Red Wings Fall to Blackhawks in Overtime

The Detroit Red Wings rallied to force overtime in Chicago on Sunday night but fell to the Blackhawks, 2-1, on defenseman Nick Leddy‘s tally in the extra period.

Leddy was left alone on the left side of the ice as the Blackhawks gained the Detroit zone and took a pass from Viktor Stalberg. Damien Brunner got back to cover Leddy just as he let a shot go, which deflected off Brunner’s outstretched stick and past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to give the ‘Hawks the win at 2:45 of the overtime period.

The Red Wings reached overtime on a Johan Franzen goal at 4:30 of the third period. Franzen jumped up to knock home the rebound of a Damien Brunner chance to tie the game 1-1.

Chicago had opened the scoring early with a Duncan Keith blast from the left faceoff circle just 2:24 into the game, beating Howard high on the stick side on the first power play of the night.

Howard finished the night with 25 saves on 27 shots. Crawford stopped 29 of Detroit’s 30 chances.

Keith’s goal was the lone power play marker of the night. The Blackhawks had three tries with the extra attacker while the Red Wings had six.

With the win, the Blackhawks moved to 6-0 to start the season for the first time in franchise history.

Detroit is back in action on Tuesday when they host the Dallas Stars for the second time in a week.


The Red Wings got defenseman Jonathan Ericsson back from injury, forcing Jakub Kindl out of the lineup as a healthy scratch… Patrick Eaves was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch on Friday against Minnesota, replacing Darren Helm, whose back injury flared up again and was unable to go. Helm will have an MRI on Monday… Remaining out of the lineup were the injured Jan Mursak, Mikael Samuelsson, Carlo Colaiacovo, Ian White and Jonas Gustavsson… With Gustavsson out, Howard was backed up again by Tom McCollum.

Bertuzzi Scores Twice in Return, Wings Down Wild 5-3

Todd Bertuzzi returned from the flu for his first game of the season Friday night, scoring twice in leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-3 win over the visiting Minnesota Wild.

All five Detroit goals came from the Red Wings’ top two lines after those units had only scored twice in the previous three games.

After a scoreless first period, Damien Brunner got Detroit on the board just 13 seconds into the middle frame. With the Red Wings on a carry-over power play, Brunner took a pass on the right wing from Henrik Zetterberg at the Minnesota blue line and raced to the right faceoff dot, snapping a shot over Wild netminder Josh Harding‘s shoulder into the far top corner of the net.

Bertuzzi’s first of the night made it 2-0 just 42 seconds later when Valtteri Filppula‘s backhanded bouncing chance from the slot deflected off Bertuzzi’s leg and past Harding.

Zach Parise cut Detroit’s lead to a goal with the Wild on a two-man advantage at 2:49. The rebound of a Mikko Koivu shot came out to Ryan Suter in the high slot. Suter sent it down to Parise in the right faceoff circle for a shot over the still-sprawling Jimmy Howard.

At 6:29 of the period, Minnesota’s Tom Gilbert tied things back up, snapping a shot from the high slot through a screen and past Howard just as a power play expired.

Zetterberg put the Wings back up with 7:05 left in the second. Datsyuk fed Zetterberg with a long backhand pass to the left faceoff circle. Zetterberg outwaited Harding, dropping almost to the goal line before putting a shot towards the net. The puck went past Harding’s glove, off the post, off a retreating Mikael Granlund, and into the net to make it 3-2.

With 2:36 remaining, Datsyuk restored the two-goal lead, snapping a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle through a Johan Franzen screen and past Harding on a Detroit power play.

Datsyuk fed Bertuzzi for the Red Wings’ final goal at 4:18 of the third period, sending a saucer pass from the left circle over two defenders and onto Bertuzzi’s stick in the right circle to bang off of Harding and into the net.

Parise’s second of the game closed out the scoring with 9:42 remaining when his attempted pass from behind the net deflected off of Zetterberg at the post and in behind Howard.

Howard finished the night with 23 saves on 26 shots against while Harding made 22 saves on 27 shots.

The Red Wings scored twice on five power play tries. Minnesota had one goal on eight power play attempts.

The Wings are next in action on Sunday when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks.


Bertuzzi, Darren Helm and Jakub Kindl all returned from various injuries to make their first appearances of the season… Kindl replaced Ian White on the blue line after he suffered a deep cut abobe his knee against Dallas on Tuesday… Patrick Eaves was a healthy scratch up front… Aside from White, the Red Wings were also missing Jan Mursak, Mikael Samuelsson, Carlo Colaiacovo, Jonathan Ericsson, and Jonas Gustavsson to injury… Thomas McCollum backed up Howard in place of Gustavsson.

Red Wings Avoid Shutout but Fall to Stars

The Detroit Red Wings narrowly avoided being shutout for the second time in three games on Tuesday night, dropping a 2-1 decision in their home opener to the Dallas Stars.

One night after being the shootout hero who gave the Red Wings their first victory of the season, rookie Damien Brunner scored the team’s only goal. Pavel Datsyuk‘s pass across the top of the crease reached Brunner on the far side with a wide open net for his first career NHL goal, coming with just three seconds left in the game.

Michael Ryder provided all of the offense for Dallas.

At 5:41 of the first period, Ryder carried the puck from the left wing boards across the top of the faceoff circles and flung a shot on net. The puck deflected off of defenseman Kyle Quincey‘s stick early and sailed over goalie Jimmy Howard‘s shoulder, into the top corner.

Ryder struck again at 5:34 of the third period when he was left wide open in the left circle, taking a pass from former Red Wing Ray Whitney and snapping a shot past Howard.

Howard finished the night with 32 saves on 34 Dallas shots. Stars’ goalie Kari Lehtonen made 40 saves on the 41 shots he faced.

Though Brunner’s goal came with Howard on the bench for an extra attacker, the Wings were scoreless on four power play tries, still looking for their first power play goal of the season. Dallas did not score on either of their two tries with the man advantage.

Having completed three games in four nights, the Red Wings are now off until Friday when they host the Minnesota Wild.


Former Red Wing Tomas Holmstrom, who announced his retirement earlier in the day, participated in a ceremonial puck drop to start the game… The Red Wings were without forwards Mikael Samuelsson, Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi, and Jan Mursak, defensemen Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Carlo Colaiacovo, and goalie Jonas Gustavsson… Defenseman Kent Huskins made his Red Wings debut, having been signed earlier in the day due to the injuries decimating Detroit’s blue line… Forward Gustav Nyquist was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to fill in up front. He and goalie Tom McCollum were returned to the Griffins after the game.

Brunner Scores Shootout Winner for Red Wings in Columbus

Playing in only his second career NHL game, Damien Brunner was the hero for the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night, scoring in the fourth round of the shootout to lift Detroit past the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Brunner faked out Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, dragging the puck to his left to jam it between the post and Bobrovsky’s outstretched pad for the only goal of the shootout.

Pavel Datsyuk, Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg failed to score for Detroit earlier in the shootout. Cam Atkinson, Artem Anisimov, Ryan Johansen and Matt Calvert were held off by Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, though Atkinson appeared to score before video review showed that he took two shots by knocking in a rebound chance.

After a scoreless first period, Red Wings’ defenseman Brian Lashoff, making his first NHL appearance in place of the injured Jonathan Ericsson, opened the game’s scoring at 1:10 of the second. After Mikael Samuelsson‘s one-timer from the top of the left faceoff circle was blocked, Samuelsson got the rebound and sent it to Lashoff at the blue line for a blast that found its way through a Johan Franzen screen and past Bobrovsky.

Detroit’s defense contributed again to make it 2-0 with 5:54 left in the period. Franzen lugged the puck through the left circle and drew a group of defenders to him before sending it across to Ian White in the right circle for a shot over Bobrovsky and under the bar, into the top of the net.

The Blue Jackets began their rally 1:14 later. Atkinson split Kyle Quincey and Brendan Smith after taking a pass from Johansen, breaking in alone to beat Howard.

At 3:24 of the third period, James Wisniewski fired a blast from the blue line with the Blue Jackets on a power play to tie things up.

Vinny Prospal put Columbus out in front with another power play goal at 8:43 of the third. Nikita Nikitin’s shot from up high bounced off the glass behind the net and came back out front. With Howard spun around, Prospal put home the rebound from the slot to make it 3-2.

Datsyuk made it 3-3 with 6:04 left in regulation, just as a Detroit power play expired. Niklas Kronwall got the puck all alone in the slot and raced down the middle. His delay drew everyone to him, leaving Datsyuk wide open at the side of the net to take a pass and knock the puck home.

Because that goal came just seconds late, the Red Wings finished the night scoreless on seven power play tries. Columbus had two goals on seven attempts with the extra attacker.

Howard made 30 saves on 33 Columbus shots on the night to earn his first win of the season. Bobrovsky stopped 39 of the Red Wings’ 42 chances.

The Red Wings are right back in it on Tuesday when the host the Dallas Stars in their home opener.


In addition to Ericsson, Detroit was without forwards Todd Bertuzzi, Darren Helm and Jan Mursak, backup netminder Jonas Gustavsson, and defenseman Jakub Kindl. They also lost defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to injury in the third period… Forward Patrick Eaves made his first appearance in 14 months, returning from post-concussion syndrome to take Mursak’s spot in the lineup… New Red Wing Jordin Tootoo fought Jared Boll off the opening faceoff.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Blue Jackets – 1/21

Well I’ll be damned if that wasn’t an exciting finish. Let’s take a step back, though.

With the Red Wings up by two and dominating in the second period, that game never should have made it to the shootout. The Wings got sloppy (again) and Columbus made them pay.

The Jackets’ first goal never should have happened. Once again, the Kyle QuinceyBrendan Smith pairing got split and let someone in behind them, and Jimmy Howard got burned on the breakaway. If we can count on that happening once a game, it won’t be a good season.

And, of course, the injuries keep piling up. Carlo Colaiacovo is expected to miss weeks after being hit hard into the boards in the third period. If Jonathan Ericsson can’t go tomorrow, the Wings only have three signed defensemen in their system. Adam Almquist, Max Nicastro and Gleason Fournier. Almquist has at least spent the whole season in GR, as opposed to Nicastro and Fournier who have spent time in Toledo, but Almquist looks terrified of contact at the AHL level. Not ready for the NHL.

On the plus side, Brian Lashoff steps into a hole on the blue line to make his NHL debut and scores. He may have been the second or third best defenseman on the ice for the Wings tonight. Hell of a job by him.

Also great to see Johan Franzen looking like he cares. Great individual effort carrying the puck on the play to set up Ian White for the second goal, playing like the big man he is. And I mentioned it at the time but I love his defensive effort late in the OT, lying down to block a clearing attempt.

I also said this at the time, but I thought for certain I’d be bitching about Niklas Kronwall not shooting when he had the chance on the play that led to the tying goal. Great patience to see and get the puck to Datsyuk.

And, of course, Damien Brunner. Highlight-reel shootout game-winner in his second NHL game. Video will be going on the site shortly.

So not a perfect game by any means but the effort and the outcome were needed after the debacle in St. Louis on Saturday.

A Quick Note on Damien Brunner

I started to write this as a tweet but I need more than 140 characters…

I’ve been watching and re-watching the ridiculously awesome video from the Red and White Game that the Griffins posted earlier today and one play in particular sticks out to me because it exemplifies something Damien Brunner said in an interview earlier this week.

I’ll paraphrase because I can’t find the original quote, but when asked about the smaller North American ice surface, Brunner said, “there’s less room to make a move, but when you come off the boards you only have to beat one person and then you’re in on net.” Basically, “Yeah, I have less space to move, but they have less space to stop me.”

I love that attitude and at 2:50 of the video, you can see him back it up. Yeah, he had a forward back in a scrimmage, but I look forward to seeing him make moves like that this season.

Red & White Game Rosters Announced

The Detroit Red Wings announced the tentative rosters for tomorrow’s Red & White Game at Plymouth’s Compuware Arena earlier today.

Pavel Datsyuk will be a game-time decision, having arrived back in Detroit from Russia late Monday. Darren Helm and Mikael Samuelsson will be kept out due to injuries.

Red Wings Call Up Three in Preparation for Camp

The Detroit Red Wings announced three call-ups from the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday as they open their training camp at Compuware Arena in Plymouth. Defensemen Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff and forward Damien Brunner join the team.

The call-ups for Smith and Brunner are mere formalities while Lashoff’s promotion is expected to be temporary.

Smith had been taking part in informal skates with Red Wings players for the past week, since an agreement on a new CBA between the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association was announced. He was formally still a member of the Griffins, however, listed as a scratch in Grand Rapids’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Peoria Rivermen on Saturday night.

With seven defensemen already on the Red Wings’ roster, Lashoff is unlikely to make the team out of camp. He’s the longest-tenured blueliner signed by the Red Wings skating with the Griffins, so he’s expected to be their first call-up in case of injury during the season.

Brunner was never actually with the Griffins but he was assigned there just before the lockout. He’s been playing with Zug of the Swiss league, sharing a line with Henrik Zetterberg.

The Red Wings’ abbreviated camp begins Sunday. All players except for Pavel Datsyuk, who remained in Russia to take part in the KHL All-Star Game, are expected to be available.

Nyquist the Odd Man Out Up Front

According to MLive’s Ansar Khan, Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock has his lines set for the start of the abbreviated 2013 NHL season and they do not include Gustav Nyquist.

Nyquist notched seven points in 18 games as a call-up with the Red Wings last season and appeared ready to make the jump to the NHL this year. Through 34 games, his 33 points lead the Grand Rapids Griffins this season. Unfortunately for him, however, his two-way contract means he can remain with the Griffins without being exposed to waivers.

With the retirement of Tomas Holmstrom and the addition of Swiss star Damien Brunner and veteran grinder Jordin Tootoo, the Red Wings are bringing 15 forwards into their truncated training camp. Patrick Eaves‘ ongoing recovery from post-concussion system will keep him out of the lineup, but the remaining 14 skaters will take every spot available. Of the 14, only Brunner could – like Nyquist – be sent to the Griffins without the Wings’ risking losing him for nothing.

That leaves Nyquist on the outside looking in as the season starts, along with a handful of his Griffins teammates.

“Nyquist, Tatar, Andersson and Sheahan have been fantastic in Grand Rapids,” Babcock said. “I know what they can do and we’ll see when we need them.”

On the Red Wings’ Glut of Forwards

With the Detroit Red Wings set to return to the ice as soon as Wednesday, and games set to begin as early as January 15, questions about the team’s lineup will soon be answered.

On defense, things are pretty well set. Brendan Smith will make the jump from the Grand Rapids and newcomer Carlo Colaiacovo, will battle with Jakub Kindl for a spot on the third pairing when he returns from an injury suffered while playing for Canada in the Spengler Cup. Brian Lashoff may get a look as the seventh defenseman while Colaiacovo is out but that’s really the only question mark.

In the crease, Jimmy Howard is the established starter and Jonas Gustavsson will be his backup. Joey MacDonald is on a one-way contract and not likely bound for Grand Rapids as Petr Mrazek and Tom McCollum have things locked down there. In all likelihood, Ken Holland will look to deal MacDonald in what little time he has before the start of the season.

Up front, however, things are much less certain.

The Red Wings will likely carry 14 forwards for the season, though they could go with 15 while Colaiacovo is injured. Patrick Eaves remains sidelined by post-concussion symptoms but even without him, the team has 16 NHL-ready forwards signed.

You can assume that everyone who had a job last year will be back, minus the likely-to-retire Tomas Holmstrom. This means that Justin Abdelkader, Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Cleary, Pavel Datsyuk, Cory Emmerton, Valtteri Filppula, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Drew Miller, Jan Mursak, Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo and Henrik Zetterberg have the inside track. That’s 13 skaters right there.

Then you’ve got Damien Brunner, who’s never played in North America but developed remarkable chemistry with Zetterberg while the pair played in Switzerland during the lockout. Based on that chemistry alone, you’d have to think he gets a shot in Detroit, which puts the team at the 14 they’re likely to carry but doesn’t account for the possibility of Eaves’ return.

On top of that is Gustav Nyquist, who showed he was NHL-ready last season and currently leads the Griffins in scoring.

My guess, and I hate to say it, is that Nyquist ends up staying in Grand Rapids. Jan Mursak will be the expendable forward if Eaves comes back, waived or traded to make room. We’ll see what happens in the next week.

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