Red Wings Drop 3-1 Decision to Hurricanes

Looking to start a new winning streak after snapping their losing streak at four games on Saturday, the Detroit Red Wings faltered at home, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Carolina Hurricanes.

After a scoreless first period, Victor Rask opened the game’s scoring with 7:34 left in the second period. Detroit neminder Petr Mrazek came out to play the puck in front of his cage but sent it right to Rask, who skated around him and put it into the net for a 1-0 lead.

Jakub Kindl tied things up with 2:16 left in the period, firing a point shot through traffic and between Carolina goalie Cam Ward‘s pads.

Ron Hainsey scored a similar goal from the opposite side of the ice off a Detroit turnover to make it 2-1 at 4:35 of the third period.

An empty-net goal by Eric Staal closed out the game’s scoring.

Mrazek made 18 saves on 20 shots against. Ward stopped 25 of 26 chances faced.

Neither team scored a power play goal, with Detroit getting two tries with the man-advantage and Carolina three.

The Red Wings are back in action on Friday when they host the Ottawa Senators.

Postgame: Hurricanes @ Red Wings – 10/16

I picked a good game to miss, apparently. Not that what I was watching in Grand Rapids was much better.

Catching back up on highlights and reports, there are clearly good things and bad to take from the 5-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Any loss to a previously-winless team stings. A loss like this doubly-so. Giving up five goals to a team that had only scored five goals all season? Brutal. Jimmy Howard didn’t play up to the level he had been at for his first two games of the season, which earned him the first consecutive starts by a Detroit goalie this year. Rebound control, long an issue for him, came back to bite him again. That said, the defense couldn’t move the puck. Or clear the puck. It looked like the duct-taped blue line that it is.

Oh the plus side, three goals for in an awful game. I mean, Cam Ward isn’t a good goalie, but the offense kept clicking so at least it wasn’t a complete failure. And, hey, point streaks for Henrik Zetterberg and Dylan Larkin.

Next up is Montreal. A game like Friday’s from Detroit and that’ll be a blowout.

Pulkkinen’s Pair Leads Red Wings Over Hurricanes

Despite being outshot by a wide margin, the Detroit Red Wings rode two third-period goals by Teemu Pulkkinen to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Detroit trailed 2-1 heading into the final frame but Pulkkinen tied things up at 4:39 of the period. Carolina defender Ron Hainsey won a puck battle along the end boards and attempted to clear it through the slot, but Pulkkinen had jumped up and picked off the pass, banging a shot past goalie Cam Ward to make it 2-2.

Just 1:57 later, Pulkkinen deflected a shot from Tomas Tatar at the top of the left faceoff circle past Ward to give the Red Wings the lead.

With 3:35 remaining in regulation, Justin Abdelkader rifled a shot from the slot past Ward off a feed from behind the goal by Henrik Zetterberg to make it 4-2.

Carolina cut the lead to one goal with three seconds left in the game, as Justin Faulk blasted a shot from the top of the right circle past Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek while on the power play.

After a scoreless first period in which the Red Wings were outshot 18-2, Zetterberg got the Red Wings on the board with 8:27 left in the middle frame on just their sixth shot. Zetterberg cut in front of the net from the left of Ward and put a shot past him to make it 1-0.

The Hurricanes responded with 4:48 left in the period when Victor Rask banged home the rebound of a Noah Hanafin shot.

Nathan Gerbe tipped a Ryan Murphy shot past Mrazek from the edge of the crease with 57 seconds left in the period to make it 2-1.

Mrazek finished the night with 44 saves on 47 shots. Ward stopped 15 of 19.

The Hurricanes had six power play tries and scored once. Detroit had one chance with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings are now off until Tuesday when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Wings Blank ‘Canes, Clinch Third in Atlantic

The Detroit Red Wings closed out their regular season schedule with a 2-0 shutout of the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night, earning the Atlantic Division’s third seed for the coming playoffs.

Goalie Petr Mrazek stopped at 35 shots he faced in leading the Red Wings to victory.

Combined with the Montreal Canadiens’ defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit’s win locked the Red Wings into a first-round matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Just 48 seconds into the game, Landon Ferraro scored what would be the game-winner, his first career NHL goal. Ferraro attempted a shot from low on the left wing boards but it was blocked. He picked up his own rebound and carried it behind the net, beating Carolina netminder Cam Ward on a wraparound chance.

Joakim Andersson would score the game’s only other goal on an empty-net tally.

Ward finished the night with 27 saves on 28 shots against.

The Hurricanes had two power play chances to the Red Wings’ one.

Detroit’s series with Tampa Bay is expected to start on Thursday… Detroit regulars Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Niklas Kronwall were all rested for the game… Defenseman Brendan Smith was benched after playing the puck with his glove from the bench on Thursday in Montreal… Tomas Jurco returned to the Detroit lineup… With Detroit’s usual captains out, Daniel Cleary, Jonathan Ericsson, and Darren Helm all wore alternate captains’ As… Justin Abdelkader remained out due to injury… Defenseman Alexey Marchenko was called up to play and will stay with the team for Game One.

Tatar Scores Twice to Lead Red Wings over Hurricanes

Detroit forward Tomas Tatar notched two goals Sunday evening, leading the Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh.

With the win, the Red Wings move into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Pavel Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring with 3:24 left in the first period. Datsyuk protected the puck along the right wing boards and dropped it off to Jonathan Ericsson, who took a shot on net and followed it, gathering the rebound, curling around the end board, and back up the opposite wing before sending it back across to Datsyuk. Datsyuk stepped in from the point to the faceoff dot and whipped a shot between the legs of defenseman Andrej Sekera and past goalie Cam Ward.

Just two minutes later, Tatar’s first made it 2-0. Ericsson shot the puck around the boards and it came to Justin Faulk on the left wing. Faulk misplayed it and both Datsyuk and Tatar got to it, with Tatar throwing a shot at Ward. Ward kicked it aside but it deflected off Sekera and back into the net.

With 7:46 left in the second period, Tatar scored a more traditional goal for his second of the night. Cutting up the slot, Tatar took a feed from Datsyuk and snapped a shot past Ward for a three-goal lead.

Jay McClement would score Carolina’s only goal of the game with 2:49 left in the middle period, tipping a Tim Gleason shot from the point past Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek.

Mrazek finished the night with 34 saves on 35 shots. Ward stopped 19 of 22 chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had three tries with the extra attacker while Carolina had four.

The Red Wings are now off until they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

With Detroit playing on consecutive nights, Daniel Cleary and Brian Lashoff replaced Joakim Andersson and Jakub Kindl in the lineup. Justin Abdelkader remained out with a shoulder injury.

Postgame: Hurricanes @ Red Wings – 4/11

As I said via Twitter tonight, it’s good that the Red Wings had already clinched their playoff spot, as this game was one that was supposed to be two easy points and Detroit walks away with zero in a 2-1 loss.

Part of that is Carolina goalie Cam Ward putting in a strong performance, including big stops on Justin Abdelkader. Part of that is simply a failure to execute.

Ignore the lack of offense. As Winging it in Motown pointed out, the only two power plays Detroit gave up were on too many men on the ice penalties. Taking one of those is bad enough, showing sloppiness. Two? Shameful.

The loss, combined with Columbus’ loss to Tampa Bay, means that a Blue Jackets win tomorrow against the Panthers locks the Red Wings into eighth place and a first-round matchup with the Boston Bruins no matter what Detroit does against St. Louis on Sunday. If the Wings manage a single point more against the Blues than the Jackets do in Sunrise, it’s a Detroit – Pittsburgh first round.

Weiss Completes Red Wings’ Rally in Overtime

In just his second game with the Red Wings, forward Stephen Weiss scored the game-winning goal with 1:47 remaining in overtime to give Detroit a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The goal capped a comeback by Detroit after the host Hurricanes carried a 2-0 lead into the third period.

Justin Abdelkader got the Red Wings on the board just 42 seconds into the final period of regulation. Henrik Zetterberg‘s attempted feed from the left wing to Stephen Weiss in the slot redirected out to Abelkader in the far faceoff circle, where he snapped a shot past Carolina netminder Cam Ward.

Detroit would remain down a goal until the final seconds of regulation. With goalie Jimmy Howard pulled for an extra attacker, Pavel Datsyuk‘s chance from the side of the net sparked a goal-mouth scramble. Zetterberg gathered up the loose puck in the slot and spun to put a backhander on net but it was knocked down. Zetterberg collected the puck again and switched to the forehand, threading a shot through traffic and past Ward with just 16.4 seconds remaining.

Weiss would end it on a rush with Johan Franzen. Franzen drove to the net and put a chance off Ward’s pad and Weiss followed it up, with the rebound bouncing off his leg and past Ward to give Detroit the win.

Radek Dvorak had opened the game’s scoring with 6:30 remaining in the first period. Jeff Skinner poked the puck towards the net from the left wing boards and defenseman Kyle Quincey couldn’t reach it to knock it away. Dvorak beat Howard’s poke-check and lifted a shot into the top of the net.

With 1:49 remaining in the period, Nathan Gerbe made it 2-0 on a power play. Justin Faulk’s shot from the blue line deflected off both Zetterberg and Danny DeKeyser, ending up on Gerbe’s stick at the edge of the crease. Gerbe snapped a shot past Howard before anyone could get to him.

Gerbe’s tally was the only power play goal of the night. Each team had three chances with the man-advantage.

Howard finished the night with 23 saves on 25 shots against. Ward made 35 saves on 38 shots.

The Red Wings continue their short road trip Saturday night in Boston.

TGTW: Wings Fall From Central Lead in Week Twelve

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

The Detroit Red Wings went 1-2 on a Christmas week road trip, dropping them out of first place in the Central Division heading into the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor.

Opening their trip in Raleigh on Wednesday, the Red Wings rallied late for a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. After a scoreless first period, the Hurricanes got on the board with a Drayson Bowman goal at 6:30 of the second and made it 2-0 with 1:29 left in the period on a Jamie McBain tally. Pavel Datsyuk cut the lead in half at 3:10 of the third but Eric Staal made it 3-1 at 4:41. Johan Franzen put the Wings back within a goal while shorthanded at 7:27 and Todd Bertuzzi tied things up with 8:21 left in the period. Jonathan Ericsson‘s sixth goal of the year with 2:23 remaining gave Detroit their first lead of the game and they held on for the win. Jimmy Howard made 24 saves on 27 shots in earning the win while Cam Ward stopped 30 of 34 shots for Carolina.

The next night in Pittsburgh would feature no such comeback for the Wings, dropping a 5-1 decision to the Penguins. Chris Kunitz opened the game’s scoring at 4:40 of the first and Tanner Glass made it 2-0 midway through the opening period. Sidney Crosby‘s shorthanded goal at 3:16 of the second extended the lead to three and Kunitz added another with 6:19 left in the middle period. Carlo Colaiacovo finally got the Red Wings on the board with a power play goal with 3:03 remaining but Evgeni Malkin scored with 1:13 left to chase Howard from the Detroit crease. Jonas Gustavsson would face only six shots in the third, stopping them all for a 5-1 final. Howard finished the night with 12 saves on 17 shots in 38:47 of play while Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves on 25 shots.

The Red Wings’ scoring troubles continued on Saturday in Ottawa, where they couldn’t score a goal in a 1-0 loss to the Senators. Daniel Alfredsson scored the game’s only goal at 5:13 of the first period and 28 saves by Robin Lehner made it stand up as the game-winner. Howard rebounded from his awful night in Pittsburgh with a 31-save performance.

With only two of a possible six points earned on the week, the Red Wings fell to third in the Central Division, four points back of both the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators but with two games in hand on the Preds. The Blues are the hottest team in the league heading into the New Year, riding an eight-game winning streak.

The next week will see the Red Wings take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Winter Classic at Ann Arbor’s Michigan Stadium, then host the Nashville Predators in the last game before a five-game road trip.

Zetterberg Leads Red Wings’ Rally Past Hurricanes

Henrik Zetterberg scored the first two goals for Detroit on Saturday night, leading the Red Wings to a 5-4 comeback win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The win snapped Detroit’s six-game losing streak and coincided with the return from injury of defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Jakub Kindl.

The Red Wings were down 4-1 when Zetterberg scored his second of the night. With 3:02 left in the second period, Zetterberg took a feed from Valtteri Filppula and snapped a shot from the high slot off Carolina netminder Cam Ward‘s mask and into the net, through a screen by Jiri Hudler.

Just 18 seconds later, Todd Bertuzzi batted the fluttering rebound of a Gustav Nyquist chance out of mid-air and past Ward to cut the Hurricanes’ lead to a single goal.

At 8:10 of the third, Filppula banked the puck off the side of the net and out to Brad Stuart just inside the blue line. Stuart’s shot deflected first off Hudler in front of the net, then off defender Jay Harrison before trickling across the goal line to tie the game.

With 8:25 left in regulation, Drew Miller gave the Red Wings their first and only lead. The Hurricanes won a faceoff in their own zone but Cleary knocked the puck loose to Miller, who went to the front of the net alone and beat Ward on the backand to make it 5-4.

Carolina had opened the scoring just 17 seconds into the game, when Jiri Tlusty threw a backhander from down low on the right wing towards the Detroit goal. The puck deflected off defenseman Ian White‘s stick and went over the shoulder of goalie Ty Conklin to give the Hurricanes the early lead.

Another quick goal made it 2-0, with Chard Larose scoring just 26 seconds into the second period. Larose was left alone in the left corner of the Detroit zone and he cut to the middle to take a pass from Eric Staal before beating Conklin.

Zetterberg scored his first of the night to halve Carolina’s lead at 5:10 of the second. Zetterberg threw the puck to the net from the right circle and it deflected off defenseman Bryan Allen to get past Ward.

A pair of power play goals gave the Hurricanes their 4-1 lead. With 4:22 left in the second period and a single second left on a five-on-three, Jamie McBain rifled a shot from the top of the left circle past Conklin. Tlusty got in behind Kyle Quincey and tapped in a chance from the edge of the crease just 17 seconds later.

Those two goals were the only power play goals by either team on the night. Each team had two tries with the man-advantage.

Conklin finished the night with 20 saves on 24 shots, with the Red Wings holding the Hurricanes to just three shots in the third period. Ward stopped 45 of Detroit’s 50 shots on the night.

With Lidstrom and Kindl returning to the lineup, Brendan Smith was a healthy scratch. The Red Wings reassigned him to the Grand Rapids Griffins after the game. Jonathan Ericsson, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Patrick Eaves, Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald remain injured for Detroit.

Postgame: Hurricanes @ Red Wings – 3/24

There were a lot of players who made tonight’s win happen, a very solid overall effort, but I’ll be damned if Henrik Zetterberg didn’t put the team on his back tonight and carry them when they needed it most. I said it over Twitter (all of my commentary tonight was on Twitter, sorry about that forum users), he knows the playoffs are coming.

That said: Drew Miller. Does the guy score any goals that aren’t clutch? He’s got 14 goals this season and 4 are game-winners.

Speaking of trends, Todd Bertuzzi really does love the atypical goals. Spinoramas and batting it out of the air are kind of becoming his thing.

I love the fact that the Wings competed all night. Effort.

With Nicklas Lidstrom and Jakub Kindl back, the blue line seemed much more calm. Brendan Smith was returned to the Griffins after the game as the defensive corps will be 100% healthy once Jonathan Ericsson returns (supposedly on Monday).

With all the good things, there were a couple bad notes.

Really disliked Ty Conklin on the first goal against. He was down early and leaning off the post. Yeah, the shot ramped up on him, but that was an awkward position to try to make a stop from.

Danny Cleary‘s penalty to give the Hurricanes a five-on-three was pretty boneheaded. His decline in play could be related to the knee injury that I’m sure he’d be resting if Johan Franzen (and Pavel Datsyuk before him) weren’t hurt.

Speaking of boneheaded… Tomas Holmstrom gets checked into Cam Ward and then called for goalie interference. What a joke.

But a big win anyway, putting the Wings back of the Blues by six points. No games in hand but the next two for Detroit are against Columbus and there’s one more matchup between the Wings and Blues this season, so there are points to be had.

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