Blue Jackets’ Rally Extends Wings’ Losing Streak to Five Games

Vinny Prospal of the Columbus Blue Jackets scored with 24.7 seconds remaining in regulation on Thursday night, giving Columbus a come-from-behind win over the Detroit Red Wings and extending Detroit’s losing streak to five games.

In the waning moments of the game, Prospal joined Derek Dorsett and James Wisniewski on a three-on-two into the Detroit zone. Dorsett sent the puck to Wisniewski at the top of the left faceoff circle while Prospal went to the front of the net. Rather than shooting, Wisniewski passed to Prospal, who shoveled a spinning backhander past Red Wings’ goalie Jimmy Howard.

The goal capped a comeback from down 2-0 less than three minutes in.

R.J. Umberger got Columbus on the board with a power play goal at 4:23 of the first period. Jack Johnson’s shot from the blue line was knocked down at the top of the crease by Cam Atkinson. Umberger gathered up the loose puck and flipped it past Howard to make it 2-1.

After a scoreless second period, Dorsett tied things up at 5:03 of the third. Off a giveaway in the corner to the right of Howard, Derrick Brassard carried the puck out into the slot and put a shot on net. Dorsett got the rebound and put it around Howard.

Damien Brunner had opened the game’s scoring just 18 seconds into the game. Brunner picked off an attempted pass behind the Columbus net and wrapped around, eventually knocking in his own rebound.

At 2:40 of the period, Brian Lashoff collected the rebound of his own blocked shot and put it back on net, with it deflecting off of Valtteri Filppula on the way and beating Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to make it 2-0.

Bobrovsky finished the night with 28 saves on 30 shots. Howard stopped 21 of 24 shots.

Umberger’s goal was the only one on the power play on the night. Columbus had three tries with the extra attacker while Detroit had four.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday when they host the Nashville Predators.


Blue Jackets forward Artem Anisimov had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher early in the second period after a collision with Detroit’s Kyle Quincey and Ian White. Quincey left the game with an apparent leg injury on the same play… Jan Mursak played his first game since the season opener, returning from a shoulder injury.

Brunner Scores Shootout Winner for Red Wings in Columbus

Playing in only his second career NHL game, Damien Brunner was the hero for the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night, scoring in the fourth round of the shootout to lift Detroit past the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Brunner faked out Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, dragging the puck to his left to jam it between the post and Bobrovsky’s outstretched pad for the only goal of the shootout.

Pavel Datsyuk, Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg failed to score for Detroit earlier in the shootout. Cam Atkinson, Artem Anisimov, Ryan Johansen and Matt Calvert were held off by Detroit’s Jimmy Howard, though Atkinson appeared to score before video review showed that he took two shots by knocking in a rebound chance.

After a scoreless first period, Red Wings’ defenseman Brian Lashoff, making his first NHL appearance in place of the injured Jonathan Ericsson, opened the game’s scoring at 1:10 of the second. After Mikael Samuelsson‘s one-timer from the top of the left faceoff circle was blocked, Samuelsson got the rebound and sent it to Lashoff at the blue line for a blast that found its way through a Johan Franzen screen and past Bobrovsky.

Detroit’s defense contributed again to make it 2-0 with 5:54 left in the period. Franzen lugged the puck through the left circle and drew a group of defenders to him before sending it across to Ian White in the right circle for a shot over Bobrovsky and under the bar, into the top of the net.

The Blue Jackets began their rally 1:14 later. Atkinson split Kyle Quincey and Brendan Smith after taking a pass from Johansen, breaking in alone to beat Howard.

At 3:24 of the third period, James Wisniewski fired a blast from the blue line with the Blue Jackets on a power play to tie things up.

Vinny Prospal put Columbus out in front with another power play goal at 8:43 of the third. Nikita Nikitin’s shot from up high bounced off the glass behind the net and came back out front. With Howard spun around, Prospal put home the rebound from the slot to make it 3-2.

Datsyuk made it 3-3 with 6:04 left in regulation, just as a Detroit power play expired. Niklas Kronwall got the puck all alone in the slot and raced down the middle. His delay drew everyone to him, leaving Datsyuk wide open at the side of the net to take a pass and knock the puck home.

Because that goal came just seconds late, the Red Wings finished the night scoreless on seven power play tries. Columbus had two goals on seven attempts with the extra attacker.

Howard made 30 saves on 33 Columbus shots on the night to earn his first win of the season. Bobrovsky stopped 39 of the Red Wings’ 42 chances.

The Red Wings are right back in it on Tuesday when the host the Dallas Stars in their home opener.


In addition to Ericsson, Detroit was without forwards Todd Bertuzzi, Darren Helm and Jan Mursak, backup netminder Jonas Gustavsson, and defenseman Jakub Kindl. They also lost defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to injury in the third period… Forward Patrick Eaves made his first appearance in 14 months, returning from post-concussion syndrome to take Mursak’s spot in the lineup… New Red Wing Jordin Tootoo fought Jared Boll off the opening faceoff.

NHLPA Charity Game Rosters Announced

Per the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff, rosters for Saturday’s “Rock Out the Lockout” NHLPA charity game in Windsor have been announced.

Team Red
Justin Abdelkader, #8 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Clarkson, #23 (New Jersey Devils)
Johan Franzen, #93 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Legwand, #11 (Nashville Predators)
Jamal Mayers, #22 (Chicago Blackhawks)
Steve Ott, #29 (Buffalo Sabres)
Mikael Samuelsson, #37 (Detroit Red Wings)
Drew Stafford, #21 (Buffalo Sabres)
Thomas Vanek, #26 (Buffalo Sabres)
Kyle Wellwood, #13 (Winnipeg Jets)
Kevin Westgarth, #19 (Los Angeles Kings)

Jonathan Ericsson, #52 (Detroit Red Wings)
Niklas Kronwall, #55 (Detroit Red Wings)
Jordan Leopold, #3 (Buffalo Sabres)
Nick Schultz, #55 (Edmonton Oilers)
James Wisniewski, #21 (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Jonas Gustavsson, #50 (Detroit Red Wings)
Michael Leighton, #49 (Philadelphia Flyers)

Team Black
Todd Bertuzzi, #44 (Detroit Red Wings)
Adam Burish, #37 (San Jose Sharks)
Dan Cleary, #11 (Detroit Red Wings)
Matt Ellis, #37 (Buffalo Sabres)
Cory Emmerton, #48 (Detroit Red Wings)
Darren Helm, #43 (Detroit Red Wings)
Shawn Horcoff, #10 (Edmonton Oilers)
Matt Martin, #17 (New York Islanders)
Brenden Morrow, #10 (Dallas Stars)
James Neal, #18 (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Sergei Samsonov, #14

Trevor Daley, #6 (Dallas Stars)
Mike Komisarek, #8 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
John-Michael Liles, #24 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Jeff Petry, #58 (Edmonton Oilers)
Ian White, #18 (Detroit Red Wings)
Ryan Wilson, #44 (Colorado Avalanche)

Jimmy Howard, #35 (Detroit Red Wings)

All players will be available for a free autograph session in the WFCU Centre concourse from 4:45 – 5:30 PM. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM.

Update, 12/8 – 10:10 AM: Event co-organizer Steve Ott tweeted a full roster including jersey numbers this morning. There will be overlapping numbers in some cases. On Team Red, Drew Stafford and James Wisniewski will wear #21 while Niklas Kronwall and Nick Schultz will wear #55. For Team Black, Todd Bertuzzi and Ryan Wilson will both wear #44, Shawn Horcoff and Brendon Morrow will both wear #10, and James Neal and Ian White will both wear #18.

Free Agent Preview 2011

We’ve got under four hours until the NHL’s 2011 free agency season kicks off, so I’m going to take a quick look at the Red Wings’ roster, where they stand with their own free agents, and who they might be looking at on the market.

Forwards
Four forwards who were with Detroit last season are set to become free agents.Mike Modano won’t be back with the Wings but he’s not ruling out playing another year somewhere. His departure seems to have been a mutual decision as the team doesn’t have room for him and he didn’t have a particularly fun year in his hometown.

Kris Draper wants to return but has been told he won’t be offered a contract immediately. If the team can replace him they will.

Patrick Eaves is supposedly close to a deal to stay in Detroit but little is known about that. Reportedly, his concern is more about playing time than money.

Drew Miller has an offer on the table from the Wings but wants to test the open market. Like Eaves, he supposedly is looking for a place where he won’t have to worry about being a healthy scratch on a nightly basis.

Defensemen
The Red Wings kept Jonathan Ericsson in the fold, signing him to a (some might say ridiculous) three-year, $9.75 million deal last night. I don’t agree with the money but it gives Detroit six defensemen signed to NHL contracts for next season.

Detroit will look to replace the retired Brian Rafalski via free agency but their options are becoming limited. Christian Ehrhoff signed with Buffalo yesterday and James Wisniewski – long believed to be the Red Wings top target – seems to be set to sign a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tomas Kaberle is available as a third option from the top-tier talent but the Wings may have to look for a cheaper, less-talented player to round out their blueline corps. The name most mentioned to that extent is Ed Jovanovski.

If the Wings are looking to go cheap and roll the dice on defense, I’ve got a feeling about Sheldon Souray. Assuming a low contract, he’s the kind of low-risk, high reward guy Ken Holland likes to go after.

Of the team’s own free agents, neighter Ruslan Salei nor Derek Meech will be offered deals.

Goaltenders
Like Kris Draper, Chris Osgood won’t know if he’ll be back until the Red Wings are done shopping elsewhere. After injuries the last two seasons, the team is worried about Osgood’s health. With a relative glut of goalies on the market, he could be easily replaced. Former Osgood backup Ty Conklin is a possibility, among many others.

Joey MacDonald will not return to the Detroit organization. He’s looking for a one-way deal in the NHL or he’ll head to Russia. The Wings wanted him on a two-way deal so he could continue mentoring Thomas McCollum in Grand Rapids and be called on in Detroit if needed.

Abdelkader Replaces Kopecky in Game Five Lineup

Early news on Sunday’s Game Five… Justin Abdelkader will replace Tomas Kopecky in the Detroit lineup.

Kopecky is out after taking a hard punch in his fight with Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin in Game Four.

The News has Mike Babcock‘s reasoning for going with Abdelkader over Ville Leino or Aaron Downey. All three forwards were called up after the Grand Rapids Griffins were eliminated from the playoffs, along with defenseman Jakub Kindl and goalie Jimmy Howard.

“Because he’ll run over people,” Babcock said of Abdelkader. “We expect him to play hard like (Darren) Helm. He’s on the forecheck and he’s a physical guy. He scored 23 goals for them (Grand Rapids) this season and was one of their best players in the playoffs.”

Brian Rafalski and Kris Draper are doubtful for the game. No word from the Ducks on the status of James Wisniewski.

Franzen, Hossa Each Score Twice as Red Wings Defeat Ducks

Johan Franzen and Marian Hossa each scored two goals Thursday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks and evening their Western Conference Semifinal series at two games apiece.

Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for the Red Wings.

Franzen’s goals both came in the first period.

With 8:11 left in the frame, Franzen took a drop pass from Valtteri Filppula and snapped a shot from the high slot past Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller, tying the game.

Franzen gave the Wings the lead with 36 seconds left in the first, tipping a Niklas Kronwall shot from the point past Hiller.

Corey Perry scored the Ducks’ first two goals, matching Franzen to have the game tied with 8:57 left in the second period.

Perry’s first came just 42 seconds into the game, taking a stretch pass from Chris Pronger during a bad change by the Detroit defense and snapping a shot past netminder Chris Osgood.

Perry tied the game on a bit of a broken play, as Ryan Getzlaf gained the zone while fighting of both Jonathan Ericsson and Nicklas Lidstrom, dropping the puck to Perry for a long blast.

Marian Hossa broke the tie and scored the eventual game-winner in a 3:02 span late in the second.

Hossa put a wrister from the right faceoff circle past Hiller with 3:58 left in the period, then beat him with a power play slap shot with 56 seconds left.

Samuelsson found the top corner on Hiller on a rush at 2:46 of the third.

Scott Niedermayer scored a power play goal with 9:57 left in regulation, pulling the Ducks to back within a pair, but Zetterberg’s empty-net goal with 2:33 remaining finished off the scoring.

Each team finished the night with a power play goal. The Red Wings had five power play tries while the Ducks had three, though two of those for each team were short.

Osgood made 25 saves on 28 shots against. Hiller stopped 28 of 33 Detroit chances before being pulled after Samuelsson’s goal. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped all six shots that came his way in relief.

The two teams will meet again on Sunday as the series shifts back to Detroit for Game Five.


The Red Wings were once again without Brian Rafalski and Kris Draper… The Ducks were without James Wisniewski, who was injured while taking a puck to the chest in Game Three.

Game Four Pregame Notes

We’ve got about as much of a “must-win” as possible without being an elimination game on our hands tonight. A Detroit win brings the Red Wings back home tied in the series and with home-ice restored. A loss and they need three wins in a row to stay alive.

Even after getting a supremely lucky call to save them from overtime, the Ducks are still complaining about how evil and dirty the Red Wings are. Yawn.

Anaheim will be without defenseman James Wisniewski. Brett Festerling takes his spot on the Ducks’ blueline.

The Wings remain without Brian Rafalski and Kris Draper, who are pretty much gonna be cruxified if this season doesn’t end well and it turns out their injuries weren’t serious.

The game’s on Versus after the ‘Hawks and Canucks, which has just about no chance of ending before 10:30 so no one has any idea what will happen for those of us who don’t give a damn about that series.

Red Wings to Face Ducks in Second Round

The Detroit Red Wings found out their second-round opponent Monday night. The Anaheim Ducks completed a six-game upset of the San Jose Sharks, advancing to face the Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Had the Sharks managed to come back to beat the Ducks, the Red Wings would have faced the Vancouver Canucks.

The Red Wings were 3-1 against the Ducks this season but both teams made significant changes after their last meeting. Detroit “flipped a switch” at the start of the playoffs, changing their style of play with stronger defense and better goaltending. Anaheim acquired defenseman Ryan Whitney for Chris Kunitz and James Wisniewski for Samuel Pahlsson, got Francois Beauchemin back from injury, and has been getting stellar goaltending from Jonas Hiller.

Red Wings Fall to Blackhawks in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings blew a 3-1 lead Saturday night, falling to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in the team’s second shootout in as many games.

Rookie Patrick Kane scored the only goal of the tiebreaker, beating Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek on Chicago’s first shot. Hasek stopped Yanic Perrault while Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin stopped Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Jiri Hudler.

The Red Wings took an early lead just seconds after Dallas Drake and James Wisniewski squared off in Drake’s second fight of the season at 5:10 of the first period.

Brian Rafalski blasted a power play goal past Khabibulin 17 seconds later, rifling a shot from the top of the left circle.

Nicklas Lidstrom gave Detroit their first two-goal lead of the season just 1:39 into the second period. With the teams skating four-on-four, Henrik Zetterberg beat former Red Wing Robert Lang on a faceoff in the left circle of the Chicago zone. The puck went back to Lidstrom and he put a blast from the blue line past Khabibulin.

Tuomo Ruutu pulled Chicago back to within one at 9:43 of the second, scoring on an odd-man rush.

Tomas Holmstrom made the score 3-1 just five seconds into a Detroit power play at 10:55 of the middle frame, tipping a Rafalski shot into the Chicago net.

The Red Wings thought they had taken a 4-1 lead on a power play early in the third period. The apparent rebound goal was called back when referee Chris Rooney quickly lost sight of the puck.

On the same power play, Wisniewski would notch a shorthanded goal for the Blackhawks to make it 3-2.

With just 3:40 remaining in regulation, Lang tied things up with a quick wrister over Hasek’s left shoulder.

The Blackhawks finished the game with 27 shots to Detroit’s 26.


Johan Franzen left the game early in the second period with an apparent knee injury. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday.

Holmstrom Scores Twice as Red Wings Defeat Blackhawks

Tomas Holmstrom scored twice and three other Red Wings had multi-point nights as Detroit picked up a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night.

New acquisition Kyle Calder was one of the two-point scorers for Detroit, picking up a goal and an assist in his first game for his new team. Linemate Johan Franzen also had a goal and an assist, while Pavel Datsyuk added two helpers.

Calder’s goal at 1:46 of the first period came on his first shift as a Red Wing. With Calder cutting to the Chicago net, Franzen threw the puck out front from behind the goal and Calder grabbed it to throw past netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.

Holmstrom’s first goal, scored with 7:09 remaining in the second period, would be the eventual game-winner. Datsyuk banged at the puck from the side of the crease and it came out the other side, where Holmstrom chipped it into the net.

Franzen and Calder hooked up again for Detroit’s third goal. Calder sent a long outlet pass off the right wing boards and Franzen raced Chicago’s James Wisniewski to the puck in the right circle of the Blackhawk zone. Franzen spun quickly and put a shot between the defender’s legs and past Khabibulin with 58 seconds remaining in the middle period.

Holmstrom added a power play goal to round out Detroit’s scoring at 9:18 of the third, putting home a rebound after a big stop by Khabibulin on Nicklas Lidstrom.

Jeff Hamilton broke Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek‘s shutout with 1:00 remaining in regulation, putting a quick wrister from the right circle off the crossbar and into the net.

Holmstrom’s second goal was Detroit’s only power play tally in five tries while Chicago was held scoreless on three attempts with the extra attacker, including a long 5-on-3 in the second period.

Hasek made 24 saves on 25 shots. Khabibulin stopped 24 of 28 shots against.

The two teams will meet again on Friday in Detroit for the second half of the home-and-home series.


Calder’s goal was the second time in as many seasons that a Detroit trade-deadline acquisition scored on his first shift and first shot with the Red Wings. Cory Cross did it last season, also against the Blackhawks… The Red Wings were without Henrik Zetterberg (back spasms), who is expected to return to the lineup for Friday’s game. Chris Chelios was rested, with Andreas Lilja taking his spot on the blue line.