Red Wings Clinch Central Division with Win over Wild

The Detroit Red Wings locked up their ninth Central Division title in the past ten seasons with a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild Sunday afternoon.

The division championship was clinched one day after Detroit made the playoffs for the twentieth consecutive season, the active record in North American pro sports.

Darren Helm opened the scoring for the Red Wings just 2:46 into the game. Helm took a pass from Patrick Eaves in the slot and drifted towards the right faceoff circle before snapping a shot past Minnesota netminder Jose Theodore.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 2-0 with 20 seconds left in the first and the teams skating four-on-four with a blast from the blue line that went through a screen set by Pavel Datsyuk, playing in his first game since March 17.

The Wild pulled back to within a goal at 4:32 of the second period, when Brad Staubitz knocked the puck out from under Jimmy Howard and into the Detroit net.

Detroit regained the two-goal lead with 7:22 left in the period. With the Red Wings on the power play, Tomas Holmstrom got the puck in the high slot and skated around a diving Brent Burns before snapping a shot past Theodore.

Johan Franzen banged the puck past Theodore from in close at 6:11 of the third to put the Red Wings up by three.

Detroit thought they had a 5-1 lead later in the period when a Brad Stuart shot beat Theodore but the goal was waived off because Justin Abdelkader had been knocked into the net.

The Wild finished off the game’s scoring with 3:06 remaining when Carson MacMillan beat Howard on a rebound try for his first career goal.

Howard finished the night with 27 saves on 29 shots while Theodore maade 30 saves on 34 chances.

The Red Wings went one-for-three on the power play. Minnesota was scoreless on five power play tries.

Detroit is now off until Wednesday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes before a season-ending weekend series with the Chicago Blackhawks.


With Datsyuk’s return to the lineup, the Red Wings rested forward Mike ModanoNiklas Kronwall remained out of the lineup on the blue line and Kris Draper was a healthy scratch.

Red Wings Rally but Fall to Wild in OT

The Detroit Red Wings rallied back from down 2-0 Friday night, taking a 3-2 lead before the Minnesota Wild mounted a comeback of their own to win 4-3 in overtime.

The Red Wings were trailing 2-0 when Justin Abdelkader brought the puck out front from behind the net and sent a cross-crease pass to Darren Helm for a tap-in with 34 seconds left in the second period.

Johan Franzen tied the game at 2:37 of the third period, throwing the puck on net from the bottom of the right faceoff circle. It bounced off defenseman Greg Zanon and past goalie Jose Theodore for a power play goal.

Patrick Eaves put the Red Wings in front 2:38 later on a wraparound after picking up the rebound of his own chance from in front.

Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu tied the game back up with 1:23 remaining in regulation. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard directed the rebound of a Nick Schultz shot right to Koivu in the slot to put it back past Howard.

With 52 seconds left in the extra period, John Madden drove to the net and put the rebound of a Martin Havlat deflection past Howard to win the game for the Wild.

Brent Burns had opened the scoring at 8:16 of the first, sending a seeing-eye shot from the top of the right faceoff circle through traffic and past Howard.

Cal Clutterbuck made it 2-0 1:25 into the second, sneaking a bad-angle shot in between the post and Howard’s pad.

Howard finished the night with 23 saves on 27 shots. Theodore stopped 41 of the 44 shots he faced.

Minnesota’s top-ranked power play did not score on three tries, though Burns’ goal came three seconds after the expiration of a Detroit penalty. The Red Wings scored once on four power play chances, including a lengthy five-on-three.

Sweep Success: Red Wings Rout Avalanche to Advance to Conference Finals

The Detroit Red Wings took advantage of an injured and nearly-eliminated Colorado Avalanche Thursday night, scoring eight goals en route to an 8-2 victory to finish off a four-game sweep.

All eight goals were scored by Detroit’s Swedish contingent. Johan Franzen had his second hat trick of the series while Henrik Zetterberg and Mikael Samuelsson each scored twice. Tomas Holmstrom also scored.

Franzen’s goals gave him eleven in the playoffs and nine in the series, a new four-game series record.

Tyler Arnason and John-Michael Liles scored power play goals for the Avalanche, who were without Peter Forsberg, Ryan Smyth, Wojtek Wolski and Peter Stastny.

Detroit started the scoring at 4:33 of the first period, when a heavy Samuelsson shot from the right wing got through Colorado goalie Jose Theodore and glided into the net.

The Avalanche responded 2:18 later, with Arnason taking a feed from behind the net by Andrew Brunette and banging it past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

Holmstrom scored on a two-on-one with Zetterberg with 1:26 left in the period and Franzen scored his first of the game just 47-seconds later, working the give-and-go with Valtteri Filppula on another odd-man rush.

Zetterberg added a power play goal at 2:15 of the second period, scored on a blast from the blue line with Holmstrom screening Peter Budaj, who replaced Theodore to start the second period.

Only 3:30 later, Zetterberg added his second of the night, golfing a blind backhand shot from his own rebound off Budaj and into the top of the net.

Franzen netted his second on a shorthanded two-on-one with Zetterberg, throwing a bad-angle shot into the open side of the net with 8:23 left in the period.

With 2:45 left in the middle frame, Franzen finished the hat trick, tipping a Nicklas Lidstrom shot past Budaj with the Red Wings on a power play.

Samuelsson added his second of the night on a tip-in at 8:02 of the third period and Liles wrapped up the series scoring 2:24 later, beating Osgood on a shot from the blue line through screen by Brunette with Colorado on a two-man advantage.

The Avalanche finished the night with two goals on five power play chances while the Red Wings scored twice on four attempts with the extra attacker.

Osgood made 29 saves on 31 Colorado shots. Theodore stopped 12 of 15 first-period chances and Budaj finished the night with 20 saves on 25 shots.

The Red Wings will play the winner of the San Jose-Dallas series in the Western Conference Finals. Dallas currently leads the series 3-1.


Chris Chelios sat out of the game with what was described as a lower-body injury. Andreas Lilja took his spot in the lineup.

Late Night Game Three Notes

The Avalanche played their strongest game of the series tonight but the key was that the Red Wings didn’t change their game. Detroit was already doing everything right so they didn’t need to shake things up, but the Avs did need to try something new.

Jose Theodore wasn’t good enough but still looked much better than he did in the previous two games. That’s probably enough to ensure that he gets the start in Thursday’s Game Four.

Johan Franzen continues to roll, adding another goal (though this one wasn’t a game-winner).

I think Chris Osgood might want that third Colorado goal back. Had he been able to keep track of the rebound, that doesn’t end up in the net.

That’s all I’ve got right now. I’ll probably post a recap in the morning.

Red Wings Win on the Road, Take 3-0 Series Lead

The Detroit Red Wings proved that they learned from their first-round mistakes Tuesday night, winning Game Three of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup with the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

In their first-round series with Nashville, the Red Wings failed twice on the road in Game Three and Game Four, allowing the Predators back into the series.

Pavel Datsyuk scored twice and Henrik Zetterberg added another, while Johan Franzen continued his hot streak with his 23rd goal in the past 25 games.

Cody McLeod opened the game’s scoring for the Avalanche, tipping a shot from the right wing by T.J. Hensick past Chris Osgood during a delayed penalty at 5:17 of the first.

Datsyuk scored on a Detroit power play with 7:46 left in the period to tie the game. Zetterberg drove to the net and was tied up in front, working the puck on to Datsyuk to rip into the top of the net.

Just 58 seconds later, Franzen put the Red Wings out in front. Brett Lebda picked up the loose puck in the right circle and threw it back across the ice to Franzen in the slot to rifle in past Colorado goalie Jose Theodore.

Datsyuk’s second of the night put Detroit up by a pair 6:36 into the second period. Brian Rafalski‘s shot from the point was knocked down at the top of the crease by Theodore but Datsyuk was there to scoop up the rebound and put it into the net.

Andrew Brunette pulled the Avalance back to within a goal with the first of his two power play goals, tipping a John-Michael Liles shot from the blue line past Osgood at 8:08 of the second.

Zetterberg extended the Detroit lead again with 7:36 left in the period, scoring another power play goal. Zetterberg sent the puck from behind the net to Datsyuk on the right wing, then moved out to the far side of the crease to get the puck back for a tap-in.

Brunette scored his second at 5:19 of the third period, banging in the rebound of a Joe Sakic chance after Osgood lost it in his skates but the Avs would be unable to pull even.

All three Colorado goals came with an extra attacker on the ice, either during a power play or a delayed penalty. The Avalanche finished the night two-for-five on the power play while the Red Wings went two-for-seven.

Osgood stopped 30 of 33 shots against in his first playoff win in Denver since 1996. Theodore made 31 saves on 35 shots.


The Avalanche saw Peter Forsberg and Scott Hannan return to the lineup but lost Ryan Smyth before the start of the game and Peter Stastny in the first period.

Forsberg’s Status Still Unknown for Game Three

Peter Forsberg‘s status for Tuesday’s Game Three is still up in the air. He missed the first two games of the series with a groin injury.

“It’s very hard to sit on the side, especially when you lose. I worked hard at home for eight months, and I didn’t come here to sit in the dressing room or not play in the playoffs. Hopefully, I can play tomorrow,” Forsberg said after an hour-long practice on Monday.

Meanwhile, Jose Theodore will get the start in the Colorado crease dispite having been pulled in the second period of both of the first two games.

Defenseman Scott Hannan‘s status is unknown after missing the second game of the series with a foot injury.

The Red Wings are not expected to make any lineup changes.

In the Detroit area the game will be available on FSN Detroit. Versus will cover it nationally.

Franzen Scores Three as Red Wings Win Game Two

Johan Franzen scored his first playoff hat trick on Saturday, continuing his hot streak that started in March and leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game Two of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup.

Franzen scored the game’s first goals – both on the power play – to get the Red Wings rolling.

At 4:22 of the first period, Franzen tipped a hard shot by Mikael Samuelsson past Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore.

Just 4:04 into the second period, he added another one, coming out from behind the net with the puck to roof a backhander over Theodore.

Valtteri Filppula made it a three-goal lead only 1:38 later slipping a backhander past Theodore after a Dallas Drake shot bounced off the back boards.

With 9:49 left in the period, Henrik Zetterberg rifled a shot into the net while on a two-on-one with Tomas Holmstrom, leading to Theodore’s early exit for the second game in a row.

Cody McCormick tried to give the Avalanche life, challenging Darren McCarty to a fight and earning the takedown, but Colorado couldn’t bounce back and couldn’t stay calm, taking five undisciplined penalties throughout the second half of the period.

Ian Laperriere got the Avalanche on the board at 2:38 of the third but it would be their only goal.

Franzen completed his hat trick at 8:47 of the closing frame, scoring on a two-on-one with Zetterberg while the Red Wings were shorthanded.

Zetterberg carried the puck into the Colorado zone down the left wing. He faked around Joe Sakic and put a shot into goalie Peter Budaj. Franzen followed up with a rebound chance and the puck popped into the air, where he smacked it past Budaj for the game’s final goal.

Theodore stopped 16 of 20 shots before being replaced by Budaj, who made 19 stops on the same number of chances. Detroit netminder Chris Osgood also stopped 19 of 20 shots.

Game Three of the series will be Tuesday in Denver.


The last Red Wing to score a playoff hat trick was Darren McCarty, who scored three times in Game One of Detroit’s 2002 series with Colorado… Before the game, Colorado’s Cody McLeod scooped up an octopus from the ice – in direct violation of the new NHL rule – and taunted the Red Wings bench with it.

Red Wings Hold off Colorado Comeback for Game One Victory

The Detroit Red Wings held off a comeback attempt by the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night, preserving a 4-3 lead throughout the third period to claim victory in Game One of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup.

Detroit netminder Chris Osgood stopped John-Michael Liles with eight seconds remaining in the game to end Colorado’s comeback attempt. It was one of his 18 saves on the night.

All four Red Wings goals were scored on Jose Theodore, who left the game after the fourth. He was replaced by Peter Budaj in the Avalanche crease and by Tyler Weiman on the bench, leaving the arena due to illness.

Colorado got on the board first with Ryan Smyth getting away from Andreas Lilja behind the Detroit goal to feed Peter Stastny out front for a quick shot back in past Osgood at 8:53 of the first.

Just 53 seconds later, Henrik Zetterberg evened things up for the Red Wings. Zetterberg gained the Colorado zone and dropped the puck to Brian Rafalski, who put it back down to Pavel Datsyuk along the left wing boards. Datsyuk sent it down low to Zetterberg as he cut to the net and put it past Theodore.

Dan Cleary put Detroit out in front with 6:12 left in the period, powering a shot in on Theodore that the goaltender deflected high into the air before dropping in behind him and bouncing into the net.

With 2:37 left in the period, Johan Franzen tipped a Niklas Kronwall shot past Theodore for a power play goal, giving the Red Wings a 3-1 lead after the first period.

Franzen scored again 1:13 into the second.

Mikael Samuelsson jumped in to grab a loose puck from Andrew Brunette along the left wing boards. Samuelsson worked it out to Valtteri Filppula who moved it on to Franzen for a one-timer from the top of the right circle.

Liles scored 4:04 later to cut Detroit’s lead back down, blasting a shot from the left wing off of Osgood’s pad and into the net.

With 3:31 left in the second, Milan Hejduk scored the game’s final goal to pull the Avs to within one. One a three-on-two, Smyth moved the puck to Stastny who got it along to Hejduk to lift over Osgood’s pad.

Budaj finished the night with 20 saves on as many shots. Theodore stopped 12 of 16 shots.

The Red Wings scored the lone power play goal of the game on one of their five chances with the extra attacker. Colorado was scoreless on three tries.

Game Two of the series will be on Saturday afternoon from Joe Louis Arena.


Colorado’sPeter Forsberg missed the game with a groin injury… Wojtek Wolski left the game after the first period with an undisclosed injury… To circumvent the NHL’s new rule banning twirling an octopus while carrying it off the ice, Detroit zamboni driver Al Sobotka twirled one in the zamboni entrance at the start of the game.

Red Wings End Streak in Colorado

The Detroit Red Wings ended their losing streak at six games Monday night, earning a 4-0 victory over the host Colorado Avalanche to complete a sweep of the season series between the two teams.

Goaltender Chris Osgood made 18 saves to pick up the shutout after being pulled from each of his last two starts. It marked Detroit’s third blanking of the Avalanche this season.

Detroit’s victory came even after losing captain Nicklas Lidstrom to injury in the first period. Lidstrom left the game with what the team called a slight knee sprain after a hit from Ian Laperriere.

Aaron Downey later fought Laperriere.

The Red Wings got on the board with 7:57 left in the first period on Chris Chelios‘ second goal of the season. Pavel Datsyuk sent out a pass from down low that Tomas Holmstrom let slide past him in the slot to Chelios at the blue line. His shot slipped through traffic and past Jose Theodore to give Detroit the lead.

Valtteri Filppula put the Red Wings up by a pair with just 56 seconds left in the opening frame, gathering up the rebound from his own shot from the slot to roof it over Theodore at the side of the net.

Henrik Zetterberg scored a pair of goals in the second to wrap up the scoring.

At 7:42 he scored with the Red Wings on a two-man advantage, taking a cross-crease pass from Pavel Datsyuk to score into the open side of the net.

Just 2:16 later he added another, taking a drop pass from Datsyuk and cutting through the slot, waiting for Theodore to dive before putting a shot past him.

Theodore finished the night with 36 saves on 40 Detroit shots.

The Red Wings finished the game two-for-five on the power play. The Avalance couldn’t score on any of their three tries.

Hasek Earns Second-Straight Shutout as Red Wings Blank Avalanche

Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek blanked his opponent for the second-straight game Tuesday night, with Detroit picking up a 1-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Combined with a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday and the final minutes of a 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on New Years Eve, Hasek’s last 134 minutes played have been shutout hockey.

Hasek made 19 saves in the effort. Colorado’s Jose Theodore was nearly perfect as well, stopping 24 of 25 shots against.

The game’s lone goal came just after the expiration of a Detroit power play late in the second period.

With 1:39 left in the middle frame, Niklas Kronwall fired a shot on net that was stopped by Theodore. Stationed at the top of the crease, Tomas Holmstrom backhanded the loose puck to the side of the net, where Pavel Datsyuk stepped in and put it past Theodore.

Holmstrom was making his return to the Detroit lineup after a leg injury. Kirk Maltby also returned, coming back from a back injury.


It was Hasek’s third shutout of the season and the 79th of his career… Matt Ellis and Aaron Downey were healthy scratches.