Stuart’s Save Can’t Stop Blues From Defeating Red Wings

Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart sprawled out in the crease behind goalie Jimmy Howard and swatted a puck off the goal line late in the first period but the superb defensive effort wasn’t enough to keep the St. Louis Blues from a 3-2 win over the Red Wings.

Stuart saved a sure goal, being careful not to close his hand on the puck as he knocked it away to keep the game scoreless.

Johan Franzen opened the game’s scoring at 7:42 of the second period. Franzen carried the puck from the bottom of the right faceoff circle to the crease, driving at goalie Brian Elliot and lifting a shot from in close off his shoulder and into the net for a power play goal.

Alexander Steen would even things up on a St. Louis power play goal just 1:38 later. Jason Arnott won a draw in the right circle back to Steen, who blasted a shot from the high slot past Howard.

David Backes scored another power play goal just 45 seconds into the third period. Backes was left at the top of the crease by Jonathan Ericsson, who failed to cut off a pass from T.J. Oshie. All alone, Backes knocked the puck into the open side of the net.

Patrick Berglund rifled a shot past Howard at 2:38 of the period to make it 3-1 in favor of the Blues. Berglund was coming into the Detroit zone two-on-two but both defenders covered David Perron, leaving Berglund open to take a shot.

Jiri Hudler tipped a Danny Cleary shot past Elliot with 1:20 left in regulation – also a power play goal – but the Red Wings were unable to even things up.

Each team scored twice on the power play. Detroit had seven tries with the extra attacker, including an eight second power play in the second period and 1.5 seconds to close out the game. St. Louis had eight tries, also with an eight second power play.

Howard stopped 23 of 26 shots faced. Elliot made 27 saves on 29 shots.

After going 1-2-0 on their three-game road trip, the Red Wings return home to face the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday.


Detroit was without forward Valtteri Filppula, who suffered a deep cut in his leg Sunday in Colorado. Cory Emmerton returned to the lineup in his place… Mike Commodore was the healthy scratch on defense.

Red Wings Reach All-Star Break with Win over Devils

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1 Wednesday night, wrapping up their January schedule as the NHL heads into the All-Star break.

Darren Helm opened the game’s scoring just 1:43 into the first period, picking off a pass from Mark Fraser at the New Jersey blue line and skating in all alone on Martin Brodeur, beating him over the shoulder.

Brian Rolston tied things up at 6:35 of the period, banging home the rebound of an Anton Volchenkov shot after Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard bobbled it.

Valtteri Filppula put the Red Wings back in front at 5:32 of the third period, taking a cross-ice feed from Jiri Hudler and snapping a shot past Brodeur from the left faceoff circle.

Ilya Kovalchuk appeared to tie the game late in the third but the referee ruled he had pushed Howard into the net with the puck. Replay would show this was not the case but the call on the ice stood as it was not reviewable.

Johan Franzen finished off the game’s scoring with 44 seconds left in the game, snapping a shot from the high slot past Brodeur on a rush into the zone.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Each team had three tries with the extra attacker, though all of Detroit’s came on a double-minor and an overlapping penalty for a long five-on-three.

Howard stopped 23 of the 24 shots he faced. Brodeur made 26 saves on 29 shots against.

The Red Wings are off until next Wednesday when they visit the Ottawa Senators.


Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom is the only Red Wing going to the All-Star Game. He will captain one of teams there… The Red Wings expect Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary to return from injury in Ottawa. Tomas Holmstrom is expected to return shortly after.

Stating the Obvious: The Wings Lucked Out

I spend enough time questioning the officiating when it goes against the Red Wings that it would be hypocritical of me not to do to so tonight.

With Detroit up 2-1 in the game’s closing minutes, Ilya Kovalchuk poked a loose puck past Jimmy Howard. Tie game? Nope. The referee ruled that Howard had been pushed in with the puck.

Replay shows this is clearly the wrong call. The puck was loose and the goal should have been good. But the ref couldn’t have been in position to see that.

This is a case where more replay has to be allowed. Either that or more input from the other officials on the ice.

None of the spots on the ice where that ref should have been would have allowed him to see the other side of Howard’s pad. Based on a strict interpretation of the rules – the kind of interpretation that the Wings get burned on with “intent to blow” calls – the referee can never make the right call because he will never be able to see exactly what’s happening.

The Red Wings lucked out on this one but that doesn’t change the fact that it was a bad call made possible by flawed rules. It’s time to accept the simple fact that the referee can’t see everything on the ice.