The Detroit Red Wings were without two of their top three forwards and two of their top four defensemen Tuesday night and the Columbus Blue Jackets took advantage, with their top player scoring all three of the team’s goal in a 3-2 overtime win.
The Red Wings started the game short a man due to the suspensions of Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk and the injury of Brad Stuart. They then lost Henrik Zetterberg to back spasms with about 5:00 left in the first period.
Rick Nash scored on the power play, while shorthanded, and during the four-on-four overtime to carry his team to the win. Detroit got goals from Marian Hossa and Brett Lebda.
Hossa opened the game’s scoring on a power play at 8:55 of the first period, banging home the rebound of a Niklas Kronwall shot from the blue line that missed the Columbus net.
Nash tied the game with 8:55 left in the second period, scoring a shorthanded goal on a breakaway after a giveaway by Derek Meech.
Lebda put the Wings in front again 29 seconds later, hesitating at the blue line to let a screen form in front of goalie Steve Mason before blasting a shot over his shoulder.
Nash’s power play goal evened things up less than two minutes after that as he scored on a seemingly-harmless shot from along the goal line that deflected off of Brian Rafalski before bouncing off of netminder Chris Osgood‘s back and in.
The game-winning goal came 3:27 into OT when a bouncing puck came to Nash at the side of the net and he put it in behind Osgood.
Osgood finished the night with 20 saves on 23 shots against. Mason made 21 saves on the same number of shots.
It’s the beginning of the end of the All-Star mess. Once this game’s out of the way the psuedo-suspension of Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk will be over and maybe we can talk about something else.
Obviously those two are out tonight. Brad Stuart is also out, recovering from the crash into the boards he suffered in Phoenix. Johan Franzen is expected to be back in the lineup so with Chris Chelios and Derek Meetch on the blue line that leaves the Wings down just one man, going with 17 skaters.
Chris Osgood gets the start in net and he’s pretty p*ssed about being without Datsyuk and Lidstrom.
“In the salary-cap era, the league is built for different teams to win every year, so it wouldn’t be good if we won again, would it?” Osgood says. “You see a lot of commercials with us in it? Most of it is Pittsburgh scoring on us (in the Final) and we’re the team that won. I think we’re the New York Yankees of the N.H.L. People dislike us. We have our fans, but there probably are a lot of people that love to see us lose and love to see us get guys suspended. We look at that as a nice challenge.”
Expect him to be “suspended” when the league determines he needs extra time to rest his tongue or something like that.
Columbus gets to have Steve Mason start in net, even though he skipped out on the YoungStars game on Saturday. Colin Campbell says that’s not even a real game, as opposed to the uber-important ASG in which no defense is played and there is no hitting.
The buzz all day has been that Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk will be suspended one game for missing the All-Star Game this weekend.
Honestly, I have no words for this. Malik has a couple posts about it. For those in a more embittered mood, Bill at A2Y has words as well.
I heard NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on NHL Home Ice on my way home, only caught a few minutes before turning it off lest I run someone off the road. His line was (and I’m paraphrasing) that for whatever reason, if a player needs to rest over the All-Star break then they need to rest for a regular season game, too.
Great, now we’ve got the NHL telling us how injured our players are. Fantastic.