Osgood, Red Wings Blank Blues

Goaltender Chris Osgood stopped all twelve shots he faced Wednesday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues.

The Red Wings got on the board early and never gave the Blues room to work.

Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring just 22 seconds in, six seconds into a Detroit power play. Zetterberg won an offensive-zone draw and the puck came to Brian Rafalski at the point. Rafalski sent it down low to Tomas Holmstrom and Holmstrom sent a blind backhand pass across the crease to Zetterberg who put it into the open side of the net.

The Red Wings would add a second power play goal at 5:16 of the second.

A Dan Cleary shot from the slot was blocked by defenseman Eric Brewer and the puck bounced out into the right circle. Mikael Samuellson jumped up from the point, faked a shot, and then rifled the puck past St. Louis netminder Manny Legace.

Cleary added a goal of his own with 5:47 left in the period, picking up a bouncing puck at the St. Louis blue line and skating in all alone on Legace, putting a shot through him to close out the game’s scoring.

The former Red Wing Legace finished the night with 35 saves on Detroit’s 38 shots.

Detroit went two-for-eleven on the power play while the Blues were held without a goal on their three tries with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Thursday when they visit the Nashville Predators in a Thanksgiving Day matchup.

Tomas Kopecky left the game with a shoulder injury in the second period and did not return.

Red Wings at Blackhawks Game Thoughts

Some final thoughts on the Red Wings – Blackhawks matchup on Sunday night…

The Wings didn’t seem to get really moving until midway through the third period. Once they got going, they were really in control, but their best chances didn’t come until later in the game and were too little, too late.

Brian Rafalski had possibly his worst game as a Red Wing. My notes don’t have any specific instances but I remember several of his passes going off-target or being intercepted. That said, his role is to be a puck-moving defenseman, those kind of things are going to happen.

Chicago’s forecheck was better than Detroit’s.

The Red Wings took some awful hooking calls. I don’t mean ones that Mickey Redmond likes to complain about (though those were there for both teams), I mean unnecessary ones.

Nikolai Khabibulin outplayed Chris Osgood. Osgood had a decent game but Khabibulin made more big stops.

At least Henrik Zetterberg‘s scoring streak continued. That’s been fun to watch and it’s good to see a Red Wing in the lead of the scoring race.

Red Wings, Zetterberg Continue Streaks

The Red Wings and star forward Henrik Zetterberg both continued streaks with Detroit’s 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

The victory was the team’s ninth-straight, tying a franchise record that was also reached at this time last season, while Zetterberg’s third-period goal extended his point-scoring streak to sixteen games.

Zetterberg wrapped up the game’s scoring with 1:28 remaining. Columbus defenseman Rostislav Klesla deflected a shot from the point by Brian Rafalski directly to Zetterberg in the right circle. Klesla went down to block Zetterberg’s shot but Zetterberg outwaited him, waiting for Klesla to slide past before putting the puck between the pads of Pascal Leclaire.

Detroit got on the board first with a power play goal by Brett Lebda with 7:00 left in the first period.

The Red Wings held the puck in the Columbus zone on a Blue Jackets’ clearing attempt and Jiri Hudler got it to Mikael Samuelsson in the left circle. Samuelsson crossed it over to Lebda who wristed it past Leclaire with Dan Cleary screening.

Rick Nash tied the game only 49 seconds into the second period with the Blue Jackets on a five-on-three. After a one-timer from the point, the puck bounced around the edge of the crease and the Red Wings couldn’t clear. David Vyborny knocked it down low to Nash to bang in behind Dominik Hasek.

Tomas Holmstrom replied with Detroit’s second power play goal of the night with 6:07 remaining in the period. The puck came off the back boards to Holmstrom at the side of the net. Holmstrom’s first shot was stopped by Leclaire but the Columbus goalie fell off the post, leaving a gap for the rebound.

Cleary scored at 8:40 of the third to give the Red Wings some breathing room, pushing in his own rebound after cutting hard to the front of the net and taking a pass from Kirk Maltby at the left wing.

The Red Wings finished the game with two power play goals on six chances with the extra attacker. The Blue Jackets went one-for-seven with the goal coming on one of their two two-man advantages.

Hasek made 15 saves on 16 shots in his first game back from a hip injury. Leclaire stopped 32 of 36 shots against.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Sunday when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks in the third game of a nine-game stretch against Central Division opponents.

Red Wings Beat Flames for Road Trip Sweep

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1 Thursday night, completing the team’s first sweep of a road trip through western Canada since the Flames moved to Calgary from Atlanta for the 1980-81 season.

Goaltender Chris Osgood led the team to the three wins in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary, allowing just four goals on the trip.

The final goal of that set was the first goal of Thursday’s matchup.

At 5:28 of the first period, Jarome Iginla beat Nicklas Lidstrom to the puck as it came off the right wing boards in the Detroit end. Iginla turned a rush with Alex Tanguay into a two-on-one and drew in Brian Rafalski and Osgood before passing over to Tanguay to put into the open net.

Jiri Hudler got the Red Wings on the board at the 9:11 mark with a power play goal and Henrik Zetterberg‘s first of two goals put Detroit out front just 1:33 later.

Hudler’s goal came off tic-tac-toe passing from Mikael Samuelsson and Brett Lebda. Samuelsson sent the puck along the blue line to Lebda at the left point, who moved it down to the right circle for a one-timer by Hudler past goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

Zetterberg scored on a bouncing puck one-timer from the left circle, set up when Pavel Datsyuk grabbed the rebound of a blast by Lidstrom and shoveled it on to Zetterberg.

Dan Cleary added to the Red Wings’ lead 5:24 into the second. The rebound of a Lidstrom shot was left sitting at the top of the crease and Cleary jumped in from the top of the left circle to grab it. Moving to the right, he waited for Kiprusoff to be out of position before flipping the puck into the net.

Zetterberg rounded out the game’s scoring with a power play goal with 6:42 remaining in the game, whipping the rebound of a Datsyuk shot past Kiprusoff with Tomas Holmstrom providing a screen.

Detroit’s two power play goals were scored on three chances with the extra attacker. Calgary was held without a goal on their seven power play tries, including 38 seconds of a five-on-three.

Osgood stopped 26 of the 27 Calgary shots en route to the win. Kiprusoff made 22 saves on 26 Detroit chances.

Zetterberg’s goals extended his point-scoring streak to fourteen games since the start of the season. That mark ties the Red Wings’ franchise record for point-scoring streak to start a season.

He’ll look to extend the streak next Wednesday when the Red Wings return home to host the Nashville Predators.

Johan Franzen left the game and did not return after taking a puck to the face… The Red Wings were still without Niklas Kronwall, who sat out with a sore groin.

Red Wings Return Home to Down Canucks

The Detroit Red Wings returned home from their four-game West Coast road trip Wednesday night and continued their winning ways, picking up a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

The win was Detroit’s fourth in the last five games and their first against Vancouver at Joe Louis Arena since January 26, 2006.

Rookie Matt Ellis extended his scoring streak to four games with his second career goal to get Detroit on the board with 2:26 remaining in the first period.

A shot on net was knocked down at the top of the crease. Ellis battled a Vancouver defender to get to it while Tomas Kopecky crashed the net behind him. Canucks’ goalie Roberto Luongo was pulled out of position just as Ellis whacked the loose puck into the open net.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Red Wings up by a pair with a power play goal at 2:23 of the second period, tipping a blue line blast by Brian Rafalski past Luongo.

The Canucks got on the board on a delayed penalty just 3:10 later. A long shot wide of the net bounced off the back boards and back out into the slot, where Matt Cooke jumped up to put put a shot on net. The puck deflected off the skate of Kris Draper and past Dominik Hasek to cut Detroit’s lead to a goal.

Holmstrom’s second of the night re-extended Detroit’s lead with 4:20 left in the middle frame. Two Canucks collided with Pavel Datsyuk and the puck came to Henrik Zetterberg at the bottom of the left circle. He threw a cross-crease pass to Holmstrom for a tip-in from the open far side of the net.

The assist extended Zetterberg’s career-high point-scoring streak to ten games and moved him into sole position of first place in the NHL’s scoring race.

The Canucks would push back in the third but their one goal would not be enough.

Daniel Sedin scored a power play goal just 1:47 into the period, getting to a rebound in front of the Detroit net and lifting a backhander over the screened Hasek’s shoulder.

Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had four chances with the advantage while Vancouver had five.

Hasek stopped 13 of Vancouver’s 15 shots on the night. Luongo made 36 saves on 39 shots against.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Friday when they host the San Jose Sharks.

Detroit was without Dallas Drake, expected out for two games with a hairline fracture in his cheekbone.

Red Wings Fall to Blackhawks in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings blew a 3-1 lead Saturday night, falling to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in the team’s second shootout in as many games.

Rookie Patrick Kane scored the only goal of the tiebreaker, beating Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek on Chicago’s first shot. Hasek stopped Yanic Perrault while Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin stopped Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Jiri Hudler.

The Red Wings took an early lead just seconds after Dallas Drake and James Wisniewski squared off in Drake’s second fight of the season at 5:10 of the first period.

Brian Rafalski blasted a power play goal past Khabibulin 17 seconds later, rifling a shot from the top of the left circle.

Nicklas Lidstrom gave Detroit their first two-goal lead of the season just 1:39 into the second period. With the teams skating four-on-four, Henrik Zetterberg beat former Red Wing Robert Lang on a faceoff in the left circle of the Chicago zone. The puck went back to Lidstrom and he put a blast from the blue line past Khabibulin.

Tuomo Ruutu pulled Chicago back to within one at 9:43 of the second, scoring on an odd-man rush.

Tomas Holmstrom made the score 3-1 just five seconds into a Detroit power play at 10:55 of the middle frame, tipping a Rafalski shot into the Chicago net.

The Red Wings thought they had taken a 4-1 lead on a power play early in the third period. The apparent rebound goal was called back when referee Chris Rooney quickly lost sight of the puck.

On the same power play, Wisniewski would notch a shorthanded goal for the Blackhawks to make it 3-2.

With just 3:40 remaining in regulation, Lang tied things up with a quick wrister over Hasek’s left shoulder.

The Blackhawks finished the game with 27 shots to Detroit’s 26.

Johan Franzen left the game early in the second period with an apparent knee injury. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday.

Red Wings Open Season with Shootout Win over Ducks

The Detroit Red Wings earned a 3-2 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night, opening their season with a victory over the team that elminated them from the playoffs last spring.

Jiri Hudler scored the only goal of the shootout, faking out goalie Ilya Bryzgalov in the third round. Bryzgalov had previously stopped Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, while Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek made saves on Todd Bertuzzi, Ryan Getzlaf, and Corey Perry.

The Red Wings got on the board first with a power play goal by Zetterberg at 9:46 of the first period. Left all alone in the right faceoff circle, Zetterberg wristed a shot over Bryzgalov’s shoulder.

The Ducks tied things up with 5:28 remaining in the second. A shot by Perry deflected off the skate of Detroit defenseman Andreas Lilja and to the slot, where former Red Wing Bertuzzi grabbed it and wristed it past Hasek.

Bertuzzi connected with Getzlaf for Anaheim’s second goal, scored on the power play with 42 seconds remaining in the period.

Tomas Holmstrom tied the game at 4:04 of the third period on another power play goal. After a blast by Brian Rafalski, the puck came to Zetterberg at the side of the net. He threw it out front and Holmstrom lifted it over Bryzgalov.

Rafalski wasn’t the only Red Wings newcomer to make his presence felt, as Dallas Drake got in a second-period fight with Perry.

Hasek made 13 saves on 15 shots against. Bryzgalov stopped 40 of 42 Detroit shots.

Detroit went two-for-seven on the power play while Anaheim was one-for-five.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks, featuring former Red Wing Robert Lang.

Wings Prep for Regular Season Continues

Following a 4-2 exhibition loss to the Tampa Bay Lighting that saw the Red Wings ice a roster made up mostly of try-outs and youngsters, Detroit is gearing up for the regular season by bringing out more of their regulars and making another round of cuts.

Ansar Khan blogs that the Wings dropped 17 players from their roster on Tuesday. Defensemen Jassen Cullimore, Jon Insana, Clive Kinley, Jamie Tardif and Scott Jackson, forwards Neil Clark and Adam Keefe and goaltender Dominic Vicari were released outright. Defensemen Jakub Kindl, Brad Ference and Garrett Stafford, forwards Mark Cullen, Carl Corazzini, Brett Engelhardt, Randall Gelech and Ryan Oulahen, and goalie Adam Berkhoel were sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Clark was fresh off a fight in the loss to the Lighting while Vicari was cut for the second time this season, having been brought back only hours after being released last week when Logan Koopmans was injured.

Tonight’s lineup against the Rangers will see more NHLers, with the return of defenseman Brian Rafalski and forward Tomas Kopecky. Neither has played in a preseason game this year, meaning that tonight will be Rafalski’s Red Wings debut.

Rafalski will be making his first appearance at the Joe with Detroit but Rangers forward Brendan Shanahan will not be on the ice for New York, meaning that his return to Hockeytown as an opponent will be delayed for another season. Shanahan went to the Rangers as a free agent last year but the two teams did not meet in Detroit. This season they won’t play each other at all.

Three Free Agent Try-outs Confirmed

Last week Bruce MacLeod, posted that the Wings would be inviting a handful of veteran defensemen to training camp as free agent try-outs. Specifically mentioned was the rumor that Brent Sopel (formerly of Vancouver, the NY Islanders, Los Angeles, and Vancouver again) would be one of them.

Today, MacLeod confirms that rumor. Three of the invitees are Sopel, Jassen Cullimore, and Aaron Downey.

Over at Abel to Yzerman, Bill posits that Sopel wouldn’t be invited if he weren’t promised a roster spot. Sopel would likely be one of the Wings’ top four defensemen, also taking time on the power play. With a top four of Nick Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall and Brent Sopel, it would look like Andreas Lilja is the odd-man out.

That’s easier said than done, of course.

More Wings Number Changes

George Malik points out this morning that Red Wings Central has their training camp roster posted. I try not to pay too much attention to camp in seasons when the roster is virtually set, such as this one, but I do like taking a look at what sweater numbers the players are assigned.

Most players will never see time with those digits on their backs (does anyone really think Dominic Vicari would show up in the Detroit crease wearing #70?) but for players that have either spent time on the Red Wings’ roster in the past or are expected to make the team out of camp, this can be the first time we see what number they will wear.

The previously confirmed number change for Tomas Kopecky (from #28 to #82) is reflected on the roster, as is the re-assignment of #28 to newcomer Brian Rafalski and #17 to Dallas Drake. We also find that Russian prospect Igor Grigorenko has been given the #21 that was to be worn last season by Greg Johnson before he was forced to retire.

Two unexpected changes are found on the blueline. Kyle Quincey (who may or may not make the lineup this season, a casualty of limited roster spots) is switching from #45 to the #4 last worn in 2006 by Cory Cross. Derek Meech, who has spent limited time with the Red Wings wearing #36 but is expected not to be sent to Grand Rapids as he would have to clear waivers, has taken on the #14 formerly worn by Brendan Shanahan.

I’m a bit surprised by the Red Wings giving out Shanahan’s number only a season after his depature to New York. It had to happen sometime, I don’t think there’s a whole lot of a push to have the #14 retired for Shanny, but it seems like the team would have waited longer.