Red Wings Defeat Penguins on Two More Goals from Zetterberg

Henrik Zetterberg scored two goals for the second game in a row, heading his Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

En route to the win, Detroit outshot Pittsburgh, 39-17.

Zetterberg’s first goal opened the game’s scoring 44 seconds past the midway point of the first period. With the Red Wings on a power play, Zetterberg drove to the net to knock a rebound off Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and just barely over the goal line.

After a series that saw a big stop by Fleury matched by a breakaway save by Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood, Zetterberg put the Wings up by two.

The Swede scored his second of the night shorthanded with 3:50 left in the second period. He intercepted a pass from Penguins defender Sergei Gonchar and broke in all alone on Fleury, faking to his forehand before cutting back on his backhand. He skated around the sprawling goalie and lifted a shot into the top of the net.

Nicklas Lidstrom scored Detroit’s third goal, another power play tally. At 6:29 of the third period, he took a pass in the left circle from Pavel Datsyuk and sent a slap shot over Fleury’s shoulder.

Mark Recchi put in his own rebound with 29 seconds remaining in the game for Pittsburgh’s lone goal.

Osgood finished the game with 16 saves on the 17 shots he faced, while Fluery made 36 stops on Detroit’s 39 shots.

Detroit went two-for-eight on the power play and held the Penguins without a special teams goal on five chances with the extra attacker, including two lengthy 5-on-3 opportunities.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Tuesday when the begin a Southeast Division road trip by visiting the Atlanta Thrashers.

Detroit captain Steve Yzerman did not play Monday night, he is expected to miss three weeks with a groin injury… Injured center Robert Lang could return to play by the end of the coming road trip.

Penguins Hand Wings First Loss of Season

The Pittsburgh Penguins certainly are not the most talented team in the league, but they could be the most opportunistic. The Penguins capitalized on mistakes by Detroit in a choppy game to get their first win of the season, 4-3.

During the first period, the Penguins didn’t look as if they would be able to capitalize on much of anything. The Red Wings killed off five of six Pittsburgh power plays and managed to hold the Penguins to only six shots during the first twenty minutes.

The Penguins were first on the scoreboard, during a roughing penalty to Chris Chelios. Ramsey Abid was waiting at the side of the net in just the right spot to tip a point shot by Drake Berehowsky past Dominik Hasek at 5:34.

The penalties continued, so the Red Wings scored a goal the only way they could: shorthanded. Ray Whitney made a clearing pass which sent Henrik Zetterberg speeding down the ice on a one-on-one against Martin Straka. He faked to his right, then spun around Straka, moved the puck from his backhand to his forehand, and snapped the puck past rookie goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Red Wings finally got a full power play chance of their own near the end of the period when Rico Fata was sent to the box for hooking. Brendan Shanahan took a shot on net which bounced off of Fleury, but Tomas Holmstrom, facing away from the net and being shoved around as usual, whacked at the puck until it went in and gave Detroit the lead.

The number of penalties subsided in the second period, and the Wings increased their lead with the first even-strength goal of the game. Kirk Maltby carried the puck behind the net. Two Pittsburgh defensemen went after him, leaving Darren McCarty all alone in front of the net. Maltby sent a pass out front to his linemate, and McCarty had his stick down on the ice ready to direct the puck to Fleury’s left.

Another shorthanded goal brought Pittsburgh back within one point before the end of the period. Brian Holzinger had been sent out for a high-sticking double minor penalty. The Red Wings were trying to set up their power play when Whitney mishandled a pass and Ryan Malone was able to steal it and head up the rink. Whitney followed and cut Malone off so that he wasn’t able to get much of a shot against Hasek, but Rico Fata was trailing the play and got to the rebound to flip the puck into the net.

Straka tied the game just eleven seconds into the third period after a two-on-one rush. Konstantin Koltsov carried the puck up the left side. Straka kept up on the right. Jiri Fischer used his stick to try to take the passing lane away, but the puck got through to Straka and he put it in the net just under the crossbar.

The Red Wings thought they had regained the lead a few moments later. Shanahan took a shot which deflected into the net off of Mathieu Schneider‘s skate blade. The video goal judge, however, ruled that Schneider had kicked the puck into the net, so the goal was waved off.

Fata put the game away for the Penguins with 8:29 left to play. Malone’s pass sprung Fata on a clear breakaway up the right side of the rink, and he beat Hasek with a high wrist shot.

The Red Wings controlled the rest of the game, doing what they could to tie the game back up and force overtime. Even though they pulled Hasek for an extra attacker in the last minutes, they were unable to put the puck past Fleury again.

Detroit outshot Pittsburgh by a count of 34 to 17. The Red Wings’ next game will be Monday night when they visit the Montreal Canadiens.

Wings Take Goalie with Lone Day One Draft Pick

With their lone pick on the first day of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, the Detroit Red Wings selected goaltender James Howard of the University of Maine.

The Red Wings had no picks in the first or third rounds, having traded their first-round pick to the Los Angeles Kings in the March deal for defenseman Mathieu Schneider and their third-round pick to the Nashville Predators in return for a third-round pick in last year’s draft (used to select Valtteri Filppula).

Rounds Four through Nine will take place on Sunday. The Red Wings have picks in each of the remaining rounds.

The Wings chose Howard with the sixtieth overall pick late in the second round. The Hockey News had rated him at fiftieth overall. The 19-year-old, 6’0″, 218 pound netminder was ranked by NHL Central Scouting as the No. 2 North American goalie available in this year’s draft.

Howard had an 8-1-0 record at Maine prior to the World Junior Championship but his play tailed off at the end of the season. He finished at 14-6-0 with a .916 save percentage.

The feeling among NHL scouts is that Howard could become a top NHL goalie.

“I look at so many college goalies who are 20 or 21, and he was every bit as good as them,” said one scout.

Day One Draft Notes:
Ninety minutes into the draft, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the passing of Ottawa Senators assistant coach and Hall-of-Famer Roger Neilson. Neilson died at his Peterborough, Ontario home after a lengthy battle with skin and bone cancer. He was 69.

Several trades took place on Saturday. Florida traded their first-overall pick along with their third-round pick to Pittsburgh for the third-overall pick, a second-round pick and Mikael Samuelsson. Carolina acquired defenseman Danny Markov and a conditional pick from Phoenix for d-man David Tanabe and prospect Igor Knyazev. The Colorado Avalanche sent enforcer Scott Parker to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a fifth-round pick and got forward Andrei Nikolishin from the Chicago Blackhawks for future considerations. The Atlanta Thrashers traded their second round pick to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Ivan Majesky. The St. Louis Blues picked up a second-round draft pick from Tampa Bay for forward Cory Stillman and either a fifth-round pick this year or a fourth-rounder next year from Phoenix for forward Tyson Nash.

The Penguins selected goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with the first-overall pick.