Howard Stops Six in Shootout as Red Wings Beat Wild

Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard stopped six shooters in an eight-round shootout on Saturday night, leading the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.

It was just Howard’s second shootout win of the season. He had made eleven saves in nine previous shootouts, going 1-8.

Howard stopped Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle to open the tiebreaker before Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek scored. He then held off Nino Niederreiter, Chris Stewart, Mikael Granlund, and Justin Fontaine.

Darren Helm scored in the eighth round, beating Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk on a shot that had to be reviewed to confirm that it crossed the goal line. Gustav Nyquist scored in the second round while Riley Sheahan kept the Red Wings alive in the fourth. Dubnyk stopped Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Tatar, Henrik Zetterberg, Stephen Weiss, and Niklas Kronwall.

Parise had opened the game’s scoring with 5:53 left in the first period, tipping a Granlund pass to the front of the net past Howard after a Detroit turnover at their own blue line.

The Red Wings responded just 1:52 later when Sheahan – perched on the edge of Dubnyk’s crease – knocked home the rebound of a Weiss chance.

Nyquist’s low-angle shot over Dubnyk’s shoulder with 2:47 remaining in the second gave the Red Wings their only lead of the night on their first power play, making it 2-1.

Parise replied with a Minnesota power play goal, tipping a Pominville chance past Howard at 6:33 of the third period.

The Wild finished the night one-for-six on the power play while the Red Wings went one-for-two.

Howard made 22 saves on 24 shots against. Dubnyk stopped twenty of the 22 shots he faced.

The Red Wings are back at it on Sunday as they host the Washington Capitals.


Detroit was without forwards Erik Cole and Tomas Jurco. Daniel Cleary was a healthy scratch and Johan Franzen remains on injured reserve… Jakub Kindl was a healthy scratch on defense while Jonas Gustavsson remained out in goal.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Wild – 4/4

Hey, we’re back. That hiatus DH.N has been on? We’re gonna pretend that’s over and see if we can’t get back to talking about some hockey over here, as the Red Wings visit the Minnesota Wild tonight.

Also back? Jimmy Howard and Pavel Datsyuk. Howard gets the start in goal after Petr Mrazek had gotten the nod for a few games. Datsyuk returns from a troublesome ankle to center Darren Helm and Tomas Tatar.

Daniel Cleary will be the healthy scratch up front with Erik Cole and Tomas Jurco still injured (and Johan Franzen on IR with no return in sight). Jakub Kindl is the healthy scratch on defense. Mrazek will back up Howard with Jonas Gustavsson (remember him?) still shelved.

The Wild are playoff-bound, riding the improbably-hot netminding of Devan Dubnyk. The Red Wings chased Dubnyk when the two teams met on January 20 but still needed a shootout to get the win after the Wild scored three third-period goals to force overtime. Three third-period goals against… This sounds familiar…

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 89-83-20 all-time in the regular season in April.

Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD+.

Red Wings Win in Shootout After Wild Comeback

Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek stopped both shots he faced and the Red Wings got goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Gustav Nyquist as they earned a 5-4 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.

The tiebreaker was necessary after Minnesota scored three times in the third period to erase Detroit’s 4-1 lead entering the final frame.

Zach Parise‘s power play goal at 6:01 of the third period gave the Wild life. Jason Pominville sent the rebound of a Thomas Vanek chance to Parise all alone in the slot for a shot into the open side of the net to make it 4-2.

Vanek would add one of his own one second past the period’s midway point, driving through the slot to lift a backhander past Mrazek, pulling Minnesota to within a goal.

Parise struck again with 6:39 left to tie things up. Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson waited for several seconds to set up a play behind the net and then promptly turned it over to Parise all alone in front of Mrazek. As Ericsson dove to try to get in the way, Mrazek stopped the first chance but Parise knocked in his own rebound.

Parise would end up being Minnesota’s first shooter in the shootout but fired high. Datsyuk lifted a backhander past goalie Darcy Kuemper to score on his chance before Mrazek stopped Mikko Koivu and Nyquist slid a shot between Kuemper’s pads for the win.

Teemu Pulkkinen‘s first career NHL goal opened the game’s scoring at 9:09 of the first period. On a three-on-two, Stephen Weiss fed Pulkkinen for a one-timer from the slot that he blew past Minnesota starter Devan Dubnyk.

Koivu snapped a shot from the left faceoff circle past Mrazek with 6:38 left in the first – just seven seconds into a power play – to tie things back up.

Ericsson restored the Detroit lead 1:08 later with a blast from the point through a screen by Justin Abdelkader.

Nyquist tipped a Niklas Kronwall shot past Dubnyk for a power play goal to make it 3-1 at 3:41 of the second period.

Xavier Ouellet made it 4-1 at 7:25, stepping up into the high slot for a shot that deflected off Justin Fontaine and past Dubnyk, ending the netminder’s night.

Mrazek finished the night with 34 saves on 38 shots. Dubnyk stopped six of ten chances while Kuemper was a perfect 14-for-14 until the shootout.

Detroit scored on one of their two power play chances while Minnesota went two-for-five with the man-advantage.

The Red Wings are now off until next Tuesday for the All-Star break.


After the game, Pulkkinen was returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins so he can take part in the AHL All-Star Game. Ouellet, who was also selected as an AHL All-Star, will remain in Detroit to rest a sore wrist.

Red Wings Rally for 3-2 OT Win over Oilers

The Detroit Red Wings went into the third period down 2-0 but rallied for a 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.

Pavel Datsyuk won the game for the Red Wings with 1:21 left in the overtime period. Datsyuk took a pass from Johan Franzen in the neutral zone and raced into the Edmonton zone, faking around defender Jeff Petry and snapping a shot past netminder Devan Dubnyk.

Taylor Hall had opened the scoring at 3:34 of the first period, picking up the puck at the Detroit blue line and cutting to the middle, splitting the Red Wings’ defense through the slot and snapping a shot under Howard to make it 1-0.

Edmonton went up 2-0 with 3:42 left in the second period on a goal by Sam Gagner. After Hall tied up Jonathan Ericsson behind the Detroit net, Nail Yakupov picked up the puck and cut in from the left wing boards, around Niklas Kronwall, and shoveled a shot on Howard from the slot. Gagner was there to bang home the rebound.

Valtteri Filppula cut the Edmonton lead in half at 4:27 of the third. Henrik Zetterberg won a battle along the boards in the left corner and Filppula came in to pick up the puck. Filppula cut through the left faceoff circle on the backhand and flung a shot on net, through a screen by Damien Brunner and past goalie Devan Dubnyk.

Detroit tied things up with 5:53 remaining in the third on their second road power play goal of the season. Niklas Kronwall threw a shot on net from the blue line and Dubnyk kicked it aside. Defender Jeff Petry turned to knock it away but ended up putting it in behind his own goalie.

Howard finished the night with 30 saves on 32 shots while Dubnyk stopped 25 of 28 Detroit chances.

Detroit went one-for-five on the power play. Edmonton was scoreless with three power play attempts.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday in Vancouver as they close out their Western Canadian road trip.


Ian White, Kent Huskins and Patrick Eaves were healthy scratches for the Red Wings… Kyle Quincey left the game late in the third after taking a puck to the face. He will not travel with the team to Vancouver.

Howard Blanks Oilers as Red Wings Win, 3-0

The Detroit Red Wings cruised to a 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night, with goalie Jimmy Howard only needing to make 22 saves to pick up his second shutout of the season.

After a scoreless first period, Jakub Kindl got the Red Wings on the board at 3:16 of the second. Kindl battled to keep control of the puck as he cut from the right faceoff circle to the slot, then knocked a shot through Edmonton netminder Devan Dubnyk that just rolled across the goal line.

Cory Emmerton added another goal from the Red Wings’ depth players with 7:41 left in the period. After a shift of strong pressure in the Edmonton end by Detroit, Emmerton jumped onto the ice on a change and slipped into the slot, getting a pass from Drew Miller to snap a strong shot past Dubnyk.

Justin Abdelkader finished the scoring with an empty-net goal with 1:10 remaining.

Dubnyk finished the night with 25 saves on 27 shots.

There was only one power play on the night, with the Red Wings failing to score with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings will next be in action on Saturday in Columbus, the first game of a weekend home-and-home series with the Blue Jackets.


For the fourth consecutive game, Ian White and Kent Huskins were the healthy scratches on defense for Detroit.

TGTW: Wings Lead NHL After Week Five

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

After finshing their first four-game Western Canadian road trip since the return of the Winnipeg Jets with a 3-1 record, the Detroit Red Wings returned home this week for rematches with the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames and a visit from the Minnesota Wild.

On Tuesday, Jordan Eberle scored twice to lead the Oilers past the Wings to sweep their home-and-home series. Eberle opened the game’s scoring at 4:25 of the first. Kyle Quincey‘s third goal of the season tied things back up on the power play at 2:36 of the second, but Eberle put the Oilers back out in front with 24 seconds left in the middle frame. Also in the second period, Edmonton defensemen Jeff Petry left the game after taking an elbow to the face from Johan Franzen, for which Franzen was ejected.

Edmonton’s Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves on 34 shots to get the win while Detroit’s Jimmy Howard made 16 saves on 18 shots against.

The Red Wings rebounded on Friday with a 4-1 win over the Flames, in a game in which all goal-scorers played for Detroit last season. Jiri Hudler scored the game’s opening goal just 1:48 into the first period. Todd Bertuzzi tied things up with 5:26 left in the period and the Red Wings never looked back. Pavel Datsyuk put Detroit in front at 8:43 of the second and Valtteri Filppula extended his team scoring lead with 4:55 left in that period. Ian White added his first goal of the season with ten seconds remaining in regulation on the power play to finish off the win.

Howard made 21 saves on 22 shots while Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 21 of 25 chances. Todd Bertuzzi left the game with concussion-like symptoms after being boarded by Lee Stempniak late in the third.

With Bertuzzi injured, Cory Emmerton made his first appearance of the season the next night against the Wild, a 4-0 win for Detroit. Henrik Zetterberg opened the scoring with 5:31 left in the first period and Mikael Samuelsson made it 2-0 at 9:08 of the third. Samuelsson and Filppula added goals in the final minute to round out the scoring.

Minnesota free agent signings Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, who both spurned contract offers from Detroit over the summer, finished the night -2. Howard made 20 saves in his third shutout of the season. Niklas Backstrom of the Wild made 26 saves on 30 shots.

After five weeks, the Red Wings sit tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals atop the NHL standings. Filppula leads all NHL scorers with 23 points, two more than Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin. Howard is tied for the league lead in shutouts (three) and wins (10) and second in goals-against average (1.72).

Next week the Red Wings host the Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils, then visit the Wild.

TGTW Week Four: Wings Almost Sweep Western Canadian Trip

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

The Detroit Red Wings opened up their first four-game Western Canadian road trip with a win in Winnipeg last week and continued their streak into Vancouver and Calgary before dropping the final game of the swing in Edmonton.

Former Canuck Mikael Samuelsson was the hero in his return to Vancouver on Tuesday, scoring a hat trick that included the game-winning goal in the game’s final minute.  Vancouver’s Mason Raymond had opened the game’s scoring at 8:33 of the first before Samuelsson responded at 11:40.  Niklas Kronwall made it 2-1 for the Wings at 9:15 of the second.  Keith Ballard tied things back up 39 seconds into the third, then Samuelsson put the Wings ahead again at 4:47.  David Booth knotted it at three at 9:50.  Samuelsson potted the game-winner on a power play with 46 seconds left in regulation.

Jimmy Howard made 20 saves on 23 shots to get the win while Canucks’ starter Cory Schneider made 25 saves on 29 shots.

Samuelsson notched another game-winner on Thursday in Calgary, when his second-period goal put the Wings ahead in an eventual 4-2 win.  Roman Horak opened the game’s scoring for the Flames at 2:50 of the first period and Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk responded just 53 seconds later.  Henrik Zetterberg put the Wings out front 1:09 later before Mike Cammalleri tied it back up at 5:19.  Samuelsson scored at 4:04 of the second to put Detroit back out in front and Danny Cleary added an insurance marker on the power play at 3:27 of the third.

Again, Howard faced 23 shots, stopping 21.  Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff made 30 saves on 34 shots.

On Saturday in Edmonton, the Oilers got out to a strong start and the Red Wings couldn’t recover.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the game’s scoring at 7:00 of the first and Ryan Whitney added another goal at 10:07.  Ben Eager made it 3-0 in Edmonton’s favor just 53 seconds into the second period, with Samuelsson finally getting Detroit on the board with 1:25 left in the middle frame.  Zetterberg pulled the Wings to within a goal with 9:04 left in the third but they’d be unable to pull even.  Howard stopped 27 of 30 shots on the night and Edmonton’s Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves on 26 chances.

After four weeks, the Red Wings sit atop the Central Division and team-leading scorer Valtteri Filppula (seventeen points) is atop the league in assists with twelve.  Howard has a 1.92 goals against average and a .914 save percentage, having made every start (though he was pulled in favor of Jonas Gustavsson at the end of the first game of the season).

The fifth week of the schedule will see rematches with the Oilers and Flames and a visit from the Minnesota Wild.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Oilers – 2/4

Considering I was disgusted with the Red Wings’ play by the midway point of the first period, it’s hard to complain about an outcome that saw them pick up a point.

That said, after their third-period rally to take the lead, it really feels like they should have done better.

As a whole, Detroit was awful in the first period, mediocre in the second, fantastic in the third, back to mediocre in the overtime period, and then down to awful again in the shootout. Even with that fantastic third, that’s not enough to get two points, plain and simple.

Other thoughts…

Ty Conklin didn’t get much help but didn’t do himself any favors. With Jimmy Howard on the shelf for what could be days or could be weeks, Conklin has to step his game up or he will be replaced at the trade deadline. The Red Wings might not be willing to part with the pieces needed to trade for a top-six forward but they might be able to pick up a backup goalie.

Or they could go with Joey MacDonald, who backed up Howard through last year’s playoffs and was solid tonight. He took an undeserved loss while stopping 22 of 23 shots. I will not be surprised to see him start in Phoenix on Monday.

If MacDonald’s teammates could have gotten a shootout goal, he might not have been saddled with that loss. The Red Wings looked pretty uninspired in the tiebreaker. Pavel Datsyuk made a nice move and missed the net. Todd Bertuzzi blasted it past Devan Dubnyk. Everyone else? Meh.

But a point is a point, and this was an important one to battle back and get. We’ll see how things play out from here.

Red Wings Rally Late for OT Win over Oilers

The Detroit Red Wings were held scoreless for 59 minutes of regulation on Friday night but broke the shutout in the game’s final minute and went on for an overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Nicklas Lidstrom‘s shot from the point with 25 seconds remaining deflected past Devan Dubnyk to tie the game up and force overtime.

Pavel Datsyuk snapped a shot from the high slot past Dubnyk with 42 seconds left in the overtime period, giving the Red Wings the win.

Edmonton had opened the scoring in the first period, when Ryan Jones snapped a shot from the left wing boards under Jimmy Howard‘s pad 6:40 into the game.

The Red Wings thought they had tied things up in the final minute of the second period but a goal by Lidstrom was called back after it was ruled that Todd Bertuzzi knocked it in with his glove.

Detroit finished the night without a power play goal on six tries with the man advantage, including 1:25 of five-on-three. Edmonton was scoreless on four power play attempts.

Howard made 26 saves on 27 shots in earning the win. Dubnyk stopped 42 of 44 shots.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday when they visit the St. Louis Blues.

Red Wings Rally but Fall to Oilers in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings spent almost the entire game Friday night rallying to pull even with the Edmonton Oilers but ended up dropping a 3-2 shootout decision.

Edmonton had a 2-0 lead before five minutes had been played and the Red Wings used every second of the remaining 55 minutes to tie things back up. Brian Rafalski forced overtime with 0.2 seconds remaining in regulation.

Andrew Cogliano opened the game’s scoring just 57 seconds into the game, scoring into the open side of the net on a cross-crease feed from Gilbert Brule.

4:01 later, Ryan Whitney scored his first goal as an Oiler, cutting from the top of the left circle in low to snap a shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Patrick Eaves put the Red Wings on the board with 8:09 left in the second period. Kris Draper raced in behind the Edmonton goal on the forecheck and won the puck, sending it out to Eaves in the right circle for a one-timer past Edmonton netminder Devan Dubnyk.

Rafalski tied the game when Henrik Zetterberg dug the puck out from under Edmonton Theo Peckham in the corner. With nearly everyone on the ice having moved to the left corner, Pavel Datsyuk sent it across for Brian Rafalski to bang into the net from the far side of the crease.

Ryan Potulny and Gilbert Brule scored on Edmonton’s first two shootout attempts before Howard stopped Robert Nilsson. Pavel Datsyuk rang a backhand chance off the post and Jason Williams scored before Valtteri Filppula was stopped to ensure the Oilers’ win.

Howard made 22 saves on 24 shots on the night. Edmonton took 13 of those shots in the first ten minutes of play. Dubnyk made 31 saves on 33 Detroit chances in earning his first career victory.


Eaves left the game with an upper-body injury after the second period… Combined with Calgary’s win in San Jose Friday night, the Red Wings are now tied with the Flames for eighth place in the Western Conference. Detroit has one game in hand.