This pregame report is brought to you by hand-me down-snowblowers. Hand-me-down snowblowers, clearing my driveway since about 45 minutes ago.
Mike Babcock did his equivalent of tearing his team a new one in the press today. You’re not gonna get any argument from me.
It looks like the Wings will use the same lineup they lost in Boston with, save for Chris Osgood getting the start. Hopefully that’s not a pun.
Tomas Holmstrom and Chris Chelios practiced but will not return tonight, instead aiming for Thursday.
Anaheim’s starting goalie is unknown. Jonas Hiller has filled in remarkably for Jean-Sebastien Giguere but faced a heavy workload last night in Raleigh. Giguere has been on the ice only once in the last week, having had to left the team to deal with a family issue.
The Detroit Red Wings held the Anaheim Ducks to a season-low 16 shots Monday night, with goaltender Chris Osgood stopping all but one as the Wings earned a hard-fought 2-1 win.
Chris Kunitz scored Anaheim’s lone goal just 1:50 into the game as he and Teemu Selanne pressured Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart into coughing up the puck behind the Wings’ net.
Selanne moved out to Osgood’s left but pushed the puck off to Kunitz, who came out to the right side of the Detroit netminder and backhanded a shot into the back of the net.
The Red Wings battled back, firing 38 shots on Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere in the first two periods. With 5:34 left in the second, one of those found its way through as Nicklas Lidstrom sent a shot from the blue line that was tipped in front by Johan Franzen.
The goal was Franzen’s 100th career point and 60th career goal.
Giguere succumbed to dehydration in his first game in over a week and was forced to leave the game to start the third period, replaced by Jonas Hiller.
Hiller would stop eight of nine shots against but it was the first that slipped through, just 1:48 into the third.
Dan Cleary raced into the zone on a two-on-one with Marian Hossa, feeding the puck across for a shot by Hossa off the stick of defender Bret Hedican and between Hiller’s pads.
The Red Wings’ 47 total shots were a season-high for the team.
Neither team scored on the power play. Detroit had four tries with the extra attacker while Anaheim had two.
The Red Wings return to the ice on Thursday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.
Aside from the first five to ten minutes, this might have been the Red Wings’ strongest game of the season.
Their defense (again, aside from the start) was rock solid and Chris Osgood made the stops he had to.
It would have been nice to see more pucks behind Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Jonas Hiller but the shots were there and that’s a start.
Ken and Mickey mentioned it but the breakout passes started getting too cute late in the third. There were also a lot of wasted shots, so it’s not as though there aren’t still things to work on, but this was definitely a step forward if the Red Wings can build on it.