Red Wings Fall to Habs in Overtime, Clinch Playoff Spot

The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night but the standings point gained in the loss was enough to clinch a playoff spot.

Minutes after the Canadiens finished off the Red Wings, the Florida Panthers completed a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins, ensuring that the Bruins would be unable to pass Detroit in the standings and putting the Red Wings in the postseason for the 24th consecutive campaign.

Lars Eller gave Montreal the victory at 1:21 of overtime when his shot from the left wing was seemingly deflected by the stick of Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey and flew past goaltender Jimmy Howard.

The Canadiens had forced overtime with a five-on-three goal with 8:21 remaining in regulation. Tomas Plekanec threw a low-angle shot from the right wing towards Howard and it slipped through, tying the game at three goals apiece.

Tomas Tatar had opened the game’s scoring with 9:41 left in the first period. Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck into the Montreal zone down the right side and Tatar raced down the left side, wide open off a line change. Datsyuk got him the puck for a quick snap past Montreal goalie Carey Price.

Andrei Markov tied things up with 2:24 left in the opening period, blasting a shot from the blue line through traffic and past Howard for a 1-1 game.

Montreal made it 2-1 with 6:24 of the second period when defenseman Jeff Petry jumped up to join the rush and take a feed from Torrey Mitchell in the slot, snapping a shot past Howard.

Datsyuk responded just 1:43 later, carrying the puck through the slot and faking around Alexei Emelin before whipping the puck past Price.

Detroit regained the lead at 3:34 of the final frame when Darren Helm outraced P.K. Subban on a shorthanded breakaway and beat Price to make it 3-2.

Price finished the night with 24 saves on 27 shots while Howard made 22 stops on 26 chances.

Plekanec’s goal was the only power play tally of the game. Montreal had four tries with the extra attacker to Detroit’s five.

The Red Wings close out their season on Saturday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes.

Late Goals Lift Red Wings over Oilers

Two late power play goals helped the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

Benoit Pouliot was in the penalty box for spearing Jonathan Ericsson when Pavel Datsyuk and Luke Glendening scored in the game’s final minute to turn a 2-2 tie into a 4-2 win for Detroit.

With 34 seconds left in regulation, Datsyuk’s attempted pass from the bottom of the left faceoff circle to Justin Abdelkader at the top of the crease deflected off Edmonton’s Matt Hendricks and past goalie Viktor Fasth to give the Red Wings a 3-2 lead.

Glendening would add an empty-net goal with three seconds remaining to round out the scoring.

The Oilers had gotten things started with a power play goal of their own with 4:31 remaining in the opening period. Jeff Petry threw a pass from the blue line down the left wing to Jordan Eberle, who cut to the goal at a hard angle and beat Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

Kyle Quincey knotted things up at 10:44 of the second, picking up the rebound of his own blocked shot from the left faceoff dot and carrying it towards the slot before snapping the puck over Fasth’s glove.

Abdelkader made it 2-1 with 1:31 left in the period with a net-front deflection of a Niklas Kronwall shot on the power play.

It was 2-2 with 4:05 left in regulation when Eberle scored his second of the night for Edmonton, taking a pass from behind the net by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to beat Howard from the left circle.

The Red Wings’ three power play goals came on six attempts with the extra skater. The Oilers scored once on three power play tries.

Howard finished the night with 21 saves on 23 shots. Fasth stopped 37 of 40 Detroit attempts.

The Red Wings wrap up the Western Canadian portion of their six-game road trip on Wednesday in Calgary.


Detroit forward Tomas Jurco was held out of the third period with back spasms. He will not play in Calgary… Defenseman Jakub Kindl remained out of the lineup with a wrist injury… Daniel Cleary, Joakim Andersson, and Brian Lashoff were healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Postgame: Bruins 3, Red Wings 2 (SO)

The word out of the Red Wings dressing room after their 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday was that goalie Jimmy Howard stole the team a point, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who would disagree.

As a whole, Detroit’s skaters spent much of the game on their heels, with Howard bailing them out. Howard especially came up huge in the final minutes of regulation, with several key stops to force overtime and get Detroit a point in the standings.

Of course, Howard looked relatively awful in the shootout, but considering he’s the reason the team got there it’s hard to fault him for the failure in the tiebreaker.

Speaking of the gimmick… Is Andrej Nestrasil an AHL shootout specialist and I just don’t know it? I get that with the team down Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Alfredsson they’re missing a lot of their shootout regulars, but I’ve got six guys (Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco, Johan Franzen, Riley Sheahan, Henrik Zetterberg) that I go with before Nestrasil. First coaching decision I’ve questioned this season.

So far we’ve seen two games the Wings played well enough to win and one they deserved to lose, and they’ve got a 1-1-1 record. Not bad, not great. We’re not going to see the team get blown up for this loss, nor should we. Even if the Jeff Petry rumors are intriguing.

Red Wings Rally for 3-2 OT Win over Oilers

The Detroit Red Wings went into the third period down 2-0 but rallied for a 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.

Pavel Datsyuk won the game for the Red Wings with 1:21 left in the overtime period. Datsyuk took a pass from Johan Franzen in the neutral zone and raced into the Edmonton zone, faking around defender Jeff Petry and snapping a shot past netminder Devan Dubnyk.

Taylor Hall had opened the scoring at 3:34 of the first period, picking up the puck at the Detroit blue line and cutting to the middle, splitting the Red Wings’ defense through the slot and snapping a shot under Howard to make it 1-0.

Edmonton went up 2-0 with 3:42 left in the second period on a goal by Sam Gagner. After Hall tied up Jonathan Ericsson behind the Detroit net, Nail Yakupov picked up the puck and cut in from the left wing boards, around Niklas Kronwall, and shoveled a shot on Howard from the slot. Gagner was there to bang home the rebound.

Valtteri Filppula cut the Edmonton lead in half at 4:27 of the third. Henrik Zetterberg won a battle along the boards in the left corner and Filppula came in to pick up the puck. Filppula cut through the left faceoff circle on the backhand and flung a shot on net, through a screen by Damien Brunner and past goalie Devan Dubnyk.

Detroit tied things up with 5:53 remaining in the third on their second road power play goal of the season. Niklas Kronwall threw a shot on net from the blue line and Dubnyk kicked it aside. Defender Jeff Petry turned to knock it away but ended up putting it in behind his own goalie.

Howard finished the night with 30 saves on 32 shots while Dubnyk stopped 25 of 28 Detroit chances.

Detroit went one-for-five on the power play. Edmonton was scoreless with three power play attempts.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday in Vancouver as they close out their Western Canadian road trip.


Ian White, Kent Huskins and Patrick Eaves were healthy scratches for the Red Wings… Kyle Quincey left the game late in the third after taking a puck to the face. He will not travel with the team to Vancouver.

NHLPA Charity Game Rosters Announced

Per the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff, rosters for Saturday’s “Rock Out the Lockout” NHLPA charity game in Windsor have been announced.

Team Red
Justin Abdelkader, #8 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Clarkson, #23 (New Jersey Devils)
Johan Franzen, #93 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Legwand, #11 (Nashville Predators)
Jamal Mayers, #22 (Chicago Blackhawks)
Steve Ott, #29 (Buffalo Sabres)
Mikael Samuelsson, #37 (Detroit Red Wings)
Drew Stafford, #21 (Buffalo Sabres)
Thomas Vanek, #26 (Buffalo Sabres)
Kyle Wellwood, #13 (Winnipeg Jets)
Kevin Westgarth, #19 (Los Angeles Kings)

Jonathan Ericsson, #52 (Detroit Red Wings)
Niklas Kronwall, #55 (Detroit Red Wings)
Jordan Leopold, #3 (Buffalo Sabres)
Nick Schultz, #55 (Edmonton Oilers)
James Wisniewski, #21 (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Jonas Gustavsson, #50 (Detroit Red Wings)
Michael Leighton, #49 (Philadelphia Flyers)

Team Black
Todd Bertuzzi, #44 (Detroit Red Wings)
Adam Burish, #37 (San Jose Sharks)
Dan Cleary, #11 (Detroit Red Wings)
Matt Ellis, #37 (Buffalo Sabres)
Cory Emmerton, #48 (Detroit Red Wings)
Darren Helm, #43 (Detroit Red Wings)
Shawn Horcoff, #10 (Edmonton Oilers)
Matt Martin, #17 (New York Islanders)
Brenden Morrow, #10 (Dallas Stars)
James Neal, #18 (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Sergei Samsonov, #14

Trevor Daley, #6 (Dallas Stars)
Mike Komisarek, #8 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
John-Michael Liles, #24 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Jeff Petry, #58 (Edmonton Oilers)
Ian White, #18 (Detroit Red Wings)
Ryan Wilson, #44 (Colorado Avalanche)

Jimmy Howard, #35 (Detroit Red Wings)

All players will be available for a free autograph session in the WFCU Centre concourse from 4:45 – 5:30 PM. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM.

Update, 12/8 – 10:10 AM: Event co-organizer Steve Ott tweeted a full roster including jersey numbers this morning. There will be overlapping numbers in some cases. On Team Red, Drew Stafford and James Wisniewski will wear #21 while Niklas Kronwall and Nick Schultz will wear #55. For Team Black, Todd Bertuzzi and Ryan Wilson will both wear #44, Shawn Horcoff and Brendon Morrow will both wear #10, and James Neal and Ian White will both wear #18.

Wings’ Cleary Among Organizers of Windsor NHLPA Charity Game

Detroit Red Wings forward Danny Cleary is one of three NHLPA members organizing a charity game at Windsor’s WCU Centre.

Buffalo forward and former Windsor Spitfire Steve Ott and Edmonton forward Shawn Horcoff are also organizing the event, scheduled for December 8, unless the NHL and NHLPA can come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement before then.

The game would be the latest of several organized by locked-out players, all benefitting local charities.

In addition to the three organizers, the following players are tentatively scheduled to appear:

From the Red Wings, Todd Bertuzzi, Justin Abdelkader, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Ian White, Cory Emmerton, Darren Helm and Jonas Gustavsson.  From the Colorado Avalanche, Windsor-native Ryan Wilson.  From the Oilers, Eric Belander and Jeff Petry.  From the Chicago Blackhawks, Jamal Mayers.  From the Pittsburgh Penguins, James Neal.  From the Phoenix Coyotes, Keith Yandle.  From the Dallas Stars, Brenden Morrow.  Former Carolina Hurricane, Boston Bruin, and Detroit Viper Sergei Samsonov.

TGTW: Wings Lead NHL After Week Five

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 finshing their first four-game Western Canadian road trip since the return of the Winnipeg Jets with a 3-1 record, the Detroit Red Wings returned home this week for rematches with the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames and a visit from the Minnesota Wild.

On Tuesday, Jordan Eberle scored twice to lead the Oilers past the Wings to sweep their home-and-home series. Eberle opened the game’s scoring at 4:25 of the first. Kyle Quincey‘s third goal of the season tied things back up on the power play at 2:36 of the second, but Eberle put the Oilers back out in front with 24 seconds left in the middle frame. Also in the second period, Edmonton defensemen Jeff Petry left the game after taking an elbow to the face from Johan Franzen, for which Franzen was ejected.

Edmonton’s Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves on 34 shots to get the win while Detroit’s Jimmy Howard made 16 saves on 18 shots against.

The Red Wings rebounded on Friday with a 4-1 win over the Flames, in a game in which all goal-scorers played for Detroit last season. Jiri Hudler scored the game’s opening goal just 1:48 into the first period. Todd Bertuzzi tied things up with 5:26 left in the period and the Red Wings never looked back. Pavel Datsyuk put Detroit in front at 8:43 of the second and Valtteri Filppula extended his team scoring lead with 4:55 left in that period. Ian White added his first goal of the season with ten seconds remaining in regulation on the power play to finish off the win.

Howard made 21 saves on 22 shots while Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 21 of 25 chances. Todd Bertuzzi left the game with concussion-like symptoms after being boarded by Lee Stempniak late in the third.

With Bertuzzi injured, Cory Emmerton made his first appearance of the season the next night against the Wild, a 4-0 win for Detroit. Henrik Zetterberg opened the scoring with 5:31 left in the first period and Mikael Samuelsson made it 2-0 at 9:08 of the third. Samuelsson and Filppula added goals in the final minute to round out the scoring.

Minnesota free agent signings Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, who both spurned contract offers from Detroit over the summer, finished the night -2. Howard made 20 saves in his third shutout of the season. Niklas Backstrom of the Wild made 26 saves on 30 shots.

After five weeks, the Red Wings sit tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals atop the NHL standings. Filppula leads all NHL scorers with 23 points, two more than Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin. Howard is tied for the league lead in shutouts (three) and wins (10) and second in goals-against average (1.72).

Next week the Red Wings host the Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils, then visit the Wild.