Pregame: Predators @ Red Wings – 10/21

Coming off a 2-1 win over the Rangers in New York that probably wasn’t deserved, the Red Wings are changing things up tonight as they host the Nashville Predators.

Steve Ott is back in the lineup for the first time since the season opener, with Andreas Athanasiou swapped out.  On defense, Ryan Sproul gets his first look of the season and only his second career game with Xavier Ouellet out.

This comes as no surprise, but I’d prefer to never see Ott in the lineup again, so, whatever, we’ll see what happens.  I’ll say forever that I don’t see how you can bring back Darren Helm as a free agent because of his speed, but then sit Athanasiou for anyone.

Something I find interesting with Sproul coming in…  No one is giving updates on Niklas Kronwall anymore.  The Wings had hoped he’d be ready for the start of the season but, obviously, he wasn’t.  A week later and we don’t know if he’s any closer.  I’m gonna float a conspiracy theory right now: Kronwall is done and his LTIRed cap space will be how the Red Wings manage to fit in Cam Fowler.  I’d rather it be Jacob Trouba, but Winnipeg is asking too much.

Petr Mrazek will be back in goal for the Wings after Jimmy Howard got the win on Wednesday.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

Stupid Stat of the Day:  Okay, this one’s a long one, so I dropped it to the bottom of the post.  Several years ago I wrote about the Red Wings playing in Nashville on Saturday on no rest.  Looking at a Friday night game with Detroit hosting the Predators, my first thought was, “Wow, that never happens.”

Turns out I’m wrong.  Of the 55 times they’ve hosted the Predators, seven have been on Friday, just less than you’d expect with an even distribution (but good luck playing 7.8 games on a day).  The Wings have hosted the Preds five times on Sunday, four on Monday, nine on Tuesday, twelve on Wednesday, eight on Thursday, seven on Friday, and ten on Saturday.

The weird thing is that it took nine seasons (one of which was lost to the lockout) for the Red Wings to host their then-division-rival on a Friday night.  Nashville’s first visit to the Joe on a Friday was November 10, 2006.  Through the Predators’ first ten seasons, it was the only visit.  The remaining six have all come in the nine years since.

So it turns out that Friday night games hosting Nashville are common enough, but they used to be rare

Red Wings Down Ducks in OT After Third-Period Collapse

Gustav Nyquist lifted the Detroit Red Wings over the Anaheim Ducks early in overtime on Thursday night, giving Detroit a much-needed Game Two win after they allowed three third-period goals to erase a 4-1 lead.

The Ducks scored a trio of goals in under ten minutes to force overtime but Detroit’s fourth goal in the first two minutes of a period – and third on a carry-over penalty – was enough to secure the win.

At 1:21 of the overtime, Valtteri Filppula faked around Anaheim’s Corey Perry in the left faceoff circle and found a lane to shovel a pass across to Nyquist on the opposite side for a quick wrister past neminder Jonas Hiller. The goal came with under two seconds remaining in a Detroit power play.

Justin Abdelkader had opened the scoring only 48 seconds into the game, flipping a shot from the high slot that was tipped by the stick of defenseman Francois Beauchemin to confuse Hiller.

Damien Brunner made it 2-0 at 4:20 of the first. Off a turnover in the Ducks’ zone, Kyle Quincey poked the puck to Brunner all alone in the slot to snap past Hiller.

Johan Franzen‘s first of the night put the Red Wings up by three at 1:04 of the second period. Camped out on the edge of the crease, Franzen banged home the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg chance for Detroit’s first power play goal of the night.

Saku Koivu got the Ducks on the board with a power play goal of their own with 9:07 remaining in the middle period. Off the rebound of a Teemu Selanne shot, Koivu kicked the puck towards the goal and got his stick on it before it crossed the line to tap it in.

Franzen’s second of the night made it 4-1 just 20 seconds into the third period as he drove to the side of the net and reached around Hiller to stuff it in the far side.

Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf started his team’s comeback at 7:50 of the third, backhanding a shot from the edge of the right faceoff circle through Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to make it 4-2.

Kyle Palmieri snapped a shot from the left circle past Howard just after the expiration of an Anaheim power play with 7:29 remaining to pull the Ducks within a goal.

The comeback was complete with Bobby Ryan‘s goal with 2:22 remaining. Cam Fowler had the puck in the left wing corner and sent it out front to Ryan for a tip past Howard, evening things up at 4-4.

The Red Wings finished the night with three power play goals on six chances with the extra attacker while the Ducks scored once on five tries.

Howard made 28 saves on 32 shots against in earning the win. Hiller stopped 27 of the 32 shots he faced.

With the Red Wings having earned a split of the opening games in Anaheim, the series now shifts to Detroit for Game Three on Saturday night.


Todd Bertuzzi made his first appearance in the Detroit lineup since February xxx, returning from a back injury to replace Jordin Tootoo on the fourth line… After the game, Detroit head coach Mike Babcock announced that rookie defenseman Danny DeKeyser would miss the remainder of the playoffs with a broken thumb.

Red Wings Fall to Ducks in Game One, 3-1

The Detroit Red Wings couldn’t hold off the Anaheim Ducks’ special teams on Tuesday night, with two power-play goals propelling the Ducks to a 3-1 win over Detroit in the opening game of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Detroit’s lone goal of the game was also a power play tally and Anaheim rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal, meaning all four goals in the game came with an extra attacker on the ice.

Nick Bonino opened the game’s scoring for the Ducks at 10:24 of the first period, deflecting a Cam Fowler shot from the point past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard just three seconds into Anaheim’s first power play of the game.

With 3:55 remaining in the period, Daniel Cleary tied things up when Jakub Kindl‘s shot from the top of the right faceoff circle bounced off him and trickled past Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller.

After a scoreless second period, Teemu Selanne snapped a shot from the right faceoff dot past Howard just 1:29 into the third to put the Ducks up 2-1.

The Red Wings were unable to recover and with 23 seconds remaining, Francois Beauchemin threw the puck from his own end into the empty net off a faceoff win to wrap up the game’s scoring.

Each team had four power play tries, with the Red Wings getting one goal to Anaheim’s two.

Howard made 24 saves on 26 shots against. Hiller stopped 21 of 22 Detroit shots.

The teams will meet again on Thursday for Game Two of the series.

Howard Stops 33 as Red Wings Sweep Ducks

Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced on Sunday night, carrying the Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Ducks to sweep the pair of weekend games between the teams in Anaheim.

Howard had also made 33 saves in a 5-1 win on Friday night, giving him a .971 save percentage in the two wins.

Daniel Cleary got the Red Wings on the board at 4:14 of the first period, deflecting a shot from the right wing boards by Jakub Kindl past Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller for a power play goal.

Drew Miller made it 2-0 at 8:46 of the period when he swatted the rebound of an Ian White shot from the point under Hiller just before Teemu Selanne could get to the puck.

After seven consecutive goals by the Red Wings across the two games, the Ducks finally got on the board with 46 seconds left in the second period.

On an Anaheim power play, Ryan Getzlaf got the puck at the blue line and lugged it through the high slot, getting around a diving Miller and taking it to the left faceoff circle to snap past Howard.

Howard would cement the win in the closing seconds with a stop on Cam Fowler all alone in the slot while the Ducks were shorthanded.

Hiller finished the night with 19 saves on 21 shots.

Each team had a power play goal, with the Red Wings getting six tries with the extra attacker and the Ducks getting three.

Detroit continues their West Coast road trip Monday in Glendale against the Phoenix Coyotes.


Damien Brunner was a healthy scratch for Detroit for the first time in his career. Carlo Colaiacovo, returning from injury, was also a healthy scratch… Defenseman Brian Lashoff missed the end of the first period after taking a puck to the face but returned for the start of the second period… Anaheim forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne were all ejected with 34 seconds remaining in regulation for arguing about a tripping call to Getzlaf.

Red Wings’ Skid Continues with Shutout Loss to Ducks

The Detroit Red Wings suffered their third loss in a row and their eighth in the last eleven games Wednesday night, a 4-0 shutout by the Anaheim Ducks.

After a scoreless first period, the Ducks opened the game’s scoring at 8:52 of the second. Teemu Selanne tipped a Cam Fowler shot past Detroit goalie Joey MacDonald from inside the crease for his 1400th career point, giving Anaheim a 1-0 lead.

Kyle Palmieri made it 2-0 with 4:11 left in the period, stealing the puck from defenseman Brendan Smith down low and beating MacDonald on a backhand chance from in close all alone.

Bobby Ryan banged home the rebound of a Ryan Getzlaf chance 3:06 later to put the Ducks up 3-0 entering the second intermission.

Palmieri would add another goal at 1:22 of the third to round out the scoring.

MacDonald stopped 20 of the 24 shots he faced on the night, while Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller made 23 saves in the shutout effort.

Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had three chances with the extra attacker while the Ducks had two.

The Red Wings continue their West Coast road trip on Saturday when they visit the San Jose Sharks.


Detroit forward Todd Bertuzzi returned from injury, replacing Gustav Nyquist in the lineup. Nyquist will be returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins with Bertuzzi healthy.