Tatar Scores Twice to Lead Red Wings over Hurricanes

Detroit forward Tomas Tatar notched two goals Sunday evening, leading the Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh.

With the win, the Red Wings move into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Pavel Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring with 3:24 left in the first period. Datsyuk protected the puck along the right wing boards and dropped it off to Jonathan Ericsson, who took a shot on net and followed it, gathering the rebound, curling around the end board, and back up the opposite wing before sending it back across to Datsyuk. Datsyuk stepped in from the point to the faceoff dot and whipped a shot between the legs of defenseman Andrej Sekera and past goalie Cam Ward.

Just two minutes later, Tatar’s first made it 2-0. Ericsson shot the puck around the boards and it came to Justin Faulk on the left wing. Faulk misplayed it and both Datsyuk and Tatar got to it, with Tatar throwing a shot at Ward. Ward kicked it aside but it deflected off Sekera and back into the net.

With 7:46 left in the second period, Tatar scored a more traditional goal for his second of the night. Cutting up the slot, Tatar took a feed from Datsyuk and snapped a shot past Ward for a three-goal lead.

Jay McClement would score Carolina’s only goal of the game with 2:49 left in the middle period, tipping a Tim Gleason shot from the point past Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek.

Mrazek finished the night with 34 saves on 35 shots. Ward stopped 19 of 22 chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had three tries with the extra attacker while Carolina had four.

The Red Wings are now off until they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

With Detroit playing on consecutive nights, Daniel Cleary and Brian Lashoff replaced Joakim Andersson and Jakub Kindl in the lineup. Justin Abdelkader remained out with a shoulder injury.

Filppula Nets Pair as Red Wings Down Blues

Valtteri Filppula scored twice and his line was responsible for two more goals as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night.

Both of Filppula’s goals came late in the third period, putting the Red Wings in front and clinching the win after the Blues had tied the game earlier in the period.

St. Louis opened the game’s scoring 5:39 into the game when Paul Kariya split Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski, breaking in before Henrik Zetterberg could get to him and beating Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard five-hole.

Zetterberg evened things up just 26 seconds into the second period. He picked up the puck at center ice and gained the St. Louis zone, sweeping into the right faceoff circle around defenseman Barret Jackman before cutting to the net and shoveling a backhand shot between the pads of goalie Ty Conklin.

Detroit took the lead 4:09 later with a goal credited to Todd Bertuzzi. Filppula took a shot from the right edge of the slot with Bertuzzi crowding the net. Conklin made the stop but Zetterberg swatted at the rebound, bouncing the puck off of Bertuzzi’s leg and across the goal line.

Jay McClement tied the game 2:05 into the third period, wristing a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle over Howard’s glove.

Filppula put Detroit back in front with his first of the night with 6:49 left in regulation. Rafalski floated a shot in on Conklin from center ice and Filppula raced in to jump on the rebound, backhanding a shot past the sprawling goalie.

With 12 seconds to play Filppula added an empty-net goal, wrapping up the game.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. St. Louis had three tries – including a four-minute power play in the second period – while Detroit had two.

Howard made 30 saves on 32 St. Louis shots for his 30th win of the season. Conklin stopped 20 of 23 chances by his former club.

The Red Wings are back in action on Friday when they host the Minnesota Wild.

Tomas Holmstrom left the game midway through the third period after taking a hit from T.J. Oshie… The win, combined with Colorado’s shootout win over the Kings, keeps Detroit in eighth place in the Western Conference standings. The Wings are four points up on the Calgary Flames, two back of the Avalanche and the Nashville Predators, and three back of Los Angeles. Detroit has a game in hand on Nashville while the Kings have one on the Wings.

Red Wings – Blues Postgame Notes

I said before the game that tonight’s Red Wings – Blues matchup had all of the elements of a classic letdown and there were times when it looked like it would be.

I thought Detroit carried the play early and Paul Kariya’s opening goal deflated them a bit.

The goal itself wasn’t soft (especially compared to Jay McClement‘s goal in the third) but it was a bit of a breakdown. Kariya split Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski – a rare occurrence – and Henrik Zetterberg couldn’t catch up, then Jimmy Howard got beat five-hole. Three breakdowns on a single play and Kariya is too good not to take advantage of that.

Zetterberg put the team on his back in the second. He pretty much willed Detroit’s first goal in and the second went off his stick before hitting Todd Bertuzzi.

Credit shouldn’t be taken from his linemates, as Zetterberg, Bertuzzi and Filppula were the only Red Wings forwards with points on the night. Brian Rafalski also picked up a pair of assists and Howard added one.

The Blues were never out of this game until Filppula scored into the empty net with 12 seconds left. When I was watching the game I felt like both teams were pretty evenly sloppy but the stats show that the Blues had significantly more chances, with St. Louis taking 32 shots to Detroit’s 23.

Aside from the outcome, I think the highlight of the night for Detroit was the second-period four-minute PK with Brad Stuart in the box. St. Louis got off only two shots against a PK unit missing one of its usual defensemen (Stuart) and one of its mainstay forwards (the injured Patrick Eaves). That was an incredibly solid effort by the Wings.

Two bits of bad news on the night…

#1 – Tomas Holmstrom left the game after taking a hit from T.J. Oshie midway through the third period.

#2 – LA forced overtime against Colorado, meaning a three-point game for two of the teams in front of Detroit. The Avs and Predators sit two points up on the Wings and the Kings three points up, with varying numbers of games played.

Kariya Scores Twice as Blues Rebound to Beat Red Wings

Paul Kariya scored two second period goals to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-3 comeback win against the Detroit Red Wings at Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday.

The game is the first in a neutral site home-and-home series between the two teams, to be concluded on Saturday. Friday’s game was considered a Detroit home game.

Kariya’s first goal came on a St. Louis power play with 7:29 left in the second, scored on a shot from the point to pull the Blues to 3-2.

After B.J. Crombeen tied the game by backhanding a rebound chance past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood, Kariya scored again to put the Blues in front for the rest of the game.

Kariya’s second goal came after Brian Rafalski turned the puck over to T.J. Oshie at the Detroit blue line. Oshie shoveled it on to Kariya who broke in on Osgood alone and beat him stick side.

Jay McClement had give the Blues an early lead, scoring off a feed from behind the net by Brad Winchester at 7:54 of the first period.

Jonathan Ericsson drove to the net and tapped in a rebound chance to tie the game 2:48 later and Kirk Maltby beat St. Louis netminder Chris Mason on a shorthanded breakaway with 5:59 left in the first.

Ville Leino scored on a Detroit power play at 7:17 of the second period, the Wings’ lone goal with the man advantage in five tries, including a long five-on-three.

St. Louis went one-for-four on the power play.

Osgood finished the game with 19 saves on 23 shots against. Mason made 31 saves on 34 Detroit shots.

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