Bertuzzi Boosts Power Play as Red Wings Roll Past Flyers, 5-2

The Detroit Red Wings shuffled their lines heading into Saturday’s matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers, a move that immediately paid off as their new-look power play scored three times en route to a 5-2 win.

The Red Wings had been held scoreless on the man-advantage over their first four games of the season.

Forward Todd Bertuzzi moved up from the third line to the first and took a spot on the first power play unit, from which he opened the game’s scoring at 7:13 of the first period. Niklas Kronwall chased a puck into the corner and knocked it loose to Daniel Alfredsson, who sent it to Bertuzzi behind the net. Bertuzzi reached around and tucked it in behind Philadelphia goalie Ray Emery for Detroit’s first power play goal of the year.

Kronwall took a cross-ice feed from Alfredsson to snap a shot from the right faceoff circle past Emery with 8:52 left in the second period to make it 2-0 with another power play tally.

Erik Gustafsson would get the Flyers on the board just 34 seconds later when his shot from the point skipped off the ice and knucked past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to make it 2-1.

Pavel Datsyuk scored Detroit’s third goal with the man-advantage at 3:08 of the third period, blindly backhanding a shot from the slot through a screen by Bertuzzi and by Emery to put the Red Wings up, 3-1.

Once again the Flyers responded quickly to cut the lead to a single goal, as Tye McGinn swatted the rebound of a Jakub Voracek chance past the sprawling Howard at 5:46 to make it 3-2.

Henrik Zetterberg scored an even-strength goal with 6:12 remaining, snapping a shot from the high slot past Emery off a feed from Datsyuk, who had kicked the puck from one skate to the other and then onto his stick to gain the Philadelphia zone and start the play.

Zetterberg would round out the scoring with an empty net goal in the game’s final minute.

The Red Wings finished the night three-for-seven on the power play. The Flyers went scoreless on four tries with the extra attacker.

Howard made 32 saves on 34 shots while Emery stopped 25 of the 29 shots he faced.


Prior to the game, the Red Wings signed 2013 first-round draft pick Anthony Mantha to a three-year entry-level deal. Mantha, the QMJHL’s leading scorer this season, will remain with the Val d’Or Foreurs for this season with his contract picking up next year at the earliest… Brendan Smith was a healthy scratch on defense as Brian Lashoff made his first appearance of the season. Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Tatar were the odd-men out up front in favor of Jordin TootooLuke Glendening made his NHL debut for the Wings, having been called up on Friday after Cory Emmerton was sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Pregame: Flyers @ Red Wings – 10/12

The Red Wings host the Philadelphia Flyers in their “Pink the Rink” night in support of breast cancer awareness tonight. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard will wear a special mask, pads, blocker and glove as part of the effort.

The Wings will also roll out a series of lineup changes, as the team looks to rebound from consecutive losses to the Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes.

On defense, Brendan Smith will be a healthy scratch in favor of Brian Lashoff, who makes his first appearance of the season.

In goal, Petr Mrazek returns to the Grand Rapids Griffins, with Jonas Gustavsson healthy enough to back up Howard.

Cory Emmerton, having been waived at the start of the season, also heads to GR, with Luke Glendening called up to center the fourth line. Both Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Tatar will be healthy scratches as Jordin Tootoo joins Glendening with Drew Miller.

Todd Bertuzzi takes Justin Abdelkader‘s spot on the top line while Abdelkader slides down to join the second line with Johan Franzen and Stephen Weiss. Daniel Alfredsson moves down to Bertuzzi’s spot with Joakim Andersson and Daniel Cleary.

Game time is 7:00 on FSD.

Emmerton Clears Waivers

Detroit Red Wings forward Cory Emmerton cleared waivers on Monday, paving the way for him to be sent down to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.

With Darren Helm injured, Emmerton had been expected to start the season as the Red Wings’ fourth-line center but he was outplayed in training camp and throughout the preseason by prospects Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan, making him expendible.

Emmerton, 25, was originally drafted by Detroit in the second round (41st overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He spent four seasons with the Griffins, playing in 217 games and scoring 34 goals and 77 assists before earning a spot with the Red Wings during the 2011-12 season. In 121 career games with Detroit he has 12 goals and seven assists in a checking-line role.

With Emmerton in the AHL, his entire $533,333 salary cap hit comes off the Red Wings’ books.

Red Wings Assign Eight to Griffins

One day after sending seventeen players to the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Detroit Red Wings assigned eight more to their American Hockey League affiliate.

Forwards Riley Sheahan, Triston Grant, Landon Ferraro, Louis-Marc Aubry and Luke Glendening were sent down as the Griffins begin their training camp in Grand Rapids. They’re joined by defensemen Nathan Paetsch and Alexey Marchenko and goalie Jared Coreau.

The Red Wings are now down to 30 players on their training camp roster. Expected Griffins still in Detroit are Teemu Pulkkinen, Willie Coetzee, Adam Almquist and Petr Mrazek. Pulkkinen is currently suspended and required to remain with the Red Wings but is practicing with the Griffins, Coetzee has been injured, and Mrazek is expected to fill in for injured Detroit backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson.

Detroit has three preseason games remaining. The Griffins play two preseason matches this weekend.

Pregame: Blackhawks @ Red Wings – 9/22

A night after dropping a 2-0 decision to the Boston Bruins in their preseason home opener, the Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks. Detroit lost to the ‘Hawks in Chicago last Tuesday.

The Wings will be using the following roster:

Forwards
Justin Abdelkader
Pavel Datsyuk
Gustav Nyquist
Riley Sheahan
Joakim Andersson
Tomas Tatar
Cory Emmerton
Landon Ferraro
Louis-Marc Aubry
Mikael Samuelsson
Henrik Zetterberg
Luke Glendening

Defensemen
Brendan Smith
Nathan Paetsch
Alexey Marchenko
Jonathan Ericsson
Adam Almquist
Niklas Kronwall

Goalies
Jimmy Howard
Petr Mrazek

Game time is 5:00 PM on FSD.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Bruins – 9/19

The Red Wings visit the Boston Bruins tonight with most of their second line missing. Johan Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson are both out nursing injuries, so Tomas Tatar and Daniel Cleary will take their spots. The full lineup tonight is as follows:

Henrik ZetterbergPavel DatsyukJustin Abdelkader
Daniel Cleary – Stephen Weiss – Tomas Tatar
Gustav NyquistJoakim AnderssonMikael Samuelsson
David McIntyreLuke GlendeningJordin Tootoo

Niklas KronwallJonathan Ericsson
Danny DeKeyserJakub Kindl
Adam AlmquistBrian Lashoff

Jimmy Howard will start and play two periods. Tom McCollum will play the third. Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD.

Andersson Switching to Number 18

The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness broke the news today that Red Wings forward Joakim Andersson will be switching his jersey number from #63 to the #18 he wore in Sweden and with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

“It looks like it,” Andersson said when asked if he was switching numbers. “They haven’t talked about it with me, but I had the No. 18 in Grand Rapids and in Sweden as well, so it looks like they’ve changed it.”

The change was telegraphed at the Red Wings’ summer development camp, when Philippe Hudon was assigned #63.

Tomas Tatar‘s #21 was also assigned at development camp, having been given to Luke Glendening. Tatar had requested #90 earlier in the summer and it appeared he would be changing but that number ended up being given to free agent signing Stephen Weiss, whose usual #9 is retired in Detroit for Gordie Howe. Instead, Tatar will keep #21 and Glendening will take the #41 of Landon Ferraro, who switches to the #29 he has worn with the Griffins.

Red Wings Sign Nyquist to Two-Year Extension

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Tuesday the signing of forward Gustav Nyquist to a two-year contract extension.

As per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not formally announced. Reports immediately following the signing stated that the deal will carry a $950,000 salary cap hit.

In forty career NHL games across two seasons with the Red Wings, Nyquist has four goals and nine assists. He added two goals and three assists playing in all 14 of Detroit’s 2013 playoff games.

Nyquist was the last of the Red Wings’ free agents left to sign. The team had already brought back Joakim Andersson, Brendan Smith and Drew Miller while adding Daniel Alfredsson, Stephen Weiss and Luke Glendening. Carlo Colaiacovo was a compliance buyout while Ian White, Damien Brunner and Daniel Cleary were not brought back.

Detroit now has sixteen forwards on the roster heading into training camp. It is expected that two will be waived or traded to get the team down to fourteen forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies in time for the start of the season.

Red Wings Free Agency Recap: Day 1

The Red Wings made quite the splash as the NHL’s 2013 free agency period opened on Friday. Here’s the breakdown of what happened:

Arrivals
The big surprise to start the day was that longtime Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson would be spurning the Senators and joining the Red Wings for a (presumably) final run at the Stanley Cup. There’s a lot of drama around how he left the Sens but he arrives in Detroit on a $5.5 million deal. The base salary is only $3.5 million, so the final $2 million could apply to the Wings’ 2014-15 cap instead of the 2013-14 one. Alfredsson is penciled in to play the right wing on the second line as Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg will be reunited on the top line.

Centering Alfredsson will be new addition Stephen Weiss. Signed from the Florida Panthers on a five-year deal with a $4.9 million cap hit, Weiss replaces the departed Valtteri Filppula. Detroit won a bidding war with the St. Louis Blues for the onetime Plymouth Whaler. The $4.9 million is a steal compared to the $6 million it was rumored Weiss was asking for.

Departures
As mentioned, Weiss replaces Valtteri Filppula, who signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning shortly after the Weiss deal was announced. Filppula reportedly was looking for first-line center pay and a first-line center role. He’ll be the number two center in Tampa behind Steven Stamkos, making $5 million per season for the next five years.

Though not yet signed by anyone else Damien Brunner seems to be out in Detroit. Red Wings general manager says he expects Brunner to go “in a different direction” for his next deal. The rumor is that Brunner is asking for guaranteed top-six minutes, something he couldn’t get with Detroit after falling to the third line (but having success there) late last season. There has been little buzz on where he might end up.

It seemed like Daniel Cleary was on his way out of Detroit but there are still rumors that the door is open for his return. The Dallas Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins were vying for his services but both teams dropped out. The Anaheim Ducks were also reportedly interested at one point. The Red Wings have continued to be reported as “in” on Cleary, to the extent that at one point it was thought he’d be back in the Winged Wheel by the end of the day. As of right now, Cleary is still on the market.

Defenseman Ian White – who no one expected to return to Detroit – is also still on the market with no apparent suitors.

Grand Rapids
The first of two Griffins-centric came when former Ferris State defenseman Chad Billins signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Calgary Flames. Billins spent all of last season on an AHL-only deal with Grand Rapids and was rumored to be a Red Wings target for a deal similar to what he took with Calgary.

Former University of Michigan forward Luke Glendening did stick with the organization. After spending last year on an AHL-only deal with the Griffins, he signed a one-year, two-way deal with Detroit today. He’s expected to stick with the Griffins next season but will provide additional depth if the Red Wings need a call-up.

Additional Moves
In addition to being in on Cleary, the Wings are reportedly interested in former Dallas captain Brenden Morrow. This makes absolutely no sense, so I have no idea why the team would be interested.

Detroit still has four restricted free agents to sign. Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Brendan Smith and Tom McCollum will be looking for deals but restricted free agents tend to sign after their teams are done with the unrestricted market, so it’s likely only a matter of time.

On top of those moves, the Wings will need to make at least one trade before the start of the season. After all of the RFAs are signed, the team will be maxed out at 50 player contracts and have 16 NHL forwards. If Cleary or Morrow were signed, there wouldn’t be room to sign all of the RFAs. Trade bait includes Cory Emmerton, Jordin Tootoo, Patrick Eaves, Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson. Samuelsson has a no-trade clause but could be convinced to waive it if the alternative was to be buried in the lineup. The Wings are reportedly in the market for a top-four defenseman on the trade block.

Red & White Game Rosters Announced

The Detroit Red Wings announced the tentative rosters for tomorrow’s Red & White Game at Plymouth’s Compuware Arena earlier today.

Pavel Datsyuk will be a game-time decision, having arrived back in Detroit from Russia late Monday. Darren Helm and Mikael Samuelsson will be kept out due to injuries.