Losing Streak Ends In Tie With Oilers

Four quick goals and a good performance by Manny Legace let the Red Wings hang on against a late rally to tie the Edmonton Oilers, 4-4.

The Red Wings had a good chance to open the scoring early in the game when Oilers goalie Tommy Salo was assessed a penalty shot for throwing his stick while making a save against Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan’s shot didn’t get quite high enough off the ice, and Salo was able to stack his leg pads to make the save.

The Oilers opened the scoring midway through the first. Radek Dvorak cycled the puck behind the net. Raffi Torres was waiting on the left side. Pavel Datsyuk attempted to shove Torres out of the way, but was not able to do so before Dvorak completed the cross-crease pass and Torres put the puck in behind Manny Legace.

Edmonton increased their lead with 2:22 left in the period. Torres shot the puck on net from just behind the goal line. Legace made the save, but the rebound went out to Marc-Andre Bergeron on the right wing side. Bergeron took a wrist shot which went into the net.

Detroit played a more focused game in the second period, and were rewarded by scoring four goals in the space of 5:17. First they successfully weathered two penalties assessed to Jiri Hudler. Legace made some impressive saves, and Nicklas Lidstrom was right at the net to block the one save Legace wouldn’t have been able to make. Then Darren McCarty got the goals going.

McCarty received a pass from Kirk Maltby just inside the Oiler’s blue line. He shot the puck, using big defenseman Eric Brewer as a screen, and the puck reached the net at just the right height to sail over Salo’s shoulder.

A mistake cost the Oilers their lead. Alexei Semenov turned the puck over in front of his own net. To make matters worse, he gave it up to the NHL’s leading active goal scorer. Brett Hull skated the puck a little way towards the right boards before firing. Salo was sliding over, but he was being screened by Tomas Holmstrom, and the puck slid in underneath Salo’s left leg.

The Oilers, understandably, wanted their lead back. Legace had to make a huge save against Marty Reasoner at point blank range to keep Detroit’s momentum going.
Kris Draper moved Detroit into the lead. He carried the puck across Edmonton’s blue line, then made a back pass to Maltby. Maltby shot the puck from the left side, and Draper tipped it into the net.

Datsyuk increased the lead with a power play goal. The Oilers almost cleared the puck out of their zone, but Hull held it in at the blue line and made a pass to Datsyuk in the high slot. Datsyuk put a perfectly placed wrist shot just underneath the crossbar.

Both teams committed defensive turnovers in the third period, but the Oilers were the ones able to capitalize and score. Ales Hemsky added a power play goal with Mathieu Schneider in the penalty box for slashing. Chris Chelios cleared the puck away from the front of the net, but it took a strange bounce right back to Hemsky, who stuffed it in from behind the goal line.

Ethan Moreau tied the game up with only 3:57 left in regulation. Fernando Pisani squeezed past Shanahan to create a two-on-one rush. Schneider wasn’t able to take the passing lane away, so Pisani got the puck across for Moreau to scoop into the net.

Legace was the hero of the overtime period. The Oilers came out on the attack, but Legace made all five saves he needed to make so that the game would end in a tie.
Edmonton outshot Detroit by a count of 33 to 31. The Red Wings will continue their road trip when they face the Canucks Monday night in Vancouver.

Curtis Joseph slightly injured his groin during morning practice, which is why Legace got the start. Joseph played backup, and Dominik Hasek is still day-to-day with his own groin injury…. The last Red Wing to score on a penalty shot was Igor Larionov in 1995.

Wings’ Third Period Rally Falls Short

The Red Wings were hoping to end their road trip at Philadelphia as they began it – with a fast-paced, entertaining game, and a win, just as they had done against the Chicago Blackhawks to start their road swing. They gave the fans the high-energy, watchable game, but this time they were unable to come back from a deficit in the third period, and the Flyers took a 3-2 win.

The game started with a quick pace, each team threatening to score in the other’s end. It was Henrik Zetterberg who opened the scoring, snapping his 15 game goal drought. Mathieu Dandenault made a good interception and pass at center, and Zetterberg carried the puck into the Flyers’ zone. He deked around two defenders, lured goaltender Roman Cechmanek out of the net , then cut around and put the puck in from a tight angle 7:31 into the game.

The glow of getting the first goal of the game was shortlived, however, as the Flyers came up with an answering goal only 15 seconds later. Donald Brashear took a hard shot from the blue line. The high rebound bounced off the chest of Radovan Somik and back into the net past Curtis Joseph.

Dmitri Bykov seemed to have a target on his back all through the first period- the Flyers kept taking runs at him. Darren McCarty finally lost patience and dropped the gloves against Donald Brashear. Even though Brashear has a reputation as one of the toughest players in the league, McCarty came out on top of that fight.

The Flyers came out on top of the period, even after the momentum swing of McCarty’s fight. Boyd Devereaux lost the edge of his skate and fell as he was carrying the puck out of his own zone. Jeremy Roenick picked up the loose puck and went in. He angled around Chris Chelios, then put the puck high over Joseph.

Philadelphia increased their lead before even a minute had gone by in the second period. Eric Weinrich took a shot from the blue line which was tipped by the stick of Michal Handzus as it headed into the net.

The goal by Handzus set the tone for the second period. The Flyers did a good job of clogging up center ice, intercepting passes, and generally keeping the Red Wings from setting up very many scoring chances.

The tide turned early in the third period. Pavel Datsyuk had the puck in the Flyers’ zone and was knocked down in fronto the net. He still managed to get the pass back to Brett Hull, and Hull’s shot went in high on the far side of Cechmanek.

The Red Wings brought on the pressure after that, aided by their only two power plays of the game. The Flyers stuck to their game plan, though, and Cechmanek came through with some big saves to keep the Wings from getting on the board again.

The count of shots on net at the final buzzer was 29-23 in favor of Philadelphia. The Red Wings play next on Monday evening, when they return to Joe Louis Arena for the first of a home-and-home series with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chris Chelios played in his first game back after missing four with a leg injury…. Brett Hull’s goal was the 697th of his career…. The starters for the All Star Game were announced during today’s game. Nicklas Lidstrom will be representing the Red Wings as part of the first defensive pairing on the Western team. Lidstrom had more fan votes than any other player in the NHL. Other Wings may also be going to the game: the non-starting lines are selected by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department, and those players will be announced on Thursday.

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