The Detroit Red Wings scored all of their goals in the first 30 minutes Wednesday against Minnesota, holding off the Wild for the last 30 minutes of play to pick up a 3-1 win.
After Detroit finished scoring, Minnesota outshot the Red Wings but couldn’t get the puck in the net enough to even things up.
Kirk Maltby got Detroit on the board just 16 seconds into the game. Johan Franzen threw the puck on net from the right circle and Maltby tipped it into the pads of goaltender Niklas Backstrom. The rebound deflected off the leg of defender Keith Carney and back past Backstrom to put Detroit up, 1-0.
Henrik Zetterberg extended the lead at 4:03 of the second, getting a pass from behind the net and kicking it from his skate to his stick before wristing a shot over Backstrom’s blocker.
Franzen added a goal of his own 2:44 later, putting the puck past Backstrom from an acute angle in the left circle.
After that, the Red Wings were content to sit back and hold on to their lead.
Pavol Demitra scored Minnesota’s lone goal with 2:46 remaining, putting in the second rebound off a series of Wild chances that left Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek lying on the ice.
Despite outshooting Detroit 10-5 in the final frame, Minnesota couldn’t get another goal.
Hasek finished the night with 32 saves on 33 shots, while Backstrom stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced.
Neither team scored on the power play. Detroit had six chances with the extra skater and Minnesota had three.
The Red Wings will be back in action on Thursday night when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets. As it will be the second game in as many nights, Chris Osgood will be expected to start in goal for Detroit.
Danny Markov made his return from injury, playing 18:05. To make room for Markov, Andreas Lilja was a healthy scratch… Robert Lang played only 6:05 before leaving the game with the flu during the first intermission… Mikael Samuelsson did not return from a groin injury as had been previously expected, Josh Langfeld was called up from Grand Rapids to take his place in the lineup.