Red Wings Open Home-and-Home with Win over Predators

In the first game of a home-and-home series, the Detroit Red Wings held off third-period pressure by the Nashville Predators to pick up a 5-2 win.

The win lifts the Red Wings to within one point of the Predators in the Central Division standings with one game in hand.

Nashville had four power play opportunities in the third period and converted on one of them.

Martin Erat scored for the Predators on a two-man advantage at 5:07 of the period. A Shea Weber blast from the blue line was stopped by Detroit goalie Chris Osgood but Erat got the rebound at the side of the net and put it in, pulling the Predators to within a goal.

Nashville wasn’t able to even things up and Detroit scored twice at the end of the period to seal the game.

Attempting to throw a pass across the top of the crease with 2:02 remaining, Kyle Calder scored when the puck deflected off the skate of Marek Zidlicky and over Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun‘s shoulder.

Valtteri Filppula put the game away 41 seconds later after stealing the puck at the Detroit blue line with Vokoun on the way to the bench. Filppula raced in on the goal as Vokoun got back but the netminder never got settled and Filppula whipped a shot past him to make the final score 5-2.

The Red Wings opened the game’s scoring just 1:39 into the game when Robert Lang banged the puck through a crowd in front of the Nashville net and past Vokoun.

Rookie Alexander Radulov tied the game at 7:02, ripping a shot from the high slot past Osgood with Nashville on a power play.

Early in the second period, Kirk Maltby put Detroit back out in front. Filppula moved the puck into the Nashville zone and got it deep to Kris Draper, who moved behind the net and sent it out front to Maltby. Maltby lifted a shot over Vokoun at 4:30 to make it a 2-1 game.

Jiri Hudler extended the Detroit lead at 1:24 of the third, scoring on a one-timer off Vokoun’s glove from a pass by Calder.

Both of Nashville’s goals came on the power play, which they had eight chances with, including the two-on-one that led to Erat’s tally. Detroit was held scoreless on three chances with the extra attacker.

Osgood made 29 saves on 31 shots against, including key stops with the Predators threatening to pull even in the third. Vokoun stopped 25 of the 30 Detroit chances he faced.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow in Detroit.

The Predators lost Erat in the third period after a collision with teammate Jason Arnott.

Predators Down Red Wings in OT to Pull Even in Standings

The Nashville Predators scored twice in the game’s final 3:15, bouncing back to earn an overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Nashville’s gaining of a point on Detroit pulls the two teams even atop the Western Conference standings.

With 1:04 remaining in regulation and the Nashville net empty, Paul Kariya deflected a long shot by Dan Hamhuis past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood to tie the game.

Kariya threaded a pass from the right circle through the legs of defender Niklas Kronwall to Peter Forsberg to tap in the game-winning goal from the edge of the crease at 2:11 of the overtime period.

The former Duck also scored Nashville’s first goal with 1:54 remaining in the first period, slipping through the left circle and wristing a quick shot on net that beat Osgood to the short side.

Tomas Holmstrom scored the first of his three power play goals to pull the Red Wings even just 38 seconds into the second, banging the rebound of a Nicklas Lidstrom shot over Predators’ netminder Tomas Vokoun.

Holmstrom would put Detroit out in front 1:49 later with the Red Wings on a two-man advantage, tipping a shot by Mathieu Schneider into the net.

Detroit-area native David Legwand re-tied the game with 8:56 remaining in the middle period, taking a long pass from Marek Zidlicky at the Detroit blue line and breaking in to push a backhander past Osgood.

Holmstrom’s hat-trick goal gave the Red Wings a short-lived late-game lead. After being cross-checked from behind at the front of the crease, Holmstrom got up just in time to pick the puck up as it bounced off the back boards and stuff it home with 5:08 remaining.

The Predators were held off the board on three power play chances while Holmstrom’s three power play goals on seven Detroit tries weren’t enough for the win.

Osgood stopped 25 of 29 shots against. Vokoun made 41 saves on 44 shots.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Tuesday when they visit Chicago in the first game of a home-and-home with the Blackhawks.

Predators End Red Wings’ Streak in Shootout

The Nashville Predators came from behind in a shootout on Tuesday to hand the Detroit Red Wings their first loss in seven games.

By losing out on the extra point, Detroit was unable to pull ahead of the Ottawa Senators for sole posession of first place in the league.

Nashville by scores of 1-0 and 2-1 after the first two rounds of the shootout but Steve Sullivan tied it in the third round and goalie Tomas Vokoun stopped Henrik Zetterberg to force sudden death rounds. The fourth round was scoreless and after the Predators took a 3-2 lead in the fifth round, Detroit captain Steve Yzerman scored to keep the Red Wings alive. Brendan Shanahan could not repeat the feat after Martin Erat scored for Nashville in the sixth round.

The first period was the only period of the game that saw any scoring, opening with a Nashville goal at 5:57, when Scott Hartnell deflected a shot from the blue line by Marek Zidlicky past Detroit netminder Manny Legace.

With the Red Wings on a two-man advantage at 9:34, Robert Lang tied the game, picking up a rebound that bounced around the crease and lifting it over the sprawling Vokoun.

Still on the power play just 57 seconds later, Shanahan tipped a centering pass by Zetterberg past Vokoun.

The Predators tied things back up with 5:09 remaining in the period while skating on a five-on-three of their own, as Steve Sullivan put home a rebound from the side of the net.

The Red Wings dominated the shooting in the second period and the Predators carried play in the third but neither team could break the tie. The best chance for either side came when Legace stopped Hartnell on a penalty shot with 5:12 remaining in regulation.

Legace finished the night with 34 saves on 36 shots, while Vokoun stopped 39 of 41 shots against.

Detroit’s power play went two-for-four and the Red Wings’ penalty killers allowed only one goal on six Nashville power plays.

The Red Wings will be back in action when the San Jose Sharks visit Joe Louis Arena on Thursday.

By picking up one point, the Red Wings became the second team to reach 100 points in the NHL standings, folowing Ottawa, who reached that point earlier in the night with a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins… The third round shoout miss by Henrik Zetterberg was his first missed shootout chance of the season… Jason Williams remained perfect in shootout chances, moving to four-for-four on the season.

Czechs Select Lang for Olympics

Detroit Red Wings center Robert Lang will make his fourth career Olympic appearance in February, as he was announced as a member of the Czech Republic’s men’s ice hockey team for the games in Turino, Italy.

The Czech roster also includes former Red Wing goaltender Dominik Hasek, now a member of the Ottawa Senators.

Defenseman Jiri Fischer, who was expected to be named to the team before suffering convulsions on November 21, was not on the final roster.

The four players from the New York Rangers are the most sent by one NHL team to the Czech squad.

The complete roster is as follows:

Goaltenders (3)
Domink Hasek
Milan Hnilicka
Tomas Vokoun

Defensemen (7)
Frantisek Kaberle
Tomas Kaberle
Filip Kuba
Pavel Kubina
Marek Malik
Jaroslav Spacek
Marek Zidlicky

Forwards (13)
Jan Bulis
Petr Cajanek
Martin Erat
Milan Hejduk
Ales Hemsky
Jaromir Jagr
Robert Lang
Rostislav Olesz
Vaclav Prospal
Petr Prucha
Martin Rucinsky
Martin Straka
David Vyborny

Shanny’s Hat-trick Lifts Wings over Preds

Brendan Shanahan scored the only goals for the Detroit Red Wings and carried them to a 3-2 overtime win over the Nashville Predators Sunday night as the Red Wings extended their unbeaten streak to eight games. Goaltender Curtis Joseph earned the win in only his second start since returning from a sprained ankle last week.

The win moved Detroit past the Tampa Bay Lightning and into the top spot in the National Hockey League standings. The Red Wings have one game in hand on the Lightning.

Shanahan scored his third goal of the game just forty seconds into overtime. Defenseman Chris Chelios intercepted a Nashvilee pass in the Detroit zone and carried the puck up the ice with Shanahan and Nicklas Lidstrom. After gaining the Nashville zone, Chelios fed the puck to Shanahan at the right faceoff circle. Shanahan stepped up to the faceoff dot and wristed the rolling puck over the shoulder of Predators’ goaltender Tomas Vokoun.

Both of Shanahan’s previous goals pulled the Red Wings into a tie with the Predators.

The first goal came on the power play 8:33 into the game. Steve Yzerman passed the puck to Tomas Holmstrom at the right side of the Nashville net. Vokoun and the Predators’ defense moved to cover Holmstrom, who slid a pass across the ice to Shanahan, who put in a bad-angle shot from the left side of the goal.

Shanahan’s second goal tied the game at two 9:16 into the third period. The rebound from a Brett Hull shot bounced around the edge of the crease before Shanahan pounced on it and flipped it into the side of the net.

The Predators had gained a 2-1 lead on a goal by Denis Arkhipov just 2:20 into the second period. Martin Erat skated out from behind the Red Wings goal and Arkhipov slipped behind Detroit defender Jamie Rivers to take Erat’s pass and put the puck between the pads of Detroit netminder Cutis Joseph.

Nashville opened the scoring on a disputed power play 5:16 into the game. Detroit’s Kirk Maltby appeared to score at 4:38 but the goal was waved off and Maltby was put in the box for a soft interference penalty that should have been assessed to Darren McCarty.

On the ensuing power play, Marek Zidlicky fired a high shot from the blue line that deflected in the slot off the back of Jeremy Stevenson and straight down to the ice, bouncing past Joseph to put the Predators on the board.

It was the first power play goal allowed by the Red Wings in forty chances.

Joseph stopped 27 of the 29 Nashville shots he faced in the game, while Vokoun made 28 saves on 31 Detroit shots against.

The Red Wings are next in action on Tuesday night when they host the Calgary Flames in their last home game before embarking on a five-game road trip.

Wings Win Fights, But Lose Game

Probably the most symbolic way to sum up Thursday night’s strange game against the Nashville Predators would be to point out two simple statistics. First, the Red Wings’ current goal-scoring leader is Steve Yzerman, with six goals. Second, the team’s current leader in penalty minutes is ALSO Steve Yzerman, and he got all 37 of those minutes in this emotional 5-3 loss to Nashville.

The first fight was underway almost before the game started. Darren McCarty got into a scrap with Jeremy Stevenson at center ice, 23 seconds in. Curtis Joseph got off to a strong start in his season debut, making a huge save on a two on one rush just as Jiri Fischer was being called for a high sticking penalty. Kimmo Timonen was sent out for hooking just seconds later, resulting in four on four play.

Henrik Zetterberg took advantage of the open ice to get the Red Wings on the scoreboard. Ray Whitney carried the puck into Nashville’s zone, then sent it across to Mathieu Schneider. Schneider sent the puck over to Zetterberg, whose shot rose high and went into the net over the shoulder of goalie Tomas Vokoun.

Scott Hartnell wanted to fight Fischer then, and Fischer, well aware that Hartnell was the one who knocked him down to cause his knee injury last season, was happy to oblige. Three good punches, and Hartnell was down.

Nicklas Lidstrom was given a weak penalty for holding with 1:00 left in the first. When Yzerman protested, he was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a ten-minute misconduct to go with it, leaving the Wings down two men for a full two minutes. Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, and Chris Chelios did an excellent job of killing off the five on three at the end of the first and start of the second periods, and Joseph was always in perfect position to stop any shots the Predators got to the net.

The Predators got on the board after their power play was done. Jordin Tootoo hit Fischer in the corner, knocking the puck loose so Greg Johnson could shoot the puck just past Joseph’s far side.

Johnson tipped in a shot by Marek Zidlicky to give Nashville the lead with 9:27 left in the second, then Hartnell redirected a shot by Timonen to increase the lead with a power play goal. Tootoo and Mathieu Dandenault got into a fight after Hartnell’s goal, but that one was an even match and had to be broken up by the officials.

Yzerman gave the Wings a power play goal early in the third. He got the rebound from Lidstrom’s point shot and put it into the open net with such force that the puck was stuck in the goal netting. The goal gave the Red Wings a lot of momentum, until they were forced to deal with another five on three penalty. This time, Draper was sent out for holding. Yzerman had a few choice words for the referees, and he was given another two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, another ten minute major, and a game misconduct to go along with it.

Chelios, Lidstrom, Maltby, and Joseph did the best they could on the five on three, but finally David Legwand managed to squeeze a rebound shot past Joseph. Adam Hall wanted to fight Chelios then, and Scott Walker went after Maltby. More fighting majors were handed out, along with game misconducts to Maltby and Walker.

Brett Hull added a power play goal to bring Detroit back within one with 5:25 left to play. The Wings pulled Joseph for a sixth skater with 1:33 remaining, but the Predators got the puck out of their zone and Rem Murray put it into the empty net.

The scoring was done, but the battles were not. Brendan Shanahan went after Hall with a fierce attack. Stevenson went after Dandenault. McCarty and Jamie Allison fought. Finally, just as the final buzzer sounded, Hartnell wanted a rematch against Fischer, but their teammates broke them up. The game had gone on long enough for everyone.

Detroit outshot Nashville by a final count of 27-24. The Red Wings will next face the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday night. Their next game against the Predators will be the first home game after the road trip, on November 8. With such a short amount of time between games, it will be interesting to see how much resentment carries over from this game to that one.

Detroit and Nashville totaled 210 penalty minutes…. Dominik Hasek reportedly has a minor groin injury.

Rangers Get Dunham from Predators

Moments after revealing that starting goaltender Mike Richter will miss the remainder of the season due to a concussion sustained over a month ago, the New York Rangers announced a trade with the Nashville Predators for goalie Mike Dunham.

The Rangers acquired Dunham from the Predators for forward Rem Murray, defenseman Tomas Kloucek and the rights to defenseman Marek Zidlicky. With Richter out for the season, New York needed a starting netminder. Backup goalie Dan Blackburn had started the seventeen games since Richter’s injury.

Dunham had been the starting goaltender for Nashville since his selection in the 1997 Expansion Draft. With the Predators’ slow start this season, much of the blame fell to him and he lost the starting spot to Tomas Vokoun.

Murray was aquired by the Rangers at last season’s trade deadline along with Tom Poti in the deal that sent Mike York to the Edmonton Oilers. Kloucek had three goals and four assists with the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack but was deemed expendable by the Rangers’ glut of young defensemen.

The Rangers quickly moved to replace Murray, acquring Josh Green from the Oilers for a conditional pick in the 2004 draft.

This is Dunham’s second stint in the New York area. He broke into the league backing up Martin Brodeur with the New Jersey Devils and played his first two seasons there before moving on to Nashville.