Wings Unfortunate on Defense in Loss to Sens

A poor defensive effort against a team desperate for their first victory in five games led the Red Wings to a 5-2 loss against the Ottawa Senators.

The game started well enough for Detroit. An early Ottawa penalty to Peter Schaefer for goaltender interference against Curtis Joseph led to the first goal of the game. Chris Chelios made a surprising deke around an Ottawa player along the right boards and got the puck back to Igor Larionov at the blue line. Larionov passed across to Brett Hull at the left faceoff circle, and Hull fired a hard one-time shot that flew into the net past goaltender Patrick Lalime.

A defensive lapse allowed the Senators to tie the game less than a minute later. Wade Redden got the puck to Magnus Arvedson in the left corner of the Detroit zone. No one covered Arvedson, and he was able to skate out to the front of the net, shoot the puck at Joseph, get his own rebound, and put the puck in for the goal.

Ottawa took the lead early in the second period. Brad Smyth managed to angle around Jiri Fischer and get the shot away while losing his balance. Joseph was slow to drop, and the puck slid into the net under his blocker.

Detroit made their best offensive effort of the game in the second period, but Lalime made several very strong stops to keep the Senators in front. Shaun Van Allen increased the lead towards the end of the period. Petr Schastlivy stole the puck from Max Kuznetsov by sneaking up behind him and pulling the puck back between his skates. The puck flipped over to Van Allen in front of the net, and Joseph didn’t have much of a chance to stop the shot.

The Red Wings had their best chance to get back into the game midway through the third period. Hull drew three Senators towards him before threading a pass to the net so Henrik Zetterberg could tip it in for a shorthanded goal. Unfortunately, Ottawa scored on that power play just seconds later. Schastlivy got the puck near the net, and just kept banging away at it until it went in.

Todd White put the game away for the Senators by flipping the puck into the net after a bad turnover by Sergei Fedorov in the Red Wings’ zone.

The Senators’ tight defense allowed the Red Wings to get only twenty-two shots against Lalime. The Red Wings allowed the Senators to get thirty-four shots against Joseph.

The Red Wings will travel home after tonight’s game to face the Dallas Stars on Sunday evening at Joe Louis Arena.

Strong From Start to Finish

The Red Wings extended their home win streak to eight games, playing a tight defense and an offense that was just as strong as it needed to be, going on to defeat their conference rivals the Dallas Stars, 5-2.

The Red Wings came out ready to play in the first period, and were rewarded with an early goal. Brendan Shanahan took a neutral zone pass from Nick Lidstrom, and fired hard from the right side. The puck flew beneath the leg pads of goaltender Marty Turco, giving Shanahan the thousandth point of his career.

The Stars were playing a disorganized game, and the Red Wings were prepared to take advantage of it. Shanahan scored again before the end of the period. Dallas expected the puck to clear their zone, but Jiri Fischer got it away from Derian Hatcher at the blue line, and flung it back in deep. Shanahan was trailing the play, hoping the puck would come back in, and when it did, he was ready. He waited patiently for Turco to drop to block an expected low shot, then flipped it high into the net.

Dallas got a power play chance when Darren McCarty was given a penalty for interference. Mike Modano fired a hard shot from the left side. The puck deflected off the stick of Chris Chelios and past Dominik Hasek, who was being screened by Brenden Morrow.

The Red Wings took the Dallas goal in stride, and kept playing hard throughout the second period. Less than a minute in, Detroit took advantage of a turnover in neutral ice. Sergei Fedorov got the puck and passed ahead to Kirk Maltby. Maltby took what looked like a harmless shot on net, but it slid past Turco on the short side.

The Red Wings got their only power play goal of the game six minutes into the second, when Hatcher was in the box for hooking. The tight-passing power play unit got the puck to Shanahan, who faked the shot and passed to Steve Yzerman at the right side. From that tight angle, Yzerman sent the puck in behind Turco.

The Stars made one more rally during four-on-four play caused by penalties to Larionov and Morrow. Joe Nieuwendyk got the puck away from a bad pass from Hasek to Yzerman, and centered out front to Modano, who sent the puck in over Hasek.

Detroit controlled the game through the third period as well, keeping Dallas from getting the puck anywhere near the net. When the Dallas coaches pulled Turco from net to send in the extra skater with fifty seconds left to play, the Red Wings were ready. Larionov got control of the puck at center and took a backhanded shot down the ice and into the empty net. Defenseman Sergei Zubov tried to drop to the ice and knock the puck off course, but it was too late for the Stars.

Shots on net were thirty-five to eighteen in favor of the Red Wings, demonstrating their commitment to both offensive and defensive play throughout the game. Detroit will play again on Tuesday night, travelling to Phoenix to face the Coyotes.