Red Wings Drop to Second with Loss to Canucks

The Detroit Red Wings fell to second place in the Central Division Saturday night with a 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Earlier in the night, the Nashville Predators had defeated the Dallas Stars to leapfrog over the Red Wings.

Detroit got the first goal but the scoring was all Vancouver after that.

Pavel Datsyuk extended his point streak to 10 games with a goal 6:05 into the first. With the Red Wings on a two-man advantage, Mathieu Schneider sent a pass from up high down to Datsyuk in the right circle to lift a shot over the shoulder of goalie Roberto Luongo.

Bryan Smolinski replied for the Canucks with 8:19 remaining in the period on a backhanded wraparound attempt just after the expiration of a Detroit penalty.

Lukas Krajicek put Vancouver out in front when Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek was caught wandering out of his crease with 9:02 remaining in the second. Daniel Sedin attempted a wraparound that Hasek got back to stop just in time but the puck came out to Krajicek to put into the emtpy top half of the net.

After a giveaway on a Detroit power play 6:12 later, Brendan Morrison scored on a two-on-one with Matt Cooke to put the Canucks up by a pair.

Tervor Linden added an empty net goal when the Red Wings failed to gain control of the puck in the Vancouver zone with Hasek on the bench.

Hasek stopped 35 of 38 shots against in the loss while Luongo made 32 saves on 33 shots.

Datsyuk’s goal was the lone power play marker of the game. Detroit finished the night with eight chances with the extra attacker and Vancouver had nine tries.

The Red Wings will complete their abbreviated Western Canadian road trip on Monday when they visit the Calgary Flames.

Red Wings Ride Strong Third Period Past Blackhawks

The Detroit Red Wings scored three times in the third period Wednesday night, with those goals carrying them to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in the first of three matchups in nine days between the Original Six rivals.

With the teams tied at a goal each entering the third, Pavel Datsyuk put the Red Wings out in front at 9:17.

The Blackhawks won a draw in the Detroit zone on the power play but Datsyuk jumped up to the blueline to steal the puck from defenseman Adrian Aucoin. He carried it the length of the ice virtually untouched before faking out goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and slipping it past him.

Chicago would respond just 1:29 later, while still on the power play, when a shot by Bryan Smolinski from the bottom of the right circle bounced off Mathieu Schneider and then twice off netminder Dominik Hasek and into the net.

Henrik Zetterberg scored his first of two goals to get Detroit back in the lead with 6:22 remaining in regulation. On a delayed call, Datsyuk sent a pass from the top of the right circle onto Zetterberg’s stick at the edge of crease, where it was poked into the net. The pass had been deflected by Aucoin but he never had possession of the puck to draw a whistle.

Aucoin would factor into the final Wings goal as well, giving up the puck to Zetterberg in the Chicago zone with the net empty, leaving him able to skate into the vacant crease for the game’s final goal.

Chicago had gotten on the board first when Duncan Keith chipped a shot to the front of the net and Radim Vrbata banged it past Hasek at 6:24 of the first.

Kris Draper replied for the Red Wings at 6:34 of the second, sneaking a hard shot from the bottom of the left circle past Khabibulin.

The Red Wings scored on a delayed penalty but were without a goal on four power plays. Chicago scored on one of their chances with the man-advantage.

Hasek stopped 26 of 28 shots in earning the win while Khabibulin made 31 saves on 34 shots against.

The Red Wings moved back into first place in the Western Conference with the win, leapfrogging over the idle Nashville Predators by using their game-in-hand. The Predators will host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday and the Red Wings will host the Edmonton Oilers on Friday before the two teams meet for the first of five remaining matchups on Saturday.


The win was Detroit’s 13th-straight at Joe Louis Arena, one shy of tying the team record of 14 wins in a row at home.

Wings Skate for Charity at Yost

Thursday night should have been time off for the Detroit Red Wings, a day to rest one day after hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets and one day before the Chicago Blackhawks came to town. Since the NHL lockout began on September 16, most of the team has done nothing but rest, so a night off wasn’t needed.

On a night that should have been between games where the Red Wings would see 20,000 fans cheering them on, a handful of current and former Detroit players played in front of 7,000 fans at the University of Michigan’s Yost Arena in a charity game to benefit Mott Children’s Hospital, as part of an all-pro team facing off against the U.S. under-18 national team.

Current Wings Manny Legace, Derian Hatcher, Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, Kris Draper and Steve Yzerman were all present. Former Wings Doug Brown, Steve Duchesne, Aaron Ward, Kevin Miller and Sergei Fedorov were there.
Former Wolverines David Roberts, Chris Tamer, Bill Muckalt and David Harlock, former Michigan State University Spartans Bryan Smolinski and Kip Miller, former Detroit Viper Sergei Samsonov, and former Detroit Jr. Red Wing and Michigan K-Wing Jeff Mitchell rounded out the pro roster.

Detroit native Kid Rock dropped the puck for the ceremonial opening faceoff and acted as coach for the pro team, flanked by celebrity assistants Bobby Higginson and Tera Reid.

The pros didn’t beat up the teenagers too badly, taking only a 1-0 lead after the end of one period and finishing the game up 6-2. Chelios, the Norris Trophy-winning defenseman, played most of the game as a forward, cherry-picking at Team USA’s blue line.

Ward opened the game’s scoring and goals by Draper and Fedorov followed in the second period. Draper scored again before Team USA got a goal when Phil Kessel crached the net to finish the second period scoring. Draper finished his hat trick early in the third. Andreas Vlassopoulos scored Team USA’s second goal before Kip Miller closed out the scoring, putting in the rebound from a Doug Brown shot that bounced off the glass behind the goal and came back out in front.

The game could have been overshadowed by the announcement earlier in the day that the NHL and NHLPA would meet for the first time since the lockout began, but it wasn’t. For one night it wasn’t about the lockout, it was about a packed arena where seasoned veterans took on teenagers to benefit charity.

The PA announcer mocked the players. Chelios put fake hits on a linesman. It wasn’t the NHL, but it wasn’t supposed to be.

Number One in the Western Conference

A hat trick by Brett Hull, 41 astonishing saves by Curtis Joseph, and a very high shot percentage by Detroit gave the Red Wings a 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. With those two points, the Red Wings have 96 points for the season””keeping a seven point division lead over the St. Louis Blues, and gaining a one point margin over the Dallas Stars for top spot in the Western Conference.

The Senators came out flying, and they were the ones to open the scoring. Karel Rachunek was able to carry the puck in a circle around the Detroit net and leave it in front for Marion Hossa to come in from nowhere and slide it around Joseph.

Joseph held the Senators off for the rest of the period, and the Red Wings tied up the game when they got a power play chance. Peter Schaefer was sent out for high-sticking Chris Chelios, and Rachunek followed for holding just over a minute later. With 52 seconds of 5-on-3 play to work with, the Red Wings were ready to go. Nicklas Lidstrom slid the puck from the right point to Hull at the left. Hull fooled everyone by passing back instead of shooting, and Lidstrom’s one-time shot sailed into the net over the left shoulder of goaltender Patrick Lalime.

Ottawa kept right on pushing, and Joseph continued to hold them off, making save after save until his defense would carry the puck away. “He was tremendous tonight,” said Ottawa’s Jason Spezza. “That’s the best goaltending we’ve seen. It was getting frustrating.”

Hull capitalized on an Ottawa turnover early in the second period to give Detroit the lead. He stole the puck from Chris Philips just outside the Senators’ zone and carried it in on the right side, then snapped the shot right past Lalime.

The Senators tied the game back up with a power play goal midway through the period. Hossa tripped Mathieu Schneider in front of the net, which went unnoticed by the referees, but gave Bryan Smolinski a clear shot on Joseph. Joseph made that save, but the rebound came free to Mike Fisher, who put the puck into the net.

Hull’s second goal of the night regained the lead for Detroit barely a minute later. Henrik Zetterberg pulled the puck out of a tangle of players along the left boards inside the Senators’ zone, then set up the pass for Hull at the left circle. With another characteristic snapping shot, Hull put the puck past Lalime.

The Red Wings got another power play chance when Shane Hnidy was sent to the box for hooking, and Zetterberg increased the lead to 4-2. Pavel Datsyuk danced the puck around an Ottawa player near the left boards and sent it to Brendan Shanahan behind the net. Shanahan made the centering pass, and Zetterberg was waiting to one-time the shot up and over Lalime.

Detroit closed out the second period having to kill off a four minute high-sticking double minor penalty to Darren McCarty. They did so successfully, and again, it was Joseph who made the difference.

Shanahan’s goal early in the third period was the one that sent Lalime out of the game. Rookie Ray Emery came in to take his place. The Red Wings had a little bit better defensive control in the third period””Joseph was still called upon to make big saves, but not on so many quality shots.

Finally, with just 44 seconds left in the game, Datsyuk and Hull capitalized on another Ottawa turnover. Datsyuk stole the puck at center ice, carried it into the Senators’ zone, and sent it across to Hull. Hull whipped a one-time slapshot right past the very surprised Emery, and fans started tossing their hats onto the ice for Hull’s third goal of the night.

The final count of shots on net was 43 to 20 in the Senators’ favor, much to the bemusement of Dave Lewis. “The goals we scored were tremendous goals,” he said. “You look at the shots at the end of the game and think, ‘What happened?’ But we won the game.”

The Red Wings’ next game will be Tuesday night at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Steve Yzerman rested this game after playing yesterday against Colorado…. Hull was honored by the NHL in a small ceremony before the game. A League official presented him with the milestone awards for his 700th goal and 600th assist, and team owners Mike and Marian Illitch presented him with a gold-plated hockey stick.

Captain’s Debut a 5-4 Win

He looked a little awkward at times, and his timing was definitely off. But yes, it really was Steve Yzerman out there on the ice at Joe Louis Arena, winning nine of the fifteen faceoffs he took (important) and (more important) inspiring his team on to a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

The Red Wings were perhaps buoyed by the fans’excitement at the Captain’s return, because they definitely dominated the first period of play. Los Angeles goaltender Jamie Storr was sharp in the net, but Brett Hull finally put one past him as the period was winding down. Nicklas Lidstrom shot the puck deep into the right corner, and it bounced off the boards and out just past the goal line. Hull took his shot from a very tight angle. It didn’t look like a particularly good scoring chance, but the puck slid between Storr’s legs and in for the goal.

Igor Larionov increased the Red Wings’ lead early in the second. Brendan Shanahan passed from behind the net to Sergei Fedorov, and Fedorov sent the puck across the goal crease to Larionov. Larionov put the puck in high from right in front of the net.

The Kings got to go on the power play shortly after that, when Maxim Kuznetsov was sent to the box for holding the stick, and Mathieu Schneider was able to put his team on the board. He shot the puck from the blue line after taking a pass from Zigmund Palffy. Manny Legace was screened by both Lidstrom and Bryan Smolinski, and wasn’t able to see the puck on its way through.

Kirk Maltby and Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings back out front before the period was over. Maltby’s goal resulted from a tangle of players in front of the Los Angeles net. Storr didn’t cover up the puck, and it squirted free to Maltby, who put it over all the bodies for the goal. Holmstrom’s power play goal came less than two minutes later. Hull’s shot bounced off Storr’s chest. Holmstrom came around from the back of the net hoping to pick up the rebound, but as he skated, the puck bounced off his skate blade and into the net. The goal was reviewed by the officials, who determined that Holmstrom had not kicked the puck in.

The Kings didn’t give up, and the Red Wings’ defense started to break down a little. Ian Laperriere was allowed to get right up in front of the net with no one to cover him. When Aaron Miller sent the pass through, Legace was able to stop the first shot by Laperriere, but the second one went high and out of Legace’s reach.

The late period goal energized the Kings, and they came on strong in the third period. Legace made some very strong saves, but the onslaught finally broke through with just 6:52 left to play. Laperriere and Eric Belanger got through on a 2-on-1 break. Kuznetsov dropped down to take away the passing lane, but Belanger’s shot deflected off the big defenseman and up into the net.

Fedorov put the Red Wings ahead for good just as a slashing penalty to Yzerman had expired. Fedorov got the puck through center and up to Shanahan, who left the drop pass just inside the Los Angeles blue line. Fedorov picked up the puck, tipped it past a Kings’ defenseman, regained it, and backhanded it past Storr.

Derek Armstrong added one more goal for the Kings with 2:06 left in the game. They pulled their goalie to send in an extra skater in the last minute, but the Red Wings tightened up and came out with the win.

The final count of shots on net was 31-30 in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings play next on Thursday evening, when their Original Six rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs pay a visit to the Joe.


Holmstrom’s goal was his 17th of the season, setting a new personal best record…. League Standings at the three-quarter mark of the season: In the East, the #1 Senators would play the #8 Lightning, the #2 Devils would play the #7 Bruins, the #3 Capitals would play the #6 Islanders, and the #4 Maple Leafs would plat the #5 Flyers. In the West, the #1 Stars would play the #8 Oilers, the #2 Canucks would play the #7 Wild, the #3 Red Wings would play the #6 Mighty Ducks, and the #4 Blues would play the #5 Avalanche.