Red Wings Down Predators for Crucial Standings Points

The Detroit Red Wings kept control of their own playoff fate on Thursday night, riding a strong second period to a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators.

The win put Detroit into seventh place in the Western Conference, one point up on the inactive Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets for the eighth spot in Western Conference standings.

The Predators took a 2-1 lead into the middle frame but couldn’t hold off a rally by Detroit.

Johan Franzen pulled the Wings into a 2-2 tie just 1:01 into the second, collecting the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg shot at the side of the crease and lifting a shot over the shoulder of Nashville netminder Chris Mason into the top of the net.

Patrick Eaves gave Detroit its first lead of the game 2:40 later. Jordin Tootoo, playing against his former club, carried the puck from the right wing corner out through the faceoff circle and into the high slot before backhanding a pass down lot to Eaves for a snap past Mason to make it 3-2.

With 47 seconds left in the second, Pavel Datsyuk‘s wrister from inside the blue line on a rush beat a screened Mason to give the Red Wings a two-goal lead.

Justin Abdelkader rounded out the game’s scoring with 3:59 remaining in the third period, banging the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg chance past Mason on an odd-man rush.

Mike Fisher had opened the game’s scoring just 1:46 in, snapping a chance past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard off a pass from Ryan Clune on a two-on-one where Kyle Quincey couldn’t take away the pass.

Valtteri Filppula tied things back up at 6:53 taking a feed in the slot from Franzen at the side of the net for a wrister past Mason.

Nashville regained their lead with 7:30 left in the first, with Craig SMith getting to a rebound in a goal-mouth scramble and putting a shot in behind Howard while on the power play.

Howard finished the night with 20 saves on 22 shots. Mason stopped 33 of 38 chances against.

Each team had one power play goal on the night, with Nashville having five chances with the man-advantage to Detroit’s four.

The Red Wings will close out their season on Saturday with a visit to the Dallas Stars. They can clinch a playoff spot with a point in that game, a Columbus loss to Nashville on the same day, or the Wild failing to earn a point in either of their two remaining games.

Pregame: Predators @ Red Wings – 4/25

The Red Wings have a chance to clinch a playoff spot tonight with a win over the Nashville Predators and some help from the Dallas Stars.

Two points for the Wings in their second game in as many nights combined with the Blue Jackets losing to Dallas would put Detroit out of Columbus’ reach in the standings. A Stars’ win combined with a Detroit loss would set up a de facto one-game playoff on Saturday when the Wings visit Dallas.

Detroit is expected to ice the same lineup they used last night to earn a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Johan Franzen said he’ll be able to play but will be a game-time decision after suffering an injury late against LA. If Franzen can’t go, Todd Bertuzzi will return to the Wings’ lineup.

Jimmy Howard will get the start yet again. Pekka Rinne will not get the nod for the Predators, with Chris Mason set to go instead.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Rout Jets in First-Ever Meeting

The Detroit Red Wings routed the Winnipeg Jets, 7-1, Saturday night in the first meeting between the teams since the former Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg.

Barring a Stanley Cup Finals matchup, it will be the only meeting between the two teams this season. They’re slated to become conference rivals when the NHL realigns next year.

The Jets’ lone goal of the night came just 35 seconds in, when Bryan Little got behind the Detroit defense and skated in on goalie Jimmy Howard, sliding a backhander into the far side of the net.

Detroit would start their run of seven unanswered goals at 6:47 of the first period.

To open the scoring, Nicklas Lidstrom fired a long pass for Johan Franzen into the Winnipeg zone. Franzen went into the corner to pick up the puck and sent a pass back out front to Todd Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi, uncovered while cutting to the edge of the crease, put a wrister past Winnipeg netminder Ondrej Pavelec.

With 5:04 remaining in the opening period, Henrik Zetterberg made it 2-1. Rushing into the Winnipeg zone, Valtteri Filppula dropped a pass to the top of the left faceoff circle. Zetterberg caught up to the puck and blasted a high shot past Pavelec for what would be the game-winner.

Jiri Hudler scored the first of his pair of goals at 4:03 of the second period. Franzen had the puck behind the net again and sent it into the left circle for a speeding Hudler to pounce on and snap back past Pavelec.

Just 40 seconds later, Chris Conner scored his first as a Red Wing when his attempted pass to Danny Cleary deflected off of Winnipeg defenseman Randy Jones’ skate and into the net, making it 4-1.

At 9:31 of the middle frame, Pavel Datsyuk sent a no-look backhand pass from the right corner to the Filppula in the left faceoff circle. Filppula continued on to the slot and ripped a high shot past Pavelec.

With 7:19 left in the period, Drew Miller picked up a rebound in the left circle and put another high shot into the net.

Hudler finished off the game’s scoring – and Pavelec’s night – just 1:12 into the third period. Hudler picked off a pass from the Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien and sent it to Zetterberg at the top of the crease. Rather than shooting, Zetterberg sent it back to Hudler, who was driving in to put a shot into the open side of the net.

Pavelec finished the night with 19 saves on the 26 shots he faced. Chris Mason stopped all of the three shots Detroit put at him in relief while Howard stopped 29 of 30 Winnipeg chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, though Filppula’s tally came with the teams skating four-on-four. The Jets had two power play tries to the Red Wings’ three.

The Red Wings are now off until Tuesday when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall missed time in the game after taking a puck to the face, requiring stitches. He returned for the third period… The Red Wings’ healthy scratches were Cory Emmerton and Mike Commodore.

Red Wings Rally to Snap Skid, Edge Blues in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits Saturday night to earn a 4-3 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues, ending their losing streak at three games and breaking a shutout streak that had almost reached three games.

Todd Bertuzzi scored the game-winner for the Wings, beating St. Louis goalie Chris Mason in the fourth round of the shootout and coming up big at a time when his lack of offense (three goals and nine points on the season) is a concern.

Henrik Zetterberg had tied the game with just 57 seconds remaining in regulation. With Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard on the bench for an extra attacker, Zetterberg threw the puck to the front of the net from behind the goal line and banked it off of defenseman Barret Jackman after a flurry in front. It bounced off Jackman and into the net before Mason even saw it.

David Backes opened the scoring for the Blues with 6:36 left in the first period, tipping a shot by David Perron past Howard.

Roman Polak put St. Louis up by a pair with a seeing-eye shot from the blue line through a screen 3:38 later.

Tomas Holmstrom tipped in a pass from Zetterberg on a Detroit power play to get the Red Wings on the board at 2:35 of the second period.

Nearly a period later, Kris Draper finished on a net-front scramble, tying the game at 2:27 of the third.

Brad Boyes banged home a rebound to put the Blues back in front at 8:32 of the third before Zetterberg tied it.

Detroit scored on their only power play of the game while the Blues were held off the board on two chances with the extra attacker.

Howard made 32 saves on 35 shots against. Mason stopped 33 of 36 chances.

Kariya Scores Twice as Blues Rebound to Beat Red Wings

Paul Kariya scored two second period goals to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-3 comeback win against the Detroit Red Wings at Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday.

The game is the first in a neutral site home-and-home series between the two teams, to be concluded on Saturday. Friday’s game was considered a Detroit home game.

Kariya’s first goal came on a St. Louis power play with 7:29 left in the second, scored on a shot from the point to pull the Blues to 3-2.

After B.J. Crombeen tied the game by backhanding a rebound chance past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood, Kariya scored again to put the Blues in front for the rest of the game.

Kariya’s second goal came after Brian Rafalski turned the puck over to T.J. Oshie at the Detroit blue line. Oshie shoveled it on to Kariya who broke in on Osgood alone and beat him stick side.

Jay McClement had give the Blues an early lead, scoring off a feed from behind the net by Brad Winchester at 7:54 of the first period.

Jonathan Ericsson drove to the net and tapped in a rebound chance to tie the game 2:48 later and Kirk Maltby beat St. Louis netminder Chris Mason on a shorthanded breakaway with 5:59 left in the first.

Ville Leino scored on a Detroit power play at 7:17 of the second period, the Wings’ lone goal with the man advantage in five tries, including a long five-on-three.

St. Louis went one-for-four on the power play.

Osgood finished the game with 19 saves on 23 shots against. Mason made 31 saves on 34 Detroit shots.

Four-goal Second Period Leads Red Wings over Blues

The Detroit Red Wings scored four times in the second period Saturday afternoon, carrying them to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Three of the goals came in a 46 second span.

Pavel Datsyuk got the Red Wings on the board 4:40 into the second period. Datsyuk took a long outlet pass from Brad Stuart to break into the St. Louis zone on the right wing before cutting to the slot and putting a shot past Blues goalie Chris Mason.

Just ten seconds later, Tomas Kopecky beat Mason, putting the Wings up by a goal. Valtteri Filppula held in a clearing attempt at the blue line and sent the puck to Jiri Hudler in the left circle, who moved it to Kopecky for a wrister past Mason from the right side of the slot.

Brett Lebda finished off Detroit’s surge at 5:26 of the period, snapping a shot past Mason on a rush.

T.J. Oshie had opened the scoring for St. Louis with 5:16 left in the first period, putting a shot from the left side of the slot past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood on a pass from Andy MacDonald behind the net.

A Jeff Woywitka slap shot snuck past Osgood at 9:08 of the second, pulling the Blues to back within a goal.

Datsyuk’s second of the night, a wrister from the left side boards that snuck past two defenders and Mason, came with just 36 seconds left in the second.

Henrik Zetterberg added an empty net goal with 1:57 left in the game.

Osgood finished the afternoon with 30 saves on 32 shots against. Mason stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced while rookie Ben Bishop, who replaced Mason to start the third period, made three saves without allowing a goal.

The win was Osgood’s 300th as a Red Wing… Marian Hossa returned to the Detroit lineup after missing four with a neck injury.

Osgood Blanks Blues as Hossa-less Wings Win

Detroit netminder Chris Osgood stopped all 22 shots he faced Tuesday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-0 win over the St. Louis Blues.

The Red Wings were without leading scorer Marian Hossa, who left the game on a stretcher early in the first period after crashing headfirst into the boards. Hossa did not lose consciousness and all tests for injury came back negative.

With Hossa out, the Wings’ depth players were key in the game’s scoring. Tomas Kopecky has a goal and two assists while Kris Draper, Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula all scored goals.

Henrik Zetterberg was the only star player to score for Detroit.

Kopecky opened the game’s scoring with a shorthanded goal with 5:06 remaining in the first period. Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck into the St. Louis zone and Kopecky raced in behind him, picking up the puck and jumping behind the Blues’ defense before reaching around goalie Chris Mason to slide the puck into the net.

Zetterberg scored a power play goal 3:24 into the second period to put Detroit up by a pair, banging home a rebound after Mason stopped several shots in a row.

At 7:52 of the third Draper opened the floodgates with the first of three goals in the final frame, tipping a wide shot by Kopecky past Mason.

Kronwall scored a power play goal 3:02 later, blasting a shot from the blue line off Mason and into the net.

Filppula scored with 3:30 remaining in the game just as a Detroit five-on-three expired. Kopecky picked up a loose puck at one side of the crease and sent it across to Filppula to lift into the net.

With the last goal coming at the exact moment the penalties expired, the Red Wings finished the night two-for-seven on the power play.

Hossa is expected to be with the team when they travel to Denver for Wednesday’s matchup with the Colorado Avalanche. Detroit head coach Mike Babcock was doubtful he would play… The shutout was Osgood’s first of the season.

Red Wings – Blues Pregame Notes

The Red Wings look to bounce back from their awful loss to Nashville last Saturday. I never saw it so I’m going from others’ accounts and the final score in calling it awful, as far as I’m concerned it never happened.

Chris Osgood gets the start for Detroit. Former Wing Manny Legace isn’t even with the Blues anymore, he’ll be hanging out with AHL Peoria. I guess that means Chris Mason gets the start for St. Louis.

Aaron Downey makes his secon appearance of the season with Detroit, alongside fellow call-up Jonathan Ericsson. Ericsson takes Andreas Lilja‘s spot on defense while Lilja stays in Detroit nursing injuries suffered in Nashville.

Brett Lebda also returns to the Detroit lineup, taking Derek Meech‘s spot on the blueline.

Unlike the Coyotes, Islanders, Maple Leafs, and seemingly a slew of other teams, neither the Wings nor the Blues are expected to sit any players in anticipation of trades tonight.

Red Wings Hold On to Beat Predators

The Detroit Red Wings withstood a late comeback by the Nashville Predators Sunday afternoon, holding on for a 4-3 win.

The Red Wings had led 4-0 with half a period remaining but Nashville notched three goals to pull within a shot of tying things.

Special teams led the way as none of the seven goals were scored five-on-five.

Detroit’s first goal came on a five-on-three with 8:43 remaining in the first period. Nicklas Lidstrom, playing in his first game after missing six with a leg injury, worked the puck from the top of the left circle down to Henrik Zetterberg in the right circle, who sent it back across to the front of the net for a tip-in by Franzen.

Jiri Hudler scored on another smooth passing play 4:26 later. On another Detroit power play, Valtteri Filppula sent the puck past Hudler to Niklas Kronwall in the crease, who immediately sent it back to Hudler for a one-timer past goalie Chris Mason.

Brad Stuart notched his first goal as a Red Wing with 4:39 left in the second, scoring on a wraparound with the teams skating four aside.

Just 1:06 later, Franzen added a second power play goal, tipping a blast from the blue line by Lidstrom past Mason.

The Predators would begin their comeback in the second half of the final period.

With 8:36 remaining, just after the expiration of the first penalty in a five-on-three, Shea Weber‘s blast from the high slot went over Dominik Hasek‘s glove and into the net.

Martin Erat scored Nashville’s second with 3:25 remaining, banging in the rebound of a Scott Nichol chance on another power play.

With 1:01 left in regulation and the Nashville net empty for an extra attacker, Jordin Tootoo banged home another lose rebound, pulling the Predators to within a goal.

Detroit held on for the game’s final minute to preserve their lead and the victory, their third in a row after winning just one of eleven games.

Tomas Holmstrom missed the game with a groin injury. He will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine its severity… Brett Lebda was scratched due to illness.

Red Wings Fail to Finish, Fall to Predators

The Detroit Red Wings led the Nashville Predators twice on Thursday night but failed to finish them off, leaving room for the Predators to pick up a 3-2 win.

The Red Wings led in the first and second periods on power play goals by Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg.

Franzen’s goal came just 2:49 into the game. After barely holding the puck in at the Nashville blue line, the Wings worked it down low to Franzen. He backed up to the side of the net and backhanded a shot under goalie Chris Mason‘s arm for his first point of the season.

Zetterberg scored with 1:24 remaining in the second period to give Detroit their second lead. Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck into the Nashville zone and sent a centering pass to Zetterberg in the high slot. Zetterberg faked out defenseman Greg Zanon and rifled a shot past Mason.

Both times the Predators rebouned. Jason Arnott scored from right in front of Dominik Hasek with 7:40 remaining in the first period and Martin Erat evened things up just 32 seconds after Zetterberg’s goal, putting a rebound over the sprawling Hasek.

Radek Bonk scored the game-winner on a Nashville power play just 2:22 into the third. A blocked shot stopped right at Bonk’s feet in front of the Detroit goal and he roofed a shot over Hasek.

Detroit’s power play went two-for-eight in a night that saw the teams combine for 44 penalty minutes. Nashville was one-for-seven with the extra attacker.

Hasek stopped 26 of 29 shots in his first start in three games. Mason made 28 stops on 30 Detroit shots.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Saturday when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets to close out a stretch of nine-straight games against Central Division opponents.

Matt Ellis left the game with what the Red Wings’ PR staff described as a headache.

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