Red Wings Hold Off Predators to Take Two-Game Lead

The Detroit Red Wings held off a strong push by the Nashville Predators Saturday afternoon, allowing a two-goal comeback before scoring twice more themselves and earning a 4-2 win.

Detroit also benefitted from an early no-goal call against the Predators, when goalie Dominik Hasek was beaten as the goal was knocked off of its moorings in what replays showed could have been and allowed goal.

Shortly afterwards, the Red Wings got on the board.

Dallas Drake drove to the net and backhanded a shot that goalie Dan Ellis knocked aside. Charging through the slot, Darren McCarty got to the puck and banged it back past Ellis just 2:26 into the game.

Nicklas Lidstrom added a power play goal 39 seconds into the second period to put the Red Wings up by a pair, sending a pass from the right point through a screen by Tomas Holmstrom.

Just 1:40 later the Predators got on the board with a bounce off the boards. Martin Erat sent the puck around the boards into the Detroit zone. As Hasek went behind the net to play it, the puck bounced off the glass and back out in front for Alexander Radulov to put into the vacated net.

Only 11 seconds lated, Jordin Tootoo tied the game when a bobbled puck by Jiri Hudler and Andreas Lilja put him in alone on Hasek, beating him through the legs.

Kris Draper put Detroit back in front after a Red Wings time out, putting a shot off defenseman Greg Zanon‘s skate and into the net at the 5:00 mark.

Midway through the third period, Holmstrom added a goal off the rebound of a Pavel Datsyuk chance, wrapping up the game’s scoring.

Hasek made 25 saves on 27 shots, 15 of them coming during Nashville’s spirited first-period effort. Ellis made 34 saves on Detroit’s 38 shots.

The two teams meet again on Monday when the series shifts to the Sommet Center in Nashville for Game Three.

Chris Chelios became the NHL leader for career playoff games played, stepping onto the ice for his 248th playoff game… The Predators replaced the injured Scott Nichol with Darcy Hordichuk.

Red Wings Down Blackhawks to Close Regular Season

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Sunday afternoon in a game that meant little to either team.

Chicago had been mathematically eliminated from earning a playoff spot three days earlier, while Detroit had clinched first overall on that same day.

The Red Wings rested many of their regulars, with Brian Rafalski, Chris Chelios, and Dallas Drake healthy scratches and others seeing their minutes drastically reduced but it was still captain Nicklas Lidstrom leading the way, scoring twice en route to the win.

Jiri Hudler opened the game’s scoring at 7:21 of the first period, taking a pass from behind the goal by Darren McCarty and tipping it past Nikolai Khabibulin from in front.

The assist marked McCarty’s first point in his second stint with Detroit.

Lidstrom’s first of the game put the Wings up by a pair with 1:31 left in the second period. While skating on a five-on-three, Lidstrom blasted a shot from the top of the left circle past Khabibulin.

Mark Hartigan made up for a gaffe that nearly led to a Chicago goal early in the third, taking the puck on a giveaway by Khabibulin and putting it into the net at 6:28.

Lidstrom added his second with 5:58 remaining, scoring another power play goal on a long blast, this one deflected off the skate of defender Duncan Keith.

Patrick Kane broke the shutout with just 2:20, scoring on the power play with Jonathan Toews in behind Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek.

Hasek stopped 27 Chicago shots, doing his part to protect the Red Wings’ league-leading goals-against to earn the team the Jennings Trophy, split between Hasek and Chris Osgood.

Khabibulin made 34 saves on 38 Detroit shots.

The Red Wings will now wait until the playoff schedule is made official to find out when Game One of their first-round series with the Nashville Predators will begin.

McCarty to Play Friday

Darren McCarty will make his Red Wings re-debut on Friday as Detroit hosts the St. Louis Blues. Aaron Downey will be a healthy scratch as McCarty skates alongside Mark Hartigan and Dallas Drake.

Valtteri Filppula will also return, skating on Johan Franzen‘s wing along with Jiri Hudler.

Dominik Hasek is still out with the flu, causing Jimmy Howard to be called back up to backup Chris Osgood. Tomas Holmstrom is also still out.

Red Wings’ Streak Reaches Four

The Detroit Red Wings won their fourth-straight game Tuesday night, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 to pick up just their second win in six games this season against their Central Division and Original Six rival.

Rookie goaltender Corey Crawford kept the Blackhawks in the game, stopping 44 of the 46 shots he faced, but couldn’t do it all.

Kirk Maltby got the Red Wings on the board at 8:34 of the first period.

Playing in his 1,000th career game Dallas Drake picked up his 300th career assist on the play, knocking down a Chicago defender on his way behind the net, then taking the puck from him and sending it out to Maltby for a one-timer that was stopped by Crawford but dropped down just across the goal line.

The Blackhawks pulled even just 2:09 later when Rene Bourque one-timed a long rebound chance past Chris Osgood.

Halfway through the second period, Osgood stopped former Red Wing Robert Lang on a penalty shot attempt, setting the stage for Pavel Datsyuk to put Detroit back out in front with 4:08 left in the period.

An attempted outlet pass up the middle by the Blackhawks was tipped by Jiri Hudler and picked off by Datsyuk. He skated into the high slot all alone and snapped a shot that deflected off of defender Brent Seabrook and past Crawford.

The Blackhawks would pressure late in the third peroid but Johan Franzen added an empty-net goal to wrap the game for Detroit.

Osgood stopped 19 of 20 shots to earn the win in his first start in five games.

Neither team scored on the power play, with each team getting two attempts.

Red Wings Snap Skid Against Sabres

The Detroit Red Wings snapped a four-game losing streak Sunday night, defeating the Buffalo Sabres for just their second win in the last twelve games.

The win was a first for goalie Dominik Hasek, who had never won at HSBC Arena as a member of the opposition after spending nine seasons with the Sabres.

The game started ominously for the Red Wings, with the Sabres scoring on their first shot just 2:59 into the game.

After the puck bounced over defenseman Derek Meech‘s stick inside the Sabres’ blue line, Buffalo rushed in on a three-on-one. Maxim Afinogenov got the puck to Patrick Kaleta in the slot for a rifled shot past Hasek, putting the Sabres up early.

Dallas Drake tied the game up with 8:04 left in the first. Niklas Kronwall came down low along the left-wing boards and threw a shot to the front of the net. Drake’s tip didn’t make it through but the puck bounced back off a Sabres defenseman and past goalie Ryan Miller.

A Valtteri Filppula power play goal gave the Red Wings the lead at 5:11 of the second. Tape-to-tape passing from Johan Franzen and Jiri Hudler worked the puck from the left wing to the bottom of the right faceoff cicle and back out into the slot for Filppula’s tap-in.

Franzen added a goal of his own with 5:44 left in the period when Kronwall faked a blast from the top of the right circle and drew Miller to him before passing off to Franzen to put the puck in the open side of the net.

Jason Pominville briefly got Buffalo back in the game with an odd power-play goal at 3:12 of the third.

A Kirk Maltby hit along the boards in the neutral zone led to pushing and shoving between the two teams. Detroit’s defenders moved in to take part but the play was never blown dead and the puck came out to Pominville, who broke in alone and put the puck past Hasek.

Kirk Maltby iced the game with 4:08 remaining, putting a one-timer past Miller from the left circle after Pavel Datsyuk won a one-on-two battle for the puck in the corner.

Hasek stopped 22 of 24 shots against his former team while Miller made 35 saves on 39 shots.

Red Wings’ Comeback Not Enough in Loss to Wild

The Detroit Red Wings came back from trailing by two goals to take a late lead Thursday night but couldn’t put away the Minnesota Wild, falling 6-5 in a shootout.

Brian Rolston scored on a slap shot from the slot and Marian Gaborik faked out goalie Chris Osgood in the shootout, giving the Wild the win when only Jiri Hudler could score for Detroit.

With just 49 seconds left in regulation, Eric Belanger tied the game for Minnesota. At the side of the net, Belanger gloved the puck out of the air and threw it onto his stick to put a shot in behind Osgood.

The Red Wings had taken the lead 19 seconds earlier when Dan Cleary backhanded the rebound of a Jiri Hudler shot from the blue line past Josh Harding.

The teams traded early goals just 1:03 apart, with Martin Skoula and Henrik Zetterberg scoring. Late-period goals by Marian Gaborik and Todd Fedoruk just 15 seconds apart put the Wild up by a pair before Valtteri Filppula pulled the Wings back to within a goal with 28 seconds left in the period.

Matt Foy gave Minnesota another two-goal lead at 3:00 of the second period.

A shorthanded goal by Dallas Drake cut the lead again at 7:32 and Niklas Kronwall tied the game 1:06 later, chasing starting goalie Niklas Backstrom from the Wild crease.

The Red Wings finished the night with 46 shots on goal, 15 of 19 stopped by Backstrom and 26 of 27 stopped by Harding. Osgood made 23 saves on 28 Minnesota shots.

Red Wings Beat Stars to Open ’08

The Detroit Red Wings opened the 2008 calendar year with their 30th win of the season, a 4-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Playing their 41st game of the season, it was the fastest run to 30 wins in Red Wings history.

Henrik Zetterberg returned to the team after missing five games with back spasms, notching two assists.

Zetterberg’s first point of the night came as the secondary assist on the opening goal, scored by Dan Cleary.

With 7:59 left in the first, Valtteri Filppula carried into the Dallas zone and lost the puck. Cleary stepped across the blue line and blasted a shot that was blocked by a defender, but Cleary stepped around him to pick the puck back up and snap it by goalie Marty Turco.

Detroit took a two-goal lead at 7:28 of the second, when a long outlet pass by Aaron Downey sprung Johan Franzen in all alone. Franzen faked and got Turco to sprawl out before skating it into the open side of the net.

Dallas Drake scored his first goal of his second stint with the Red Wings at 4:32 of the third period. The Wings regained control of the puck after Johan Franzen missed an open net and eventually Zetterberg got it in the high slot. Spinning into the left circle, he sent a pass down to Drake near the bottom of the right circle to punch between Turco’s legs.

Pavel Datsyuk scored Detroit’s final goal with 6:47 left in regulation, deflecting a Nicklas Lidstrom blast past Turco.

Loui Eriksson scored Dallas’ lone goal 46 seconds later. A broken play left Detroit netminder Chris Osgood out of position and Eriksson put a wraparound chance into the open net.

Neither team converted on any of their power play chances. Each team had three attempts with the extra attacker, one lasting only a matter of seconds.

Osgood made 23 saves on 24 shots to earn the win. Turco stopped 22 of 26 shots against.

The two teams will face each other again on Saturday afternoon in Dallas.

Lidstrom’s assist on Datsyuk’s goal was his 700th career assist… Downey’s assist on Franzen’s goal was his first point as a Red Wing.

Red Wings – Blues Game Thoughts

Game recaps can be found elsewhere for this one. While I like to do mine – whether in blog or article form – I just don’t have the motivation tonight. Instead, some random thoughts.

Since donning the full facial shield, Dallas Drake has been invisible. I wonder if he shouldn’t take the rest of his recuperation period off. He’s not happy with the shield and he’s not playing well with it, just step away and let Downey take his spot until Drake can play the way he wants to play.

Hasek could have had the last three St. Louis goals. Babcock said after the game that pulling him was about the team, not about the goalie, but I’m not sure how much I believe that. I firmly believe there’s a goalie contoversy brewing.

I still only saw one of the calls that gave the Blues their five-on-three. Thanks, Versus, for stupid on-bench interviews where the coaches never say anything insightful. Much better use of time than for replays that could allow people to better understand the game.

I’m sure I could think of more, but it’s late and I just don’t care enough about the game to keep looking. Sorry.

Filppula Lifts Red Wings Past Oilers

Valtteri Filppula scored with just 25 seconds remaining Tuesday night, lifting the Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers in the second game of Detroit’s three-game western Canada road trip.

Filppula took advantage of Edmonton defender Dick Tarnstrom getting caught flat-footed at the Oilers’ blue line. Taking a pass from Pavel Datsyuk, Filppula gained the Edmonton zone and raced around Tarnstrom on the right wing, then pulled the puck to the inside and wristed a shot over the shoulder of goaltender Dwayne Roloson to put the Red Wings out in front for the game’s final seconds.

The goal came after a stretch that saw the Oilers able to pin the Red Wings in their own zone but unable to get a serious scoring chance.

Detroit had the only leads of the game, neither lasting for long.

At 4:00 of the second period, Henrik Zetterberg scored his tenth goal of the season on a Detroit power play to put the Red Wings out in front. Zetterberg took a cross-ice pass from Nicklas Lidstrom in the right circle and one-timed a shot past Roloson.

Only 1:49 later, Steve Staios put the Oilers on the board with a blast from the blue line off a faceoff in the Detroit end. The screened Red Wings’ goalie had no chance on the shot to the far corner of the net.

It was the only goal Osgood would allow on 16 Edmonton shots. Roloson stopped 32 of Detroit’s 34 shots.

Zetterberg’s goal was the only power play goal of the night. Each team had three power play tries.

The Red Wings close their road trip on Thursday night when they visit the Calgary Flames.

Detroit was without defenseman Niklas Kronwall for the second-straight game… Zetterberg’s goal gives him a 13-game point-scoring streak to start the season, one shy of tying the Red Wings’ franchise record… Dallas Drake and Johan Franzen returned to the lineup.

Hasek Out, Howard Up, Osgood In

Bruce MacLeod notes (in his recently redesigned blog) that the Red Wings have called up goaltender Jimmy Howard from Grand Rapids.

Dominik Hasek is suffering from hip irritation and is day-to-day. Injured forward Dallas Drake was placed on the IR retroactive to a week ago to make room for Howard in the lineup.

With Hasek out, Chris Osgood will start against the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.