Red Wings’ Slump Reaches Six with Shootout Loss to Avalanche

The Detroit Red Wings lost their sixth consecutive game on Sunday night, a 2-1 shootout decision to the Colorado Avalanche.

It was the fourth loss of the sixth to come in the tiebreaker.

Petr Mrazek took the loss for the Red Wings, making the start in goal in place of the injured Jimmy Howard. Mrazek stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced and six of nine shootout attempts.

Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene beat Mrazek to start the shootout, then Mrazek made six straight stops before Jarome Iginla scored what would be the game-winner.

Avalanche netminder Calvin Pickard stopped Pavel Datsyuk before Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar scored to force sudden death rounds. Pickard wouldn’t allow a goal the rest of the way, stopping Brendan Smith to secure the win in the ninth round.

Pickard made 34 saves on 35 shots in regulation and overtime.

After two scoreless periods, Pavel Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring at 4:52 of the third. With Detroit on a power play, Datsyuk took a feed from Riley Sheahan in the left faceoff circle and snapped a shot past Pickard.

With 4:15 left in the period, the Avalanche tied things up on a power play of their own. Erik Johnson‘s blast from the top of the right circle appeared to deflect off defenseman Jonathan Ericsson‘s stick on its way past Mrazek.

Detroit finished the night one-for-four on the power play while Colorado went one-for-two.

The Red Wings have one more game remaining before the Christmas break, Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres.

With Howard injured and Jonas Gustavsson still weeks from returning, Tom McCollum was called up to back up Mrazek… Jakub Kindl was back in the lineup as Xavier Ouellet was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room for McCollum… Daniel Cleary replaced Joakim Andersson for his tenth appearance of the season, triggering a $1 million bonus in his contract.

Red Wings’ Rally Falls Short in St. Louis

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from down 4-1 to pull within a goal Thursday night but couldn’t get the evener, falling to the St. Louis Blues, 4-3.

Nicklas Lidstrom and Patrick Eaves scored second-period goals but St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third to hold onto the lead for the Blues.

Lidstrom’s goal came on a one-timer from the top of the left faceoff circle with 8:27 left in the middle period and the Red Wings on a five-on-three.

Eaves scored with 3:09 left in the period, snapping a shot from the top of the right circle past Halak after Kris Draper and Darren Helm dug the puck out from behind the net.

The Blues opened the scoring with 6:39 left in the first. Erik Johnson one-timed a shot from the blue line through a crowd and past Chris Osgood on a St. Louis power play.

Johan Franzen responded just 30 seconds later, tying the game on a snapper from the left faceoff dot.

Only 36 seconds after that, Patrick Berglund scored the first of two goals to restore the St. Louis lead, beating Osgood from the high slot.

Berglund scored again with 1:13 left in the first, just three seconds after the expiration of a penalty to Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall. Berglund’s shot from the left wing boards went through a crowd and past Osgood to make it 3-1.

Matt D’Agostini made it 4-1 at 5:51 of the second. Jonathan Ericsson gave the puck away in the neutral zone and it was picked up by Eric Brewer. Brewer sent it up to David Backes, who sprung D’Agostini for a break in on Osgood. He faked out Osgood and slid the puck past him for the eventual game-winner.

Osgood finished the night with 21 saves on 25 shots in his second failed bid at his 400th career win. Halak stopped 35 of 38 Detroit chances.

Both teams went one-for-four on the power play.

The Red Wings are now off for Christmas but return on Sunday when they visit the Minnesota Wild.

Red Wings’ Comeback Falls Short in Loss to Blues

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 3-1 third-period deficit Friday night but it wasn’t enough to earn the win, falling in overtime to the St. Louis Blues, 4-3.

Johan Franzen scored twice in the third period to pull the Red Wings even with the Blues and force the extra period.

His first goal came on a Detroit power play with 6:33 remaining in regulation, when he banged the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg chance out of mid-air and past goalie Manny Legace from the edge of the crease.

Franzen scored again 1:52 later, tapping home a pass from Zetterberg after being left all alone at the far side of the net.

Brad Boyes won the game for the Blues in overtime, putting a shot from the left circle off of Chris Osgood‘s pad and into the net.

Boyes had started the game’s scoring with 7:40 left in the first period, smacking the puck past Osgood from the slot on a pass from behind the net by Paul Kariya.

The Blues took a two-goal lead at 4:29 of the second, when Erik Johnson‘s power-play blast from the blue line deflected off Franzen’s skate before hitting Osgood’s shoulder and bouncing into the net.

Brian Rafalski pulled Detroit to back within one 38 seconds later with a power play goal of his own.

Andy McDonald made it 3-1 at 9:28 of the third, taking the puck from Jiri Hudler at the Detroit blue line before moving in and snapping a shot on net, bouncing it off of Nicklas Lidstrom and in.

The game was marked by Darren McCarty‘s return to the Detroit lineup. He started the game alongside Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper as the Grind Line was briefly reunited.

Rafalski Returns to Help Red Wings Down Blues

Defenseman Brian Rafalski returned to the Detroit lineup Wednesday night, helping the Red Wings earn a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues by scoring a goal.

Pavel Datsyuk also scored twice and Johan Franzen has a goal. Erik Johnson was the lone scorer for the Blues.

Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring 5:28 into the first period. Tomas Kopecky fired a shot on net from the right faceoff circle, which former Red Wing goalie Manny Legace kicked aside. Datsyuk got to the puck, though, and threw a bad-angle shot back out front, deflecting off the stick of Brad Boyes and into the net.

Johnson would tie the game on a St. Louis power play with 1:33 left in the period, firing a shot from the blue line that was tipped by Detroit blueliner Andreas Lilja and bounced off of Dominik Hasek before finding its way in.

Franzen put the Wings back out in front midway through the second period, banging in a bouncing rebound as he fell to the ice from the front of the net at 9:48.

Rafalski gave Detroit a two goal lead at 6:11 of the third. He gained the St. Louis zone and slowed up to let trailing players catch up with the play, then snapped a shot on net that surprised Legace and went over his shoulder before he could react.

Datsyuk’s second of the night wrapped things up as he scored into the empty net after a takeaway in the neutral zone.

The Blues scored the game’s only power play goal on one of their three chances with the extra attacker. The Red Wings were scoreless in four tries.

Hasek made 18 saves on 19 shots in his third start in a row while Legace stoppped 28 of the 31 shots he faced.

Red Wings Close ’07 with Loss to Blues

The Detroit Red Wings closed out the 2007 calendar year with a shutout loss to the St. Louis Blues, their first blanking of the season and their first loss in their annual New Years Eve game since 1998.

Former Red Wing goalie Manny Legace earned the shutout, stopping 31 shots. Legace had been pulled from the crease the last time the two teams met, surrendering four goals.

Rookie defenseman Erik Johnson scored at 5:47 of the third period to get the Blues out in front. His shot from the blue line got past a screened Dominik Hasek and found its way into the net.

Lee Stempniak added an empty-net goal with 22 seconds left in the game to wrap up the scoring.

Dominik Hasek – now winless against St. Louis this season – made 21 saves on 22 shots in the loss.

Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had four chances with the extra attacker to the Blues’ five.

The Red Wings will open 2008 on Wednesday when they host the Dallas Stars in the first game of a home-and-home series. Henrik Zetterberg is expected to return to the lineup in one of those two games.

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