Red Wings Open Season Today in Stockholm

The Red Wings begin the 2009-2010 season today in Stockholm, Sweden, taking on the St. Louis Blues in the first game of a neutral site home-and-home series between the two teams.

Excluding last year’s Winter Classic, this is Detroit’s first neutral site game since they picked up a 3-0 win over the Hartford Whalers in Cleveland on February 24, 1994. In all the Red Wings are 8-2-3 in games played outside the home team’s city (including one Chicago “home” game played at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium, also played on February 24, this time in 1929).

The Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reported this morning that Derek Meech and Patrick Eaves will be the healthy scratches today for the Red Wings. This means the fourth line will be Justin Abdelkader, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby.

After missing Wednesday’s exhibition against Farjestads BK with the flu, Chris Osgood is scheduled to start in net.

Zetterberg Out Against Rangers

The New York Rangers visit Joe Louis Arena tonight as the Red Wings host their second exhibition matchup of the season.

Detroit will be playing using their “White Team” lineup, with Chris Osgood and Thomas McCollum splitting time in goal.

Henrik Zetterberg, who was expected to lead the White Team, will miss the game while resting a groin injury that flared up before training camp. He will be kept out of the next two games.

The lines announced before Zetterberg was removed from the lineup were as follows:

Todd Bertuzzi-Henrik Zetterberg-Dan Cleary
Ville LeinoValtteri FilppulaJason Williams
Johan Ryno-Justin AbdelkaderKirk Maltby
Mattias RitolaCory EmmertonJan Mursak

Niklas KronwallDoug Janik
Brett LebdaBrad Stuart
Derek MeechJakub Kindl

Chris Osgood
Thomas McCollum

The game will be televised in New York on MSG. It will not be on TV or radio in Detroit.

Datsyuk a Game-Time Decision for Game Three

Pavel Datsyuk‘s status for tonight’s Game Three between the Red Wings and Blackhawks remains uncertain. He has not practiced since blocking a shot with his foot in Game Two.

Should Datsyuk be unable to play, Ville Leino will make his first appearance of the postseason.

The Wings are already making one lineup change, bringing in Kirk Maltby to replace Justin Abdelkader.

Samuelsson Scores in OT as Red Wings Down Blackhawks in Game Two

Mikael Samuelsson scored 5:14 into overtime Tuesday night, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Detroit now has a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Final matchup.

Samuelsson’s goal came on a three-on-one with Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula.

Samuelsson blocked a pass at the Detroit blue line to start the play. Hudler carried the puck into the Chicago zone before passing off to Filppula in the slot. Filppula faked the shot and passed back over to Samuelsson to blast a one-timer past Chicago netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.

Chicago had opened the game’s scoring with 7:11 left in the first period as a cross-crease pass from Jonathan Toews defelected off of defenseman Jonathan Ericsson‘s skate and between the pads of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood for a power play goal.

The Red Wings got on the board 3:54 later with a power play goal of their own, scored on a seeing-eye shot from the blue line by Brian Rafalski.

Dan Cleary scored a breakaway goal with 5:54 left in the second to give Detroit a lead. Cleary blocked a Brent Seabrook pass at the Detroit blueline and corralled the puck, racing in all alone to beat Khabibulin five-hole.

The Blackhawks tied things with another goal by Toews, who deflected a shot by Kris Versteeg past Osgood with 7:40 left in regulation.

Osgood finished the night with 37 saves on 39 shots. Khabibulin stopped 35 of 38 Detroit chances.

Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had four tries with the extra attacker while Chicago had five, including 59 seconds of five-on-three time in the first period.

The series now shifts to Chicago for Games Three and Four on Friday and Sunday.

Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock announced after the game that Kirk Maltby will return to the Detroit lineup for Game Three. Maltby has been out since Game Seven of Detroit’s second-round matchup with the Anaheim Ducks.

Game One: Red Wings – Blackhawks Pregame Notes

Just three days after wrapping up their second-round series with the Anaheim Ducks, the Detroit Red Wings kick off their Western Conference Finals matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The two teams haven’t met in the playoffs since the 1995 WCF, which Detroit won in five games, three of which went to overtime.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock experimented with a set of updated lines in Sunday’s practice, shifting rookie Justin Abdelkader to the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom while Holmstrom moved down to the fourth line with Kris Draper and Darren Helm.

Draper returned to the Wings’ lineup for Game Seven of the series against the Ducks, after having missed the entire playoffs to that point. He replaced Kirk Maltby, who is expected to remain out for Game One.

Red Wings Advance Past Ducks on Cleary’s Late Goal

Dan Cleary scored with just three minutes remaining Thursday night, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks in the deciding Game Seven of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup.

The Red Wings now advance to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals.

Cleary’s goal broke a 3-3 tie in the game’s final minutes. Henrik Zetterberg put the puck to the front of the net and Cleary jammed it past Anaheim netminder Jonas Hiller.

Detroit had opened the scoring with a power play goal with 4:17 left in the first period. Johan Franzen snapped a shot on net and Jiri Hudler tipped the puck past Hiller to get the Wings on the board.

Darren Helm put Detroit up by a pair just 1:17 into the second, beating Hiller on a breakaway.

Teemu Selanne notched a goal with 5:10 left in the second period, jamming the puck in from the side of the net with Detroit goalie Chris Osgood stuck at the top of the crease.

Mikael Samuelsson restored the two-goal lead for Detroit just 33 seconds later, putting a wrister past Hiller on a feed from Pavel Datsyuk, who took a hit behind the net to make the play.

Corey Perry put in a rebound for a power play goal before the end of the period, scoring with 2:48 left in the second.

Bobby Ryan tied things up 7:37 into the third, tipping the puck past Osgood on a feed from Perry.

Osgood finished the night with 24 saves on 27 shots against. Hiller stopped 36 of 40 Detroit chances.

Each team finished the night one-for-five on the power play. The Red Wings had 22 seconds of five-on-three time while the Ducks had a two-man advantage twice for a total of 1:45.

The Red Wings will be off until Sunday when they open at home against Chicago.

Kris Draper made his first appearance of the postseason for the Red Wings, returning from an upper-body injury to replace Kirk Maltby in the lineup… With the Carolina Hurricanes’ win over the Boston Bruins, Detroit has the highest remaining seed in the playoffs, and would have home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Draper a Game-Time Decision for Game Seven

About seven and a half hours until Game Seven between the Red Wings and the Ducks and there’s not a lot of news coming out of either team’s camp.

Bruce MacLeod notes that Kris Draper will be a game-time decision tonight, the first time in the playoffs that he hasn’t been ruled out long before the start of the game. No word on who he would replace in the Detroit lineup should he be cleared to play.

Update, 12:05 PM: Helene St. James confirms what I’d already heard, that Justin Abdelkader has been told he’ll play tonight so it doesn’t appear Draper would replace him. This seems to point toward Draper replacing Kirk Maltby in the lineup, assuming Draper can even play.

Update, 2:05 PM: I’ve got an unconfirmed report that Draper is in fact in and Maltby is out.

Osgood Strong as Red Wings Down Kings

Red Wings goaltender returned from a ten-day rest to stop 30 of 31 shots against, leading Detroit to a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

The only goal he allowed was a power play marker by Alexander Frolov 4:48 into the third period.

After a failed clearing attempt by Detroit, Frolov circled behind the net and came back out front for a chance. Osgood stopped his first attempt but Frolov banged home the rebound chance to pull the Kings within a goal.

Derek Meech scored the Red Wings’ first goal with 7:52 left in the second period. Ville Leino brought the puck from behind the net to the front of the goal and tried to stuff it home. Meech jumped in from the blue line and put in the rebound.

“I saw (Los Angeles’ Anze) Kopitar lose his stick. Leino came from behind the net and tried to stuff it,” Meech said. “And I came in looking for the garbage.”

Just 1:43 into the third Tomas Kopecky made it 2-0 for Detroit, one-timing a shot from an acute angle past Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick.

Quick stopped 39 of 41 Detroit shots on the night.

The game was the 1000th of Kirk Maltby‘s career.

Maltby Out, Franzen In vs. Predators

The Red Wings look to end their losing streak at two games as they host the Predators tonight.

Detroit has a couple lineup changes of note, as Kirk Maltby will be a healthy scratch with the return of Johan Franzen, who’s missed the last several games with bruised ligaments in his hand.

Ty Conklin will also return to the Wings’ crease, replacing Chris Osgood.

Red Wings – Kings Pregame Notes

A little early to kick things off for a 10:30 start but I already mentioned being sick and I’m afraid that if I don’t do it now I might forget to do it at all.

The Red Wings have a series of lineup changes coming up for tonight’s matchup with the Kings, as Ty Conklin, Chris Chelios and Kirk Maltby all get into the game.

Conklin backed up Chris Osgood in Anaheim last night but Maltby and Chelios were both healthy scratches. Chelios replaces Brett Lebda on the blue line and Maltby retakes his spot on the fourth forward unit after Meech had it last night.

Lebda did not play for the final 27:42 in Anaheim, replaced by Meech after the latter returned from an injury. It would appear that he is either injured or in coach Mike Babcock‘s dog house.