Red Wings’ Skid Continues with 2-1 Loss to Islanders

The Red Wings’ losing streak reached five games on Friday night, as Detroit dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Islanders.

Detroit also lost starting goalie Jimmy Howard, who left the game after the first period for “precautionary” reasons after suffering a lower-body injury. Petr Mrazek replaced him in net for the final forty minutes of play.

Henrik Zetterberg scored his first goal since November 26 to open the scoring. Darren Helm outworked Thomas Hickey along the boards and sent a pass to Zetterberg at the inside edge of the right faceoff circle for a snap past Jaroslav Halak at 8:49 of the first period.

With 3:57 left in the first, Brock Nelson swatted the rebound of a Lubomir Visnovsky chance past Howard to tie things up.

The game-winner came at 10:41 of the second period, when Mrazek stopped Nelson all alone in front but Anders Lee jumped in to knock the loose puck into the net.

Halak finished the night with 17 saves on 18 shots. Mrazek stopped 22 of 23 while Howard made eight saves on nine chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal, with Detroit having two chances and New York three.

The Red Wings next host the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.


Johan Franzen returned to the lineup after missing one game due to illness… Daniel Cleary, Jakub Kindl, and Brian Lashoff were healthy scratches… After the game, the Red Wings called up goalie Thomas McCollum and demoted defenseman Xavier Ouellet.

Red Wings Shelled in Season Opener, Drop 6-0 Decision to Blues

The Detroit Red Wings’s porous defense couldn’t stop the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night and their offense never got going, with the Blues taking a 6-0 win in the opening game of the 2013 season.

Special teams led the way for the Blues, with four of their goals coming with the man-advantage and a fifth coming while shorthanded.

The Red Wings, meanwhile, took only 14 shots on the night. None particularly challenging to Blues’ netminder Jaroslav Halak, save for one third-period goalmouth scramble.

Rookie Vladimir Tarasenko opened the scoring for the Blues at 6:36 of the first. Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey couldn’t cut off a long pass from Ian Cole to Tarasenko at the Detroit blue line, leaving Tarasenko on a breakaway where he beat goalie Jimmy Howard high on the stick side.

Chris Stewart’s power play goal with 6:14 left in the period made it 2-0. After Stewart’s wraparound attempt, Howard lost track of the puck and sprawled out on his stomach facing the goal. By the time he realized he hadn’t covered it, Stewart had the puck in the slot and snapped a shot into the net.

Tarasenko’s second of the game put the Blues up by three just 29 seconds into the second period. Skating up the left wing, Tarasenko blew past Quincey to break in on Howard, beating him stick-side again.

T.J. Oshie scored a shorthanded goal with 4:51 left in the period to make it 4-0. Oshie slipped past the Detroit defense at the St. Louis blue line and Alex Pietrangelo hit him with a long pass to spring him in alone on Howard for a breakaway goal.

Stewart’s second of the night at 1:15 of the third was the end of the night for Howard. Stewart beat Howard on another power play breakaway opportunity to make it 5-0 and bring Jonas Gustavsson into the game in the Red Wings’ crease.

Patrik Berlund rounded out the scoring with 5:25 left in regulation, a power play deflection past Gustavsson.

The Blues finished the night with four power play goals on five attempts with the extra attacker. Detroit had four power play tries.

Howard stopped 23 of the 28 shots he faced in 41:15 of play. Gustavsson made seven saves on eight shots in 18:45.

The Red Wings are back at it on Monday when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.


Detroit forward Jan Mursak left the game with a shoulder injury after the first period. He is expected to undergo testing on Sunday.

TGTW: Wings Rebound in Week Two

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

After dropping a 5-4 decision to the Nashville Predators to open the 2012-13 season, the Detroit Red Wings rebounded with three consecutive wins in the second week of the schedule.

On Tuesday, it looked like Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender Ryan Miller was going to shut the Red Wings down until Todd Bertuzzi broke the scoreless tie with 90 seconds left in regulation.  Miller made 27 saves on 28 shots in taking the loss, while Detroit’s Jimmy Howard needed to stop just 14.

Defenseman Jakub Kindl was ejected at 3:02 of the third period after charging former Red Wing Ville Leino.  Leino would end up missing one game with a concussion, while Kindl was not suspended.

The Red Wings continued their road trip in St. Louis on Thursday, with a 6-1 rout of the Blues.

St. Louis got on the board first when Andy McDonald scored just 6:29 in but Valtteri Filppula‘s second of the season tied things up ay 10:22 and Henrik Zetterberg put the Wings in front 1:40 later.

After a scoreless second period, Filppula added another just 29 seconds into the third.  Jonathan Ericsson scored his second of the season at 3:56 and Mikael Samuelsson scored the first goal of his return to the Wings on the power play at 9:24, chasing Blues’ goalie Brian Elliot.  Jakub Kindl added a power play goal with 2:06 remaining to round out the scoring.

Howard finished another slow night with 14 saves on 15 shots.  Elliot stopped 20 of the 25 shots he faced while Jaroslav Halak made four saves on five shots.

Detroit closed out the week in Chicago with a 3-1 win.

The Blackhawks opened the scoring at 5:31 of the first period on a goal by Jonathan Toews but Danny Cleary answered right back for the Wings 2:05 later.

Filppula’s league-leading fourth goal of the season put Detroit out front at 2:19 of the second period and Niklas Kronwall scored his first of the year at 4:39.

Howard had a third consecutive quiet night, facing just 17 shots and stopping 16.  Chicago’s Corey Crawford made 30 saves on 33 shots in taking the loss.

After four games, the Red Wings sit one point back of the Predators in the Central Division with a game in hand.  The team’s leading scorer is Filppula, with four goals and three assists.  Jimmy Howard has made all four starts, going 3-1 with a shutout, a 1.79 GAA, and a .899 save percentage.  Jonas Gustavsson appeared late in the opener, facing no shots.

The Red Wings lead the league in shots allowed with just 17.25 per game.  Second are the Pittsburgh Penguins at 21.2 per game.

Red Wings’ Streak Reaches Seventeen with Home Win over Blues

The Detroit Red Wings extended their franchise-record home winning streak to seventeen games on Monday night, handing the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues a 3-1 loss.

With the win, the Red Wings move three points up on the Blues for first place in the division and the league, with the Blues holding a game in hand.

St. Louis had opened the game’s scoring at 9:12 of the first period, when they caught Detroit on a bad line change and B.J. Crombeen gained the offensive zone on a three-on-one. Crombeen’s pass to Scott Nichol got around defenseman Niklas Kronwall and goalie Jimmy Howard couldn’t get across to stop Nichol’s shot.

The tide turned late in the first period. After Red Wings’ defenseman Brad Stuart laid out the Blues’ Alex Pietrangelo, Stuart was jumped by Chris Stewart. Stewart earned the extra two minute minor for instigating the fight, putting Detroit on a power play that continued into the second period.

It was on that power play that the Red Wings tied things up. Just 51 seconds into the middle frame, Datsyuk carried the puck off the left wing boards and into the slot before lifting a backhander past St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Johan Franzen put Detroit out front at 8:52 of the period. With Franzen heading to the front of the net, Jonathan Ericsson‘s shot was blocked in the slot. Franzen got his stick on it and backhanded it around Halak’s pad to make it 2-1.

A second power play goal finished off the game’s scoring. With Carlo Colaiacavo off for roughing and just after the expiration of matching minors to Todd Bertuzzi and David Backes, Niklas Kronwall fired a shot from the top of the left circle that went through a screen by Tomas Holmstrom and past Halak.

The game closed on a chippy note, with Backes, Pietrangelo and Howard each taking roughing minors in the final two seconds. Backes and Pietrangelo also took ten-minute misconducts in the scrum around the Detroit net.

Howard finished the night with 21 saves on 22 shots against. Halak made 25 saves on 28 shots.

The Red Wings scored on two of five power play chances, though one of those lasted for 1.5 seconds. The Blues did not score on their lone power play.

The Red Wings will start a four-game road trip in Montreal on Wednesday, their last game before the All-Star break.

Datsyuk Leads Red Wings to Second Consecutive Win

Pavel Datsyuk scored the game-winning goal for the second consecutive night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

On Friday night, Datsyuk scored in overtime to give Detroit a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Datsyuk scored with 6:47 remaining in the third period Saturday, breaking a 3-3 tie. Ian Cole turned the puck over to Datsyuk along the boards right wing boards, then Datsyuk jumped between Cole and T.J. Oshie. Moving to the slot, Datsyuk stickhandled around Roman Polak and snapped a shot past goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Justin Abdelkader scored 1:20 later, taking a feed from Niklas Kronwall to break in alone and wrist a shot past Halak, locking up the win.

The Blues had opened the game’s scoring at 9:17 of the first when Adam Cracknell took a feed from Ryan Reeves and whipped a shot past Jimmy Howard from the left faceoff circle.

Ruslan Salei took advantage of a St. Louis turnover to get Detroit on the board 2:34 later, picking up a loose puck at the top of the right circle and snapping it past Halak.

Just 16 seconds later, Darren Helm knocked the rebound of an Abdelkader chance past Halak to put the Red Wings in the lead.

Niklas Kronwall’s power play blast from just inside the blue line made it 3-1 in favor of the Wings with 1:25 remaining in the second.

David Backes started St. Louis’ rally at 3:48 of the third, snapping the rebound of his own shot from the left faceoff circle past Howard.

Matt D’Agostini tied it up 2:31 later, deflecting a Kevin Shattenkirk shot from the point past Howard.

Kronwall’s goal was the only power play tally of the night. Detroit had two chances with the extra attacker while the Blues had four.

Howard made 26 saves on 29 shots. Halak stopped 22 of 27 chances.

The Red Wings will be off until Wednesday when they host the Washington Capitals.

Red Wings Blow Lead, Score in OT to Beat Blues, 4-3

The Detroit Red Wings gave up a three-goal lead Thursday night but got an overtime goal from Darren Helm to pick up a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues.

Helm’s goal came after the Blues forced overtime, rallying from down 3-0 midway through the game to tie things up with 5:46 remaining in regulation.

After Helm chipped the puck out of the Detroit zone, Jiri Hudler carried it down the right wing and into the St. Louis end. Hudler centered the puck to Helm, who swatted it past goalie Jaroslav Halak to give the Red Wings the win at 1:51 of the overtime period.

Patrick Eaves had opened the game’s scoring with 7:35 left in the first. Eaves forced a turnover in the right wing corner and then went to the front of the net, taking a pass from Henrik Zetterberg and banging home the puck.

At 7:34 of the second, Todd Bertuzzi made it 2-0 when Halak tracked Valtteri Filppula‘s wraparound attempt, not noticing that the puck was left for Bertuzzi at the side of the goal. Bertuzzi roofed a shot with Halak looking the other way.

Jakub Kindl‘s first NHL goal made it 3-0 2:16 later. Kindl joined Filppula and Hudler as the late man on a rush, getting the puck from Filppula and trying to work it to Hudler at the side of the net. The attempted pass deflected off of defenseman Roman Polak and past Halak.

TJ Oshie got the Blues on the board with 8:16 left in the middle period. Oshie put a shot from the left faceoff circle over Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard‘s shoulder.

Patrick Berglund was left uncovered in the slot at 6:35 of the third period, open to take a pass from Vladimir Sobotka and snap a shot past Howard, pulling St. Louis to within a goal.

David Backes tied the game with 5:46 remaining, banging home the rebound of a Brad Boyes chance.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. The Blues had two attempts with the extra attacker to Detroit’s one.

Howard made 26 saves on 29 shots in his first game back after missing two with a bruised knee. Halak stopped 25 of 29 shots.

The Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday afternoon and then are off until Wednesday when they host the New Jersey Devils.


Detroit announced the signing of free agent goaltender Evgeni Nabokov immediately after the game. Nabokov will have to clear waivers before joining the team but is not expected to do so.

Red Wings’ Rally Falls Short in St. Louis

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from down 4-1 to pull within a goal Thursday night but couldn’t get the evener, falling to the St. Louis Blues, 4-3.

Nicklas Lidstrom and Patrick Eaves scored second-period goals but St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak stopped all 15 shots he faced in the third to hold onto the lead for the Blues.

Lidstrom’s goal came on a one-timer from the top of the left faceoff circle with 8:27 left in the middle period and the Red Wings on a five-on-three.

Eaves scored with 3:09 left in the period, snapping a shot from the top of the right circle past Halak after Kris Draper and Darren Helm dug the puck out from behind the net.

The Blues opened the scoring with 6:39 left in the first. Erik Johnson one-timed a shot from the blue line through a crowd and past Chris Osgood on a St. Louis power play.

Johan Franzen responded just 30 seconds later, tying the game on a snapper from the left faceoff dot.

Only 36 seconds after that, Patrick Berglund scored the first of two goals to restore the St. Louis lead, beating Osgood from the high slot.

Berglund scored again with 1:13 left in the first, just three seconds after the expiration of a penalty to Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall. Berglund’s shot from the left wing boards went through a crowd and past Osgood to make it 3-1.

Matt D’Agostini made it 4-1 at 5:51 of the second. Jonathan Ericsson gave the puck away in the neutral zone and it was picked up by Eric Brewer. Brewer sent it up to David Backes, who sprung D’Agostini for a break in on Osgood. He faked out Osgood and slid the puck past him for the eventual game-winner.

Osgood finished the night with 21 saves on 25 shots in his second failed bid at his 400th career win. Halak stopped 35 of 38 Detroit chances.

Both teams went one-for-four on the power play.

The Red Wings are now off for Christmas but return on Sunday when they visit the Minnesota Wild.

Lidstrom’s First Hat Trick Carries Red Wings over Blues

Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom scored the first hat trick of his twenty-year NHL career Wednesday night, leading the Red Wings to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues.

Lidstrom opened and closed the scoring for the Red Wings as they looked to rebound from a 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

After a scoreless first period, Lidstrom got Detroit on the board with a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle 4:02 into the second. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk gained the St. Louis zone before Lidstrom jumped into the play, taking a pass from Zetterberg and slapping a shot past Blues netminder Jaroslav Halak.

Carlo Colaiacovo responded just 1:18 later for St. Louis. Colaiacovo gave the puck off to Dave Scatchard as he gained the Detroit zone, drove to the net, and got the puck back to put a backhander past Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard.

Niklas Kronwall put Detroit back up with 3:53 remaining in the period, snapping a shot from the high slot past Halak just after the expiration of a St. Louis penalty.

The Red Wings made it 3-1 just 1:31 later, when Danny Cleary tapped in the rebound of a Lidstrom shot on the power play.

Lidstrom’s second of the night gave Detroit a three-goal lead at 2:26 of the third. He blasted a shot from the blue line past Halak on another power play.

Brad Winchester tipped an Alex Steen shot past Howard at 6:42 of the period to give the Blues a power play goal of their own and cut the lead back down to two.

Lidstrom wrapped up the hat trick with an empty net goal with 30 seconds remaining.

The Red Wings finished the night two-for-five on the power play. St. Louis went one-for-three.

Halak stopped 32 of the 36 shots he faced on the night while Howard made 19 saves on 21 St. Louis chances.


Kris Draper was back in the Detroit lineup, with Drew Miller out to make room in the lineup.

Four Goal Third Carries Red Wings Past Blues

The Detroit Red Wings scored four goals in a 3:14 span in the third period Wednesday night, lifting them to a 7-3 win over the St. Louis Blues.

The game was tied 3-3 with 7:34 remaining when Danny Cleary scored his second goal of the night, snapping a shot from the right side of the slot past St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak off a pass from behind the net by Mike Modano.

Henrik Zetterberg made it 5-3 just 46 seconds later. Zetterberg carried the puck into the St. Louis zone and cut to the left wing boards before circling back through the left faceoff circle and wristing a shot past Halak on the near side.

Brad Stuart‘s power play blast gave Detroit a three-goal lead with 5:30 left in the period. Tomas Holmstrom rounded out the scoring with a power play deflection of a Brian Rafalski shot 1:10 later.

Drew Miller was credited with the game’s first goal when Halak stopped his shot, then swatted the puck out of the air and into his own net in an attempt to clear the rebound.

Brad Boyes tied things up 1:32 later, sliding a backhander under Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard‘s pad.

Brad Winchester’s power play goal made it 2-1 for St. Louis at 8:16 of the second period. Winchester jammed the puck home from in front of the net off a feed from Andy McDonald.

Justin Abdelkader redirected a Rafalski pass between Halak’s pads with 6:18 left in the period to tie the game back up.

Cleary’s first of the night put Detroit back up with 3:30 remaining in the second but McDonald replied 37 seconds later to make it 3-3.

St. Louis outshot the Red Wings 36-31 but Howard made 33 saves to Halak’s 24, including a toe save with less than a second remaining in the first period and the game tied.

The Red Wings were two-for-five on the power play. The Blues went one-for-three.

The seven goals scored is Detroit’s highest offensive output of the season.