Red Wings Fall to Blues in Overtime

The Detroit Red Wings earned a point Friday night but their winless streak continued as they fell in overtime to the St. Louis Blues. It was Detroit’s third loss in as many games.

Bill Guerin scored the game-winner for St. Louis just 1:09 into the extra period, banging in a rebound from an acute angle with the Blues on a rush.

Ryan Johnson scored a similar goal to open the game’s scoring as the late man on a 3-on-2 at 8:03 of the second period, putting a rebound chance past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

Detroit’s lone goal came 1:56 later on a nifty move by Johan Franzen. Franzen carried into the St. Louis zone and moved to his right through the slot to get around defender Dennis Wideman. Wideman stood his ground and Franzen lost the puck but he cut around the far side of Wideman as former Red Wing Jamie Rivers‘ clearing attempt went right onto Rivers stick and over goalie Manny Legace.

Osgood finished the game with 18 saves on 20 shots while Legace stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced.

Neither team scored on the power play, with Detroit getting two chances and St. Louis having five tries.

The game saw the Red Wings debut of Matt Hussey as one of three players called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins. He was joined by Matt Ellis and Josh Langfeld. Hussey and Ellis took the spots opened when Kris Draper and Robert Lang fell ill with the flu while Langfeld was called up to replace Mikael Samuelsson, out with a broken foot.

The Red Wings will look to end their skid on Sunday when they host the Colorado Avalanche.

Red Wings Add Cross, Deal Rivers at Trade Deadline

As the National Hockey League’s trade deadline came near on Thursday, the Detroit Red Wings made two moves to change up their defensive corps.

Jamie Rivers, in his second season with Detroit, was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes for a seventh-round draft pick in the 2007 NHL Entry draft.

In 15 games with the Red Wings this season, Rivers had an even plus/minus rating and tallied one assist.

“It’s tough to leave a contender, but it’s not a secret that I’ve been more of a depth guy this year and haven’t really contributed much in terms of games played,” Rivers told Canadian sports network TSN. “I just think it’s an opportunity to show that I can play more minutes in this league and maybe play a bigger role.

“You never know where the Coyotes might end up in a couple of years.”

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland then moved to add a grittier reserve defenseman to the team, picking up veteran Cory Cross from the Pittsburgh Penguins for a fourth-round draft pick in the 2007 draft.

“We’re very pleased to have Cory join the Red Wings,” Holland said. “He’s a veteran NHL defenseman that brings size, strength and depth to our blueline. He moves the puck well and will fit in to our style of game.”

Cross started the season with the Edmonton Oilers, playing 34 games before being traded to the Penguins on January 26. He only played six games with Pittsburgh before joining the Red Wings.

On the season, Cross has scored two goals, added four assists, and compiled a -6 plus/minus rating.

Late Goals Lead Red Wings over Blackhawks

The Detroit Red Wings scored three late goals Friday night to come from behind and earn a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime.

The Red Wings were trailing, 2-0, entering the final minute of regulation before notching goals with 39 and 7 seconds left in play to tie the game. They scored again with just tenths of a second left on the clock in overtime to earn the win.

With goaltender Chris Osgood on the bench for an extra attacker, Kris Draper scored Detroit’s first goal. Jason Woolley sent a hard pass from the blue line that Draper redirected in the slot past Chicago netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.

Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game for Detroit, putting a slap shot from the high slot into the net.

The Red Wings won the game on a disputed power play goal. In the game’s final second, Pavel Datsyuk took a pass at the side of the net from Jason Woolley and bounced a shot off the inside of Khabibulin’s pads and into the net.

The red goal light never went off and the official behind the goal signaled that time had run out but the goal was reviewed. The video goal judge determined that the puck was in the net before the clock ran out and the Red Wings left with the victory.

Chicago had opened the scoring in the first on a goal by Tyler Arnason. With 40 seconds left in the period, Mark Bell drove the Detroit net and a sprawling Osgood poked the puck away. It came out to Arnason, who was open to lift it over Osgood to put the Blackhawks up by a goal.

Former Red Wing Martin Lapointe extended the Chicago lead with 5:51 remaining in the second. The Blackhawks converted a Detroit turnover into a 3-on-1 and Lapointe carried the puck into the Red Wings’ zone. He sent it to Matthew Barnaby before heading to the side of the goal. Barnaby sent it back and Lapointe was open to tip it in, putting the Blackhawks up, 2-0.

The game marked the first time this season that the Red Wings headed to overtime in consecutive games, also having played an extra period on Tuesday against Columbus.

The Red Wings were outshot 24-17 across the first two periods before taking 17 third period shots and holding the Blackhawks to five. Osgood finished the game with 29 saves on 31 shots while Khabibulin stopped 34 of the 37 shots he faced.

Detroit scored on one of their six power play chances and held the Blackhawks without a goal on their three power play opportunities.

After the NHL’s Christmas break, the Red Wings return to action when they visit the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

Mikael Samuelsson was out with a leg injury but Mathieu Schneider returned to the lineup after missing one game with a charley horse. Defenseman Jamie Rivers remained in the lineup as the Red Wings opted to use seven defensemen and only eleven forwards.

Red Wings Finish Southeast Trip with Win over Lightning

A three-goal third period helped the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night as Detroit closed out a three-game Southeast Division road trip.

Mikael Samuelsson scored just 2:12 into the final frame to give the Red Wings their first lead of the game at 4-3. After the end of a Tampa Bay power play, the Red Wings took control and kept pressure on in the offensive zone. The Lightning never got properly set up and when a rebound came to Samuelsson off the right wing boards, he one-timed it back past goalie John Grahame and into the net.

Pavel Datsyuk scored 35 seconds later, putting in a rebound with Grahame out of position.

Sean Burke took over the net for the Lightning after the Datsyuk goal, his second of the night, but he couldn’t stop good friend Brendan Shanahan at 9:31 of the period.

With Detroit on the power play, Henrik Zetterberg took the puck behind the Tampa Bay goal and sent a pass out front to Shanahan, who was wide open outside the crease. He banged it in to close out the game’s scoring.

The Lightning had scored first when Rob DiMaio knocked a rebound out of the air on a power play at 4:29 of the first.

Detroit responded 1:24 later when Datsyuk scored his first of the night, rushing into the Tampa Bay zone and stepping around a defender to wrist a shot from the right circle into the far side of the net.

Tampa Bay regained the lead with another power play goal at 3:18 of the second, as captain Dave Andreychuk tipped a shot from the point between the pads of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood.

Johan Franzen tied the game again when he drove the net as Kris Draper fought his way to the side of the goal with the puck. Draper sent a centering pass to Franzen, who had a wide open net to score at 6:17.

Rookie Ryan Craig scored his first goal of the season to give the Lightning their final lead 2:27 later, tipping a shot from the point past Osgood.

Jason Woolley evened the game with 1:21 left in the middle period. Jason Williams sent a smart cross-ice pass from the point to Woolley as he streaked into the zone and through the left circle. Woolley moved quickly to put a shot past Grahame to tie the game after two periods.

The Red Wings finished the game converting one of their five power play chances and allowing two Lightning goals on their eight chances with the man-advantage.

Osgood stopped 28 of 31 shots against in net for Detroit while Grahame made 19 saves on 24 shots and Burke turned aside four of the five shots he faced.

Detroit is off until Thursday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Red Wings defenseman Mathieu Schneider left the game in the first period with a hamstring injury. He did not return… Jamie Rivers was inserted into the lineup in place of rookie Brett Lebda.

Red Wings Bounce Back with 7-3 Win over Avalanche

The Detroit Red Wings had a lot of reasons to be down heading into Wednesday night’s matchup with the archrival Colorado Avalanche.

On the ice, they were on a season-high four-game winless streak. Of the ice, concerns about defenseman Jiri Fischer‘s health were still at the front of everyone’s mind. And just 1:30 into the matchup they had another thing to come back from, as the Avs already had a 1-0 lead.

Detroit was able to get past all of that and pick up a 7-3 win over Colorado, a win that comes at the time when it is most needed.

After Andrew Brunette opened the game’s scoring with a power play goal, Detroit took over.

Mikael Samuelsson scored the first of his four points just 48 seconds later, at 2:18. Jason Williams skated around the Colorado net for a wraparound attempt and picked up his own rebound as he skated along the goal line to Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj‘s left. He sent a crossing pass through the crease and Samuelsson was on the far post to knock the puck in.

Robert Lang scored on a two-on-one with Samuelsson at 5:32 of the second to give the Wings their first lead of the game.

Ian Laperriere tied it 2:22 past the game’s midway point. Alex Tanguay controlled the puck behind the net and sent it out to Laperriere, who blasted home a shot from the slot.

Detroit regained the lead on Dan Cleary‘s first goal as a Red Wing just 2:19 later. Samuelsson ripped a shot on net from the right circle and it was kicked aside. The long rebound came to Cleary in the left circle, who rifled it through the scrambling Budaj.

A power play goal by Brendan Shanahan put Detroit up by two with 1:30 remaining in the period. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line that Shanahan tipped in front of the net, setting the score at 4-2 after two periods of play.

The Avalanche pulled to within one when John-Michael Liles scored at 7:14 of the third. Joe Sakic sent a pass from the right circle to Liles on the edge of Detroit goalie Manny Legace‘s crease. Liles put the puck on net and Legace got a piece of it but not enough.

With 4:16 left, another two-on-one put the Red Wings back up by two. Pavel Datsyuk made a quick move at the Detroit blue line to break past a defender and he and Jason Williams faced Budaj and a lone defenseman. Datsyuk got the puck to Williams, who redirected it into the net from the top of the crease.

Samuelsson added his second goal and fourth point of the night with a wicked wrist shot from the slot just 55 seconds later and Johan Franzen added a shorthanded empty-net goal with 54 seconds remaining.

Legace ended the night with 24 saves on 27 shots, while Budaj stopped 22 of the 28 shots he faced.

The Detroit power play went one-for-three on the night. Colorado, whose power play had been slumping of late, scored on two of their seven opportunities.

The Red Wings will be back in action for an afternoon game from Anaheim on Friday.

Jamie Rivers took Fischer’s spot in the Red Wings lineup and Kyle Quincey was called up from Grand Rapids to serve as an extra defenseman… Fischer was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon and has been placed on the 24-day disabled list. Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill expects the situation to be sorted out in a month to six weeks.

Red Wings Complete Sweep of Blackhawks with 4-1 Win

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks for the third time in six nights on Tuesday, completing a sweep of their three-game home-and-home-and-home series with a 4-1 win. The win gives the Red Wings nine-straight wins and a league-leading 12-1 record.

Detroit got a scare early when record-setting goalie Manny Legace was forced to leave the game during the first period with what was described as a strained left knee.

While fighting for position in front of the crease, Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer knocked Chicago’s Matthew Barnaby backwards onto Legace leg. As Legace lie on the ice, Fischer and Barnaby fought to a draw, with each player receiving a five-minute penalty. Legace left the game and was replaced by Chris Osgood, who defeated the Blackhawks on Saturday in his only NHL action of the season.

Osgood proved to be up to the task, playing the remaining 43:23 and allowing only one goal.

Detroit opened the scoring before Legace left the game with a goal by Kirk Maltby with 4:01 remaining in the period. Steve Yzerman sent a pass from the right point to Maltby as he broke into the Chicago zone alone. Maltby fired a shot from the high slot that bounced off the goalpost and back out to him. With Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin out of position after the first shot, Maltby took the opening to put the puck in the net from the right circle.

The Red Wings had a chance to extend their lead with a Robert Lang penalty shot just 4:00 into the second period but Lang was unable to convert. The puck rolled as he crossed the blue line and by the time he could settle it down, all he could get off was a weak shot that was easily stopped by Khabibulin.

Detroit did manage to get their two-goal lead 3:34 later, when Red Wings rookie and Chicago-area native Brett Lebda scored a fluke goal on the power play. From the corner to Khabibulin’s right, Lebda sent a shot towards the crease. The puck bounced off Khabibulin’s side and into the net for Lebda’s second goal of the season.

Brendan Shanahan gave the Red Wings a three-goal lead with 4:50 left in the period on a pretty play started by Jason Williams. Williams fired a two-line pass from the Wings’ defensive zone up to Lang at the Chicago blue line. Lang gained the zone before dropping the puck back to Shanahan to fire a quick shot from the slot over Khabibulin’s glove.

Chicago’s lone goal came with 1:37 remaining in the second, when Adrian Aucoin sent a blast from the point that may have been tipped in front of the crease past a screened Osgood for a power play goal.

Williams closed the game’s scoring with a one-timer from the point while the Red Wings were a power play with 8:20 remaining in the game.

Legace made eight saves before he left the game and Osgood finished with 23 saves on 24 shots. Khabibulin stopped 16 of the 20 shots he faced in net for Chicago.

Detroit’s power play went two-for-six, while their penalty killing units allowed only one goal on Chicago’s six chances.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Thursday, hosting the Edmonton Oilers.

Defenseman Mathieu Schneider did not play due to a sore groin. He is listed as day-to-day. Jamie Rivers took his spot on the Detroit blueline… Legace will undergo a precautionary MRI on Wednesday… Chicago’s lineup was bolstered by the return of forward Tuomo Ruutu.

Changes: A New NHL, but Wings Remain Similar

With all the opinions on how this NHL season will go, someone has to be right.

You know the words “a new NHL” actually mean something when people are talking about how far the Pittsburgh Penguins will advance in the playoffs, or how the Nashville Predators are the real threat to take the Central Division.

Things are bound to change, but every season brings a few surprises. While the same teams were looked at as Cup contenders each year, there were others that shocked the world once, but not again. No one gave Carolina a shot before 2002, and they don’t get much respect now, despite making the Cup Final that year. Each team is going to see some changes in this new NHL. So, what stays the same in Detroit and what changes?

The roster looks a lot like it has in the past. Detroit may be the measuring stick for any team in the future trying to keep a core together. At the center is Steve Yzerman, as he has been for two decades. Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Tomas Holmstrom and Brendan Shanahan remain from the 1997 championship team at forward, with six-time Norris nominated (and three-time winner) Nicklas Lidstrom on defense.

Chris Osgood remembers that 1997 team, and he’s back in Detroit after spending a few years in New York and St. Louis. Including Ozzie, Detroit has ten players that have been with the team since before 2000. Manny Legace saw Osgood leave and return, and the two will have a healthy fight to become the number one guy. Relative newcomers Robert Lang, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are the guys who will be looked at to score goals this season. Gone from the long-time roster are Darren McCarty and Mathieu Dandenault, along with a few salary eaters (Dominik Hasek, Curtis Joseph, Brett Hull).

Players that will have to produce when they get their chances include Jason Williams, Johan Franzen, Mark Mowers and Dan Cleary.

If the officials call the game by the book, the defense needs to be ready. While Lidstrom is nearly perfect at his position, Jiri Fischer is still learning and may rack up the penalty minutes. This means the Red Wings are relying on a few older veterans to hold down the fort.

The play of Mathieu Schneider, Chris Chelios and possibly Jamie Rivers and Andreas Lilja will be the true test of this Wings squad. Niklas Kronwall again will miss most of the season, meaning the Wings may even look at some inexperienced defenders, as tight cap space may limit them from testing the free agent market or making a big trade.

A new trio now leads the Wings behind the bench: Coach Mike Babcock and his assistants Paul MacLean and Todd McLellan are all fairly familiar faces. Babcock coached the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim that knocked out the Wings in 2003, and MacLean played for the Red Wings. Interestingly enough, McLellan coached the Houston Aeros past the Grand Rapids Griffins in the 2003 Calder Cup playoffs. These three should lay down the law, making sure the Wings never get too comfortable trying to play their old style.

This Week’s Matchups

October 5 vs St. Louis – Chris Osgood won’t get a chance to open the season against his former team, so it looks like Manny Legace will get the start. The Blues now have Patrick Lalime in front of the net, but not Al MacInnis or Chris Pronger. If the Wings can come out hard and fast, they might be able to exploit the Blues’ young defense which is now led by Eric Brewer.

October 6 at St. Louis – The Blues and Wings get two of their eight meetings over with in a hurry. The Blues home opener may see Reinhard Divis and Jim Howard in the nets. St. Louis is the younger team, and they’ll be excited to open the Savvis Center. A split series with both teams winning their home opener is not out of the question.

Games this week: 2
vs. Western Conference: 2
vs. Central Division: 2
Home: 1
Road: 1

Kronwall Out 4-6 Months

The Detroit Red Wings got the news that they had hoped not to hear on Friday: Defenseman Niklas Kronwall will miss four to six months of the upcoming season, shelved due to a knee injury.

“He’s got a partially torn MCL, he’s got a torn ACL,” Detroit general manager Ken Holland said.

Kronwall suffered the injury Tuesday night against Colorado. After getting an MRI in Detroit on Wednesday, things didn’t look good. He saw knee specialist Dr. William G. Clancy in Aspen, CO, on Friday and the diagnosis was confirmed.

Kronwall will ungergo surgery once the swelling has gone down – in two to three weeks. His earliest predicted return date is February 1 but it could be as late as April 1.

Staffan Kronwall, Niklas’ brother, stated “I know him so well, and I know he is going to come back.”

The Red Wings will look to replace him with Andy Delmore, Jamie Rivers or Brett Lebda.

Wings Rout Flu-Ridden Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets came to Detroit missing thirteen players from their normal starting roster and certainly played like it, allowing nine goals and scoring none en route to a loss to the Red Wings.

Detroit got goals from Nicklas Lidstrom, Robert Lang (2) and Kyle Quincey in the first period to take a 4-0 lead into the intermission. The Blue Jackets managed only two shots to the Red Wings’ twenty-one on the period.

Dan Cleary and Rem Murray added goals in the second before Columbus goalie Marc Denis was replaced by Pascal Leclaire. Mathieu Schneider scored one more goal in the second before Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom added goals in the third.

Lidstrom scored the only goal of the shootout in the fifth round.

The Blue Jackets roster has been decimated by a flu bug going around the team.

The Red Wings were without captain Steve Yzerman, defenseman Jamie Rivers and goalie Chris Osgood, all suffering from groin injuries. Pavel Datsyuk did not play after practicing with the team for a second day and Andreas Lilja sat after playing the night before in Colorado. Niklas Kronwall was out with the knee injury he suffered in Denver.

Wings Sign Three as Roster Takes Shape

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Tuesday the signings of defenseman Andy Delmore and forwards Jason Williams and Darryl Bootland. The all three agreed to one-year deals.

Delmore, a native of Windsor, Ontario, is likely to share time on the Wings’ third defensive pair with Jamie Rivers and Chris Chelios. In seven seasons of NHL experience – most recently with the Buffalo Sabres – he has played 276 games, scoring 43 goals and adding 58 assists.

He entered the NHL after signing as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers for the 1998-99 season.

Williams returns to Detroit for his fourth NHL season, all with the Red Wings. He accepted the one-year qualifying offer that the Red Wings made to him as a restricted free agent, allowing him to become unrestricted following the 2005-06 season.

He has played in 95 career NHL games, scoring 17 goals and 15 assists. He spent the cancelled 2004-05 season playing with Assat Pori of the Finnish League, where he led his team in scoring.

Bootland looks to crack the Red Wings’ lineup after appearing in 22 games with the team in 2003-04. He spent the last three seasons in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

The signings give the Red Wings 20 players under contract for the 2005-06 season, with three notable restricted free agents – Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Niklas Kronwall – still unsigned.

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