Red Wings Rebound with 4-1 Win over Islanders

Two days after an embarrassing 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning ended their six-game winning streak, the Detroit Red Wings bounced back with a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders.

The win kept the Red Wings in a tie for second place in the Atlantic Division with the Montreal Canadiens, one point back of the division-leading Lightning.

Tomas Tatar opened the game’s scoring for Detroit. At 5:29 of the first period, Tatar snapped a shot from near the right faceoff dot through traffic and into the far top corner, beating goalie Chad Johnson just 12 seconds into a power play.

Brendan Smith made it 2-0 with 47 seconds left in the period, wiring a one-timer into the same corner of the net from five feet further out.

The Islanders cut Detroit’s lead in half at 5:24 of the second. On a power play, Lubomir Visnovsky was left all alone in the high slot to take a feed from Frans Nielsen and tee up a shot past netminder Petr Mrazek.

Jonathan Ericsson restored the two-goal lead at 9:21 just as a Detroit power play expired. Ericsson’s shot from the left point deflected off Thomas Hickey, then bounced off the post and in for a 3-1 lead.

With 6:52 left in the middle frame, Gustav Nyquist knocked the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg one-timer past Johnson to round out the game’s scoring with a power play goal.

Johnson finished the night with 15 saves on 19 shots while Mrazek stopped 22 of 23 attempts.

Detroit scored on two of their four power plays. The Islanders went one-for-four with the man-advantage.

The Red Wings are now off until Thursday when they visit the Colorado Avalanche.

Prior to the game, defenseman Brian Lashoff cleared waivers and was assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Additionally, goalie Jonas Gustavsson was sent to the Griffins on a conditioning stint… Defenseman Alexey Marchenko made his season debut, replacing Xavier Ouellet in the lineup. Ouellet was returned to the Griffins on Friday… Daniel Cleary, Jakub Kindl, and Gustavsson were the healthy scratches… Goalie Jimmy Howard and forward Johan Franzen remain on injured reserve.

Red Wings’ Skid Continues with 2-1 Loss to Islanders

The Red Wings’ losing streak reached five games on Friday night, as Detroit dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Islanders.

Detroit also lost starting goalie Jimmy Howard, who left the game after the first period for “precautionary” reasons after suffering a lower-body injury. Petr Mrazek replaced him in net for the final forty minutes of play.

Henrik Zetterberg scored his first goal since November 26 to open the scoring. Darren Helm outworked Thomas Hickey along the boards and sent a pass to Zetterberg at the inside edge of the right faceoff circle for a snap past Jaroslav Halak at 8:49 of the first period.

With 3:57 left in the first, Brock Nelson swatted the rebound of a Lubomir Visnovsky chance past Howard to tie things up.

The game-winner came at 10:41 of the second period, when Mrazek stopped Nelson all alone in front but Anders Lee jumped in to knock the loose puck into the net.

Halak finished the night with 17 saves on 18 shots. Mrazek stopped 22 of 23 while Howard made eight saves on nine chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal, with Detroit having two chances and New York three.

The Red Wings next host the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

Johan Franzen returned to the lineup after missing one game due to illness… Daniel Cleary, Jakub Kindl, and Brian Lashoff were healthy scratches… After the game, the Red Wings called up goalie Thomas McCollum and demoted defenseman Xavier Ouellet.

Red Wings Wrap Homestand with Win over Kings

The Detroit Red Wings closed out a stretch that saw them play nine of eleven games at home Wednesday night, finishing the run with a 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

The Red Wings earned 21 of a possible 22 points in that time. They will now play five games in a row on the road.

Detroit took control of the game early but the Kings made a several-minute run at the end of the first period and early in the second, tying the game before the Red Wings regained control.

Henrik Zetterberg got the Red Wings on the board just 59 seconds into the game with a power play goal. Nicklas Lidstrom held the puck in at the Kings’ blue line and worked it to Zetterberg near the slot for a quick wrister past goalie Jason Labarbara.

At 7:37 of the period, Jiri Hudler stretched the Wings’ lead to two, putting in the rebound of a blast from the blue line by Niklas Kronwall.

Dustin Brown‘s power play goal with 1:28 left in the first got the Kings on the board and Patrick O’Sullivan scored on a rush just 15 seconds into the second period to even things up.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings back in the lead 3:20 later, poking the puck from under Labarbara and into the net after a shot by Zetterberg.

Dan Cleary restored Detroit’s two-goal lead on the power play with 8:15 remaining in the middle frame, tipping a Kronwall shot from the blue line.

Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula closed out the game’s scoring in the third period.

Frazen scored just 49 seconds in, knocking home the rebound of an Andreas Lilja shot. Filppula’s goal came at 8:57 when his shot on goal was tipped past Labarbara by defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.

Labarbara finished the night with 29 saves on 35 shots. Dominik Hasek made 18 saves on 20 shots in Detroit’s net.

Detroit went two-for-five with the extra attacker while the Kings were one-for-four.

The Red Wings are back in action on Thursday when they visit the St. Louis Blues in the second of three games in four nights.

Kris Draper returned to the Detroit lineup after missing nine games with a knee injury. Aaron Downey was a healthy scratch to make room for Draper… Kronwall’s four assists were a career-high.

Off to a Good Start

“We’re counting on our young guys this year to contribute more,” said coach Dave Lewis. “We think they’re ready for it.”

The younger Red Wings certainly seemed to be ready in this year’s home opener against the Los Angeles Kings. Jiri Fischer and Pavel Datsyuk both contributed goals. But, since this is Detroit, a veteran team, it took a veteran to put the game away. Captain Steve Yzerman‘s goal gave the Wings a 3-2 victory over Los Angeles.

Former Wing Sean Avery started his usual abrasive style of play early, trying to stir up some trouble with Derian Hatcher. Hatcher was too sensible to take the bait. The Red Wings came to play hockey, and play they did.

Detroit’s strong pressure in the Los Angeles zone caused Luc Robitaille to take a holding penalty against his former teammates 4:27 into the game. Detroit’s power play unit controlled the play very well. Offseason acquisition Ray Whitney did an excellent job of holding the puck in the zone against the Kings’ clearing attempts, but the Wings didn’t score until their next power play opportunity.

When Avery went into the box for tripping, the Red Wings were prepared for the man-advantage. The Kings’ penalty-killers were focused on trying to interrupt Brett Hull‘s and Pavel Datsyuk’s passing, so no one noticed Jiri Fischer sneaking towards the net. Datsyuk threaded a pass through a few pairs of legs, and Fischer one-timed the puck past Roman Cechmanek to put Detroit on the board at 10:10.

The Red Wings seemed to back off a little bit in the second period, and the Kings were more than willing to take advantage of that situation. Their shot total, a measly six shots in the first, skyrocketed to fourteen in the second period alone. Dominik Hasek looked comfortable handling most of the shots (he likes a lot of work, remember). The only one which didn’t look right was the one that got by him.

Eric Belanger shot the puck on net from the left circle. The puck bounced off Hasek’s helmet and fell towards the right side of the net. All the skaters were scrambling to grab for the puck and take each other out of the play. In the confusion, Belanger was able to circle behind the net and stuff the puck in from the right side to tie the game with 7:49 left in the second.

Detroit came out to start the third period with quite a bit more energy than they had in the second. Avery tried to start trouble then with Kirk Maltby, but then Darren McCarty drew Avery into taking his third penalty of the game. The Grind Line’s energy spread to the rest of the team, and shots on net were plentiful, but Cechmanek stood his ground.

Zigmund Palffy gave the Kings a one-goal lead midway through the third. Jozef Stumpel was held up by Hatcher, but he managed to center a pass from the left corner. Palffy was on hand to lift the puck high over the sprawling Hasek.

Nicklas Lidstrom took a hooking call with 7:38 left to play, leaving an even tighter margin of time for the Red Wings to try to get back in the game. Their hopes were fulfilled when Lubomir Visnovsky was sent to the box for tripping, and the power play unit could get to work.

The passing work was incredible: crisp, accurate, and completely out of reach of the Kings’ penalty killers. Hull passed from the top of the left circle to Whitney at the blue line. Whitney sent the puck across to Lidstrom at the right side, and Lidstrom one-timed the puck towards the net. Datsyuk tipped the puck on its way through, deflecting it past Cechmanek.

Just as everyone was about to settle in for overtime, Yzerman decided he wanted to open his 21st season in style. He scooped the puck away from the Detroit net and sent it ahead to Whitney, who was moving up through center ice. Whitney carried into the Kings’ zone, wheeled away from three defending players, and dropped the puck back to Yzerman. The Captain sent a wrist shot high over Cechmanek with less than two seconds remaining””and the crowd went wild.

The Red Wings outshot the Kings by 38 to 23 over the course of the game. Detroit’s next game will be on the road Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators.

Los Angeles defenseman Mattias Norstrom left the game with an arm injury in the first period.

Wings Come to Draw With Kings

The Detroit Red Wings skated to a draw with the Los Angeles Kings at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday night. The Wings and Kings both scored one goal in each of the three regulation periods and were held scoreless in overtime.

Los Angeles opened the scoring at the 8:33 mark of the first period. Lubomir Visnovsky fired a shot from the top of the right circle that deflected off a skate and past Red Wings netminder Curtis Joseph to put the Kings up 1-0.

Detroit answered back 3:34 later with a power play goal of their own. Tomas Holmstrom beat Kings goalie Felix Potvin, jamming home a rebound on the third attempt.

Los Angeles regained the lead early in the second with another power play goal. Mathieu Schneider took a pass in the high slot and faked out Joseph, beating him to put the Kings up 2-1.

Detroit countered with 7:28 remaining in the second. Pavel Datsyuk scored his first of the season, skating through the slot and beating Potvin on the backhand.

The Red Wings took their first and only lead of the game at 6:26 of the third period. Sergei Fedorov put a slap shot from the high slot past Potvin to put Detroit up 3-2.

Jason Allison finished the game’s scoring near the midway point of the third, deflecting a shot off of Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom‘s stick and past Joseph to put the game at a 3-3 tie.

The teams traded odd-man rushes in overtime before the Kings failed to convert on a power play.

Joseph stopped twenty-eight of thirty-one shots faced for Detroit. Potvin made twenty-five saves on twenty-eight shots for Los Angeles.

Rookie defenseman Dmitri Bykov was a healthy scratch for the first time this season… The Wings are back in action Friday when Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins come to the Joe