Wings & Jackets Battle To 5-5 Tie

The President’s Trophy may be out of reach now, but the top spot in the Western Conference is still within grasp. The one point the Red Wings gained in tonight’s 5-5 tie with the Columbus Blue Jackets ties Detroit with Dallas for first seed.

On paper and by the numbers, it looked as if the Red Wings should be able to romp right over the Blue Jackets. Yet Columbus consistently plays their very best games against Detroit, and tonight was certainly no exception.

David Vyborny opened the scoring for Columbus just 2:39 into the game. He was up ice on a three on two rush with Andrew Cassels and Geoff Sanderson. Sanderson sent the pass across, and Vyborny was able to lift it high into the net before Manny Legace could slide across to block the shot.

Cassels scored next for Columbus, midway through the period. He picked the puck away from Mathieu Dandenault at the Columbus blue line, then carried up through center. Cassels shot from the Red Wings’ blue line and the puck flew into the net.

Tyler Wright increased the Blue Jacket’s lead to three goals early in the second period. Rick Nash had three Red Wings covering him, but he managed to get the puck away to Vyborny, who gave it to Wright. Wright was all alone in front of the net and he was able to lift the puck high over Legace.

Kris Draper took away some of the Blue Jackets’ momentum. Darren McCarty made the pass crossing the blue line. Draper carried the puck up the right side and snapped a shot on net. The puck went off the far goalpost and in past Marc Denis.

The Red Wings got a power play shortly after that, on a holding call to Duvie Westcott. Sergei Fedorov shot the puck on net. Tomas Holmstrom scooped it away from Denis and tossed it over to the side of the crease, where Brendan Shanahan had plenty of empty space to slap the puck into the net.

Legace made a huge save on Vyborny on the very next shift to keep the Wings within one, and Denis answered with an equally huge save on Fedorov. Ray Whitney was the one to increase the Blue Jackets’ lead to 4-2. He carried the puck into the zone past Dmitri Bykov and took a hard shot which brushed the top of Legace’s blocker on its way through to the net.

Brett Hull brought the Red Wings back within one early in the third. Pavel Datsyuk made the pass from the slot area to the left boards, and Hull wristed the shot off both goalposts and into the net. The momentum swing was short-lived, unfortunately. Just a minute later, Lasse Pirjeta was able to get the rebound from a mad scramble in front of the Detroit net and slide it into the net beneath Legace’s ankle.

Kirk Maltby added a goal with 4:01 left to play, just aafter a Detroit power play had ended. He came over the boards, took the puck at center, and skated right through the standing Columbus skaters to backhand the puck past Denis.

The shots came in a flurry after that. With 1:22 remaining, Detroit called a timeout and pulled Legace out of the net to send in six skaters. The Blue Jackets thought that Vyborny scored into the empty net with 0:41 remaining, but the goal was waved off because the referee had been blowing his whistle to stop the play beforehand due to player injury. Shanahan had been hit in the mouth by the puck and had dropped to the ice.

The tying goal finally came with just 0:12 left to play. Fedorov passed the puck from the right corner to Hull along the opposite boards. Hull threw it out into the slot for Datsyuk, and Datysuk slapped it into the net past Denis.

Given the intense pace of the last few minutes of regulation, the overtime started quietly. Each team took only two shots on net in the extra five minutes. Maltby and Wright got into a scuffle in front of the Columbus net with just under a minute to play, but nothing came of it, and the game ended in a 5-5 tie.

Each team had 35 shots on net. Detroit was 1 for 5 on the power play; Columbus was 0 for 3. The Red Wings will close out the regular season on Sunday afternoon with a matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Denis set a new record for minutes played in a season. He had 4451 at the end of this game, passing Martin Brodeur‘s record of 4439 set in the 1995-96 season…. Shanahan’s goal was his 30th of the season and the 533rd of his career, tying him with Frank Mahovlich for 22nd on the all-time goal scorers list…. Hull is now just one goal away from tying Phil Esposito for 4th place on the goal scorers list…. The Red Wings are now tied with the Stars with 109 points each. If the two teams are still tied for points after their final games on Sunday, the Red Wings will take first spot because they have the higher number of wins. The Ottawa Senators have 111 points, but they also have 51 wins to the Red Wings’ 48 and the Stars’ 45, so the Senators will be awarded the President’s Trophy.

Brodeur Blanks Struggling Wings

Maybe it’s best that this road trip is over.

The Red Wings closed out their unmemorable four game road trip unable to get past the stifling defense of the New Jersey Devils, and the Devils took a 1-0 win.

The first period was defensively strong for both teams. Shots were blocked, passes were taken away, and neither team had a very good chance to set up a scoring play. The Devils outshot the Wings by a count of 9-5, but Manny Legace was strong in net and the score stayed at zero.

The Red Wings began to carry the play more as the second period wore on, and they generated more chances against goalie Martin Brodeur. Sergei Fedorov had a breakaway try, and his shot rang off the post. Brett Hull was in the clear near the side of the net and received a bouncing pass from Henrik Zetterberg. Hull got the shot away, but Brodeur slid across just in time to deny Hull his 700th goal.

Detroit took a questionable penalty for having too many men on the ice early in the second (Luc Robitaille played the puck as Darren McCarty was stepping off of the ice), and the Devils were able to capitalize on their power play. Brian Rafalski passed to Scott Niedermayer at the right point. Niedermayer’s shot got through to the net, Legace was screened enough to not see the shot in time, and the Devils led 1-0.

Once the Devils had their lead, they tightened up their defense even more. The Red Wings were only able to get three shots against Brodeur in the entire twenty minutes of play, even though a sixth skater was sent in in the last minute of play.

The final count of shots on net was 29 to 16 for the Devils. The Red Wings will return home for their last game before the All-Star Break. They will face off against the Florida Panthers on Thursday evening.

Chris Chelios had an MRI on the injured leg which kept him out of this, his third straight game. The MRI showed nothing serious, but Chelios will rest and return to the lineup after the All-Star Break…. Tomas Holmstrom sat out this game with a bruised chest, but should return for Thursday’s game…. Manny Legace currently holds the NHL lead for save percentage, at 0.937. His goals against average is 1.86, which is second only to the Stars’ Marty Turco, who has 1.81.

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.

Third Time a Charm for Wings in OT

The Detroit Red Wings tied the Edmonton Oilers, 1-1, ater overtime last Friday in Edmonton. The Wings then fell to the Oilers, 5-4, in sudden-death at Joe Louis Arena on Monday. Wednesday night the third time was the charm for the Wings as Kris Draper scored just 1:55 into the extra period to give Detroit a 3-2 win over New Jersey.

Draper had stolen the puck as the Devils attempted to clear the zone. Kirk Maltby carried in and took a shot at New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur and Draper streaked in to pick up the rebound and flip it over the sprawling Brodeur and into the open net.

The goal came shortly after New Jersey through they had won the game. As New Jersey carried the puck into the Red Wings’ zone, a shot was deflected to Devils forward John Madden, who knocked the puck in with his skate. Upon review, the replay official determined that the puck was kicked in and the goal was disallowed.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring in the first period with Dmitri Bykov‘s first career NHL goal. Sean Avery won a faceoff in the New Jersey zone back to Bykov, who ripped a shot past Brodeur to put the Wings up, 1-0, at 8:59 of the first period.

The Devils tied things up less than a minute later. Turner Stevenson punched a shot past Detroit goaltender Curtis Joseph at 9:52, evening the scoring at one goal apiece.

New Jersey took the lead early in the second period, when Jeff Friesen clanged a shot from the slot off the left post and into the back of the net at the 1:58 mark. Igor Larionov was in the penalty box serving an obstruction penalty at the time.

Detroit rallied with a blast from Brett Hull while skating four-on-three. With the Wings’ Maxim Kuznetsov and the Devils’ Mike Danton in the box for roughing, along with New Jersey’s Colin White who was serving a slashing penalty, Hull fired a shot past Brodeur with 6:17 remaining in regulation time.

Joseph made twenty-five saves on twenty-seven shots in net for Detroit. Brodeur stopped twenty-two of the twenty-five shots he faced between the pipes for New Jersey.

The Red Wings are back in action on Friday night as they travel to Carolina for a Stanley Cup Finals rematch with the Hurricanes.

Canadians Win Olympic Gold

For the first time in fifty years, the Canadian men’s ice hockey team has brought the gold medal back to the country that invented the sport.

The Canadiens defeated Team USA, 5-2, on Sunday, capping their gold-medal run in the most-watched hockey game in history. The loss snapped the USA’s seventy-year winning streak on home ice.

Paul Kariya and Jarome Iginla scored less than four minutes apart late in the first period to pull Canada into the lead. Tony Amonte had scored midway through the period to put the United States on the board.

American Brian Rafalski scored with less than five minutes remaining in the second period to tie the game at two goals each. Joe Sakic converted on a power play just under three minutes later to pull the Canadians into the lead for good.

Team USA didn’t give up and only Canadian goaltender Martin Brodeur preserved the lead with key saves in the third period.

Iginla scored his second goal to put the game away by redirecting a shot from the point by Steve Yzerman past American goalie Mike Richter late in the third.

Sakic added his second goal of the game with just over one minute remaining when he carried the puck through the American defense and ripped a shot past Richter.

The gold medal is Canada’s first Olympic medal since the team won the silver in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway. The silver medal is the United States’ first medal since the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” at Lake Placid. It is their first silver since 1972 in Sapporo.

Seven Red Wings will come back to Detroit with Olympic medals. Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan won gold with Canada; Chris Chelios and Brett Hull claimed silver with the United States; and Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov and Pavel Datsyuk got the bronze with Russia.


The New Jersey Devils came up triumphant on their return home, as they defeated the Red Wings 4-1 in the second game of their home and home series.

Detroit opened the scoring midway through the first period. Boyd Devereaux carried the puck into New Jersey’s zone and passed back to Steve Duchesne, who fired on net. Martin Brodeur blocked the shot and the rebound got caught between the skates of two Devils. Pavel Datsyuk reached in to steal the puck and flipped it up into the net for his second goal of the season.

The Devils tied the game with just under five minutes left in the period. New Jersey sent its “A-line” of Jason Arnott, Petr Sykora, and Patrik Elias into Detroit’s zone to create havoc, and Arnott was able put the puck into the net while Dominek Hasek was flopped down to block Sykora’s shot.

The second and third periods really belonged to New Jersey. They created their offensive chances and managed to shut down the Red Wings’ attempts to score. Andreas Salomonsson scored the eventual game-winning goal 5:42 into the second period. Scott Gomez took the puck behind the net, and managed to get it out front to Salomonsson, who tipped it in past Hasek.

A bad pass from Tomas Holmstrom to Jiri Fischer gave the Devils another chance midway through the second. Arnott was able to snatch up the puck and carry it up ice to fire hard against Hasek. The rebound came right to the stick of Jay Pandolfo, who was easily able to left the puck into the net.

Arnott proved dangerous again with just over seven minutes left in the period, only sixteen seconds into a holding penalty to Igor Larionov. Some quick passing work from Elias and Bobby Holik got the puck to Arnott in front of the net, and he was able to score before Hasek could see what was going on.

The Red Wings had a five minute power play split over the end of the second and the beginning of the third periods, when Turner Stevenson was given a checking-from-behind penalty and a game misconduct for a hard cross-check against Kirk Maltby. Even so, Detroit didn’t get any scoring chances until the power play was nearly at its end.

Detroit got one more power play opportunity with eight minutes left to play, when Sergei Brylin high-sticked Chris Chelios, but the Devils’ penalty killing unit shut them down once again.

Hasek stopped twenty-five of the twenty-nine shots he faced. The Red Wings put only seventeen shots on Brodeur, their lowest total of the season. Duchesne’s assist on Datsyuk’s goal put the Red Wings into the league lead for points scored by defensemen.

The Red Wings will be off until Wednesday night, when they will host the Colorado Avalanche.

Staying Great!

Igor Larionov scored his 150th career goal, and Manny Legace recorded his seventh win of the season, as the Red Wings defeated the New Jersey Devils, 4-2.

Defense was strong for both teams through the first period. Even so, Detroit was able to open the scoring just over two minutes into the game. Sergei Fedorov passed to Brendan Shanahan in the corner behind the net, then took the return pass and fired the shot from the top of the right faceoff dot. The puck soared into the net over goaltender Martin Brodeur‘s catching glove.

The play continued at a fast pace, with each team pressuring the other, but not able to break through each other’s defense. Remarkably, after Fedorov’s goal, there were no more stoppages in play until there was only 3:22 left in the period, when Scott Stevens was sent to the box for roughing. New Jersey’s penalty killers were able to keep knocking the puck out of their defensive zone and keep Detroit’s power play from setting up an organized effort.

The Devils didn’t get a power play chance until 1:47 into the second period, when Freddy Olausson was given a high-sticking penalty. New Jersey was unable to get any shots against Legace during the power play, and both Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios had breakaway opportunities against Brodeur.

Ken Daneyko received an interference penalty 8:04 into the second, giving the Red Wings another power play chance. This time, they scored. Steve Yzerman passed to Tomas Holmstrom at the front of the net, and Holmstrom banked his shot off Scott Niedermayer’s leg and into the net.

New Jersey came back with a goal from Colin White with 8:56 left in the period. White took a pass back from Bobby Holik and fired hard from the left point. The puck flew through a screen of skaters and underneath Legace to bring the Devils back within one.

The Red Wings answered with just over six minutes in the second. Boyd Devereaux fired hard against Brodeur. The puck was blocked and slid away, but Larionov picked it up and centered it to give Devereaux his opportunity to flip the puck in over Brodeur.

The Devils scored once more five minutes into the third period. John Madden was able to pick up the rebound from Randy Mckay’s shot and stuff it under the crossbar. However, they made their fatal error with six minutes left to play. Scott Gomez gave the puck up to Luc Robitaille behind the New Jersey net, as his teammates were heading up the ice on the attack. Robitaille passed out front to Larionov, who shot the puck over Brodeur for the 150th goal of his NHL career.

The Red Wings played a very tight defense after Larionov’s goal, sending only one skater up to the forecheck while four stayed back to defend their lead. New Jersey pulled Brodeur from the net for the extra skater with just over a minute left, but their plans for a last minute rally were thwarted when Mckay was given an interference penalty for pushing Legace into the net along with the puck, letting Detroit end the game with twenty seconds of power play time.

Legace stopped thirty-six of thirty-eight shots and extended his unbeaten streak to nineteen games. Brodeur stopped twenty-three shots of the twenty-seven taken against him. The Red Wings and Devils will continue their home-and-home series Saturday night in New Jersey.

4 January, 2001

Tonight’s game is an important one, Detroit’s done well against the good teams in the league but continues to struggle at home, even after the last second win on New Years Eve. Dallas is on a role but is reeling from injuries to key players like Jamie Langenbrunner and Brett Hull. Seems to me like a good chance to let Chris Osgood prove he’s ready to be number one again, but Bowman never agrees with me. Brendan Shanahan said of tonight’s game, “It’ll be good. Dallas always brings out the best in us.” And lucky me, I’ll be there. Tonight’s the first game I’ll be able to go to this season. If I find a way to get from K-Zoo to the Joe in time to catch the warm-ups, I’ll add more pictures to the site tomorrow. We’ll see how my cross-state dash works out.

The grades don’t look all that good for the Wings at mid-season. I disagree with most of them but they’re done by the Free Press and they’re considered more of a hockey authority than I am. The second half of the season should be better for Detroit, even Bowman thinks so.

Some cool stuffs been going on around the NHL… Jose Theodore of the Canadiens became only the eighth NHL goalie to be credited with a goal in a shutout win over the Isles. He actually scored the goal, like six of the other goalies, including Ron Hextall, Martin Brodeur, and our very own Chris Osgood. Mario Lemieux has nine points in his first three games back. Probably makes Gordie Howe think he can do better himself. That’s all for now, more tomorrow.