Postgame: Stars @ Red Wings – 11/8

I didn’t think that the Red Wings played well enough today to win. Apparently my eye test fails, though, as I’ve been told Detroit actually topped the Dallas Stars in score-adjusted 5v5 Corsi.

In the end, that’s really all I have to say about the game because so much was overshadowed by events of the third period.

With about 13 minutes left in the third period, Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard took an unintentional knee to the head from Dallas forward Jason Spezza. Howard struggled to stand as play continued. When the puck was finally frozen, he seemed to argue with the referee about why play wasn’t stopped. He was then checked out by the Red Wings’ training staff and exited the game.

This in a league that says it’s worried about head trauma.

Five minutes later, Jonathan Ericsson was hit in the head by Ales Hemsky. There would have been no penalty on the play had Ericsson not retaliated. Ericsson was given two minutes for roughing. Hemsky received no penalty.

This in a league that says it’s worried about head trauma.

In the game’s final minutes, Howard returned to the Red Wings’ bench. The team later revealed that he was fine and that he wasn’t checked for a concussion.

This in a league that says it’s worried about head trauma. This in a league where there are supposedly spotters in the arena looking for players who may have suffered head trauma. This on a team where Johan Franzen has played in a grand total of two games in the last ten months because he thought he was back from a concussion and then started experiencing symptoms again.

What is clear from the third period today is that the league is not concerned about head trauma. The Red Wings are not concerned about head trauma. And the players are not going to stop trying to play through head trauma.

Pregame: Stars @ Red Wings – 11/8

The Red Wings get one player back and possibly lose another on Sunday as they host the Western Conference leading Dallas Stars.

Defenseman Mike Green will make his return from injury, presumably replacing Alexey Marchenko in the lineup. Up front, with Landon Ferraro (among others) banged up, Andreas Athanasiou has been called up to make his NHL debut.

Kyle Quincey (ankle) was placed on injured reserve to make room for Athanasiou on the roster.

The mid-afternoon start means no morning skate for Detroit. Head coach Jeff Blashill said that the team’s roster would be determined after pre-game warmups. Jimmy Howard is the presumed starting goalie.

Stupid stat of the day: Since the 2005 NHL lockout, the Red Wings are 6-3-1 in games played at Joe Louis Arena starting at 3:00 PM.

Game time is 3:00 PM on FSD.

Zetterberg Scores Three as Red Wings Rally Past Sabres

Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg scored a third-period hat trick on Sunday night, capping the Red Wings’ come-from-behind win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Zetterberg’s first came just 1:59 into the final frame and the game already tied 3-3. Pavel Datsyuk‘s shot from the high slot made it through traffic to Buffalo netminder Jhonas Enroth, who made a pad stop. Zetterberg was on the doorstep, however, and he grabbed the rebound and backhanded a shot into the back of the net to give the Red Wings their first lead.

At 5:05 of the period, Zetterberg took a feed from Gustav Nyquist and snapped a shot past Enroth from the front of the net for a power play goal and a 5-3 lead.

Tyler Ennis scored his second of the night 3:26 later to pull the Sabres back to within a goal. Off a faceoff win in the left circle, Ennis gathered up the puck and spun to throw a shot on net, with the puck just trickling between the pads of Detroit goalie Tom McCollum.

Zetterberg rounded out the game’s scoring with 8:01 left, snapping a shot from the left circle on Enroth that found it’s way through and in.

Three first period goals by Buffalo had given the Sabres an early lead and chased Detroit starter Petr Mrazek from the crease.

At 1:46 of the period, Drew Stafford fired a shot from the inside edge of the right circle to beat Mrazek. A turnover in the opposite corner behind the Detroit net got the puck to Cody Hodgson, who sent a centering pass to Stafford for the shot.

Ennis’ first goal of the game made it 2-0 with 9:39 left. Ennis threw a shot from low on the right wing towards the goal and it deflected off of defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, beating Mrazek as Matt Moulson crashed the net.

Chris Stewart’s power play goal 3:18 later gave Buffalo the three-goal lead. Stewart deflected Ennis’ shot from the top of the left circle while positioned in front of the net.

McCollum would take over for Mrazek at that point.

Nyquist would score on the power play just 1:00 into the second to start Detroit’s comeback. Zetterberg’s high shot from the top of the left circle deflected off Tyson Strachan‘s head and came to Nyquist in the slot. Enroth stopped Nyquist’s first chance but he batted the rebound out of mid-air and into the net to make it 3-1.

Drew Miller‘s spinning shot from the inside edge of the left circle made it 3-2 3:07 later.

Tomas Tatar would complete the comeback eight seconds past the game’s midway point. After losing the puck in the slot, Tatar snatched it back and whipped a quick shot past Enroth for a 3-3 tie.

The Sabres finished the night one-for-three on the power play while the Red Wings went two-for-four.

McCollum stopped seven of the eight shots he faced to earn his first-ever National Hockey League win. Mrazek made four saves on seven shots before getting pulled, while Enroth stopped 20 of 26 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings are next in action on Tuesday when they host the Minnesota Wild in their last game before the All-Star break.