King Palffy

It took most of a five minute overtime to decide it, but the Los Angeles Kings were able to get by the Red Wings, 3-2.

The Wings took the first power play of the game. Ziggy Palffy, who had missed the Kings’ previous four games with back spasms, was called for tripping. Detroit’s power play got off to a slow start. They did manage to settle it down and take a few shots against goalie Felix Potvin before the power play’s end, but Potvin was able to block each time.

Detroit got another power play opportunity with 11:05 left in the first period when Steve Heinze was sent to the box for interference. This time, the Kings decided to put their penalty kill on the offensive, and managed a three-on-one rush, but Dominek Hasek was able to stop the puck in time.

Just five seconds after the penalty ended, before Heinze had much of a chance to get back in the play, Detroit scored. Freddy Olausson took a blue line pass from Nicklas Lidstrom, and fired from the right side. The shot managed to go between Darren McCarty‘s legs, off Igor Larionov‘s shin pads, and behind Potvin for a goal.

The score remained 1-0 through the second period, despite two power plays for the Kings and one for the Red Wings.

LA got on the board 3:41 into the third period. Eric Belanger took a pass from Ian Lapierre, and managed to fake out Pavel Datsyuk to get up to the net and flip the puck high over Hasek’s shoulder.

The Kings took the lead with just over nine minutes left in the third. The Red Wings’ old adversary Adam Deadmarsh managed to score by banking in Jason Allison’s shot from behind the net.

Chris Chelios tied up the game with 5:33 left to play. Steve Duchesne carried the puck into the offensive zone, the spun around and passed back to Chelios at the blue line. Chelios let go a hard one-timer, and scored his first goal in eighty-five games.

With only thirty-six seconds left in the play, Kris Draper took a boarding penalty, and was sent to the box. The Red Wings played a tight defense, and kept the Kings from scoring before the overtime.

The Kings started the overtime with 1:24 of leftover penalty, which gave them four men to the Red Wings’ three. Lidstrom, Chelios, and Steve Yzerman stayed in a tight triangle formation in front of the net, and kept the Kings from getting many shots against Hasek.

They killed off the penalty, but it proved to be not quite enough. With only 1:27 left, Palffy, who had been stopped by Hasek four times already, took the puck on a breakaway, and was able to slide the puck underneath Detroit’s goalie, to give the Kings the win.

Hasek stopped twenty-six of the twenty-nine shots he faced, and Potvin stopped twenty out of twenty-two. The Red Wings currently lead the league with a record of 14-3-0-1, for twenty-nine points. They are tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for the highest number of goals, at fifty-eight, and have allowed forty-one goals against them this season. The New York Islanders and Boston Bruins hold the current lead for goals-against, with thirty-five.

The Red Wings return home to begin a four-game homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night.

600 And Counting

Luc Robitaille scored his 600th career goal, and Dominik Hasek earned his first shutout of the season, as the Red Wings took a 1-0 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Detroit dominated the play in the first two periods. Robitaille’s historic goal was scored on a power play opportunity. 7:32 into the game, Anaheim’s Niclas Havelid was sent to the penalty box for holding. Brendan Shanahan shot the puck from the blue line, and Robitaille was on hand to tip it past goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

A fight broke out a few minutes later. Some Anaheim players took offense to Chris Chelios‘s hit on Paul Kariya, but Kris Draper and Brendan Shanahan were on hand to help their teammate. Shanahan fought his opponent, Dan Bylsma, down to the ice, and both were given five-minute major penalties for fighting. Shanahan currently leads the NHL in penalty minutes.

Thorughout the first two periods, Detroit had 22 shots on goal. The Ducks were only able to generate 11 shots against Dominik Hasek, in spite of two power play chances late in the second.

The Ducks kicked up their play for the third period. Hasek showed himself equal to the task, demonstrating his acrobatic skills on a rolling save to block a shot from Paul Kariya and a rebound shot from Patrick Kjellberg.

Chelios got into another fight near the end of the period. Kirk Maltby had dropped to the ice to block a shot, and an Anaheim player tried to whack the puck out from under him. Chelios came to stick up for his teammate, and he and Mike Leclerc were given offsetting two-minute penalties for roughing.

Anaheim pulled Giguere for the extra skater with 1:23 left to play, but the Ducks were unable to score.

Darren McCarty rejoined the “Grind Line”, playing in his first game since sustaining a knee injury against the Islanders on October 13. Max Kuznetsov and Tomas Holmstrom sat out, with injuries to hip and wrist, respectively. Brent Gilchrist, whose eye was injured by a high stick in Wednesday’s game against the Coyotes, also sat out, but Wings trainer John Wharton said the eye was not seriously damaged, and Gilchrist should be fine soon.

Hasek’s shutout was the fifty-seventh of his career, putting him within one of overtaking the Dallas Stars’ Ed Belfour for the lead in shutouts among active goaltenders. Robitaille is only the thirteenth player in NHL history to score 600 goals. He and teammates Steve Yzerman and Brett Hull make the Red Wings the first team in history to have three 600-goal-scorers.

The Red Wings will finish up their West Coast road trip Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Wings’ Passing Scores

A number of pretty passing plays by the Red Wings helped bring them the win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4 to 3.

With Darren McCarty out for at least a month with a knee injury sustained in the 10/13/01 game against the New York Islanders, Mathieu Dandenault was moved from defense back to right winger, and Steve Duchesne was brought back to play defense.

The first period was relatively quiet, for a hockey game. Both teams had scoring chances. Detroit got a power play opportunity 6:42 into the game when Kevin Dineen was sent off for cross-checking, but the power play was unable to score.

Brendan Shanahan opened the scoring with 4:01 remaining in the period. Sergei Fedorov passed the puck from the blue line up to Kris Draper, who sent it back to Shanahan. Shanahan sent the puck flying past goaltender Marc Denis, continuing his six game scoring streak and reaffirming his place as the NHL’s current high scorer.

The Wings scored again 6:52 into the second period. Jiri Fischer fired the puck from the blue line. Denis was able to block, but Luc Robitaille grabbed up the rebound and sent it into the net to continue his three game goal streak.

Fredrick Olausson was penalized for cross-checking with 10:53 left in the second. Only eleven seconds before the end of that penalty, Shanahan was sent off for slashing. The Blue Jackets’ Rotislav Klesla was able to score during the short 5-on-3 situation, firing the puck from the blue line past a well-screened Dominik Hasek.

The Wings responded with 3:48 left in the period. Boyd Devereaux passed to Olausson, and Olausson got the puck across center ice to Dandenault. Dandenault got the puck past Denis to score his 100th career point, showing that he didn’t forget how to play forward while he was back on defense.

Rookie Pavel Datsyuk nearly scored on a fast-moving breakaway early in the third period, but the Blue Jackets defense shot down his scoring opportunity and kept him from passing the puck back to Devereaux. Detroit’s fourth goal was not scored until 6:13 had gone by in the third period, when Sergei Fedorov picked up a rolling pass from Kris Draper and shot it into the net from the blue line. Chris Chelios also received an assist on that goal.

Columbus came back strong through the rest of the third. Tyler Wright flipped the puck past Hasek with 8:22 left in the game. Deron Quint was able to score three minutes later while Hasek was being screened by Dineen.

The Blue Jackets pulled their goalie with one minute remaining in the game, but six skaters were not enough to get past Hasek and the Red Wings defense a fourth time. Brett Hull nearly scored an empty net goal, but his shot went wide of the net.

Hasek stopped 19 of 22 shots, while Denis blocked 31 of 35.

The win lifted the Wings’ record to 4-1-0-0 and dropped the Islanders’ to 4-0-0-1. Detroit is off until Tuesday, when they begin their longest homestand of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Red Wings hope to continue their winning ways when they host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.

Invading the Island

The Red Wings headed to Long Island last night to face former Wing netminder Chris Osgood in his new team’s home opener. The Islanders were looking to continue a banner four game unbeaten streak as the Wings were looking to add to their win Friday night against Buffalo.

Oleg Kvasha opened the scoring only thirty-six seconds into the game, scoring off the rebound from a shot by Alexei Yashin.

Claude Lapointe was penalized for boarding just over two minutes into the period and the ensuing power play did not disappoint. Steve Yzerman passed the puck to Sergei Fedorov, who blasted it past Osgood. Brendan Shanahan also received an assist on the goal, extending his scoring streak to five games, reaffirming his place as the NHL’s current top scorer.

The score remained tied for the rest of the first period, with the Islanders outshooting Detroit fourteen to seven.

Early in the second period, Darren McCarty and Oleg Kvasha accidentally knocked ankles. Kvasha was taken immediately to the dressing room, but did return later in the game. McCarty tried to shake off the pain back on the bench, but headed to the locker room shortly thereafter. It was later announced that McCarty’s injury was an ankle sprain.

With Igor Larionov off for slashing, Yashin scored on Legace. The goal stood up to review and the Islanders took a two to one lead.

Brett Hull scored the answering goal with only 3:04 left in the period. Lapointe was off for cross-checking Lidstrom. Hull got the puck from Chris Chelios and shot it into the net, past a rolling block attempt by Osgood.

Early in the third period, Yashin scored again, this time on a screened shot. The Wings were able to reply on a delayed penalty. With Legace on the bench, Yzerman picked up a rebound and stuffed it into the net.

Early in the third period, Yashin scored again, this time on a screened shot. The Wings were able to reply on a delayed penalty. With Legace on the bench, Yzerman picked up a rebound and stuffed it into the net.

With Legace on the bench for the extra attacker, Luc Robitaille came to the rescue. Lucky Luc slid the puck behind Osgood with only ten seconds remaining, sending the game to overtime.

Both goaltenders made big stops in the overtime period but it was a save by Legace that led to the winning goal. Yzerman picked up Legace’s rebound and sent it to Draper. Draper and Hull had a breakaway and Yzerman trailed. Only one Islander was back to defend and Draper passed the puck to Hull, who sent it back to Yzerman. Yzerman did what he does best, and the puck soared over Osgood and into the net.

The win lifted the Wings’ record to 4-1-0-0 and dropped the Islanders’ to 4-0-0-1. Detroit is off until Tuesday, when they begin their longest homestand of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Sharper Against the Sabres

Dominik Hasek‘s former teammates were unable to defeat his new teammates, “Lucky Luc’s” luck seems to be returning, and Nicklas Lidstrom became the Red Wings’ top scoring defenseman of all time, as the Wings gained a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

Compared to recent games, this game had an amazing amount of flow to it. There were no stoppages in play until a full 3:26 into the first period, when icing was called against Buffalo. Slava Kozlov, given to the Sabres this summer in exchange for Hasek, nearly got the puck past the Red Wings’ goaltender, but Hasek was able to block the shot.

Seven minutes, thirty-six seconds into the game, Detroit’s Maxim Kuznetsov was penalized for interference, but the situation went to a 4-on-4 just over a minute later, when Buffalo’s Jason Woolley was handed a penalty for holding the stick. Detroit wound up with 29 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play, because Rhett Warrener got called for tripping, but the power play unit was unable to score.

Kris Draper opened the scoring with 7:17 left in the period. He came off the bench, flew down the ice with all his typical speed, received a bouncing pass from Igor Larionov, and flipped it past goaltender Roman Turek.

The remainder of the period was relatively quiet. Calgary’s Rob Niedermayer received an interference penalty with 5:49 remaining, and Maxim Kuznetsov was called for high sticking with 3:05 remaining, but neither power play unit was able to score.

Detroit’s power play had another chance with 6:33 remaining in the first, when Warrener was penalized for holding rookie Pavel Datsyuk, but the power play was cut short when Brendan Shanahan was given a tripping penalty. Buffalo was not able to score on their resulting power play, but captain Stu Barnes did score exactly two seconds later, after a very patient play and pass from Miroslav Satan.

Many of the shots Detroit fired were blocked by Buffalo’s defense before they even got to goalie Martin Biron, who played backup to Hasek last year. Not that Biron was incapable of stopping shots- far from it! Kris Draper made a beautiful pass to Sergei Fedorov, who left the puck for Shanahan. Shanahan fired the puck hard, but Biron kept it out of the net.

Two minutes, fifty-seven seconds into the second period, Luc Robitaille passed the puck to Nicklas Lidstrom, received the puck back again, and let it fly past Biron, scoring his first goal as a Red Wing. Tomas Holmstrom also received an assist on that goal. Buffalo answered back just over a minute later, with Satan picking up a rebound to slide the puck past Hasek.

Holmstrom was penalized for cross-checking with 11:22 left in the period, but Detroit’s penalty-killing unit was more than adequate for the job: they kept the puck in Buffalo’s zone for over half of the penalty.

With 4:52 to go in the period, Fedorov carried the puck behind the net, eluding a hit by a Buffalo defenseman. He passed the puck to Shanahan, and this time, Biron was not able to stop the shot.

Frederick Olausson scored his first goal as a Red Wing and gave Detroit the lead with only 2:26 left before intermission, in a 4-on-4 situation resulting from penalties to Darren McCarty and Alexei Zhitnik. Detroit had 1:05 of a power play remaining after the 4-on-4 ended, but was unable to score, despite good chances by Brett Hull.

The third period was quiet until near its end. Buffalo attempted to bring Biron back to the bench to have the sixth skater out, but miscalculated and received a penalty for having too many men on the ice. They pulled Biron anyway, with 30 seconds left to go, but Lidstrom got the puck to Shanahan, and Shanahan was able to send it into the empty net with only 5 seconds before the end of the game. This gave Lidstrom a total of 571 career points, sending him past Reed Larson’s record as the Red Wings’ all-time top scoring defenseman.

The Red Wings looked more organized on both offense and defense than they had in their previous games. There can always be improvements, but things look like they’re starting to come together. Former Red Wing Doug Brown, joining UPN 50 regulars Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond in the broadcast booth, put it more succinctly: “That whole line’s gonna score 13,000 goals.”

First Loss of Season Close to Home

The Red Wings took a 4-2 loss to the Flames in their home season opener, despite goals from Kris Draper and Brendan Shanahan, ending the 19 regular season game home unbeaten streak carried over from last season.

The game story was one of penalties, fights, and stoppages in play. Calgary’s Marc Savard got the penalty parade off to its slow start just 1:49 into the game, being sent off for elbowing. The game took on a deceptive flow for a few minutes after that, with both teams taking shots, but neither able to score.

4:20 into the game, Jarome Iginla started a fight with Darren McCarty, after seeing McCarty attempt to hit Savard. Both combatants got 5 minute fighting penalties. Iginla also received a 2 minute instigator call and a 10 minute misconduct. And yet, Detroit’s power play was unable to score.

Kris Draper opened the scoring with 7:17 left in the period. He came off the bench, flew down the ice with all his typical speed, received a bouncing pass from Igor Larionov, and flipped it past goaltender Roman Turek.

The remainder of the period was relatively quiet. Calgary’s Rob Niedermayer received an interference penalty with 5:49 remaining, and Maxim Kuznetsov was called for high sticking with 3:05 remaining, but neither power play unit was able to score.

The second period began with a deceptive calm. 6:11 into the play, Brendan Shanahan and Bob Boughner fought over a rough hit Boughner had landed on Shanahan. Both were sent to the box for five minutes.

With 11:44 left in the period, Mathieu Dandenault was called for elbowing. Detroit’s problems were compounded just 22 seconds later, when Steve Yzerman was given a penalty for high-sticking. The Flames’ Dean McAmmond was able to capitalize on the 5-on-3 opportunity, getting the puck past Dominek Hasek.

Calgary got another 5-on-3 opportunity just moments later. With 6:29 left in the period, Kuznetsov was called for cross-checking. Yzerman made a beautiful breakaway attempt in the short-lived 5-on-4 situation, but Turek was able to deflect the puck. Brett Hull received a tripping penalty at 5:56, and Calgary’s Scott Nichol was able to score on Hasek.

Calgary got another 5-on-3 opportunity just moments later. With 6:29 left in the period, Kuznetsov was called for cross-checking. Yzerman made a beautiful breakaway attempt in the short-lived 5-on-4 situation, but Turek was able to deflect the puck. Brett Hull received a tripping penalty at 5:56, and Calgary’s Scott Nichol was able to score on Hasek.

Darren McCarty, just back from a shoulder injury, elbowed Ron Petrovicky, most likely because Petrovicky had speared the back of his leg with the stick. The referees didn’t see that part, however, and McCarty was given a 5 minute major penalty and a game misconduct, and sent off to the locker room. The resulting Calgary power play was partially cancelled when Craig Conroy took a 2 minute hooking penalty.

The Flames were able to score an even strength goal 3:50 into the third period, with Igor Kravchuk picking up the rebound and sneaking it in behind Hasek, despite Frederick Olausson’s attempt to block the shot.

Kravchuk then took a cross-checking penalty 6:08 into the period, and Detroit’s power play unit kicked into action. Shanahan picked up the puck from where it had slipped away from Turek’s glove, waited for an opportunity, and fired it home.

The game could have changed for the Wings after that, but it was not to be. Shanahan was given a boarding penalty with 7:05 left in the game. Yzerman and Hull attempted to score short-handed, but Iginla picked up the puck and got it past Hasek on a rebound.

Shanahan now leads the NHL in goals, with 5 goals in 3 games. Hasek stopped 29 of 33 shots, most of which came when Detroit was in penalty-killing mode.

Would the game have gone in Detroit’s favor had the penalties not fallen so hard and so fast? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Even a team starring nine future Hall-of-Famers is still going to lose some of the games. Even the Red Wings have to be human once in awhile.

Game On!

The Detroit Red Wings and their new star-studded lineup get their first chance to shine tonight in San Jose.

The Red Wings play their first “real” game tonight when they start their regular season against the San Jose Sharks. Vezina Trophy winning goaltender Dominik Hasek will start against Calder Trophy winning netminder Evgeni Nabokov.

Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull and Fredrik Olausson are all expected to play for Detroit. The only injured regular from last season for the Red Wings will be Darren McCarty, who’s out with a sore shoulder but expected to return in time for the Wings home opener next week.

With the addition of rookies Jason Williams and Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit will still be able to roll four lines without a problem, but it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be on which lines.

The first regular season matchup for the new look Red Wings is tonight from San Jose and ten o’clock Eastern Time.