – Steve Yzerman may not play, but you can be sure Darren McCarty will. He won’t take it easy on his former team, but claims his heart is still wearing red. Many are picking Calgary to once again win the Western Conference, so this should be a good game. (Update: Detroit wins 6-3)

October 10 vs. Vancouver – Finally knocking Colorado off the top of the Northwest Division, Vancouver remains dangerous. Like Detroit, they’ve had good regular seasons and that doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy. They usually give the Wings a hard-fought game; the teams split four games last season.

October 13 at Los Angeles – The Kings may have lost the biggest offensive output of any team in the off-season, parting ways with Zigmund Palffy, Jozef Stumpel, Jason Allison and Martin Straka. To counter, they did sign Pavol Demitra and Jeremy Roenick. If the Kings want any chance of making the playoffs, goalies Mathieu Garon and Jason Labarbera have to immediately make an impact. Lababera won his first game, stopping 27 of 29 shots against Phoenix.

October 15 at Phoenix – Call it the sequel to the Wings’ Red vs. White game in training camp. Lots of familiar faces are in Phoenix now: Brett Hull, Curtis Joseph, Boyd Devereaux and assistant coach Barry Smith. Speaking of coaches, Wayne Gretzky is still in the spotlight – not for what he has done, but what he can do. There have been reports of the players being intimidated by the presense of The Great One, which may explain their 0-2 start. The Coyotes are re-tooling quickly, acquiring Geoff Sanderson from the Blue Jackets in a five-player deal.

Wings Sign Woolley, Send Lebda to Griffins

The Detroit Red Wings announced the signing of defenseman Jason Woolley on Saturday. The contract is for one year, with financial terms not announced.

To make room for Woolley on their roster, the Red Wings assigned Brett Lebda, who scored a goal and added an assist in Detroit’s first two games, to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.

Woolley played for the Red Wings for two years before going unsigned at the start of this season, which will be the 15th of his career. During his time in Detroit, he scored 42 points and played in 117 games.

“We’re very happy to have Jason return to the Red Wings,” Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. “He’s a veteran defenceman who handles the puck very well and should excel with the new rule changes in the NHL.”

Game On!: Wings Down Blues to Usher in “New” NHL

The National Hockey League returned to Hockeytown Wednesday night as the Detroit Red Wings earned a 5-1 victory over the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues.

The Red Wings got on the scoreboard early with a goal by Pavel Datsuyk. Just 1:35 into the game, Pavel Datsyuk took a pass from Henrik Zetterberg that deflected off the skate of a defender and one-timed it between the pads of St. Louis netminder Patrick Lalime.

Mathieu Schneider put Detroit up by two at 7:04 of the first. Schneider got the puck from Datsyuk on the far side of the right circle and one-timed a shot over Lalime’s left shoulder.

St. Louis tried to mount a comeback 4:12 later. On a rush, Eric Brewer took a pass from Petr Cajanek and broke in through the slot alone. After a quick fake, he put the puck over Detroit goalie Manny Legace‘s glove to make the game 2-1.

The Red Wings would control the rest of the game, scoring three times in the second period.

Mikael Samuelsson scored his first goal as a Red Wing 2:40 into the middle frame. Dan Cleary knocked a St. Louis player off the puck and Samuelsson picked it up, whipping it past Lalime from near the top of the right circle.

Brett Lebda, playing in his first career NHL game, scored the first goal of his career to give Detroit a 4-2 lead with 7:54 remaining in the period. Lalime got a piece of his shot from the right circle but not enough to keep it out of the net. It was, however, enough to take Lalime out of the net, as he was replaced by Reinhard Divis.

Cleary, continuing his strong play of the night, tested Divis early, stealing the puck behind the net and coming out front for a wraparound chance. His backhand shot blocked into the air, Cleary knifed the rising puck behind Divis. The shot was wide and wouldn’t have counted as a goal anyway, as it was played with a high stick.

Robert Lang, possibly the Red Wings’ most forgotten star, scored the game’s final goal, putting in his own rebound after a flurry of shots from around the net.

There was no scoring in the third period but the game did start to get chippy.

Keith Tkachuk layed out Datsyuk, a hit with which Brendan Shanahan took exception and the two engaged in a shoving match. Minutes later, Jamal Mayers challenged Shanahan and the two threw down their gloves. Mayers got some early hits in but Shanahan landed punches late and scored the takedown. Shanahan also earned a game misconduct, allegedly for trying to extend the fight as the officials were breaking it up.

At the end of the night, the Red Wings were one-for-seven on the power play and Legace stopped 13 of 14 shots. The Blues were scoreless on their six powerplay chances while Lalime made twenty saves on twenty-four shots and Divis stopped twelve of the thirteen chances he faced.

The two teams will meet again Thursday night in St. Louis.

Kronwall Out 4-6 Months

The Detroit Red Wings got the news that they had hoped not to hear on Friday: Defenseman Niklas Kronwall will miss four to six months of the upcoming season, shelved due to a knee injury.

“He’s got a partially torn MCL, he’s got a torn ACL,” Detroit general manager Ken Holland said.

Kronwall suffered the injury Tuesday night against Colorado. After getting an MRI in Detroit on Wednesday, things didn’t look good. He saw knee specialist Dr. William G. Clancy in Aspen, CO, on Friday and the diagnosis was confirmed.

Kronwall will ungergo surgery once the swelling has gone down – in two to three weeks. His earliest predicted return date is February 1 but it could be as late as April 1.

Staffan Kronwall, Niklas’ brother, stated “I know him so well, and I know he is going to come back.”

The Red Wings will look to replace him with Andy Delmore, Jamie Rivers or Brett Lebda.

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