Red Wings Down Blue Jackets in Team’s First-Ever Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in Detroit’s first-ever shootout Tuesday night as goalie Chris Osgood stopped former Red Wing Sergei Fedorov on Columbus’ final shot.

As Fedorov – who was taunted by the crowed throughout the night – skated in on Osgood, he fired a high shot that Osgood deflected with his shoulder.

Jaroslav Balastik had scored on Columbus’ first shootout chance before Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Williams scored for Detroit. Henrik Zetterberg, who was scheduled to take Detroit’s third shot, was not required to shoot with Detroit already up by a goal.

The Red Wings were the last NHL team to be involved in a shootout.

Robert Lang, back from eight games off with a groin injury, scored the first goal of the game just 4:16 in. Brett Lebda sent a hard pass from the point to Lang at the side of the crease, where he redirected it into the net.

Rick Nash tied the game for Columbus with 6:47 left in the period. He was left all alone in the slot to take a pass from the right wing boards. Defenseman Chris Chelios tried to stop him by tripping him on a play that was going to be called a penalty but Nash kept control of the puck and slipped it between Osgood’s pads.

The Red Wings regained the lead 3:14 later when Mark Mowers deflected a shot from the point by Lebda.

The Blue Jackets rallied in the third period, when Duvie Westcott scored a power play goal at 8:30. As Lebda skated without a stick, Westcott was able to jump from the blueline into the slot and take a pass from behind the net, one-timing it past Osgood.

Brendan Shanahan put the Red Wings back in the lead 2:10 later, tipping a shot from Nicklas Lidstrom at the blue line in mid-air in the high slot.

Nikolai Zherdev forced overtime, scoring with 4:09 remaining in the third period on a wraparound attempt that caught Osgood looking the wrong way.

Osgood finished the game with 30 saves on 33 shots while Columbus’ Pascal Leclaire stopped 35 of the 38 shots he faced.

Detroit was held without a goal on their seven power play chances and held Columbus to one goal on five tries with the man-advantage.

The Red Wings are back in action on Friday when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks.

Late Shanahan Goals Lead Red Wings Past Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings got two goals by Brendan Shanahan in the final five minutes of Saturday night’s matchup with the San Jose Sharks to lead them to a 7-6 victory. The second of the goals was Shanahan 99th career game-winning goal.

In a game that saw 13 total goals scored the first period was relatively tame, with each team scoring only once.

The Red Wings opened the game’s scoring just 2:14 in on a goal by Jason Williams. Williams had the puck behind the net and sent it to Robert Lang at the bottom of the right circle before looping around behind him. Lang couldn’t get a good shooting angle so he dropped the puck back to Williams, who ripped it into the net past San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

San Jose evened the game with a power play goal 9:58 later. Marcel Goc fired a shot on net that Detroit netminder Chris Osgood stopped, put the puck bounced out past the top of the crease. Scott Thornton got tied up before he could get to the rebound but Alyn McCauley snuck in and knocked the puck past Osgood.

Six minutes into the second, Marco Sturm gave the Sharks their first lead of the game. After Osgood made a stop on Goc, defenseman Andreas Lilja attempted to clear the puck through the slot. Sturm was there to pick off the pass and send it past Osgood.

Just 1:58 later, Mathieu Schneider pulled Detroit back into a tie with a fluke power play goal. He fired a shot from the blue line that deflected off the stick of Mark Smith before hitting Tom Preissing’s knee and going over Nabokov’s shoulder.

Schneider scored again 38 seconds later to put Detroit back in the lead. On a 4-on-2 rush, Lang carried the puck down the right side boards. Williams drove the net and drew a defender with him, leaving Schneider all alone to take a pass from Lang in the slot and one-time it past Nabokov.

The lead only held for 1:55, as Smith drove the net after Osgood made an initial stop on a McCauley shot, pushing the puck home before knocking the net off its moorings.

Mikael Samuelsson continued his hot streak, putting Detroit in the lead again 39 seconds later. On a rush with Schneider driving the net, Samuelsson ripped a shot from the right circle. Nabokov got enough of it to knock the puck into the air but it flipped over his head and into the net.

After a tame second half of the period, Detroit held a 4-3 lead going into the third.

Thornton tied the game 3:23 into the final period. On a delayed penalty to Detroit, Thornton got the rebound of a Nils Ekman shot and put it under Osgood.

Schneider completed his first career hat trick 3:14 later, scoring one a one-timer from the top of the right circle while the Wings had a 5-on-3 advantage.

Wayne Primeau, one of the players in the penalty box for Schneider’s third goal, scored while the Sharks were shorthanded to bring them into a tie. Just 1:18 after Detroit took the lead, the puck was chipped past the Wings defense and Primeau picked it up to skate in alone on Osgood. He rifled a shot over the goalie’s shoulder to knot the game at five goals apiece.

The Sharks took their second lead of the game with 7:11 remaining in the period on a 5-on-3 of their own. Preissing sent a pass from the goal line to Osgood’s right through the crease and to Goc on the far side, where he was free to put it in.

Shanahan’s first goal came 3:01 later, with the Red Wings on the power play. Williams carried the puck through the left circle and drew the defenders to him, before sending a pass over to Shanahan in the right circle, where he was all alone to put a one-timer past Nabokov.

With three minutes left in regulation, Shanahan scored again, deflecting the puck off the shaft of his stick while driving the net.

After all the special teams play, the Red Wings ended up going three-for-seven on the power play. San Jose scored on two of their eight chances.

Osgood stopped 27 of the 33 shots he faced, while Nabokov made 23 saves on 30 shots.

Detroit will complete their West Coast road trip Monday in Los Angeles.


Detroit captain Steve Yzerman did not play, he was reportedly “banged up” after Friday’s game in Anaheim. Mark Mowers took his place… Jim Howard was called up from Grand Rapids to back up Chris Osgood… Manny Legace is expected to miss at least two weeks after straining his MCL in his left leg… The Detroit Free Press reports that last Monday’s matchup with Nashville has been rescheduled for April 16, giving Detroit four games in as many nights. This was denyed by Detroit announcer Ken Daniels but NHL.com’s schedule confirms the Free Press report.

Changes: A New NHL, but Wings Remain Similar

With all the opinions on how this NHL season will go, someone has to be right.

You know the words “a new NHL” actually mean something when people are talking about how far the Pittsburgh Penguins will advance in the playoffs, or how the Nashville Predators are the real threat to take the Central Division.

Things are bound to change, but every season brings a few surprises. While the same teams were looked at as Cup contenders each year, there were others that shocked the world once, but not again. No one gave Carolina a shot before 2002, and they don’t get much respect now, despite making the Cup Final that year. Each team is going to see some changes in this new NHL. So, what stays the same in Detroit and what changes?

The roster looks a lot like it has in the past. Detroit may be the measuring stick for any team in the future trying to keep a core together. At the center is Steve Yzerman, as he has been for two decades. Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Tomas Holmstrom and Brendan Shanahan remain from the 1997 championship team at forward, with six-time Norris nominated (and three-time winner) Nicklas Lidstrom on defense.

Chris Osgood remembers that 1997 team, and he’s back in Detroit after spending a few years in New York and St. Louis. Including Ozzie, Detroit has ten players that have been with the team since before 2000. Manny Legace saw Osgood leave and return, and the two will have a healthy fight to become the number one guy. Relative newcomers Robert Lang, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are the guys who will be looked at to score goals this season. Gone from the long-time roster are Darren McCarty and Mathieu Dandenault, along with a few salary eaters (Dominik Hasek, Curtis Joseph, Brett Hull).

Players that will have to produce when they get their chances include Jason Williams, Johan Franzen, Mark Mowers and Dan Cleary.

If the officials call the game by the book, the defense needs to be ready. While Lidstrom is nearly perfect at his position, Jiri Fischer is still learning and may rack up the penalty minutes. This means the Red Wings are relying on a few older veterans to hold down the fort.

The play of Mathieu Schneider, Chris Chelios and possibly Jamie Rivers and Andreas Lilja will be the true test of this Wings squad. Niklas Kronwall again will miss most of the season, meaning the Wings may even look at some inexperienced defenders, as tight cap space may limit them from testing the free agent market or making a big trade.

A new trio now leads the Wings behind the bench: Coach Mike Babcock and his assistants Paul MacLean and Todd McLellan are all fairly familiar faces. Babcock coached the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim that knocked out the Wings in 2003, and MacLean played for the Red Wings. Interestingly enough, McLellan coached the Houston Aeros past the Grand Rapids Griffins in the 2003 Calder Cup playoffs. These three should lay down the law, making sure the Wings never get too comfortable trying to play their old style.

This Week’s Matchups

October 5 vs St. Louis – Chris Osgood won’t get a chance to open the season against his former team, so it looks like Manny Legace will get the start. The Blues now have Patrick Lalime in front of the net, but not Al MacInnis or Chris Pronger. If the Wings can come out hard and fast, they might be able to exploit the Blues’ young defense which is now led by Eric Brewer.

October 6 at St. Louis – The Blues and Wings get two of their eight meetings over with in a hurry. The Blues home opener may see Reinhard Divis and Jim Howard in the nets. St. Louis is the younger team, and they’ll be excited to open the Savvis Center. A split series with both teams winning their home opener is not out of the question.

Games this week: 2
vs. Western Conference: 2
vs. Central Division: 2
Home: 1
Road: 1

Wings Bring Back Rivers, Mowers

The Detroit Red Wings signed two of their key depth players from the 2003-04 season before allowing them to become unrestricted free agents. Defenseman Jamie Rivers agreed to a two-year deal while forward Mark Mowers signed a one-year deal with a player option for a second year.

As per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.

Rivers signed with the Red Wings last summer to provide them with depth and a veteran presence with the Grand Rapids Griffins, their American Hockey League affiliate. He spent less than a month with the Griffins before being called up when Derian Hatcher was injured in the third game of the season. Rivers went on to play 50 games with the Red Wings. He was solid defensively, earning a +9 plus-minus ranking, and scored seven points.

Mowers signed with the Red Wings in the summer of 2002 and was an early-season call-up when injuries began to hit the Red Wings. He played 52 games before suffering a foot injury with four games remaining in the season that kept him out through the playoffs. He had three goals and added eight assists on the season.

With Mowers and Rivers resigned, the Red Wings’ potential unrestricted free agents include Brendan Shanahan, Chris Chelios, Kris Draper and Mathieu Schneider.

Canucks Have Trouble With Manny: Wings Win 3-1

Once again, goaltender Manny Legace held his team in the game so they could get the win. Legace’s goaltending and a three-point night from Nicklas Lidstrom propelled the Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Both teams played a very open game to start the first period, and both goalies had to be sharp. Dan Cloutier faced and stopped two quick rebound shots by Robert Lang from point-blank range before the game was even a minute gone. At the other end of the ice, Legace stoned Daniel and Henrik Sedin when they broke through neutral ice on a two-on-one rush.

Brendan Shanahan opened the scoring 3:15 into the second period. Lidstrom made a soft pass from the right point to Shanahan at center. Shanahan blasted a one-timer from nearly sixty feet in front of the net. Cloutier was unscreened, but the shot went right through.

The Red Wings got to take advantage of a five on three power play shortly thereafter. Daniel Sedin was sent to the box for high sticking. Just a few seconds into the power play, Mattias Ohlund tripped and slid into the boards while being closely followed by Tomas Holmstrom. Vancouver coach Marc Crawford believed Holmstrom should have been given a penalty, and he was very forthcoming in sharing this viewpoint with the game officials.

The referees didn’t seem to appreciate Crawford’s vocal opinion, so they assigned him a bench minor penalty, leaving the Canucks down by two men. Fedor Fedorov went into the box to serve Crawford’s time, and the Detroit power play went to work. After a lot of passing, a few wide shots, and a couple of good saves by Cloutier, Brett Hull‘s shot was the one that clicked. Lidstrom passed from the right point to Hull at the top of the left faceoff circle, and Hull fired off a one-timer which bounced off the goalpost and into the net.

Vancouver nearly got themselves into the game with 2:47 left in the second period, but Legace flung himself across the crease to make a sprawling glove save against Sean Pronger.

Legace gave the fans a scare early in the third. Matt Cooke shoved Mathieu Schneider into Legace just to the right of the net. Legace was slow to get up and seemed a little shaky for a moment, but he stayed in net and finished the game.

Lidstrom added a goal to his pair of assists at 6:07 of the third. He intercepted a bad pass by the Canucks and was away on a two-on-one rush with Ray Whitney. Brent Sopel, the only defender back, was unable to stop Lidtsrom’s pass to Whitney or Whitney’s pass back across. Lidstrom took the pass, got to just the right spot, and wristed a shot into the net on Cloutier’s short side.

Mike Keane spoiled Legace’s shutout bid with 4:59 left to play. Sean Pronger won a faceoff in Detroit’s zone. He pulled the puck back to Keane, who took a few steps to his left before firing the puck. The puck hit the short side goalpost and bounced into the net.

The Canucks pulled Cloutier with 1:27 left to play, but the extra attacker did them no good.
Legace made 23 saves on the 24 shots he faced, while Cloutier stopped 24 of 27 shots.

The Red Wings’ next opponent will be the Southeast Division leaders, the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Monday night at the Joe.


Boyd Devereaux came back into the lineup tonight to fill in for the injured Pavel Datysuk, while Mark Mowers, Anders Myrvold, and Jamie Rivers stayed in the lineup to fill the holes left by Kris Draper, Jason Woolley, and Mathieu Dandenault“¦. Shanahan’s 20th goal of the season makes this his 16th consecutive 20 goal season. He and Hull, who is in his 17th consecutive 20 goal season, lead all active players in that regard.

Shorthanded Wings Hold Off Flames

The Detroit Red Wings, already without defensemen Derian Hatcher, Chris Chelios and Jason Woolley and goaltenders Curtis Joseph and Dominik Hasek, lost center Kris Draper to injury during Wednesday’s morning skate and swingman Matheiu Dandenault in the first period of their matchup with the Calgary Flames. They still were able to build up a lead over Calgary and hold off a late-game push to get two much-needed points.

Draper is expected out for a month with a partially torn rotator cuff suffered when he collided with Joseph during the morning skate. Dandenault broke his right foot blocking a shot by Robyn Regehr late in the first period and is expected out for four-to-six weeks.

The Red Wings have battled injuries all season and were able to quickly adjust to having a depleted lineup.

After starting out slowly in the first period, Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring with 7:11 remaining in the second period. Zetterberg drove the net and picked up the rebound from a Mathieu Schneider shot. After bouncing a chance off Calgary goalie Roman Turek’s pads, he got his own rebound and knocked it into the net.

Mark Mowers, taken out of the Detroit lineup when the Red Wings traded for Robert Lang but brought back in when Draper went down, scored the eventual game-winner 8:02 into the third period. Breaking into the Calgary zone, Mowers flipped the puck past Flames’ defenseman Jordan Leopold and picked it up after breaking by him, effectively passing to himself. He broke in alone on Turek and lifted a backhander over his shoulder to put the Red Wings up by two.

Jarome Iginla pulled Calgary to within one with 4:59 remaining but the Flames couldn’t even things up.

Turek finished the game with 20 saves on 22 shots in net for the Flames, while Detroit’s Manny Legace stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced.

The Red Wings are next in action Friday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.

No Signs of Stopping: Wings Down Panthers 4-1

Curtis Joseph‘s phenomenal night in net and Pavel Datsyuk‘s goal and assist combined to help lead the Red Wings over the Florida Panthers, 4-1.

Datsyuk opened the scoring at 6:34 of the first period. Brett Hull made a centering pass, which Datsyuk picked up, then spun around to shake off the Florida defender who was shadowing him. He took a backhand shot at the net without seeming to look where he was shooting, but the puck angled up perfectly into the top corner of the net, over the outstretched glove of goaltender Roberto Luongo. “I’ve never seen a goal like that,” marveled head coach Dave Lewis.

The Panthers were unhappy about giving up the first goal, and they battled back hard. Joseph was solid, coming up with huge saves against Valeri Bure and Viktor Kozlov to keep the lead for Detroit. Florida’s only goal of the game came on a power play, but it was almost a fluke. Lukas Krajicek took a shot from the blue line which redirected off the skate of Jiri Fischer and slid past Joseph, who was partially screened by Juraj Kolnik.

Florida had a prime opportunity to move into the lead early in the second period. The Red Wings were nearing the end of a power play when Brendan Shanahan pushed a broken stick off to the side of the ice. The center ice referee ruled this an interference penalty before realizing that the stick was broken. He did realize his error after the fact, but the NHL does not permit referees to take back calls once they have been made.

Shanahan’s penalty was halfway over when the Red Wings were called for having too many men on the ice, giving the Panthers a full minute of five-on-three power play time. Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, and Nicklas Lidstrom did a very good job of getting in the way of Florida’s passes, and Joseph held firm against every shot the Panthers could muster.

Shanahan’s penalty expired without incident, sending the Red Wings back to four against five, and Maltby took revenge for the interference call which should never have been made. He was forechecking deep in the Panthers’ zone after a clearing pass, and poked the puck off the stick of Krajicek just as the young defenseman rounded the corner of his own net. Luongo was not expecting any such move, and the puck rolled into the net. “Those things happen,” Luongo said in his teammate’s defense after the game. “He’s a young guy. Hopefully, he learned his lesson. He’s got to keep his head up and learn from it. That’s all he can do.”

Mark Mowers increased Detroit’s lead early in the third by tipping in a shot by Shanahan, and Mathieu Schneider denied Florida any chance of a comeback win by handling a pass from Datsyuk and sending the puck into the empty net with just under a minute left in the game.

Luongo stopped 36 of the 40 shots he faced. Joseph stopped 21 of 22 shots from the Panthers, but 14 of those shots were quality scoring chances, which makes Joseph’s game quite remarkable. “You need that kind of goaltending,” said Schneider. “He made the big saves for us.”

Detroit’s next opponent will be the San Jose Sharks, Wednesday evening at the Joe.


Datsyuk, who was named the NHL’s Offensive Player of the Week, now holds the NHL’s scoring lead…. Hull is on an eleven-game point streak…. Ryan Barnes was called up from Grand Rapids and slipped into tonight’s lineup in place of Mathieu Dandenault, who is out with the flu…. Manny Legace played backup to Joseph.

Sabres Fall to Griffins— er, Wings

It wasn’t quite the game anyone expected. Sure, under normal circumstances, it should be easy enough for the Red Wings to gain a win over the Buffalo Sabres. But it shouldn’t have been quite so easy when a full third of the lineup (six of eighteen skaters) is straight from the Grand Rapids Griffins. And it certainly shouldn’t have been a triumphant 7-2 blowout, but there it was.

The Sabres managed to open the scoring a few minutes into the third period. J.P. Dumont made a pass to Daniel Briere just behind the net. Briere noticed Curtis Joseph just slightly out of position, so he banked the puck in off the goalie’s back. Joseph, also just recalled from the Griffins, looked a little shaky early on, but redeemed himself with a huge save against Taylor Pyatt on a breakaway a few minutes after Briere’s goal.

Pavel Datsyuk split through two Buffalo defensemen to make a give-and-go passing play with Kris Draper near the end of the period. Datsyuk pushed to the net, and when he got the puck back from Draper, he was able to flip it in behind goalie Ryan Miller. Kirk Maltby moved Detroit into a 2-1 lead just over two minutes later when some hard work in the corner by Mathieu Dandenault and a nice pass by Datsyuk left Maltby all alone in front of the net long enough to get the shot away.

Detroit carried their one goal lead all the way through the third period, holding off three Buffalo power plays.

The third period was a different story. An ordinary team might have shut down and played defensive hockey for the final twenty minutes, but these are the Red Wings (even if a lot of them were Griffins just yesterday), and they best defend their leads by adding to them. Datsyuk started the onslaught with his second goal of the night at 8:01. Jason Woolley threaded a pass through several pairs of legs to leave Datsyuk all alone in the high slot. He deked, then put the puck high over Miller.

Draper added a wraparound goal off a patient pass by Brendan Shanahan at 9:44, and Jiri Hudler scored the first goal of his NHL career by one-timing the puck from the high slot, after one of Woolley’s excellent passes found the way straight to him. It was a power play goal, with Eric Boulton in the penalty box for cross checking.

Jochen Hecht got the puck past Joseph to get the Sabres up to two, but Mathieu Schneider answered by putting a hard shot from the blue line right between Miller’s leg pads. Boyd Devereaux completed the Red Wings’ scoring by snapping a well placed wrist shot over Miller’s shoulder with 1:37 left to play.

The Sabres outshot Detroit by a margin of 25 to 23. Detroit was one for four on the power play. The Red Wings’ next opponent will be the Blackhawks, Thursday night in Chicago.


The Griffins playing as Wings tonight were Darryl Bootland, Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronwall, Kevin Miller, Mark Mowers, Jamie Rivers, and goalie Joey MacDonald, who played backup to Joseph with Hasek and Legace both out for a few days…. It was Kronwall’s NHL debut. He logged 13:26 of ice time, took two shots on goal, served two penalty minutes, and finished with a plus-one rating…. Kevin Miller is the cousin of Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.

Hull’s 3rd Place Goal Lifts Wings over Kings

It was another milestone night for Brett Hull, and this time, the goal counted towards a win. Hull scored his 732nd career goal 1:51 into the overtime period to lift the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings and move into sole possession of third place on the all-time goals scored list, behind only Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801). The Red Wings started the scoring early in the first period. In fact, they scored on their first two shots of the game. Brendan Shanahan got the crowd in the right mindset to see milestone goals by scoring his 544th career goal 2:27 into the first period. Mark Mowers made a sharp pass from behind the net, and Shanahan snapped off a shot which bounced off the left leg pad of goalie Roman Cechmanek and into the net. The goal tied Shanahan for 19th place overall with Maurice “Rocket” Richard.

Pavel Datsyuk didn’t break any records with his goal, but the Los Angeles defensemen may have broken something else afterwards, by kicking themselves for leaving Datsyuk unwatched. The goal came on the power play, with Kings’ captain Mattias Norstrom in the penalty box for hooking. Datsyuk left a drop pass for Hull on the left wing side, then circled around behind the net. The Kings all seemed to be keeping an eye on Steve Thomas in the high slot, so no one was ready for Hull to thread the puck through the goal crease to Datsyuk on the far side. Datsyuk banged the puck past Cechmanek to put the Wings up 2-0.

The Kings were hardly ready to give up being down by two goals. They refused to sit back, forcing Dominik Hasek to make some strong saves. Hasek held firm until he lost his temper late in the third. Los Angeles was in the middle of a shift of sustained pressure in Detroit’s zone. In all fairness, there could have been a goaltender interference penalty against Luc Robitaille, but none was forthcoming. Hasek appeared visibly upset, and thus was not set to stop Michael Cammalleri’s one-timer off Robitaille’s pass.

The goal gave the Kings new life, but they weren’t able to tie up the game until they got a lucky break. Steve Thomas was unable to handle Jiri Fischer‘s pass along the boards in the Red Wings’ zone. Martin Straka, recently acquired from the Penguins, grabbed the puck away and took a hard shot which beat Hasek high.

The Red Wings controlled the overtime period from its beginning, however. Hull’s historic goal was set up by Jason Woolley holding the puck in at the Los Angeles blue line, stick handling around two skaters, and sending the puck up to Mathieu Schneider. Schneider made the pass across the rink to Hull, who was ready and waiting with his classic one-timer. The puck sailed up and bounced over Cechmanek for the win.

Los Angeles outshot Detroit by a count of 28-20. The Red Wings’ next game will be on the road, Wednesday night against the Buffalo Sabres.


Ray Whitney started this game, but didn’t finish. He left sometime during the second period. Prior to tonight, Whitney had missed ten straight games with a strained groin…. Chris Chelios left the game with an injured right knee after colliding with Cammalleri late in the first period. Chelios tried to play a shift early in the second, but had to leave the ice.

Wings Overcome Ducks and Media Circus for Decisive Win

The media hype was tremendous. Sergei Fedorov returns to Detroit! Red Wings to face the team who shut them out in the playoffs! The Red Wings are used to media scrutiny, here in the heart of Hockeytown, and they put it all aside to play a solid game and beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, 7-2.

Manny Legace was solid in his fourth start in a row, and saved a potentially game-breaking goal early in the first period when Petr Sykora got in all alone on a breakaway. Legace’s save led right into Detroit’s first goal. The Red Wings got the puck back down the ice, but the Ducks tried to clear it out of their zone. Kris Draper stole it away from Niclas Havelid. He handed the puck off to Kirk Maltby, who centered the puck for Mark Mowers to chip into the net.

Pavel Datsyuk won a faceoff in the Anaheim zone late in the period, thus setting up Brett Hull to wind up and blast the puck right past Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Then the scoring floodgates opened.

Maltby and Jason Williams scored within 50 seconds of each other midway through the second period, both with hard wrist shots which sailed over Giguere’s glove hand. Four goals was enough for Giguere, who reluctantly left the net to be replaced by Martin Gerber.

Gerber didn’t fare any better than did his counterpart. Detroit kept pressing their advantage. “They just got better and better and faster and faster and we got slower and slower,” said Ducks coach Mike Babcock.

Detroit’s speed led to their fifth goal. Steve Thomas held the puck in at the blue line. He passed it to Hull on the left wing side, who passed it to Schneider on the right side of the crease. Schneider lured Gerber over, then made a fast pass to Datsyuk, who had a wide open net into which he shot the puck.

Fedorov finally got Anaheim onto the scoreboard with 4:40 left in the second. He carried into the zone, then took a hard shot which beat Legace high on the stick side. However, Datsyuk answered with hardly a minute gone by. He beat Fedorov in a faceoff, drew the puck back to Schneider, then deflected Schneider’s shot down to slide beneath Gerber’s glove.

Brendan Shanahan beat Ruslan Salei to what should have been an icing call against Detroit””Salei went right past the puck without touching it””and Shanahan slapped the puck past Gerber to cap off Detroit’s scoring 1:53 into the third period. Tony Martensson scored his first goal for Anaheim at 8:53, leaving the final score at 7 to 2.

The Red Wings outshot the Mighty Ducks by a count of 40 to 23. The Wings won 35 of the 60 faceoffs.

In the end, the game wasn’t about avenging Detroit’s loss to Anaheim in last year’s playoffs. Nor was it about Fedorov’s much-ballyhooed first game against his old teammates. In the end, this game was about the present, with veterans Hull and Maltby playing strongly, and the future, with young stars-to-be Datsyuk, Williams, and Mowers running up the score. Sure, it was satisfying to see Detroit repeatedly beat Giguere, their bane of last spring, and finally chase him from the net. On some slightly shame-faced level, it was even satisfying to hear the fans booing Fedorov every time he got near the puck. But in the end, it was simply two points well-earned, a fine display of offensive talent, and a tide of momentum to carry Detroit into St. Louis to face the Blues tomorrow night.