Red Wings Wrap Up North American Exhibitions, Set Lineup for Sweden

The Detroit Red Wings finished off their North American exhibition schedule Sunday night with a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in a game that saw both teams rest many of their star players.

Detroit was without Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Chris Osgood, Dan Cleary, Valtteri Filppula, Brad Stuart, Todd Bertuzzi and Niklas Kronwall. Pittsburgh sat Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar.

Pascal Dupuis scored the lone goal for the Penguins while Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk, Jason Williams and Ville Leino all scored for Detroit. Jimmy Howard stopped 25 shots on the night, including a Jordan Staal penalty shot.

After the game the Red Wings made their final preseason roster cuts. Johan Ryno, Mattias Ritola, Andy Delmore, Francis Pare, Logan Pyett, Jakub Kindl and Evan McGrath were all assigned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Brad May was released from his pro tryout but he is expected to join the Griffins. Earlier in the day the Wings had assigned Jeremy Williams, Doug Janik, Thomas McCollum, Kris Newbery and Jan Mursak to the Griffins.

The Red Wings now head to Sweden, where they will open up the regular season with a pair of games against the St. Louis Blues at Stockholm’s Globe Arena.

On Wednesday Detroit will play their final exhibition game of the season in Karlstad against Farjestads BK.

Abdelkader Gets His Chance to Impress

The Red Wings appear to be giving Justin Abdelkader every chance to impress them this preseason. The lineup for tonight’s matchup with the Buffalo Sabres reveals he will be making his third appearance in as many games for Detroit.

Abdelkader has two goals and three points through the first two preseason games. He started Friday night’s game against the New York Rangers on the top line centering Todd Bertuzzi and Dan Cleary before switching placed with Valtteri Filppula to center Jason Williams and Ville Leino.

Tonight he’ll be back between Kris Draper and Patrick Eaves, as he was on Wednesday against Philadelphia.

Tonight’s expected lines are as follows:

Johan FranzenPavel DatsyukTomas Holmstrom
Kris Draper-Justin Abdelkader-Patrick Eaves
Tomas TatarKris NewburyFrancis Pare
John VigilanteFrancis LemieuxJeremy Williams

Nicklas LidstromJakub Kindl
Logan PyettBrian Rafalski
Jonathan EricssonBrett Lebda

Jimmy Howard will get the start in goal and is expected to play the entire game. Thomas McCollum will be the backup.

Tonight’s game is the first of the preseason to be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit.

I’ll be at the game but I’ll check into the gameday thread when I can.

Red Wings Open Preseason with Win over Flyers

The Detroit Red Wings opened their preseason with a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers less than 24 hours after closing training camp.

The Wings’ possible fourth line of Kris Draper, Justin Abdelkader and Patrick Eaves came through Wednesday night, factoring in on two of the three goals as Detroit rallied after trailing 1-0.

Following a slow first period, James Van Riemsdyk put the Flyers on the board at 3:26 of the second, breaking in all alone to beat Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard after a Tomas Holmstrom turnover.

Draper evened things up 6:10 later, banging the rebound of a Brian Rafalski chance past Philadelphia goalie Ray Emery.

Abdelkader set up the Wings’ second goal with 1:52 left in the second period. Abdelkader grabbed a loose puck behind the Flyers net and sent it out to Jamie Tardif for a one-timer past Emery.

Jeremy Williams finished off the game’s scoring at 3:35 of the third period, scoring on Philadelphia’s Brian Boucher.

Aside from the slow start, the other disappointing stat for the Wings was a power play that went 0-7 on the night, including two four minute man advantages.

Howard stopped six of the seven shots he faced in just over 30 minutes of play. Daniel Larsson made fourteen saves over the remainder of the game.


In addition to scoring the Wings’ second goal, Tardif also fought Ian Laperriere early in the third period.

Red Wings Kick Off Preseason Schedule Tonight

The Red Wings kick off their preseason schedule tonight, hosting the Philadelphia Flyers less than 24 hours after wrapping up training camp with the Red and White Game Monday night in Traverse City.

Detroit will use two rosters to start the exhibition schedule. The Red team featuring Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Nicklas Lidstrom will get the nod tonight. The White team with Henrik Zetterberg, Dan Cleary and Niklas Kronwall will play on Friday against the New York Rangers.

It looks like there will be no live media coverage of tonight’s game. It will not be televised in Detroit or Philadelphia and it looks like radio coverage is out as well.

Tonight’s Red team lineup is as follows:

Johan Franzen-Pavel Datsyuk-Tomas Holmstrom
Kris DraperJustin AbdelkaderPatrick Eaves
Mattias RitolaKris NewburyJan Mursak
Johan Ryno-Cory EmmertonJeremy Williams

Nicklas Lidstrom-Jakub Kindl
Derek MeechBrian Rafalski
Jonathan Ericsson-Andy Delmore

Jimmy Howard
Daniel Larsson

A note… If you see images from tonight’s game and wonder what’s wrong with the Wings’ jerseys, the answer is nothing. Every preseason the Wings use sweaters with names straight across the shoulders rather than the arched names they use during the regular season. Every season people forget about that and think a big change has been made.

Numbers Game 2009: Camp Roster Set

Red Wings Central has published Detroit’s training camp roster and this year there aren’t a lot of surprises with the sweater numbers players will be wearing.

Todd Bertuzzi will keep the #44 he has worn for most of his career, including during his first stint in Detroit. Newcomer Patrick Eaves, who also typically wears that number, has taken #17.

Jason Williams, also in his second run with Detroit, returns to his familiar #29.

Depth defenseman Andy Delmore did not take the #15 he wore last time he was in camp with the Wings, instead going with #4 as his usual #5 is taken by Nicklas Lidstrom.

Doug Janik has inherited Mikael Samuelsson‘s #37, while other newcomers Kris Newbury and Jeremy Williams will wear #32 and #15, respectively.

No returning Red Wings regulars have switched numbers.