Wings Set NHL Record with Win over Jackets

The Detroit Red Wings set a new NHL record Saturday night, earning a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets for their 29th road victory of the season. The win broke the former record of 28 road wins by the 1998-99 New Jersey Devils.

Unlike the first half of the home-and-home series with Columbus, which saw Detroit jump to an early lead, the Blue Jackets struck first in Saturday’s matchup.

After a bad clearing attempt by Detroit netminder Chris Osgood, Jan Hrdina got conrol of the puck and fired a shot from the top of the right circle. The puck trickled between Osgood’s pads and gave Columbus the lead just 3:03 into the game.

The Red Wings evened the game 9:03 later, when Brendan Shanahan scored on a rebound opportunity.

Another rebound chance with 2:41 remaining put Detroit in the lead, when Tomas Holmstrom picked up the puck after a Mikael Samuelsson shot and put it past goalie Pascal Leclaire.

On a two-on-one rush at 9:24 of the second, Manny Malhotra tied the game, firing a shot over Osgood’s glove.

Jason Williams scored his 20th goal of the season just 1:55 later to put the Red Wings back in front. A crossing pass from Steve Yzerman at the right wing boards got the puck to Williams in the slot. He faded back to the left circle and blasted a shot home.

After Osgood stopped all 13 shots he faced in the third period, Chris Chelios added an empty-netter from the center red line with just four seconds remaining, sealing the victory.

Osgood finished the game with 27 saves on 29 shots. Leclaire made 26 saves on the same number of chances against.

Neither team scored on the power play, with Detroit having four chances and Columbus two.

The Red Wings will return to the ice on Tuesday when they host the Edmonton Oilers.

Steve Yzerman’s assist on Jason Williams’ second period goal extended his point-scoring streak to eleven games… Henrik Zetterberg missed the game with an “upper body injury” suffered Friday night. He is expected to return on Tuesday.

Special Teams Lead ‘Yotes over Wings

Three power play goals and two shorthanded goals lifted the Phoenix Coyotes to a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings Friday night. The Coyotes ended the night three-for-six on the powerplay with goals on three of their first four chances with the man-advantage.

Phoenix’s first powerplay goal opened the game’s scoring just 47 seconds into the first period. With Detroit’s Ray Whitney in the box for hooking, Daymond Langkow deflected a Shane Doan shot from the point past Detroit netminder Curtis Joseph, giving Phoenix the 1-0 lead.

Detroit came back buzzing after the Phoenix goal and evened things up at 6:45 of the first. Pavel Datsyuk kicked a pass from Steve Thomas from his skate to his stick as he crossed the blue line, then carried the puck down the left side of the ice and rifled a shot by Coyotes’ goaltender Brian Boucher.

The Coyotes regained their lead when Radoslav Suchy scored a powerplay goal with 7:26 remaining in the period. Suchy took a pass in the slot and fired a quick shot under the sliding defenseman Chris Chelios and through Joseph’s five-hole.

Another powerplay goal gave the Coyotes a 3-1 lead 3:44 into the second period. Paul Mara took a point shot that went wide on the short side. Joseph moved to follow the puck behind the net but it took a lively bounce off the back boards and came out to Jan Hrdina, who had an open net to put the puck into.

Mathieu Schneider pulled the Wings back to within a goal of the Coyotes, scoring at 8:46 of the second. Schneider darted in from the blue line to one-time a deflected pass in the slot past Boucher.

Daniel Cleary gave Phoenix a shorthanded goal with 1:07 remaining in the second and Branko Radivojevic added a shorthanded empty-net goal with 29 seconds left in the game.

Detroit’s Joseph stopped just four of the eight shots he faced in the first two periods before being replaced by Manny Legace. Legace was perfect on five shots. Boucher stopped 44 of the 46 shots he faced.

The Red Wings will conclude their Pacific Division road trip on Monday night in Dallas.

The game was Detroit’s first at Glendale Arena, the Coyotes’ new home… Jiri Fischer missed the game due to a one-game suspension handed down by the NHL. Fischer was suspended for head-butting Los Angeles’ Ian Laperriere on Thursday night.

Wings Flying High into Mellon Arena

A team that was only able to muster 5 wins over a 17 game span to begin the new-year now once again find themselves back on top of the Western Conference. Since their disastrous start to 2003, the Detroit Red Wings have gone 15-1-0-1 en route to becoming the National Hockey League’s elite franchise once again. Tuesday night Detroit will look to expand upon the gap between themselves and the rest of the West when they touchdown in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to take on Mario Lemieux and the Penguins.

In many ways this game will serve as a break for the Red Wings, who are coming off of big wins over Colorado and the eastern leading Ottawa Senators. Look for Steve Yzerman to be back in the line-up after sitting out Sunday’s game against the Sen’s. The Red Wings are 8-0 when their captain has laced up his skates. Much of the credit for the win over the Senator’s has been given to Curtis Joseph. Cujo turned away 41 shots to keep Detroit’s winning ways intact. The line of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Brett Hull have been one of the main sources of Detroit’s recent surge in offensive production by collectively notching 71 points over the past 17 games. They will certainly be looking to capitalize on the recent woes of the Pittsburgh Penguins

The stripped down Penguins have been playing uninspired hockey as of late. Losing power forwards Jan Hrdina and Alexie Kovalev have caused the Penguin’s general manager to admit that they just can’t compete right now in the NHL. Playing a financially stable red-hot team like the Detroit was probably not the first thing that they wanted to deal with. The sixty-point Penguins are currently buried under four other teams in the Atlantic Division. One of the only bright spots for the franchise remains player and owner Mario Lemieux. Number sixty-six leads the team with 28 goals and 59 assists. The Penguins fell to the Florida Panthers 4-2 in their last effort.

Earlier in the season, the Red Wings, led by a Sergei Federov hat trick and a two goal performance by Luc Robitaille, squashed the Pen’s 7-3.

-Player To Watch-
Pittsburgh-#66 Mario Lemieux (28 goals, 59 assists). Who else? Always a pleasure to watch skate.

Detroit- #17 Brett Hull (33 goals, 35 assists). A big reason why Detroit was able to hold off the Senators on Sunday. Hull will be looking to add to his season total against the struggling Pen’s.

-Out or in Doubt-
Pittsburgh- D Joel Bouchard (Broken Jaw/Out), D Josef Melichar (Shoulder/Out), D Michal Rozsival (Shoulder/Questionable), C Milan Kraft (Groin/Out)

Detroit- D Jiri Fischer (Knee/Out), D Jesse Wallin (Knee/Questionable),

-Between da Pipes-
Pittsburgh- #31 Sebastien Caron (5-12-1, 2.77 GAA, .912 SV%, 2 SO)
Detroit- #31 Curtis Joseph (30-17-6, 2.58 GAA, .910 SV%, 3 SO)

-Most Points This Season vs. Opposition-
Pittsburgh- #66 Mario Lemieux with 2 points (2 assists) vs. Detroit

Detroit- #23 Mathieu Schneider with 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) vs. Pittsburgh

The Game will be televised locally on Fox Detroit at 7:30 p.m. eastern time.

Schneider, Wings Down Re-tooled Coyotes

Mathieu Schneider made his first appearance as a Red Wing and the Coyotes debuted their reconfigured lineup Wednesday night as Detroit defeated Phoenix, 3-2.

In the days leading up to and including Tuesday’s NHL trade deadline, the Coyotes dealt away six players, including power forward Tony Amonte, and acquired three more. Wednesday night’s game was the first look at Phoenix’s new lineup, although forward Jan Hrdina was out with a hip flexor and Andrei Nazarov was serving the final game of a two-game suspension.

Schneider, wearing number twenty-three for Detroit, played 23:23 and earned his first point as a Red Wing and the five-hundredth of his career by assisting on Igor Larionov‘s first-period goal.

“I’m definitely very excited to come back into a hockey city,” said Schneider, who has played in Montreal, Toronto, and for both New York teams. “It makes the game a lot more fun. I couldn’t ask for a better situation as far as the city of Detroit. I haven’t spent an awful lot of time there, but I’m really looking forward to it.”

The Wings opened the scoring at 5:16 of the first period. As the puck bounced around at the top of the crease, Jason Woolley, another Red Wings defenseman acquired via trade this season, punched it past scrambling Coyotes’ netminder Sean Burke. Burke called for the goal to be reviewed but a video replay found no reason for it to be overturned.

Schneider’s lone point in the game came almost ten minutes later, at 13:56. He kept the puck in the zone when the Coyotes attempted to fire it around the boards. Schneider fired a shot on goal, and Igor Larionov deflected it down into the net. Referee Stephen Walkom signaled for a goal and Burke was irate again.

The Coyotes challenged that Larionov had deflected the puck with a high stick. Larionov himself agreed, but the video replay allowed the goal to stand.

“My call was a goal,” said Walkom to a pool reporter. “I viewed it in a split second and I saw the stick come down on the puck and I believe it was right at the crossbar. Every goal is reviewed, so we took the time to go upstairs and they said it was too close too call and to go with the call on ice.”

Phoenix’s Ladislav Nagy got the Coyotes onto the board just 1:29 into the second period but Tomas Holmstrom replied just under four minutes later. Mike Johnson pulled Phoenix to within one with 3:53 remaining in regulation but the Red Wings held on and pulled out the win.

Fewer Penalties Lead to More Goals for Wings

As dangerous a scoring line as the Red Wings’ penalty kill has been, it isn’t really the way they expect to score. “We don’t go out there thinking we’re going to score a shorthanded goal,” said Kirk Maltby, who has three shorthanded goals already this season. Tonight they didn’t need to. With fewer penalties and more opportunities for offense, the scoring went up. And up. And up, eventually leading to a 7-3 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins actually outplayed the Wings in the early going, and came away with the first goal. Alexei Kovalev took a pass from Michal Roszival and skated into the Detroit zone. He skated around Mathieu Dandenault, stealthily getting a grip on Dandenault’s stick so the defenseman couldn’t poke the puck away. Then Kovalev wristed a shot on net. Goaltender Manny Legace was screened by the defensive action in front and couldn’t see the puck until it had passed him.

Luc Robitaille answered for the Wings three minutes later on a power play. Igor Larionov passed the puck across the rink to Nick Lidstrom at the left point, and Robitaille stood at the front of the net to redirect Lidstrom’s shot past Jean-Sebastien Aubin for his first goal of the season.

Once the Red Wings started to score, they never stopped. The Penguins’ defense, on the other hand, seemed to disappear. Robitaille added goal number two less than a minute later. Jason Williams snatched up the rebound from Jiri Fischer‘s shot. He carried the puck behind the net and sent it back out front, where Robitaille was waiting, stick on the ice, to blast it into the net.

Before Robitaille could try for his third goal, Sergei Fedorov evidently decided he wanted a hat trick of his own. Fedorov took a penalty for hooking early in the second period, but he stepped back out onto the ice just in time to get the puck from Fischer at center ice and take off on a two-on-one rush with Darren McCarty. Fedorov passed, McCarty shot, and Aubin left a rebound that headed straight for Fedorov’s stick, which slapped the puck past Aubin and into the net.

Fedorov scored twice more before the period was half-over. His first was in close to the net, after taking a pass from Chris Chelios. Brendan Shanahan had gone to the front of the net and was screening Aubin, and he jumped up just at the right time to let Fedorov’s shot slide under his feet for the goal. Fedorov’s third goal came on a two-on-one rush with Shanahan, sprung free by Brett Hull at center ice. Fedorov dropped a pass back for Shanahan at the blue line. The defenseman and goalie looked towards Shanahan, but all they could do was watch as he sent the pass back so Fedorov could put it into the net.

Kovalev brought the Penguins within three goals seconds before the period was over with a power play goal from Jan Hrdina and Mario Lemieux. When Ville Niemenin brought Pittsburgh to three goals early in the third, it looked as if the Penguins might be able to work their way back into the game.

Fischer deflated that possibility in less than a minute. Dandenault got the puck up to Larionov on a three-on-two rush. Larionov threaded a tight pass across the goal crease to Fischer, who tapped it into the empty side of the net.

Lidstrom, McCarty, and Draper put the game out of reach for good with 7:25 left in the game. Draper made a good play to hold the puck in at the blue line and get it to McCarty, who tried to stuff it into the net. The rebound squirted free to Draper, who carried it behind the net and sent it to Lidstrom, who one-timed it past Aubin.

Shots on net were 44 to 27 in favor of Detroit. The Red Wings’ next game will be Saturday night, when they face the yet-winless Predators in Nashville.

Jason Williams played for Henrik Zetterberg, who is still out with a pulled groin. Williams set up Robitaille’s second goal, for his second point in four games played…. Sean Avery will stay with the Grand Rapids Griffins for a time. “That’s what players want to do, they want to play,” said coach Dave Lewis. “They don’t want to sit. We feel it’s best for Sean to play regularly.”…. Mario Lemieux was impressed by Sergei Fedorov. “He was awesome,” Lemieux said. “The way he skates is dominating, especially in the neutral zone. You can’t defend that. He took over the game.”

Goals 499 And 1

Brendan Shanahan and Sean Avery both contributed with their respective milestone goals, helping lead the Red Wings to a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The first period passed by quietly for both teams: no hits, no penalties, and no scoring. Pittsburgh, feeling the offensive lack with both Mario Lemieux and Marty Straka lost to injuries, managed to make only one shot on goal in the first twenty minutes of play.

The Penguin’s second shot of the game was the one that made it past Dominik Hasek. Jan Hrdina fired on net, and the puck bounced off Hasek and in to give Pittsburgh the lead just over a minute into the second period.

The Red Wings tied the game up just a few minutes later. Chris Chelios fired a hard shot from the right point. The puck was headed wide of the net until Boyd Devereaux neatly deflected it past Jean-Sebastien Aubin.

Detroit took the lead less than five minutes later. Nick Lidstrom shot the puck from the blue line. Aubin stopped that initial shot, but Brendan Shanahan skated out from behind the net and grabbed the rebound, then wristed a turnaround shot into Aubin’s net.

The Penguins put up a fight in the third period, trying to regain their lead. The play became more physical and more likely to bang up against the boards. Pittsburgh also increased their shots on net- there was nothing more for them to gain from playing defensive hockey. Even though the Penguins got past Detroit’s defense a number of times, they were still unable to get the puck past Hasek, at his unorthodox best stopping breakaways and point-blank shots which might have easily gone past any other goaltender.

With just over five minutes left in the game, the Red Wings increased their lead. Sean Avery pulled the puck out of a tangle of players along the boards in Pittsburgh’s end, and skated with it to the goal line left of the net. Then, just as Shanahan has done so many times, Avery shot the puck along the line, banking it off Aubin and into the net for his first ever NHL goal.

Pittsburgh wasn’t ready to give up just yet. With just over a minute to play, they won a faceoff deep in the Detroit zone and proceeded to crash the net. The third rebound got past Hasek, as Stefan Richer sent the puck skimming above the ice and through the tiny spot left open between Hasek’s closing legs.

As soon as Pittsburgh controlled the puck again, they pulled Aubin in exchange for the sixth skater. Shanahan nearly scored his 500th goal into the empty net, but the aim was just barely wide. Pittsburgh brought the puck back to Detroit’s end again, but were unable to get a quality scoring chance. Finally, with just four seconds left, Lidstrom shot the puck down the ice and into the empty net from just inside his own blue line.

Shots on net were thirty to twenty-two in Detroit’s favor. Neither team was able to score on the power play.

The Red Wings next game will be on Wednesday, when they return home to the Joe to face the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Igor Larionov sat out once again due to his sore leg- a precautionary measure, according to team spokespeople. Darren McCarty was out due to an injured finger, giving Mathieu Dandenault a chance to move back to his natural position at right wing. Steve Yzerman‘s knee treatment is going as planned; he hopes to be back in the lineup by March 19.

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