Franzen’s Five Goals Carry Red Wings over Senators

Johan Franzen scored five goals Wednesday night, equaling the output of the Ottawa Senators as the Detroit Red Wings earned a 7-5 win.

The five goals were the most by a Red Wing since Sergei Fedorov scored all of the Detroit goals in a 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals on December 26, 1996.

Ottawa’s Alexei Kovalev opened the game’s scoring just 1:15 in, when he lifted a shot over scrambling Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard for a power play goal.

Franzen scored his first at 6:52 of the opening period, banging the puck past Ottawa netminder Robin Lehner from the side of the crease.

Just 48 seconds later, Franzen made it 2-1 when he beat Lehner from the high slot off a feed from Henrik Zetterberg.

The Senators replied one minute later, with Peter Regin deflecting a shot from Kovalev past Howard to tie the game back up.

With 8:48 left in the period, Daniel Alfredsson found a wide open Chris Campoli in the left faceoff circle to snap a shot past Howard, putting Ottawa up 3-2.

Kris Draper put a rebound chance past Lehner with 9:24 left in the second period and Niklas Kronwall blasted a shot into the back of the net 13 seconds later to make it 4-3 Detroit and chase Lehner from the net.

Milan Michalek tied the game back up 29 seconds after Kronwall’s goal, beating Howard on his own rebound chance to make it 4-4.

Franzen’s third of the night came just 30 seconds into the third period. He snapped a shot from the left faceoff dot past Brian Elliot on a rush and a Detroit power play.

Michalek’s second goal of the game tied it back up 29 seconds later. He tipped a Kovalev shot past Howard to make it 5-5.

Franzen scored on a two-man advantage at 7:10 of the third to put the Red Wings back out in front. Brian Rafalski‘s shot went wide of Elliot but the puck bounced off the back boards and came out the other side, where Franzen lifted it into the net.

The Senators appeared to tie the game with about eight minutes left when Chris Neil poked the puck out from under Howard and into the net but the play was blown down.

With 34 seconds left, Franzen completed the scoring, adding an empty net goal.

The Red Wings finished the night with two goals on three power play chances. The Senators scored once on two power play tries.

Howard made 29 saves on 34 Ottawa shots. Lehner stopped 15 of 19 shots faced while Elliot took the loss, stopping 16 of 18 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings are back in action on Friday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Danny Cleary returned to the Detroit lineup after missing 14 games with a broken ankle… Pavel Datsyuk is expected to return from his broken hand on Friday or Saturday. Tomas Holmstrom could also return from injury this weekend.

Stating the Obvious: The Red Wings Lucked Out Again

I said it when Detroit beat New Jersey and I’ll say it again tonight: The Red Wings caught a break.

Last Wednesday, Ilya Kovalchuk appeared to tie the game late. He was ruled to have pushed Jimmy Howard into the net with the puck, even though replay showed that not to be the case.

Tonight, the Senators appeared to tie the game with about eight minutes left when Chris Neil jammed the puck past Jimmy Howard. There’ll be an uproar about this one and some of it is right.

Howard made an initial save and the puck was under him. Neil jumped in and knocked it loose and into the net. In the time that the puck was under Howard, the referee deemed play to be stopped but he didn’t blow the whistle until after the puck was in the net.

It’s an infamous “quick whistle” combined with the dreaded “intent to blow” rule.

From a technical standpoint, the call was the right one. The ref lost sight of the puck so he had to blow play dead. He was slow on the whistle so “intent to blow” comes into play.

The explained call was wrong, however. After replay – which shouldn’t have mattered as the call was not reviewable – it was announced that the goal was called back because Howard was pushed into the net with the puck.

Much as in the New Jersey game, this simply did not happen.

Quick decision to stop play? Weak but explainable. “Intent to blow” rule? No one seems to like it but it’s in play here. Goalie pushed into the net? Absolutely not the case.

The call that was explained was wrong and the call that appeared to actually be made was weak. The Wings lucked out.

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