Red Wings’ Down Lightning for Sixth Consecutive Win

The Detroit Red Wings won their sixth consecutive game Wednesday night, a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lighting.

The game was the first in Detroit for the Steve Yzerman-led Lighting since Yzerman left the Red Wings organization to take over in Tampa Bay.

Pavel Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring at 4:58 of the first period. The Lightning failed to clear their zone off a faceoff win and the puck bounced from player to player, ending up near Todd Bertuzzi at the side of the crease. Bertuzzi poked it out to Datsyuk in the slot for a quick shot past goalie Dwayne Roloson.

Jonathan Ericsson‘s first goal of the season made it 2-0 Detroit with 8:56 left in the period. Ericsson jumped into the play and took a pass from Valtteri Filppula, flinging a shot from the high slot past Roloson.

The Lighting would rally in the second period.

At 9:35 of the period, Martin St. Louis beat Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard from the slot with Tampa Bay on a power play.

With just 14 seconds left in the middle frame, Steven Stamkos was left unguarded at the bottom of the left faceoff circle and took a pass from Matt Gilroy, beating Howard to tie things up.

Tomas Holmstrom scored a power play goal from the side of the net to put Detroit back out in front at 4:22 of the third period and Darren Helm scored while cutting through the middle with 6:46 left in regulation to give the Red Wings the win.

Howard made 21 saves on 23 shots, including a stop on a shorthanded breakaway by Gilroy in the third period. Roloson stopped 31 of 35 Detroit shots.

Each team scored one power play goal. The Red Wings had five chances with the extra attacker while the Lightning had four.

The Wings are back in action on Friday when the visit the Buffalo Sabres, the first game of a three-game road trip.


After the game, Detroit forward Patrick Eaves was placed on short-term injured reserve and Chris Conner was called up to fill his roster spot.

Brunnstrom Scores Twice but Red Wings Fall to Blackhawks, 4-3

Pro tryout Fabian Brunnstrom scored two goals for the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night but it wasn’t enough for a youth-heavy lineup to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks, as the ‘Hawks rallied for a 4-3 win.

Despite icing a lineup with none of their top players, the Red Wings held a 3-1 lead midway through the game. Two power play goals and a third at even strength would put Chicago past Detroit in the second half of the game.

Patrick Kane, making his first appearance of the preseason, got the Blackhawks on the board with 9:14 left in the first period, taking a drop pass from Jonathan Toews as Toews cut to the net from the right side, then snapping a shot past Detroit goalie Ty Conklin for a power play goal.

Brunnstrom scored his first with 4:25 remaining in the period, tipping a centering pass from Gustav Nyquist past Blackhawks’ netminder Corey Crawford just as a Detroit five-on-three expired.

Drew Miller put the Red Wings up by a goal with 39 seconds left in the opening frame when he was left all alone in front of Crawford. Chris Conner sent a pass from behind the net to Miller who buried it.

Brunnstrom’s second of the night came at 8:08 of the second. Cory Emmerton put the puck on net on a wraparound chance and Brunnstrom was on the doorstep to bury the rebound.

Brent Seabrook blasted a shot past Conklin just 1:28 later on a Chicago power play to make it 3-2.

Only 1:29 into the third Duncan Keith dumped the puck into the Detroit end. Conklin left his net to play it but it bounced off a stanchion and out to Ben Smith, who buried it as Conklin dove to get back into position.

The game’s defining moment came at 5:26 of the final period. As Ben Smith broke in to the Detroit zone, Red Wings’ defender Brendan Smith lined him up for a hit. Ben Smith held up at the last second and Brendan Smith missed his check, driving his shoulder into Ben Smith’s head. Ben Smith was down on the ice for several minutes and Brendan Smith was given a five minute major and ejected.

During the five minute major, Doug Janik was called for interference, giving Chicago a five-on-three. With the two-man advantage, former Red Wing Marian Hossa beat Conklin from the stop of the right faceoff circle to put the Blackhawks out in front at 8:58 of the period.

Conklin finished the night with 20 saves on 24 shots. Crawford stopped 17 of 20 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings went one for two on the night on the power play while the Blackhawks scored on three of their six chances with the extra attacker.

The Wings’ next preseason game is Friday when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Rosters Released for Red & White Game in Grand Rapids

The Red Wings announced the rosters for their Red & White game in Grand Rapids on Tuesday.

The White Team, featuring Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk clearly has the star power but the Red Team seems to have more depth, not that it matters much in an intra-squad scrimmage.

White Team
Henrik Zetterberg
Pavel Datsyuk
Tomas Holmstrom
Tomas Tatar
Justin Abdelkader
Gustav Nyquist
Andrej Nestrasil
Jamie Johnson
Willie Coetzee
Mitch Callahan
Brent Raedeke
Nick Oslund

Nicklas Lidstrom
Ian White
Garnet Exelby
Logan Pyett
Sebastien Piche
Gleason Fournier

Jimmy Howard
Thomas McCollum

Red Team
Johan Franzen
Valtteri Filppula
Danny Cleary
Jiri Hudler
Joakim Andersson
Todd Bertuzzi
Chris Conner
Louis-Marc Aubry
Francis Pare
Adam Estoclet
Landon Ferraro
Trevor Parkes

Niklas Kronwall
Brad Stuart
Travis Ehrhardt
Bryan Rufenach
Greg Amadio
Brian Lashoff

Ty Conklin
Jordan Pearce

Ansar Khan points out that a number of players are sitting out the match, which has me disappointed. Khan’s list is as follows: Darren Helm, Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller, Fabian Brunnstrom, Ryan Johnson, Jonathan Ericsson, Mike Commodore, Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl, Doug Janik, Joey MacDonald.

For a game that has been billed as a chance for West Michigan fans to see the Red Wings close to home, it’s odd to me that so many of those Wings are sitting in place of players the fans in GR will see all season.

Red Wings Announce Lineups for Opening Preseason Games

Per Ansar Khan, the Red Wings have revealed their rosters for the first two games of the 2011 exhibition season.

The Red Wings will visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night with the following lines:

Jiri HudlerPavel DatsyukDanny Cleary
Fabian BrunnstromCory EmmertonPatrick Eaves
Drew MillerRyan JohnsonJan Mursak
Tomas TatarChris ConnerTomas Holmstrom

Niklas KronwallBrad Stuart
Brendan SmithMike Commodore
Garnet ExelbyLogan Pyett

Jimmy Howard
Joey MacDonald

On Thursday Detroit will be in London, Ontario, to play the Philadelphia Flyers. Their lineup for that game will be as follows:

Valtteri FilppulaHenrik ZetterbergJohan Franzen
Justin AbdelkaderDarren HelmTodd Bertuzzi
Gustav NyquistJoakim AnderssonWillie Coetzee
Tomas JurcoBrent RaedekeFrancis Pare

Nicklas LidstromIan White
Jonathan EricssonJakub Kindl
Brian LashoffDoug Janik

Ty Conklin
Jordan Pearce

No lineup has been announced for the Wings’ preseason home opener on Friday, where Detroit will host the Flyers.

Red Wings Free Agency Week in Review

We’re one week into the NHL free agency season and the Red Wings have seemingly made all the moves they expected to make, aside from signing a backup goaltender. Let’s take a look at each signing.

Jonathan Ericsson
Ericsson’s three-year term and $3.25 million annual salary rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way when this deal was announced the night before free agency opened. Detroit is clearly paying for potential here, as they have more faith in Ericsson’s continued development than the fanbase does. If Ericsson develops as the team hopes, this is a good deal given the market. If not, this is a rare mistake for Ken Holland.

Patrick Eaves
The Red Wings kept one of their top penalty killing forwards by signing Eaves just before free agency opened. $1.2 million doesn’t break the bank and the three-year term is nothing to be afraid of. It’s a very Kris Draper-like deal for a Draper-like player.

Drew Miller
Miller had said he was intent on testing the free agency waters but re-upped with Detroit a short time into free agency with a two-year deal worth $1.675 million. I have to think he could have gotten more on the open market – at least $1 million per year – so I wonder if the two years is what sold him on returning to the Wings.

Mike Commodore
Commodore hasn’t had good things to say about Mike Babcock in the past so this move seemed like it came out of nowhere to me. Add in the fact that he’s slotted to be a #5 / #6 defenseman, which the Wings already have several of (Ericsson, Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith, Doug Janik) and it’s that much more of a surprise. That said, Smith could use another season in Grand Rapids playing top-pair minutes and Janik may have never really been an option, even with the one-way contract he’s on this year. Commodore provides size and grit on the blueline and might be able to teach Ericsson a thing or two. After being bought out by the Blue Jackets, he has a chip on his shoulder.

Ian White
I like the White signing. As two years with a cap hit of $2.875, it’s a good deal for a replacement for Niklas Kronwall, who moves up to replace the retired Brian Rafalski. With no real replacement for Rafalski available via free agency, the Wings chose to promote from within and then replace the promoted Kronwall. White’s a solid puck-mover with a right-handed shot who should fit in nicely on the now-complete Detroit blueline.

Garnet Exelby
A big body for Grand Rapids, I liked Exelby when he broke into the NHL with the Atlanta Thrashers but he really hasn’t done much in his career. He should never see time in Detroit but he’s a good depth signing just in case.

Logan Pyett
Pyett seems to be going nowhere in the Detroit system but he fits in Grand Rapids. Another blueliner unlikely to see time with the Wings.

Chris Conner
Brought over from the Penguins, Conner is signed to a two-way deal and expected to push Cory Emmerton for the last forward spot in Detroit. He’s small and fast and works hard in the corners, something the Wings organization likes. He’ll have to clear waivers to go to Grand Rapids, but so will Emmerton so one of those two could be lost.

Jordan Pearce
Nothing has been confirmed but there are reports that Pearce was re-signed for two more years. He outplayed Thomas McCollum at the end of the Griffins’ season last year and was apparently convinced to keep playing hockey rather than pursue his medical degree.