Wings Even Series: Yzerman Leads Detroit to 5-2 Win

Steve Yzerman scored two second-period goals and the power-play converted three times as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Calgary Flames by a score of 5-2. The Red Wings and Flames are now even in their second round playoff series at a game apiece.

Detroit opened the game’s scoring on the power play. Tomas Holmstrom scored his second goal of the playoffs just 3:02 into the period, deflecting a Nicklas Lidstrom shot from the high slot between the legs of Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.

With 9:54 remaining in the middle frame, Detroit went up by a pair of goals. As a Mathieu Schneider roughing penalty came to a close, Mathieu Dandenault got the puck in the Detroit zone and raced up the near-side boards. He carried the puck all the way behind the Calgary net and wrapped around before sending a pass to Yzerman, perched on the doorstep. Yzerman put the puck into the net for his first home playoff goal in 11 games and his second goal of this postseason. The goal came one second after Schneider stepped out of the penalty box.

Yzerman didn’t wait long to score his third playoff goal of the year. With 7:41 remaining in the second, Yzerman again was parked on the doorstep when Kirk Maltby sent a pass to him. This time Kiprusoff was in better position, but Yzerman hesitated just long enough to roof a shot over the Calgary goalie’s shoulder and put the Red Wings up by three.

The Flames responded 1:31 later, when Shean Donovan held off Derian Hatcher and reached to deflect a Marcus Nilson pass by Detroit goaltender Curtis Joseph, who had hardly been tested to that point.

The Red Wings clamped down defensively in the third period and Calgary’s frustration showed. With 6:06 remaining, Donovan went off for slashing. Mike Commodore put the Red Wings on a 5-on-3 just 49 seconds later when he slashed Holmstorm in front of the goal.

The Wings needed only six seconds of the two-man advantage to score. Robert Lang won the puck back to Pavel Datsyuk, who passed it off to Lidstrom. Lidstrom fed Brett Hull for one of his trademark one-timers, giving the Red Wings a 4-1 lead with 5:11 remaining in the game.

With Commodore still in the box and 4:35 remaining on the clock, Robyn Regehr was called for cross-checking Holmstrom. The Red Wings converted on the 5-on-3 again with 3:52 remaining when Lidstrom scored on a shot from the blue line that may have been tipped in the slot by Brendan Shanahan.

Although the Red Wings were in firm control of the scoreboard, the physical play didn’t stop. With 3:18 remaining Chris Chelios went to the box for slashing and Calgary’s Martin Gelinas scored just eight seconds after the penlaty expired.

With 40 seconds remaining in the game, Calgary’s Matthew Lombardi and Detroit’s Jason Williams went off for roughing and Shanahan went for charging.

Sixteen seconds later, Calgary captain Jarome Iginla slashed at the back of Detroit defenseman Derian Hatcher’s legs and the two dropped the gloves. Iginla landed the first shots but Hatcher tore off Iginla’s visored helmet and landed several hits to the head before he was pushed down. Meanwhile, Commodore and Darren McCarty fought, keeping Commodore from stepping in on the Hatcher-Iginla fight.

The final half-minute of the game was penalty- and goal-free.

The Red Wings finished 3-for-6 on the power play while the Flames went 0-for-5. Joseph stopped 14 of the 16 shots he faced. Kiprusoff made 27 saves on 32 Detroit shots.

The series moves to Calgary for Game Three on Tuesday night.

Calgary defenseman Rhett Warriner left the game in the first period and was taken to a hospital for a possible eye injury. He returned to the game in the third period but did not play a shift… Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios suffered what appeared to be an arm injury in the second period but missed only one shift.

OT Loss in Game One

In spite of dominant play by Detroit early in the game, goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff allowed his Calgary Flames time to find their skating legs and climb back to a 2-1 overtime win.

Detroit was clearly the leading team in the first period, outshooting Calgary 13 to 2. The Flames, for their part, looked weary and unable to challenge Detroit or do much to defend their own net. Kiprusoff, fortunately for them, held his ground and kept the Red Wings off the scoreboard until the second period.

Robert Lang opened the scoring with 6:14 gone in the second. Brendan Shanahan carried the puck into the Flames’ zone, then centered a pass to Lang. Lang was being held up by defenseman Rhett Warrener as he pushed towards the net, but he held Warrener off with one arm and shot the puck towards the net with the other arm. The puck flew up and over Kiprusoff’s blocker arm.

Jarome Iginla had a good chance to tie the game at the end of a Calgary penalty. Martin Gelinas stepped out of the penalty box to join the charge up the ice, giving the Flames a three-on-one rush. Luckily for Curtis Joseph, Iginla’s shot rang off the crossbar.

Joseph’s luck didn’t hold, however, as Robyn Regehr tied the game with two minutes left in the second. Regehr shot the puck from the left point, through a screen of multiple players from both teams. Somehow the puck found its way through the mass of bodies, but Joseph was unable to see it until it was too late.

Chuck Kobasew nearly moved the Flames into the lead early in the third, but Joseph was able to get his leg pad down flat to the ice and hold steady while Kobasew whacked at the puck.

The Red Wings, as the game wore on, began to seem tired. The Flames, on the other hand, seemed to gain energy, and began to consistently beat the Red Wings to loose pucks and break up potential scoring plays by poking the puck away at the blue line.

Marcus Nilson’s first career playoff goal ended the game with just 2:39 gone into overtime. Gelinas beat Jiri Fisher to the puck behind the net. Mathieu Dandenault left the front of the net to help Fischer. As he did so, Gelinas threw the puck out front to Nilson coming up the left side. Nilson one-timed a shot which sailed into the net just over the top of Joseph’s catching glove.

Detroit outshot Calgary by a count of 29 to 18, and won 40 of the 68 faceoffs. Neither team was able to score on the power play: Detroit was 0 for 6 and Calgary was 0 for 3. The Red Wings and Flames will continue their conference semi-final series with Game Two Saturday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.

Steve Thomas was out this game due to a groin injury. Jason Williams came into the lineup in his stead.

Shorthanded Wings Hold Off Flames

The Detroit Red Wings, already without defensemen Derian Hatcher, Chris Chelios and Jason Woolley and goaltenders Curtis Joseph and Dominik Hasek, lost center Kris Draper to injury during Wednesday’s morning skate and swingman Matheiu Dandenault in the first period of their matchup with the Calgary Flames. They still were able to build up a lead over Calgary and hold off a late-game push to get two much-needed points.

Draper is expected out for a month with a partially torn rotator cuff suffered when he collided with Joseph during the morning skate. Dandenault broke his right foot blocking a shot by Robyn Regehr late in the first period and is expected out for four-to-six weeks.

The Red Wings have battled injuries all season and were able to quickly adjust to having a depleted lineup.

After starting out slowly in the first period, Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring with 7:11 remaining in the second period. Zetterberg drove the net and picked up the rebound from a Mathieu Schneider shot. After bouncing a chance off Calgary goalie Roman Turek’s pads, he got his own rebound and knocked it into the net.

Mark Mowers, taken out of the Detroit lineup when the Red Wings traded for Robert Lang but brought back in when Draper went down, scored the eventual game-winner 8:02 into the third period. Breaking into the Calgary zone, Mowers flipped the puck past Flames’ defenseman Jordan Leopold and picked it up after breaking by him, effectively passing to himself. He broke in alone on Turek and lifted a backhander over his shoulder to put the Red Wings up by two.

Jarome Iginla pulled Calgary to within one with 4:59 remaining but the Flames couldn’t even things up.

Turek finished the game with 20 saves on 22 shots in net for the Flames, while Detroit’s Manny Legace stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced.

The Red Wings are next in action Friday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.

Wings Representatives Ineffective at All-Star Game

The representatives of the Detroit Red Wings at Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game in St. Paul didn’t fare so well, combining for a single point and a plus/minus rating of zero.

Nicklas Lidstrom‘s assist on a goal by Phoenix’s Shane Doan midway through the second period was the only point tallied by a Red Wing in the game as Pavel Datsyuk was held scoreless.

Datsyuk’s line with Columbus’ Rick Nash and Calgary’s Jarome Iginla was held off the scoresheet and Datsyuk did not have a single shot while going 2-for-7 one faceoffs.

Lidstrom played the game alongside Colorado’s Rob Blake. His assist on Doan’s goal helped put the Western Conference team up by a goal but the Eastern Conference struck back before getting the win.

Despite a hat trick for the Western Conference by Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche, the Eastern Conference was able to pull out a 6-4 victory.

The Eastern Conference got goals by Adrian Aucoin (NY Islanders), Mark Messier (NY Rangers), Gary Roberts (Toronto), Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta) and two goals by Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa).

Doan and Sakic were the only Western Conference scorers.

Pulling It Back Together

Is the slump over? Can we all breathe cautious sighs of relief? It would seem so, as the Red Wings looked very much like their usual selves in Tuesday night’s 3-0 win over the Calgary Flames.

The game got off to a very slow start. Neither team appeared willing to challenge the other very much in the first period. Goaltenders Curtis Joseph and Jamie McLennan didn’t have much to do, but they both looked solid on the few shots they faced. Detroit seemed content to sit back, protect their goalie, and wait for Calgary to make a mistake.

The Red Wings’ chance came on the power play early in the second period, with Chuck Kobasew in the box for interference on a carryover penalty from the end of the first. Mathieu Schneider faked a shot from the blue line, but passed the puck to Brendan Shanahan at the left faceoff circle. Shanahan one-timed the shot. McLennan was being screened by Tomas Holmstrom and Robyn Regehr, who was trying to push Holmstrom out of the way, and the puck sailed into the net.

Kris Draper forced a turnover at center ice to set up Detroit’s second goal. He poked the puck away from Jarome Iginla, and Darren McCarty carried it into the Flames’ zone. McCarty faked to his left, fooling McLennan, then pulled the puck back and put it into the net from the right side.

Calgary replaced McLennan with backup goalie Dany Sabourin to start the third period, hoping to cause a shift in momentum. In spite of that effort, Detroit dominated the third period. They controlled the play, kept the puck in Calgary’s zone most of the time, and forced the Flames into taking some unnecessary penalties.

Shanahan put the game away with his second goal of the night with 7:08 left to play. Steve Yzerman picked off an errant Calgary pass just inside the Flames’ blue line. He left the puck for Nicklas Lidstrom, who passed it to Shanahan at the left side. Just like before, Shanahan lifted a well-placed shot past the goalie and into the net.

Detroit outshot Calgary by a count of 25 to 21. The Red Wings will return home from their road trip and take a few much-needed days off before facing the Nashville Predators Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Jason Williams, Boyd Devereaux, and Jiri Hudler all saw increased ice time in Henrik Zetterberg‘s absence…. Mathieu Dandenault left the ice early in the first period and did not return. No word yet on his reason for leaving…. Draper’s assist on McCarty’s goal was his 200th career point.

Determined Flames Burn Bright At Home

The Calgary Flames were ready to break out, after having been shutout by the Red Wings twice already this season, and after suffering an embarrassing 7-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes in their last home game. The Red Wings were perhaps tired after playing the Canucks just last night. They couldn’t quite match the Flames’ hustle, and the Flames managed to win, 4-1.

Calgary began the game by immediately putting Detroit into defensive mode. They carried the play and kept the puck in the Red Wings’ end of the ice most of the time. The Wings’ defense, playing without Chris Chelios for the second straight game, did a good job of meeting the challenge for the most part, but Rob Niedermayer got the Flames on the board 6:47 into the game. Stephane Yelle pushed the puck into the zone and up to Niedermayer, whose shot went high over Curtis Joseph.

Brendan Shanahan and Bob Boughner got into a fight at center ice less than a minute later. Shanahan won the fight, by most accounts, but the fight didn’t give the team much momentum. Sean Avery and Jarome Iginla had some strong words and some pushing and shoving shortly thereafter, but the officials broke that up before it could develop into a real fight and the pair was given incidental roughing minors.

Martin Gelinas increased the Flames’ lead early in the second period. He shoved his way through to the front of the net, and when Chris Drury made the pass, Gelinas flipped it in over Joseph.

The Red Wings began to come into their own after that, taking back control of the game and generating more scoring chances against Roman Turek. They finally got the break they were looking for at the tail end of a power play towards the end of the period. Micki Dupont was in the penalty box for holding, and the Grind Line had come out on the ice to play the last few seconds of the power play and defend against any odd man rushes that might result from Dupont’s escape from the box. Instead, Kris Draper got the puck down deep, Mathieu Dandenault moved in from the right point, and Draper had a clear passing lane. Darren McCarty was screening Turek, and Dandenault was able to one-time Draper’s pass into the net.

The Flames got the game-making break just seconds before the end of the period. Iginla let loose a shot which trickled through Joseph’s leg pads and started to cross the goal line. Pavel Datsyuk scooped the puck away from the net just before it could cross the line completely, and the referee said it was not a goal. It went to video review, and the video goal judge overturned the on-ice ruling to give the Flames a 3-1 lead.

The late, controversial goal took away a lot of the Red Wings’ momentum for the third period, and Calgary basically shut the game down to sit back and play defense for the last twenty minutes. Detroit pulled Joseph from the net for a last-ditch effort to score two goals in a minute and a half, but Dave Lowry sent the puck into the empty net from center ice to put the game away.

The shots on net were fairly even. Calgary had 29, and Detroit had 28. The Red Wings will return home for a short rest before heading east to face the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

Calgary coach Darryl Sutter sported a painful-looking black eye, the result of being hit in the face by an errant puck during the Flames’ loss to Phoenix…. Flames mascot Harvey the Hound, whose tongue was ripped out and thrown into the crowd by Edmonton coach Craig McTavish when the Oilers and Flames met a few nights ago, was back in action, tongue firmly reattached. He did seem to be avoiding Joey Kocur and the Red Wings’ bench, however.

Flames Fizzle Again

It wasn’t a shutout this time, and Calgary put in a much better effort than they have in the two previous matches this season, but the Red Wings still came up with a 4-2 victory over the Flames.

This game had a much better flow to it than did the Red Wings’ Friday night game against Carolina. Even with the relative lack of penalties this time, the Red Wings opened the scoring on a power play resulting from an interference call against Stephane Yelle. Dmitri Bykov took a shot on net which was deflected by goalie Roman Turek. Sean Avery took the rebound behind the net and sent it to Darren McCarty, who passed it across to Brendan Shanahan waiting on the left side. The Flames had all turned towards the right in reaction to Bykov’s shot, and before they could get refocused, Shanahan let go a hard shot. Turek was partially screened by one of his own defensemen, and the puck rattled into the net.

The Flames had a chance to even the game while they were shorthanded. Jarome Iginla managed to get the puck and fly in all alone against Curtis Joseph, but Joseph flung himself out to take away the bottom half of the net, and Iginla couldn’t lift the shot high enough.

Calgary did tie the game with 7:35 left to play in the second period. Robyn Regehr made a shot from the left point which was deflected on its way through by Scott Nichol. The redirection caused the puck to be hard for Joseph to handle, and the rebound came free to Craig Conroy, who put it into the empty portion of the net.

Henrik Zetterberg stole the Flames’ momentum and quite probably cast a hush over all the sports bars in and around the city of Calgary just 32 seconds later. Jason Woolley banked a shot off the end boards which came right out to Zetterberg in front of the net, and Zetterberg put the puck in on the far side of Turek.

Sean Avery increased Detroit’s lead midway through the third period. The Flames made an ill-advised pass up the middle, and Avery, just off the bench, picked it off and went in alone against Turek. The puck sailed into the net high past Turek’s catching glove.

The Flames had a golden opportunity when Jesse Wallin was given a tripping penalty with less than two minutes to play, and they did what they could with it. They pulled Turek from the net so that they could go with six skaters against four. Conroy won the faceoff deep in the Red Wings’ zone and got the puck back to Toni Lydman at the right point. Lydman sent it across to Iginla in the high slot, and Iginla ripped a hard shot past Joseph.

Calgary pulled Turek out of the net again after the next faceoff, but this time it worked to the Red Wings’ advantage. Brett Hull cleared the puck from the zone up to Sergei Fedorov at center, and Fedorov’s shot edged into the empty net with 16.3 seconds remaining.

Turek stopped 14 of the 17 shots he faced over the night, giving him an 82% save percentage. Joseph stopped 31 of the 33 he faced, for a much more impressive 94% save percentage.

The Red Wings next opponent will be the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The two teams will meet on Tuesday night at the Joe.

Pavel Datsyuk was out with a sprained knee. The team reports that he will be out for at least two weeks…. Chris Chelios was also out tonight, with a broken finger…. Brett Hull’s assist on Sergei Fedorov’s last second empty net goal saved Hull’s point streak and extended it to nine games.

Canadians Win Olympic Gold

For the first time in fifty years, the Canadian men’s ice hockey team has brought the gold medal back to the country that invented the sport.

The Canadiens defeated Team USA, 5-2, on Sunday, capping their gold-medal run in the most-watched hockey game in history. The loss snapped the USA’s seventy-year winning streak on home ice.

Paul Kariya and Jarome Iginla scored less than four minutes apart late in the first period to pull Canada into the lead. Tony Amonte had scored midway through the period to put the United States on the board.

American Brian Rafalski scored with less than five minutes remaining in the second period to tie the game at two goals each. Joe Sakic converted on a power play just under three minutes later to pull the Canadians into the lead for good.

Team USA didn’t give up and only Canadian goaltender Martin Brodeur preserved the lead with key saves in the third period.

Iginla scored his second goal to put the game away by redirecting a shot from the point by Steve Yzerman past American goalie Mike Richter late in the third.

Sakic added his second goal of the game with just over one minute remaining when he carried the puck through the American defense and ripped a shot past Richter.

The gold medal is Canada’s first Olympic medal since the team won the silver in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway. The silver medal is the United States’ first medal since the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” at Lake Placid. It is their first silver since 1972 in Sapporo.

Seven Red Wings will come back to Detroit with Olympic medals. Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan won gold with Canada; Chris Chelios and Brett Hull claimed silver with the United States; and Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov and Pavel Datsyuk got the bronze with Russia.

Flames Heat Things Up Again

The Red Wings offense fired the puck hard and often, but the Calgary Flames’ defense and strong goaltending gave them the 4-3 win.

The Red Wings and Flames both started the game with hard-hitting defense in mind. Play went end to end in the first, with neither team really getting a quality scoring chance until Detroit ran into penalty trouble late in the first period.

Jiri Fischer and Chris Chelios had both been sent to the box for separate penalties, giving Calgary over a minute of five-on-three power play time. The penalty killing unit fought hard, even with two of the team’s best defensemen taken out of the play, but Marc Savard got the puck at the right face-off circle and ripped a hard shot past Nick Lidstrom and Manny Legace.

Detroit played a more offensive game in the second period, taking a total of fourteen shots against Roman Turek over the twenty minutes, while still holding the Flames to only four shots against Legace. One of those four found its way into the net, however. Savard stole the puck before the Wings could clear it from their zone. His shot was blocked, but he carried his own rebound behind the net and passed out front to Jarome Iginla, who was able to fire the puck past Legace.

Only a minute later, the Flames made a bad turnover of their own. Steve Duchesne got the puck away and left it for Luc Robitaille, ahead of all five of Calgary’s skaters. Robitaille carried it to the net and shot the puck over Turek’s right shoulder from point-blank range.

The Red Wings tied the game before the period was over. With only thirty-four seconds remaining, Freddy Olausson shot the puck from the blue line and banked it off the back boards to Robitaille, who sent it across the crease to Igor Larionov. Turek had been expecting the shot to come from Robitaille, and Larionov was able to flip it into the net.

Savard scored early in the third period to put the Flames back in the lead. Calgary took the play down low into Detroit’s zone, and Iginla sent the puck to Savard from behind the net. Savard was right in front of the net with no one to cover him, and sent the puck across the goal line.

Brendan Shanahan brought the Red Wings back into it a few minutes later. Sergei Fedorov carried the puck up the left wing side, and dropped the puck back for Shanahan, who fired hard. Turek was being screened by Kris Draper, and had no chance to stop the puck from bouncing off the inside of the net.

Larionov took a cross-checking penalty a minute later, and Savard regained the lead for the Flames once again. In a nearly identical play to his second goal, he parked in front of the net, took a pass Iginla threaded from behind the net between Lidstrom’s skates, and flipped it into the net just over Legace’s outstretched leg, scoring his second NHL hat trick.

The Red Wings played hard for the rest of the game, trying to come from behind once again. Their last minute of play was especially strong, with Legace gone to the bench for a sixth skater. In spite of the flurry of shots, Turek did not let the puck through again.

Shots on net were thirty-six to twenty-two in favor of Detroit. The Flames were two for five on the power play, while the Red Wings did not convert on any of their four chances.

Brendan Shanahan, Chris Chelios, Pavel Datsyuk, Nick Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Dominik Hasek, coach Scotty Bowman, and equipment manager Paul Boyer will travel to Los Angeles to participate in the All-Star game this weekend, while the rest of the team enjoys a few days off. The Red Wings will regroup in Denver Monday night to face the Colorado Avalanche.

Flames Re-ignite

Another game with a high number of shots on the opposing team came to no avail for the Red Wings, as they lost to the Calgary Flames, 2-0.

Detroit came to play against a rather shaken up Calgary Flames team. After a penalty-filled game against Anaheim, the Flames wound up with two players and their head coach, Greg Gilbert, suspended. It did not seem to affect their play against the Red Wings, however.

The first period went by scoreless. Both the Wings and the Flames had their share of scoring opportunities, but goaltenders Dominik Hasek and Mike Vernon came up big for their respective teams. Detroit got a power play chance five minutes into the game, when Denis Gauthier was sent to the box for holding, but was unable to score.

Detroit tightened up the play in the second period, holding the Flames to only six shots against Hasek, compared to their own thirteen against Vernon. Still, in spite of a double rebound attempt by Chris Chelios and two well-organized power play chances, Vernon kept his former team off the board.

Sixteen seconds before the end of the period, Igor Larionov was injured when Chris Clark’s stick hit him in the groin/thigh area. Larionov had to be helped off the ice and did not return for the rest of the game. No penalty was called on the play.

The Flames scored their first goal just over four minutes into the third period. In a play apparently unseen by the referees, Brendan Shanahan was slashed on the wrist and unable to clear the puck from Detroit’s zone. Jarome Iginla was waiting. He took the rebound from Dean McAmmond’s shot and flipped it into the net behind the sprawled Hasek.

Detroit tried to boost the offense for the rest of the game, but Vernon was up for the challenge. The Red Wings got what could have been their game-tying chance with 1:17 left to play, when Iginla was given an elbowing penalty. The faceoff was deep in the Calgary zone, so they pulled Hasek for an extra skater. Unfortunately, with only fourteen seconds left, Rob Niedermayer shot the puck away from the Flames’ zone, and it slid all the way down into the empty net to seal Calgary’s lock on the first shut out against the Red Wings this season.

Hasek stopped twenty-four of the twenty-five shots the Flames sent against him, while Vernon, playing in the number one goalie position for Calgary while Roman Turek is out with a knee injury, stopped all twenty-eight of the shots he faced, to gain his twenty-seventh career shutout and snap a twelve game winless streak dating from February of this year.

Hasek stopped twenty-four of the twenty-five shots the Flames sent against him, while Vernon, playing in the number one goalie position for Calgary while Roman Turek is out with a knee injury, stopped all twenty-eight of the shots he faced, to gain his twenty-seventh career shutout and snap a twelve game winless streak dating from February of this year.