Detroit goalie Chris Osgood kept a shutout going for just over fifty minutes Friday night, finishing the night with 31 saves en route to a 6-3 win for the Red Wings over the Atlanta Thrashers.
Osgood stopped Rich Peverley twice and kept out a chance by Ilya Kovalchuk to keep the Thrashers off the board early.
“Osgood made some great saves in the first period,” Thrashers head coach John Anderson said. “Games change complexion when one team is down or us and if we had gotten up, it might have changed the way we played.”
Brian Rafalski scored the game’s first goal with 6:20 left in the first period, jumping up from the right point to snap a shot past Atlanta netminder Kari Lehtonen.
Pavel Datsyuk extended the Detroit lead just seconds after Kovalchuk failed to score, snapping a wrister from the left circle past Lehtonen on a rush with Johan Franzen.
Jiri Hudler made it 3-0 just two minutes later, scoring on a breakaway.
The teams traded third-period goals three times. Johan Franzen and Bryan Little each scored on the power play, then Marian Hossa and Vyacheslav Kozlov scored less than two minutes apart. Dan Cleary and Colin Stuart wrapped up the scoring.
Some early morning notes before I head off to Atlanta…
Chris Osgood will make his fourth consecutive start for the Red Wings tonight. He’s 3-0 in his last three, winning on back-to-back days over the weekend and then again on Tuesday.
Tomas Holmstrom remains out and will not return until at least next Friday’s game against the New York Islanders.
Valtteri Filppula completed most of the Wings’ Thursday practice but his status for the game won’t be determined until after the morning skate. Today is his 25th birthday.
For the Thrashers, Ilya Kovalchuk returns to the lineup after missing three games.
This will be Marian Hossa‘s first game in Atlanta as a Red Wing. He played for the Thrashers for three seasons before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins at last year’s trade deadline.