Red Wings Shake Off Celebration Buzz to Beat Ducks

For the first period after the Detroit Red Wings spent more than an hour honoring former captain Steve Yzerman by raising his number 19 to the Joe Louis Arena rafters, his team looked like they could use some of his veteran leadership. For the final 40 minutes of play, however, they took control of the game to pick up a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

The Red Wings managed only two shots in the first twenty minutes but managed to hold the NHL-leading Ducks to nine.

The two teams would come out blazing in the second, each scoring once in the first 3:24.

One minute into the period, just 5 seconds after the start of a Detroit power play, Mathieu Schneider opened the game’s scoring with a blast from the top of the left faceoff circle.

Only 2:24 later, Ryan Getzlaf tied the game back up with the Ducks skating on a 5-on-3.

With 3:09 remaining in the period, Henrik Zetterberg scored the eventual game-winner for Detroit off a pretty pass from Tomas Holmstrom. With the puck at the bottom of the right circle, Holmstrom spun to throw a behind-the-back pass to Zetterberg in the slot for a quick wrister past Anaheim netminder Ilja Bryzgalov.

The Red Wings and goalie Dominik Hasek turned back all seven Anaheim shots in the third to preserve the lead and earn the win.

In all, Hasek made 21 saves on 22 shots while Dryzgalov stopped 28 of 30 shots against.

Both teams went 1-for-5 on the power play.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Thursday night when they visit the San Jose Sharks to kick off a five-game road trip.

Detroit was without Pavel Datsyuk and Chris Chelios, each recovering from injury. Josh Langfeld was called up from Grand Rapids to play in Datsyuk’s place.

Yzerman Night Preparations

It’s been awhile since I blogged, with nothing fantastic or fantastically bad to scream about, so I figured I’d add the following information and rumors as a public service announcement.

For those lucky enough to have tickets to the January 2 game against the Anaheim Ducks – a group which I am extremely thankful to be a part of – the Red Wings are finally putting out information about the pre-game events surrounding Steve Yzerman‘s number retirement.

The game is scheduled for 7:30 PM but the pre-game ceremony will begin at 6:30. Joe Louis Arena doors will open at 5:00.

There will be giveaways for fans in attendance but I don’t know exactly what those will be. The same giveaways will be available at the Hockeytown Cafe.

There are rumors that the JLA camera policy will be relaxed for the night but, considering that the arena raised their minimum lens size this season already, that might not be true.

I do not know if pre-game warmups will take place before or after the ceremony. In previous ceremonies by other teams, warmups were followed by the sweater retirement and then the game began. However, those ceremonies usually were conducted at the scheduled game time, this one is an hour early.

I will provide more information as it becomes available and I encourage readers who know more to post in the DH.N forums.

Yzerman’s Jersey to be Retired After New Year

The Red Wings made official on Wednesday what has been known for years: No Detroit player will ever again wear Steve Yzerman‘s No. 19 jersey.

The team announced that Yzerman’s number will be raised to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena on January 2, 2007, when the Red Wings host the Anaheim Ducks.

It will be the Red Wings’ sixth officially retired number. Terry Sawchuck’s No. 1, Ted Lindsay‘s No. 7, Gordie Howe‘s No. 9, Alex Delvecchio‘s No. 10 and Sid Abel’s No. 12 are all honored by banners at the Joe. As well, Larry Aurie’s No. 6 and Vladimir Konstantinov‘s No. 16 are no longer used by the team but do not hang from the arena’s rafters.

“For a long time, there was no doubt in ownership’s mind that Steve Yzerman would play his entire career with the Detroit Red Wings and that his sweater would fittingly go up into the rafters along with the other all-time greatest Red Wing players – Abel, Delvecchio, Howe, Lindsay and Sawchuk,” Red Wings senior vice-president Jim Devellano said in a statement.

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