Howard Blanks Ducks, Lidstrom Scores Twice as Wings End Skid

Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard stopped all 22 shots he faced and captain Nicklas Lidstrom scored two goals as the Red Wings ended a six-game losing streak with a 5-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Lidstrom and Johan Franzen led the Red Wings with three points on the night.

Niklas Kronwall opened the game’s scoring at 7:04 of the first period, just as a Detroit power play expired. His shot from the blue line found its way through traffic and past Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller to give the Wings an early lead.

Henrik Zetterberg made it 2-0 just 1:55 into the second period, kicking a pass from Franzen from his skate to his stick in the slot and snapping a shot past Hiller.

It was 3-0 just 50 seconds later when Lidstrom scored his first, a blast from the top of the left faceoff circle through a screen set by Fabian Brunnstrom.

Lidstrom added his second at 1:39 of the third period. With the Red Wings on a power play, Lidstrom first a shot from the blue line through a Tomas Holmstrom screen to beat Hiller.

Franzen finished off the game’s scoring with 9:23 left in the third. Ian White drove to the net after picking off an attempted outlet pass and Franzen followed him, putting him in position to backhand a loose puck past Hiller.

Hiller was pulled after the Franzen goal. He finished the night with 40 saves on 45 shots. Dan Ellis stopped all five shots he faced in relief.

The Red Wings scored on one of their four power play chances. The Ducks had five tries with the extra attacker but could not score.

Detroit will look to continue their winning ways when they host the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday in the fourth game of a six game homestand.

The Red Wings were without Patrick Eaves (back) and Todd Bertuzzi (illness) for the game. Brunnstrom was called up earlier in the day to take Bertuzzi’s place in the lineup… Jakub Kindl was the healthy scratch on defense, with Mike Commodore staying in the lineup… The Ducks thought they had gotten on the board in the second period but the goal was waived off due to incidental contact between Corey Perry and Jimmy Howard.

Red Wings Fall to Ducks on Overtime Penalty Shot

Bobby Ryan scored on a penalty shot 2:50 into overtime Wednesday night, lifting the Anaheim Ducks to a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Ryan cleanly beat Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard on his glove side. Howard then broke his stick over the goal post, venting his frustration at the call that led to the penalty shot.

Pavel Datsyuk scored the Red Wings’ lone goal at 5:10 of the second period, banking a shot from the left corner off of Ducks’ netminder Dan Ellis and into the net with Detroit on a power play.

Jason Blake tied the game up 1:54 into the third period, blasting a shot from the high slot past a screened Howard.

The Red Wings ended the night 1-for-9 on the power play, including 1:33 of 5-on-3 and 1:47 of 4-on-3 in overtime. The Ducks were scoreless on four power play tries but capitalized on the penalty shot.

Howard stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced. Ellis made 28 saves on 29 shots.

The Red Wings are back in action Thursday night in San Jose.

Brian Rafalski missed his third consecutive game with back spasms. Jakub Kindl reminded in the lineup in his place… Johan Franzen returned to the team after missing one game for the birth of his son. Kris Draper was a healthy scratch to make room in the lineup.

Red Wings Hold Off Predators for 5-2 Win

The Detroit Red Wings jumped out to a 4-0 lead Friday night and held on for a 5-2 win over the visiting Nashville Predators.

The Predators had pulled back to within two goals early in the third period but Henrik Zetterberg scored into the empty net in the game’s closing seconds to wrap things up.

Pavel Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring 7:44 into the first period. Datsyuk caught up with Nashville defenseman Kevin Klein behind the Predators’ net, poked the puck away from him as they wrapped around the side of the goal, then faked out goalie Dan Ellis at the top of the crease before backhanding a shot into the net over Ellis’ glove.

Tomas Holmstrom gave the Wings a 2-0 lead with 6:00 remaining in the period on a Detroit power play. Nicklas Lidstrom threw the puck on net from the right wing and it bounced off a Nashville defender to Holmstrom on the far side of a wide open net.

Darren Helm scored just 3:35 into the second period to extend Detroit’s lead. He gloved the puck down in the left faceoff circle and cut to the high slot before spinning around and snapping a shot off of Ellis’ shoulder and in.

Helm added a shorthanded goal at 9:10 of the middle period. He raced down the left wing to fire a shot that was stopped by Ellis. Helm continued driving to the goal and snatched up the rebound after Ryan Suter couldn’t control it, lifting a shot over the sprawling Ellis.

The Predators got on the board 1:44 later, when J.P. Dumont scored on a three-on-one.

Joel Ward made it 4-2 at 3:15 of the third period, blasting a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard after the Red Wings failed to clear their own zone.

Howard finished the night with 20 saves on 22 Nashville shots. Ellis stopped 27 of Detroit’s 31 chances.

Detroit finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play while Nashville was scoreless on four chances with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings played the game in their road white jerseys… The assist by Lidstrom on Holmstrom’s goal was the 800th of his career.

Howard Stops 46 in Red Wings Win over Predators

Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard stopped 46 of the 48 shots he faced Friday night, leading the Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators.

The Red Wings got goals from four players. Nicklas Lidstrom continued his hot streak with a goal and an assist and Jason Williams scored in his first game back from injury.

Williams opened the scoring with 1:33 left in the first period, tipping home a chance on a Detroit power play. Valtteri Filppula put the puck on net from the left wing, catching a piece of Drew Miller‘s stick on its way to Williams for the tap-in past Nashville goalie Dan Ellis.

The lead was short-lived as Francis Bouillon snapped a shot past Howard from the right circle just 1:09 later.

Lidstrom blasted a shot from the high slot past Ellis at 5:55 of the second, putting the Red Wings back in front on another power play goal.

Drew Miller extended the lead with a tip-in on a rebound chance from the front of the net 3:02 later, just after the expiration of another Nashville penalty.

A Shea Weber shot snuck past Howard at 5:57 of the third to pull the Predators back within a goal but Henrik Zetterberg banked a shot off of Ellis and into the net from an acute angle with 9:48 remaining to wrap up the scoring.

Detroit finished the night with two power play goals on four tries with the extra attacker. Nashville was scoreless in as many chances, including a six-on-four to and the game while Ellis was on the bench.

Ellis stopped 25 of 29 Detroit shots on the night.

The Red Wings will spend their next five games on the road, starting in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Red Wings’ Power Play Downs Predators

The Detroit Red Wings scored five times with the man-advantage Wednesday night en route to a 6-2 win over the Nashville Predators. The league’s top power play finished five-for-six on the night.

Jiri Hudler, Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom scored one power play goal each and Johan Franzen tallied twice with the extra attacker. Lidstrom added Detroit’s lone even-strength goal.

Steve Sullivan scored both of Nashville’s goals, including one on a power play. The Predators were one-for-six with Detroit a man down.

Hudler opened the game’s scoring exactly five minutes into the game, backhanding a shot from the low slot past Nashville netminder Dan Ellis.

Zetterberg scored on his own rebound 3:26 later to put the Wings up by a pair.

Sullivan’s first of the night came with seven seconds left in the period and the Predators skating with the extra attacker. Sullivan fired a shot from the point off of both Pavel Datsyuk and Andreas Lilja before flying past Detroit goalie Ty Conklin for his first goal in over two years.

Lidstrom scored his even-strength goal on a one-timer from the left point at 10:01 of the second period. Niklas Kronwall attempted a pass down low from the right point but the puck deflected right to Lidstrom for the chance.

Sullivan scored again 2:41 later, converting on a three-on-two chance.

Franzen’s first came with 3:58 left in the middle frame. He corralled a bouncing puck at the side of the Nashville net and lifted a shot over the sprawling Ellis.

Just 1:08 into the third, Lidstrom slammed a one-timer from the left faceoff dot past Ellis to give the Red Wings a three-goal lead.

Franzen finished off the scoring with 4:22 left.

The win was Detroit head coach Mike Babcock‘s 200th with the Red Wings… Franzen returned to the Detroit lineup after missing five games with a hand injury.

Red Wings Advance: Shutout, Fluke Goal Lead Detroit over Nashville

The Detroit Red Wings rode a shutout by goalie Chris Osgood and a fluke goal by captain Nicklas Lidstrom to victory Sunday afternoon, claiming a 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators to close out their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup its sixth game.

Osgood stopped all twenty shots he faced in his second start of the playoff season. He replaced Dominik Hasek in the Detroit crease midway through Game Four and allowed only one goal in 157 minutes played for the rest of the series.

Lidstrom’s goal on a bouncing long shot came with 6:16 left in the second period.

Just seven seconds into a Nashville power play, Lidstrom lobbed a shot in on Predators goaltender Dan Ellis from the Detroit side of center ice. The puck landed several feet in front of Ellis, bouncing over his shoulder and into the net for the game’s first goal.

The Red Wings kept the momentum from the goal to kill Nashville’s five-on-three that followed shortly after.

Jiri Hudler scored his second goal of the playoffs 3:52 into the third period, putting Detroit up by a pair. Rookie Darren Helm led the Red Wings into the Nashville zone and sent a pass across to Hudler for a one-timer into the back of the net.

Brian Rafalski added an empty-net goal in the game’s closing seconds to finish off the scoring.

Ellis stopped 40 of 42 shots he faced just two days after making 52 saves on 54 shots.

The Red Wings will have to wait to find out who their second round opponent will be. The San Jose Sharks and the Calgary Flames will meet in Game Seven of their series on Tuesday. Should the Flames complete the upset, they will move on to face Detroit. If San Jose wins, the Red Wings will move on to meet the Colorado Avalanche.

Red Wings – Predators Game Five Notes

I want to write a recap of Game Five but I’m still so psyched about the win that I don’t feel like I can put it together.

After Radek Bonk scored to tie the game, I was thinking it was going to be one of those nights. I knew the Red Wings could win – that they had the talent and all that – I just expected it to be a night where Nashville got that one extra bounce.

Instead, Detroit’s strong team defence forced the bounce, a turnover in the neutral zone that Niklas Kronwall used to spring Johan Franzen in all alone on Dan Ellis.

And Franzen, as has been said so many times this season in the forums here, is a beast.

Compare this season to the Red Wings’ 1998 campaign (so much easier to do now with Chris Osgood in goal) and Franzen is playing Tomas Holmstrom‘s role. We’re watching his breakout and he’s just got insane amounts of confidence right now.

Speaking of Osgood… Twenty saves on twenty-one shots is about everything anyone could have asked of him. He was steady, not spectacular, and the team played more confidently in front of him than they do in front of Hasek.

Obviously, the Predators were without David Legwand and Jason Arnott, which makes a big difference. I fully expect them to be back for Game Six though I do wonder what was actually bothering Arnott, since I don’t think the flu would have been enough to keep him from playing in such an important game.

If the Red Wings play Game Six like they did Game Five, the Predators will not return to Detroit when the Wings do.

Red Wings – Predators, Game Three Thoughts

Those who read the home page regularly could probably figure this out with about three minutes left in regulation tonight… I’m not recapping the game.

As I usually do with losses that p*ss me off, I’m blogging this one. I’ve said before, I like the option of just babbling rather than chronicling the Wings’ complete collapse.

The good news is that this is a seven-game series and the Predators have to win on Wednesday just to pull back even. A win by Detroit then and they’re back in control of the series, with a chance to win at home on Friday.

Over at Rangerland I said that Detroit deserved to lose for dropping into a 1-2-2 with 19 minutes left. That was an awful move, stepping away from a strategy that had been working for the first three games of the series.

Dan Ellis looked more human in this game but so did Dominik Hasek. Ellis was beaten by being frozen or caught out of position. Hasek was beaten by long shots that slipped through. A couple of those were screened I wonder if he shouldn’t have had the Arnott one.

At the start of the playoffs I said that I was going to take these games one at a time, so I’m trying not to flip out or anything. It sucks but it’s not the end of the world. Yet.

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 Predators for Game One Win

The Detroit Red Wings rode two third-period goals by Henrik Zetterberg to a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night, giving them a 1-0 lead in their first-round playoff matchup.

A lucky bounce off of a linesman kept Nashville’s Shea Weber from clearing the puck early in the third period. Pavel Datsyuk recovered it and sent a cross-ice pass to Zetterberg for a one-timer past goalie Dan Ellis at 6:54.

Zetterberg would add an empty-net goal with 19 seconds remaining in the game, scoring on a shot from the neutral zone after a faceoff win by Kris Draper.

Johan Franzen scored the series-opening goal 5:58 into the game, grabbing the puck off of a missed clearing attempt by Radek Bonk and backhanding it over Ellis from the low slot.

Jordin Tootoo scored Nashville’s lone goal with 2:13 left in the second, tipping a Greg Zanon shot from the point through Dominik Hasek and into the net.

Hasek finished the night with 19 saves on 20 shots against while Ellis stopped 37 of 39 Detroit attempts.

Game Two of the series will be on Saturday afternoon from Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.

Nashville’s Scott Nichol left the game with an injury early in the second period.

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