Red Wings’ Skid Ends with Win over Avalanche

The Detroit Red Wings ended a losing streak with a win over the Colorado Avalanche for the second time this month on Sunday, picking up a 3-1 win after three losses in a row.

With a 4-3 shootout win in Denver on January 9, Detroit ended an earlier three-game slide.

While the chippy play that has defined the twelve-year Detroit-Colorado rivalry was absent, the game was not without controversy. After a lengthy review, the eventual game-winning goal was allowed to stand when replay seemed to show that it should be called back.

Tomas Holmstrom scored Detroit’s second goal, knocking the rebound of a Nicklas Lidstrom shot out of the air and past Colorado netminder Jose Theodore with 5:58 remaining in regulation. Theodore immediately skated to the officials, signaling that it was deflected above the crossbar. After review, the replay footage was deemed inconclusive and the goal was allowed to stand.

Only eight seconds later, Holmstrom was called for interference and the Avalanche pulled back within one on the ensuing power play.

Rookie Wojtek Wolski carried the puck through the slot and to the right of goalie Dominik Hasek before sending a pass across the top of the crease to Peter Stastny to tip the puck in from the far side of the net 27 seconds into the power play.

The Red Wings wrapped up their win with 1:06 remainging when Kirk Maltby deflected a shot from the point by Chris Chelios to Theodore’s right and just inside the post.

Detroit had opened the game’s scoring at 9:44 of the first period. Henrik Zetterberg wrapped around the back of the net with the puck before sending a pass into the slot for Pavel Datsyuk, who drifted to his left and outwaited Theodore before putting a shot under him.

The Red Wings allowed only 12 shots on the night, with Hasek making 11 saves. Theodore stopped 38 of the 41 shots he faced.

Colorado’s goal was the only goal scored with the extra attacker. Each team had three power play tries.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Tuesday when they make a rare trip into Eastern Conference territory, visiting the New York Islanders.

Kris Draper, Robert Lang and Dominik Hasek were all back in the lineup after missing Friday’s game with the flu. With their returns, Matt Ellis and Matt Hussey were sent back to Grand Rapids.

Red Wings Drop Another Shootout to Avs

The Detroit Red Wings fell in a shootout to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night, marking the second time in less than a week that Colorado has defeated Detroit in the tiebreaker.

In the fourth shootout round, Brett McLean beat Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood and then Colorado netminder Jose Theodore stopped Mikael Samuelsson to give the Avalanche the win.

Jiri Hudler and Jason Williams also scored for Detroit in the shootout, while Wojtek Wolski and Paul Stastny scored for Colorado.

McLean had earlier tied the game with 27.8 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.

The Red Wings got goals from Williams, Matt Hussey, and Jakub Kindl, as well as a goal credited to Niklas Kronwall that was knocked into the net by Colorado defenseman Karlis Skrastins.

The Avalanche scorers were Stastny, Brad Richardson, and Johnny Boychuk before McLean tied the game.

Avalanche Pick Up Shootout Win over Red Wings

Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny beat Detroit Red Wings netminder Joey MacDonald in the third round of a shootout Thursday night to give the Avalanche a 3-2 win over the Red Wings in Detroit’s exhibition home opener.

The Red Wings, who utilized a new rule allowing the home team to choose whether to shoot first or second, got a first-round goal from Jiri Hudler. Wojtek Wolski scored for Colorado in the first round before Tomas Holmstrom, Tyler Arnason and Robert Lang were denied.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring with a power play goal from Nicklas Lidstrom in the first period but the Avalanche evened the game with a power play goal of their own in the second.

Hudler put Detroit back out front in the third, scoring on the rebound of a Niklas Kronwall blast, before Brett MacLean stole the puck from Valtteri Filppula and skated in and put a shot over MacDonald’s glove to tie things up.

Chris Osgood started the game in net for Detroit before being relieved to start the third period. Jose Theodore made the start for Colorado and was replaced by Tyler Weiman at the same time.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Friday, when Dominik Hasek is expected to make the first start of his third stint in Detroit as the Tampa Bay Lightning visit Joe Louis Arena.

Team Canada Bounces Back, Defeats Team USA 3-1

After falling to the Americans, 3-1, on Monday night, Team Canada bounced back and turned the tables on Team USA, beating them by an identical score in an exhibition game in Ottawa on Wednesday. All of Canada’s goals came in the second period.

Vincent Lecavalier, Joe Sakic and Brad Richards each scored for the Canadians, who were unable to crack US goalie Robert Esche in the first period. Ty Conklin was in net for all of Canada’s goals.

Lecavalier opened the scoring on a 2-on-1 with Mario Lemeiux on the power play 5:25 into the game’s middle frame.

Just 2:20 later, Sakic scored on another 2-on-1.

“We just made some mistakes, turnovers, that you make in exhibition games,” said U.S. defenseman Brian Leetch. “Halfway through the game we’d allowed only 12 shots but half of them were 2-on-1s against our goaltender.”

Roberto Luongo, who allowed all three Team USA goals on Monday, didn’t allow a goal on Wednesday night. He was replaced by Jose Theodore midway through the second period. Theodore allowed the American’s lone goal of the night when Chris Drury scored 4:10 in to the third period.

Habs Spoil the Home Opener

Before the game, the 2001-2002 Stanley Cup Championship banner was raised to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena with all due ceremony. Scotty Bowman, Dominik Hasek, Steve Duchesne, and Vladimir Konstantinov all were on hand to salute the Stanley Cup one last time before it was taken back to its home in Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame. It was one last chance for fans, players, coaches, and staff to revel in last season’s glorious ending before settling down to the regular season grind and hopeful road to the 2003 playoffs.

Detroit’s Original Six rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, were on hand to be the first home opponent of the young season. The Canadiens got a slow start in the game, but their excellent goaltending bought them the time they needed to find their rhythm, and they wound up beating the Red Wings by a score of 3-2.

The Red Wings got a power play early in the game, when Richard Zednik was sent out for hooking, and that was all they needed to jump out to an early lead. Tomas Holmstrom brought the puck into the zone and made a short pass to Henrik Zetterberg on the left side. Zetterberg headed for the goal, drawing the defensemen to himself. Meanwhile, Brendan Shanahan had quietly maneuvered in behind the two defensemen. Zetterberg passed across the goal crease, and Shanahan’s tap-in goal caught all of the Canadiens by surprise, including goaltender Jeff Hackett.

The bigger surprise for both teams was that Detroit only had a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period. They applied steady offensive pressure to a Montreal team who looked to be not entirely prepared defensively. Perhaps Hackett sensed a chance at becoming the Canadiens’ starting goalie if last year’s star Jose Theodore is unable to break out of his slump soon; the winner of last year’s Hart and Vezina Trophies has allowed twelve goals in Montreal’s past two games. Hackett came up huge for his team, stopping eleven shots in the first period alone.

The Canadiens regained their rhythm in the second period, their confidence aided by scoring a goal in the early going. Andreas Dackell was able to backhand the rebound into the net after Joe Juneau’s shot just barely trickled free from Curtis Joseph‘s catching glove. The Red Wings continued to put the puck on net at every opportunity, but Hackett remained solid, and the game was tied after two periods.

The Red Wings lost their lead a few minutes into the third period. Zednik and Saku Koivu got away on a two on one rush against Dimitri Bykov, with defensive partner Max Kuznetsov held up in the neutral zone. Bykov tried to take the passing lane away, while Pavel Datsyuk tried at top speed to get to Koivu and take him out of the play, but the pass was released and Koivu sent the shot into the net just as Datsyuk got him enough off balance to send them both sliding into the end boards.

Danny Markov scored what would be Montreal’s eventual game-winner just about midway through the period. The teams were four-on-four, resulting from overlapping penalties to Kirk Maltby and Joe Juneau. Yanic Perreault shot the puck towards the Detroit net. The puck deflected off the stick of Nick Lidstrom, but with Joseph out of the net a little way to challenge Perreault’s shot, Markov was able to get the deflection and put it in behind Joseph before Luc Robitaille was able to get himself properly positioned to cover Markov.

Datsyuk brought the Wings back within one with just over six minutes left to play. Robitaille got the puck from a left side scrum and centered it to Datsyuk, who let fly a fast, hard, one-time shot that Hackett didn’t even see until it was behind him and the red goal light was already on.

The Red Wings went on the attack then. Most of their third period shots on net came in these last few minutes. Hackett was ready. Even when Detroit pulled Joseph to send in the extra attacker, Hackett kept the Canadiens in the lead, stopping shots by Holmstrom, Brett Hull, and Sergei Fedorov in quick succession. Eventually time ran down, and the banner celebrating last year’s glory looked down over the reminder that this season still has many, many games left to go.

Shots on net were thirty-two to fourteen in favor of the Red Wings.

The Wings’ next game will be on the road; they travel to Minneapolis to face the as-yet unbeaten Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

Boyd Devereaux returned to the lineup tonight. His broken thumb healed more quickly than expected, and his “Two Kids and an Old Goat” line with Pavel Datsyuk and Brett Hull was reunited. Stacy Roest was moved to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room for Devereaux in the lineup.

Playing Out the Dramatic Ending

Original Six matchups generally bring out a strong sense of rivalry in both teams, and this matchup was no exception. It took the full sixty minutes of play, but the Red Wings defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 3-2.

The first period was marked by excellent goaltending at both ends of the ice. Dominik Hasek and Jose Theodore were both called upon to make amazing saves for their teams, keeping the score at zero for the first twenty minutes. The game had a swift flow to it, and play went end to end with quality scoring chances for both teams.

The Red Wings started to open up the offense in the second period, and it paid off for Sergei Fedorov. The Canadiens had the puck in Detroit’s zone, and Jiri Fischer moved to block a shot. The puck hit his leg and slid the other way, up the right wing side, and Fedorov went speeding after it. He gathered it up just inside Montreal’s blue line, and fired a sharp wrist shot which went beneath the legs of Theodore.

Detroit had a power play chance a few moments later, when Stefane Robidas was sent off for high-sticking. The power play unit kept good control of the puck, passing cleanly and keeping the puck away from the Montreal defenders. Nick Lidstrom passed along the blue line to Brendan Shanahan, who faked a shot to draw the defensemen towards him, then snapped a pass across to Fedorov at the right side. Fedorov put a hard shot past Theodore, who was being screened by Luc Robitaille.

Hasek continued to make save after save, but the Canadiens finally put one past him with 8:56 left in the third period. Montreal dumped the puck into Detroit’s zone and Doug Gilmour regained control of it behind the net. He angled a pass in front of the goal crease, and Oleg Petrov was on hand to stuff it into the net.

The Canadiens scored once more to tie the game with just over three minutes remaining. In a very similar play to the one that gave them their first zone, Sergei Berezin put a pass in front of the net, and Yannic Perreault was able to tip it past Hasek.

The Red Wings came on hard and strong after that, keeping the play in Montreal’s end of the rink. Shanahan sent an angle pass from the side of the net to Chris Chelios waiting out front. The shot by Chelios was kicked wide, but the puck came right back to Shanahan, who fired on net from the right corner. The puck banked off Theodore and into the net, giving Shanahan the game-winning goal with under fourteen seconds left on the clock.

Shots on net were thirty-four to twenty-three in favor of Detroit. The Red Wings’ next game, their last before the Olympic break, will be Wednesday night against the Minnesota Wild.

Steve Yzerman played in his first game back after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. If all continues to go as planned, he will be fully able to play for Team Canada in the Olympics. Pavel Datsyuk was added to the lineup of Team Russia today, giving the Red Wings eleven players on the active roster who will be heading to Salt Lake City on Wednesday night.

4 January, 2001

Tonight’s game is an important one, Detroit’s done well against the good teams in the league but continues to struggle at home, even after the last second win on New Years Eve. Dallas is on a role but is reeling from injuries to key players like Jamie Langenbrunner and Brett Hull. Seems to me like a good chance to let Chris Osgood prove he’s ready to be number one again, but Bowman never agrees with me. Brendan Shanahan said of tonight’s game, “It’ll be good. Dallas always brings out the best in us.” And lucky me, I’ll be there. Tonight’s the first game I’ll be able to go to this season. If I find a way to get from K-Zoo to the Joe in time to catch the warm-ups, I’ll add more pictures to the site tomorrow. We’ll see how my cross-state dash works out.

The grades don’t look all that good for the Wings at mid-season. I disagree with most of them but they’re done by the Free Press and they’re considered more of a hockey authority than I am. The second half of the season should be better for Detroit, even Bowman thinks so.

Some cool stuffs been going on around the NHL… Jose Theodore of the Canadiens became only the eighth NHL goalie to be credited with a goal in a shutout win over the Isles. He actually scored the goal, like six of the other goalies, including Ron Hextall, Martin Brodeur, and our very own Chris Osgood. Mario Lemieux has nine points in his first three games back. Probably makes Gordie Howe think he can do better himself. That’s all for now, more tomorrow.