Passing a Legend

Bobby Hull, the great “Golden Jet,” was among the 20,058 fans at Joe Louis Arena to see two of his scoring records broken and watch the Red Wings defeat the Washington Capitals, 3-1.

Detroit opened the scoring just under two minutes into the game. Kirk Maltby shot the puck from the left point, and Luc Robitaille was in just the right spot to tip it past goaltender Olaf Kolzig to score the 611th goal of his career, moving him past Bobby Hull’s record as the highest-scoring left winger of all time.

Washington did not increase the intensity of their play, but they got their chance when Chris Chelios was sent to the penalty box for interference. Adam Oates passed across the rink to Peter Bondra, wide open on the right side. Bondra took the shot, and it went into the net over Dominik Hasek‘s left arm only thirteen seconds after the power play’s start.

The rest of the game belonged to the Red Wings. Brett Hull scored the eventual game winning goal forty-six seconds before the end of the period. Pavel Datsyuk passed from behind the net to Hull waiting in front of the net with the blade of his stick down on the ice. The pass went right to the stick and into the net behind Kolzig.

The second period was scoreless, in spite of three power plays for the Red Wings and one for the Capitals.

Detroit scored once more midway through the third period. Sergei Fedorov, playing forward again after being on defense for several games, took a pass from Robitaille. Fedorov sent it out front, attempting a centering pass to Kirk Maltby. The puck apparently had other plans. It bounced off the Washington defenseman’s stick, to one of Kolzig’s leg pads, and into the net.

The Capitals brought Kolzig to the bench with over a minute and a half remaining to play, but even with the extra skater, the Capitals were never quite able to get into a scoring position against Hasek.

The Red Wings outshot Washington thirty-four to seventeen. Detroit’s next game will be Sunday night against the Ottawa Senators.

Sean Avery was sent back down to Cincinnati of the AHL to make room on the roster for Fredrik Olausson, back from injured reserve. Brett Hull’s goal was the ninety-ninth game winner of his career, putting him alone at third place on the all-time list of number of game winning goals scored. With whom was he tied at ninety-eight? None other than his own father, Bobby Hull.

Strong From Start to Finish

The Red Wings extended their home win streak to eight games, playing a tight defense and an offense that was just as strong as it needed to be, going on to defeat their conference rivals the Dallas Stars, 5-2.

The Red Wings came out ready to play in the first period, and were rewarded with an early goal. Brendan Shanahan took a neutral zone pass from Nick Lidstrom, and fired hard from the right side. The puck flew beneath the leg pads of goaltender Marty Turco, giving Shanahan the thousandth point of his career.

The Stars were playing a disorganized game, and the Red Wings were prepared to take advantage of it. Shanahan scored again before the end of the period. Dallas expected the puck to clear their zone, but Jiri Fischer got it away from Derian Hatcher at the blue line, and flung it back in deep. Shanahan was trailing the play, hoping the puck would come back in, and when it did, he was ready. He waited patiently for Turco to drop to block an expected low shot, then flipped it high into the net.

Dallas got a power play chance when Darren McCarty was given a penalty for interference. Mike Modano fired a hard shot from the left side. The puck deflected off the stick of Chris Chelios and past Dominik Hasek, who was being screened by Brenden Morrow.

The Red Wings took the Dallas goal in stride, and kept playing hard throughout the second period. Less than a minute in, Detroit took advantage of a turnover in neutral ice. Sergei Fedorov got the puck and passed ahead to Kirk Maltby. Maltby took what looked like a harmless shot on net, but it slid past Turco on the short side.

The Red Wings got their only power play goal of the game six minutes into the second, when Hatcher was in the box for hooking. The tight-passing power play unit got the puck to Shanahan, who faked the shot and passed to Steve Yzerman at the right side. From that tight angle, Yzerman sent the puck in behind Turco.

The Stars made one more rally during four-on-four play caused by penalties to Larionov and Morrow. Joe Nieuwendyk got the puck away from a bad pass from Hasek to Yzerman, and centered out front to Modano, who sent the puck in over Hasek.

Detroit controlled the game through the third period as well, keeping Dallas from getting the puck anywhere near the net. When the Dallas coaches pulled Turco from net to send in the extra skater with fifty seconds left to play, the Red Wings were ready. Larionov got control of the puck at center and took a backhanded shot down the ice and into the empty net. Defenseman Sergei Zubov tried to drop to the ice and knock the puck off course, but it was too late for the Stars.

Shots on net were thirty-five to eighteen in favor of the Red Wings, demonstrating their commitment to both offensive and defensive play throughout the game. Detroit will play again on Tuesday night, travelling to Phoenix to face the Coyotes.

Never Leave A Game Early

The puck simply bounced the right way for the Nashville Predators, who came from behind to beat the Red Wings 3-2 in overtime.

The offensive play of both teams seemed evenly matched in the first period, but it was the Red Wings who took a one-goal lead into the intermission. Max Kuznetsov recovered the puck after overskating it slightly in front of his own net, and passed it up the ice to Brett Hull. Hull passed over to Boyd Deveraux, who left the puck for Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk deked past two Nashville defensemen to shoot the puck past goalie Mike Dunham.

The second period was scoreless, despite two power plays by Detroit and three by Nashville.

Sean Avery and Vladimir Orszagh got into a fight with just under eight minutes left in the third period, and were given offsetting minor penalties for roughing. During the resulting four-on-four play, Kris Draper got the puck out from a tangle of players along the boards in the Nashville Zone, and passed to Kirk Maltby. Maltby fired on Dunham from the right circle. The puck bounced off Dunham’s leg pad, off a Nashville defenseman’s skate, and Maltby was able to grab it back and slide it underneath Dunham.

Vitali Yachmenev was able to bring the Predators within one with 4:20 left in regulation play. He attempted to make a centering pass from behind the Detroit net, but instead, the pass deflected off of Sergei Fedorov‘s stick and into the net past Dominik Hasek.

Nashville’s golden opportunity arose when Tomas Holmstrom was sent to the penalty box for closing his hand on the puck. Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan did get a two-on-one shorthanded breakaway opportunity, but Dunham was able to block both shots, and the Predators regained control.

Nashville pulled Dunham in favor of the extra skater, giving them a six-on-four advantage, and Orszagh was able to flip in the rebound from a blue line shot by Petr Tenkrat, sending the game to overtime.

Andy Berenzweig scored the game winner with 2:20 left in the overtime period. Orszagh fished the puck out from a tangle on the right side of the boards, and passed it out front. Berenzweig grabbed it up and flipped it in over Hasek, before Mathieu Dandenault could get back to stop him.

Hasek stopped thirty-two of thirty-five shots during the game. Dunham stopped twenty-six of twenty-eight. The Red Wings will play against the Minnesota Wild Monday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Rested and Regrouped

The Red Wings look to be getting back to their old selves, shaking off a goal-scoring drought to bring down the Vancouver Canucks, 4-1.

Brett Hull managed to be in exactly the right place at exactly the right time to bring the Red Wings’ scoring drought to an end. Goalie Dan Cloutier came behind the net to clear the puck, but it bounced away from him, straight to Hull’s stick. Stuffing the puck into the empty net was a simple task for a goal-scorer like Hull.

The Red Wings managed to play both strong offense and strong defense throughout the first period, firing a total of twelve shots against Cloutier and holding the Canucks to only six shots against Dominik Hasek.

The Canucks tried to come back hard in the second- midway through the period, the shots on goal were eight to three in their favor. Hasek was equal to the task, and Detroit’s offense became inspired. Steve Yzerman set up a pass to Boyd Devereaux behind the net. The pass was intercepted by Ed Jovanovski, but Devereaux was right there to take back the puck and send it flying into the net with 3:24 left in the period.

Within the space of forty-four seconds, Yzerman carried the puck up the right wing side and passed across to Chris Chelios flying up the center unguarded. Chelios had a clear shot and backhanded the puck right past Cloutier.

Vancouver had a minute of five-on-three power play time with which to end the period, during penalties to Chelios and Mathieu Dandenault, but Detroit’s penalty-killers stayed in a tight triangle by the net and poked away any shots which threatened to get through to Hasek.

The Canucks did manage to get on the board 1:20 into the third period. Jason Strudwick fired a hard shot from the blue line, and the puck deflected off of Kirk Maltby‘s left skate. That changed its direction just enough that Hasek was unable to block, and the score was 3-1.

The Red Wings weren’t done yet. Kris Draper passed the puck up ice to Sergei Fedorov, who fooled Cloutier into coming towards him. Fedorov then passed across to Brendan Shanahan, who had plenty of room to flip the puck into the net and score his first goal in ten games with 8:54 left to play.

After Shanahan’s goal, the Red Wings shut down Vancouver’s offense, and improved their season record to 24-8-2-1.

Hasek stopped twenty-three out of twenty-four shots. Cloutier was able to stop twenty-six of the thirty he faced. Neither team scored on the power play.

The Red Wings will play again Friday night when they host the surging San Jose Sharks.


The New Jersey Devils came up triumphant on their return home, as they defeated the Red Wings 4-1 in the second game of their home and home series.

Detroit opened the scoring midway through the first period. Boyd Devereaux carried the puck into New Jersey’s zone and passed back to Steve Duchesne, who fired on net. Martin Brodeur blocked the shot and the rebound got caught between the skates of two Devils. Pavel Datsyuk reached in to steal the puck and flipped it up into the net for his second goal of the season.

The Devils tied the game with just under five minutes left in the period. New Jersey sent its “A-line” of Jason Arnott, Petr Sykora, and Patrik Elias into Detroit’s zone to create havoc, and Arnott was able put the puck into the net while Dominek Hasek was flopped down to block Sykora’s shot.

The second and third periods really belonged to New Jersey. They created their offensive chances and managed to shut down the Red Wings’ attempts to score. Andreas Salomonsson scored the eventual game-winning goal 5:42 into the second period. Scott Gomez took the puck behind the net, and managed to get it out front to Salomonsson, who tipped it in past Hasek.

A bad pass from Tomas Holmstrom to Jiri Fischer gave the Devils another chance midway through the second. Arnott was able to snatch up the puck and carry it up ice to fire hard against Hasek. The rebound came right to the stick of Jay Pandolfo, who was easily able to left the puck into the net.

Arnott proved dangerous again with just over seven minutes left in the period, only sixteen seconds into a holding penalty to Igor Larionov. Some quick passing work from Elias and Bobby Holik got the puck to Arnott in front of the net, and he was able to score before Hasek could see what was going on.

The Red Wings had a five minute power play split over the end of the second and the beginning of the third periods, when Turner Stevenson was given a checking-from-behind penalty and a game misconduct for a hard cross-check against Kirk Maltby. Even so, Detroit didn’t get any scoring chances until the power play was nearly at its end.

Detroit got one more power play opportunity with eight minutes left to play, when Sergei Brylin high-sticked Chris Chelios, but the Devils’ penalty killing unit shut them down once again.

Hasek stopped twenty-five of the twenty-nine shots he faced. The Red Wings put only seventeen shots on Brodeur, their lowest total of the season. Duchesne’s assist on Datsyuk’s goal put the Red Wings into the league lead for points scored by defensemen.

The Red Wings will be off until Wednesday night, when they will host the Colorado Avalanche.

Fire Extinguishers

The Red Wings stuck to their game plan and played a tight third period defense, and Kirk Maltby scored the game winning goal in his 500th career game, to lead the Wings over the Calgary Flames, 4-2.

The league’s two leading teams looked evenly matched throughout the first period. Play went from one end of the ice to the other, but neither side was able to generate a quality scoring chance until 11:34 into the game. Pavel Datsyuk won a faceoff in Calgary’s zone. Boyd Devereaux took the puck behind the net and passed to Tomas Holmstrom, who one-timed the shot past goalie Roman Turek.

Calgary came right back only two minutes later. Dean McAmmond took a pass from Craig Conroy and sped up the right wing side, then fired hard and beat Dominik Hasek for the goal.

The Red Wings were not to be outdone. With 5:13 remaining in the first, Datsyuk passed the puck to Devereaux, who fired hard. Turek was able to block, but Brett Hull had outraced the Flames’ defensemen to be in just the right place to grab up the rebound and slam it into the net behind Turek.

Calgary’s Robyn Regehr re-tied the game with 3:20 left in the period. McAmmond carried the puck into the zone and led three Red Wings towards him before passing back to Regehr at the blue line at the last possible moment. Regehr fired a hard shot and put the puck past Hasek, who was being screened by big Jarome Iginla and never saw the shot at all.

The Red Wings played strong offensively in the second period, as has been their tendency throughout the season, taking a total of sixteen shots against Turek, contrasted with the Flames’ mere seven shots against Hasek. Maltby broke the tie 6:09 into the second by backhanding the rebound from Hull’s shot into the small space between Turek’s right shoulder and the goalpost.

Detroit had two power play chances in the second period, which overlapped for sixteen seconds of five-on-three play, but were unable to convert the opportunities into another goal, mainly because of a strong showing by Turek.

The Flames would give up one more goal before the period was over. Igor Larionov got a pass from Steve Duchesne and took off up the ice, with Luc Robitaille matching speed on the other side of the rink and only one Calgary defenseman back to cover. Robitaille slowed up just enough to take the cross-ice pass from Larionov and one-time it into the net.

The Flames would give up one more goal before the period was over. Igor Larionov got a pass from Steve Duchesne and took off up the ice, with Luc Robitaille matching speed on the other side of the rink and only one Calgary defenseman back to cover. Robitaille slowed up just enough to take the cross-ice pass from Larionov and one-time it into the net.

Hasek made nineteen saves on a total of twenty-one shots. Turek saved twenty-eight of thirty-two shots. Ironically, neither Jarome Iginla nor Brendan Shanahan, currently the NHL’s first and second place players in both goals and points, were able to score in this game.

Detroit will play again Friday night in the first game of a two night home-and-home series with the New Jersey Devils.

Flying ‘Hawks

Nicklas Lidstrom celebrated his 800th game in the NHL by scoring his 450th career assist and helping the Red Wings come to a 4-4 tie with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The teams seemed an even match throughout the first period. Both played a tight defense. The Blackhawks allowed the Wings only four shots against goalie Steve Passmore throughout the period. The Wings let in nine against Dominik Hasek, but the majority of those were shots from far back that Hasek could see and stop easily.

Neither team was assessed a penalty in the first period. “That’s pretty unusual for a Detroit – Chicago game,” said Darren McCarty, smiling during a first-intermission interview.

The Red Wings opened up offensively in the second period. Their first goal came only thirty-six seconds in. Sergei Fedorov passed to Brendan Shanahan, got the return pass, and flipped the puck just over Passmore’s arm for the goal.

Detroit got a power play chance 3:27 into the second when Ryan Vandenbussche was sent out for holding. The power play did what it set out to do, as Shanahan took a cross-ice pass from Lidstrom and fired a hard one-timer from a bad angle on the left wing side. The puck flew past Passmore and hit the inside of the net.

Kris Draper put the Red Wings up by three goals exactly one minute after Shanahan’s goal. Shanahan won an offensive zone faceoff and got the puck to Draper, who put it right into the net, for his eighth goal of the young season, tying his last year’s total.

Chicago, after a lecture from coach Brian Sutter, started to come back hard. They scored their first goal of the night 8:22 into the period. Tony Amonte took a pass from Alexei Zhamnov. Instead of shooting, Amonte passed the puck to Kyle Calder at the net, who was able to flip it in behind Hasek.

The third period belonged mainly to the Blackhawks, as they continued their offensive pressure. Detroit ran into trouble when they wound up with a five-on-three situation resulting from a high-sticking penalty to Freddy Olausson and a boarding penalty to Kirk Maltby just under a minute and a half later. Zhamnov was able to fire the puck past Hasek from a tight angle just seconds after the first penalty expired, before Olausson was able to catch up to the play.

Hasek was surprised again just over a minute later. Eric Daze took a pass from Calder and flew fast down the right wing side. He fired the puck apparently before Hasek expected him to, and the score was tied at three.

Daze scored again to break the tie halfway through the third. He was able to steal the puck from Mathieu Dandenault and go in alone against Hasek, who was unable to stop Daze’s tricky shot.

Before Detroit could lose too much momentum, help came from an unexpected source. Igor Larionov passed from near the boards up to Luc Robitaille near the net, and Robitaille fooled Passmore by sending the puck cross-crease to McCarty instead of firing. McCarty was easily able to send the puck into the net behind Passmore, scoring his first goal in twenty games.

Despite six minutes and forty seconds of fast and furious regulation play by both sides, not to mention a full five minutes of overtime, neither team was able to score again. Chicago might have scored on a two-on-one rush up the ice as time was winding down, if it had not been for Steve Duchesne dropping to the ice to knock the puck away with the end of his outstretched stick, just before the final buzzer.

The Red Wings have made this the best twenty-five game start in franchise history, with a 20-3-1-1 record. They hope to extend their seven game unbeaten streak Tuesday night, when they host the Calgary Flames.

Staying on Top

Brendan Shanahan scored three goals for his second hat trick of the season and the fifteenth of his career, to help the Red Wings defeat the Nashville Predators, 6-3.

The Predators opened the scoring 6:19 into the game. Stu Grimson shot the puck from behind the net, and it deflected off the stick of Chris Chelios and over Dominik Hasek‘s shoulder for the goal.

The Wings answered just under a minute and a half later. Mathieu Dandenault passed the puck cross-ice from the blue line up to Shanahan by the net, and Shanahan was able to rifle it past Nashville goalie Mike Dunham.

The Predators got a chance to go on the power play with 8:56 left in the first, when Shanahan was sent to the box for holding. However, the Red Wings got two shorthanded scoring opportunities; first a two-on-one with Brett hull and Steve Yzerman, and then a breakaway by Sergei Fedorov, but Dunham came up with big saves both times.

Detroit didn’t get a power play chance until 7:33 into the second period. David Legwand hit Chelios in the face with his stick, and was sent to the box for four minutes. Chelios, meanwhile, went to the locker room for sutures on the deep cut on his nose and forehead. The Wings were able to capitalize on the power play opportunity when Shanahan scored again, taking a pass from Fedorov and firing hard from the left point, while Tomas Holmstrom screened the goalie. There was some confusion at first as to whether the goal belonged to Shanahan, or whether Holmstrom had tipped the puck in, but it was finally awarded to Shanahan.

Chelios was stitched up and back on the ice in the third period, just in time to see Kris Draper give Detroit a 3 to 1 lead by picking up a well-aimed pass from Kirk Maltby, squeezing right between two Nashville defensemen, and faking out Dunham for the goal.

The Predators didn’t even consider giving up. Cliff Ronning scored twice in a row. His first came 4:32 into the period, off a rebound from Greg Johnson’s shot. His tying goal came with nine minutes left in the game. He knocked down Igor Larionov, grabbed up the puck, and took off down the ice, managing to fool Hasek with a faked pass.

Maltby broke the tie only eighteen seconds later. He took a pass from Darren McCarty and one-timed the shot right past Dunham and into the net.

Draper added his second goal of the night with just over four minutes left to play, when he and Nicklas Lidstrom got a two-on-one rush up the ice. Draper passed to Lidstrom, and Lidstrom passed back, giving Draper the chance to put the puck behind Dunham.

Detroit really put the game away with 1:41 left in the game, while Nashville’s Cale Hulse was in the penalty box for tripping. Chelios banked a shot off the back boards and up to Shanahan, waiting patiently by the goal for just such an opportunity to flip the puck into the net.

Detroit’s power play was two for three against Nashville, even though the Predators have the second best penalty-killing percentage in the NHL. Hasek was able to make twenty-nine saves against thirty-two shots, while Dunham blocked twenty-five of thirty-one shots. Shanahan is currently second in the league in both goals and points, and leads the league in penalty minutes.

The Red Wings will take a short road trip to play against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday before returning home for four more games.

600 And Counting

Luc Robitaille scored his 600th career goal, and Dominik Hasek earned his first shutout of the season, as the Red Wings took a 1-0 victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Detroit dominated the play in the first two periods. Robitaille’s historic goal was scored on a power play opportunity. 7:32 into the game, Anaheim’s Niclas Havelid was sent to the penalty box for holding. Brendan Shanahan shot the puck from the blue line, and Robitaille was on hand to tip it past goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

A fight broke out a few minutes later. Some Anaheim players took offense to Chris Chelios‘s hit on Paul Kariya, but Kris Draper and Brendan Shanahan were on hand to help their teammate. Shanahan fought his opponent, Dan Bylsma, down to the ice, and both were given five-minute major penalties for fighting. Shanahan currently leads the NHL in penalty minutes.

Thorughout the first two periods, Detroit had 22 shots on goal. The Ducks were only able to generate 11 shots against Dominik Hasek, in spite of two power play chances late in the second.

The Ducks kicked up their play for the third period. Hasek showed himself equal to the task, demonstrating his acrobatic skills on a rolling save to block a shot from Paul Kariya and a rebound shot from Patrick Kjellberg.

Chelios got into another fight near the end of the period. Kirk Maltby had dropped to the ice to block a shot, and an Anaheim player tried to whack the puck out from under him. Chelios came to stick up for his teammate, and he and Mike Leclerc were given offsetting two-minute penalties for roughing.

Anaheim pulled Giguere for the extra skater with 1:23 left to play, but the Ducks were unable to score.

Darren McCarty rejoined the “Grind Line”, playing in his first game since sustaining a knee injury against the Islanders on October 13. Max Kuznetsov and Tomas Holmstrom sat out, with injuries to hip and wrist, respectively. Brent Gilchrist, whose eye was injured by a high stick in Wednesday’s game against the Coyotes, also sat out, but Wings trainer John Wharton said the eye was not seriously damaged, and Gilchrist should be fine soon.

Hasek’s shutout was the fifty-seventh of his career, putting him within one of overtaking the Dallas Stars’ Ed Belfour for the lead in shutouts among active goaltenders. Robitaille is only the thirteenth player in NHL history to score 600 goals. He and teammates Steve Yzerman and Brett Hull make the Red Wings the first team in history to have three 600-goal-scorers.

The Red Wings will finish up their West Coast road trip Saturday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Coyotes Not Wily Enough

The Phoenix Coyotes must have hoped to benefit from the World Series-winning ways of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the Red Wings showed them that maybe the desert is better suited for baseball than hockey, as the Wings won, 3-1.

Scotty Bowman made a few changes in the lineup, as is to be expected. With Max Kuznetsov and Tomas Holmstrom both injured, Mathieu Dandenault was moved back to defense, and forward Yuri Butsayev was recalled from Cincinnati to help out.

The first period went scoreless, even though Detroit had a four-minute power play opportunity just sixteen seconds into the game. Phoenix’s Brad May got called for cutting Brent Gilchrist‘s chin with a high stick. The Coyotes ran their penalty kill in a tight box formation in front of their net, keeping the Wings to the outside and allowing few shots on goalie Sean Burke.

Detroit had another power play chance late in the first, but this one would be a greater scoring chance for the Coyotes than the Red Wings, when Daymond Langkow was able to get off a breakaway shot on net. Fortunately, Dominek Hasek was alert and able to stop the puck.

Freddy Olausson opened the scoring with only 6:41 left in the second period. The Wings were shorthanded, with Chris Chelios in the box for tripping, but Brendan Shanahan got the puck and headed up the ice on the left wing side, Olausson trailing on the right. When Shanahan passed across to Olausson, Burke seemed to expect the puck to be passed back again, and Olausson was able to flip it into the net.

With just over 3:10 left in the second, May was given another double minor for high sticking, again on Gilchrist. The Wings were unable to score before the buzzer, but carried fifty seconds of power play over into the third.

Just five seconds after the power play had ended, before May was able to catch up to the play, Sergei Fedorov picked up a blue line pass from Nicklas Lidstrom and fired hard into the net from the right point, to bring Detroit ahead by two.

Kirk Maltby scored his first goal of the season less than a minute later. Chelios cleared the puck off the glass, Maltby picked it up, and fired past Burke from the right side.

The Coyotes answered exactly one minute later. Krys Kolanos stole the puck when Jiri Fischer mishandled it, and fired against Hasek, who blocked. May was able to pick up the rebound and slide it underneath Detroit’s goalie for his second goal of the season.

Phoenix pulled Burke for the extra skater with three minutes left, then sent him back in when the faceoff came outside the Detroit zone. They pulled him out again with 1:49 left to play. Just as the buzzer sounded, it looked as if Brett Hull had scored a goal into the empty net, but the goal was ruled down after review.

Hasek made sixteen saves on seventeen shots, while Burke made twenty-eight saves on thirty-one shots. Detroit currently leads the league in games, with a 13-3-0-0 record, and in shorthanded goals, with five. They continue their West Coast road trip in Anaheim Friday night.