Red Wings Reach Record with Win over Flyers

The Detroit Red Wings tied the NHL record longest home winning streak with a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night.

It was the twentieth consecutive win at home for the Wings, matching runs by the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and the 1975-76 Flyers. The team hasn’t lost in Detroit since November 3.

Johan Franzen scored the game-winning goal just 52 seconds into the third period, finishing off a slick passing play. Pavel Datsyuk worked the puck out of the right corner to Henrik Zetterberg at the right point. Zetterberg sent a hard pass to Nicklas Lidstrom at the inside edge of the left faceoff circle, who tipped in on to Franzen at the right side of the crease for a shot past Philadelphia goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

The Red Wings had opened the game’s scoring at 7:08 of the first period when Niklas Kronwall fired a one-timer from the blue line through a Todd Bertuzzi screen and past Bobrovsky while on a power play.

Brayden Schenn tied things up with 3:18 left in the period. Detroit goalie Joey MacDonald went behind the net to play the puck and whiffed on it, then hesitated before getting back into his crease. Daniel Briere grabbed the loose puck and sent it out to Schenn, who was wide open to put it into the empty net.

Schenn gave the Flyers their first lead at 5:22 of the second period, lifting the rebound of a Brayden Coburn chance past MacDonald after the Detroit netminder had made the initial save and tried to poke the loose puck clear.

Datsyuk evened things up 3:05 later, rifling a shot from the left side of the slot past Bobrovsky off a feed from Franzen, the Red Wings’ second power play goal of the night.

Maxime Talbot put the Flyers back out in front with 3:41 left in the second, tipping a shot-pass from Scott Hartnell past MacDonald from just outside the crease.

Zetterberg rallied Detroit once more with 1:39 remaining, slapping a shot from the high slot into the back of the net to make it 3-3.

The Flyers did not score on their two power plays while the Red Wings’ two power play goals came on five tries with the extra attacker, including one in the game’s final minutes with Bobrovsky on the Philadelphia bench for an extra skater.

Bobrovsky stopped 21 of the 25 shots he faced on the night. MacDonald stopped 26 of 29 for his third consecutive win.

The Red Wings will get their chance to break the record when they host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.


Detroit remained without forward Danny Cleary, who is expected to return to the lineup no sooner than Friday against the Nashville Predators… Goaltender Jimmy Howard also hopes to return against Nashville… Defenseman Mike Commodore was the team’s only healthy scratch.

Western Conference Triumphant in All-Star Game

In the National Hockey League’s first All-Star Game since 2004, the Western Conference’s veteran team outscored an Eastern Conference squad led by young stars, picking up a 12-9 win.

It was the first win by the Western Conference since 2003 and only their second in the six games that have been played in the East vs. West format.

Daniel Briere of the Buffalo Sabres was the game’s MVP, scoring a goal and adding four assists in the losing effort.

Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets scored the eventual game-winning goal, one of his two goals on the night. He also assisted twice.

Other were Yanic Perrault (Phoenix Coyotes), Teemu Selanne (Anaheim Ducks), Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lighting), Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes), Libomir Vishnovsky (Los Angeles Kings), Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks), Justin Williams (Carolina), Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins), Martin Havlat (Chicago Blackhawks), Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Brian Rolston (Minnesota Wild), Dany Heatley (Ottawa Senators), Sheldon Souray (Montreal Canadiens) and Dion Phaneuf (Calgary Flames).

Marty Turco of the hometown Dallas Stars got the win in goal while Cristobal Huet of Montreal took the loss, despite having the best save percentage of any of the Eastern Conference goalies.

Earlier in the day, the NHL announced that the Montreal Canadiens will host the 2009 All-Star Game as part of the celebration of the Canadiens’ 100th season. The Atlanta Thrashers will host in 2008, after originally having been selected to host the cancelled 2005 game.

Sabres Fall to Griffins— er, Wings

It wasn’t quite the game anyone expected. Sure, under normal circumstances, it should be easy enough for the Red Wings to gain a win over the Buffalo Sabres. But it shouldn’t have been quite so easy when a full third of the lineup (six of eighteen skaters) is straight from the Grand Rapids Griffins. And it certainly shouldn’t have been a triumphant 7-2 blowout, but there it was.

The Sabres managed to open the scoring a few minutes into the third period. J.P. Dumont made a pass to Daniel Briere just behind the net. Briere noticed Curtis Joseph just slightly out of position, so he banked the puck in off the goalie’s back. Joseph, also just recalled from the Griffins, looked a little shaky early on, but redeemed himself with a huge save against Taylor Pyatt on a breakaway a few minutes after Briere’s goal.

Pavel Datsyuk split through two Buffalo defensemen to make a give-and-go passing play with Kris Draper near the end of the period. Datsyuk pushed to the net, and when he got the puck back from Draper, he was able to flip it in behind goalie Ryan Miller. Kirk Maltby moved Detroit into a 2-1 lead just over two minutes later when some hard work in the corner by Mathieu Dandenault and a nice pass by Datsyuk left Maltby all alone in front of the net long enough to get the shot away.

Detroit carried their one goal lead all the way through the third period, holding off three Buffalo power plays.

The third period was a different story. An ordinary team might have shut down and played defensive hockey for the final twenty minutes, but these are the Red Wings (even if a lot of them were Griffins just yesterday), and they best defend their leads by adding to them. Datsyuk started the onslaught with his second goal of the night at 8:01. Jason Woolley threaded a pass through several pairs of legs to leave Datsyuk all alone in the high slot. He deked, then put the puck high over Miller.

Draper added a wraparound goal off a patient pass by Brendan Shanahan at 9:44, and Jiri Hudler scored the first goal of his NHL career by one-timing the puck from the high slot, after one of Woolley’s excellent passes found the way straight to him. It was a power play goal, with Eric Boulton in the penalty box for cross checking.

Jochen Hecht got the puck past Joseph to get the Sabres up to two, but Mathieu Schneider answered by putting a hard shot from the blue line right between Miller’s leg pads. Boyd Devereaux completed the Red Wings’ scoring by snapping a well placed wrist shot over Miller’s shoulder with 1:37 left to play.

The Sabres outshot Detroit by a margin of 25 to 23. Detroit was one for four on the power play. The Red Wings’ next opponent will be the Blackhawks, Thursday night in Chicago.


The Griffins playing as Wings tonight were Darryl Bootland, Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronwall, Kevin Miller, Mark Mowers, Jamie Rivers, and goalie Joey MacDonald, who played backup to Joseph with Hasek and Legace both out for a few days…. It was Kronwall’s NHL debut. He logged 13:26 of ice time, took two shots on goal, served two penalty minutes, and finished with a plus-one rating…. Kevin Miller is the cousin of Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.

A Hull of a Comeback

Brett Hull scored two goals for the Red Wings, helping them to overcome an early two-goal deficit and tie the Phoenix Coyotes, 2-2.

The game did not start well for the Red Wings, in spite of their strong defensive play in Saturday’s game against the Stars. The Coyotes were well-rested and enthusiastic, and it showed in their playing: they kept the Red Wings penned in their end of the rink for the greater part of the first period.

Phoenix opened the scoring just over six minutes into the game. Daniel Briere shot the puck from a tight angle on the right side, and it went between Manny Legace‘s arm and body on the far side of the net.

Briere scored again only seventeen seconds again. Daymond Langkow shot the puck on the net from point-blank range. Legace blocked the shot, but Briere grabbed up the rebound and swept it into the net.

Scotty Bowman did then the only thing which he can safely be predicted to do: he switched up the lines. It worked, after a fashion. The Red Wings started to play with more pressure, carrying the play into the Phoenix zone. It paid off for Brett Hull.

Brendan Shanahan and Steve Yzerman tangled with a pair of Phoenix defenseman in the corner, and got the puck out front to Hull, who was all alone with goalie Robert Esche. Hull stared at the top of the net, Esche moved up to block, and Hull slid the puck between the goalie’s legs. “Sometimes those are the hardest shots, because you start thinking about it!” Hull laughed later.

Detroit continued their steady offensive pressure throughout the second period, but neither team scored again before the intermission. The Red Wings got two power play opportunities and a four-on-four situation that looked as if it could have been a power play. Their passing and puck control were strong, but Esche was able to stop all ten of the shots he faced in the period.

The third period continued in much the same fashion until its end, when Hull rose to the occasion once again. Mathieu Dandenault fired a hard shot from the blue line, and Hull was in just the right place in front of the net to tip it past Esche, sending the game to overtime.

Play went end to end in the overtime period. Legace made a great save to deny Briere his hat trick, and the game ended in a tie.

Shots on net were thirty-one to twenty-nine in the Red Wings’ favor. Neither team scored a power play goal. The Red Wings will travel next to Dallas to play against the Stars on Wednesday night.