Red Wings Down Coyotes for Share of East Lead

The Detroit Red Wings earned a 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night, moving them into a tie for first place atop the Eastern Conference.

Detroit’s 71 points equal that of the Lightning following Tampa Bay’s loss to the Los Angeles Kings, though the Red Wings have two games in hand. The Montreal Canadiens have a game in hand on Detroit and sit two points back.

Riley Sheahan got the Red Wings on the board at 8:11 of the second period. Pavel Datsyuk got the puck and sent a centering pass to Sheahan for a blast past Arizona goalie Mike Smith on a Detroit power play.

The Coyotes had a prime chance to even things up with 8:22 left in the third period, as Martin Erat was hauled down on a shorthanded breakaway. Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek stayed with him on the ensuing penalty shot, though, and preserved the one-goal lead.

With three minutes remaining, Tomas Tatar made it 2-0 on a two-one-one with Darren Helm. Helm carried the puck into the Coyotes’ zone down the left wing after capitalizing on a mistake by Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the Detroit end, then centered it to Tatar to snap a shot past Smith.

Ekman-Larson would make amends and cut the Detroit lead in half with 1:54 remaining, putting a loose puck past Mrazek with Smith on the bench for an extra skater to make it 2-1.

Helm would once again get the best of Ekman-Larsson to wrap up the game’s scoring, racing past him at the Detroit blue line to get to a loose puck. Ekman-Larsson hauled him down in front of the empty Arizona net, which would have been an automatic goal had Helm not scored anyway with 1:16 remaining.

Mrazek finished the night with 22 saves on 23 shots. Smith stopped 23 of 25 chances.

Detroit went one-for-six on the power play to the Coyotes’ zero-for-five.

The Red Wings are now off until Wednesday when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Predators – 4/14

Now outside the playoff picture looking in, the Red Wings visit the Nashville Predators tonight looking to regain control of their postseason fate.

The big news from Nashville is that the Predators are expected to debut Swedish forward Filip Forsberg, acquired at the trade deadline for Martin Erat.

Jimmy Howard will get the start in goal and you can expect at least one change on the blue line from Friday’s loss to the Blackhawks, and possibly a change up front.

Stupid stat of the game: The Red Wings are 1-1 in Nashville in April regular season games all-time.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Face Elimination After Game Four Loss to Predators

The Detroit Red Wings are one loss from elimination from the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs after dropping Game Four of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series with the Nashville Predators, 3-1.

The Predators now lead the series 3-1 as it heads back to Nashville for Game Five.

The Red Wings dominated the scoreless first two periods of the game, carrying a 28-11 shooting advantage into the third. It would be Nashville, however, that opened the game’s scoring.

Just 1:55 into the period, Gabriel Bourque was left along in front of Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to take a feed from Alexander Radulov and snap a shot into the back of the net. The goal came shortly after the Predators thought they had made it 1-0 but an apparent goal was called off on an “intent to blow” play.

The Red Wings would even things up at 3:14. Niklas Kronwall‘s rocket from the blue line was tipped in front of the net by Jiri Hudler, with the deflection rising over Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne for a power play goal.

At 6:25, the Predators regained the lead when three Red Wings followed Martin Erat into the corner and Howard shifted right to track the play. This left Patrick Holmqvist and Kevin Klein wide open in front, and Erat fed Klein for an easy shot into the vacated net.

The Predators finished off the scoring with 39 seconds left in regulation. With Nashville on a power play, Danny Cleary attempted to carry the puck out from behind his own goal and start a rush. At the side of the crease, David Legwand poked the puck off his stick and it slipped through Howard, ending Detroit’s chance at a comeback.

Each team had a power play goal on the night, with the Red Wings having seven power plays to Nashville’s three.

Howard made 14 saves on 17 shots against while Rinne stopped 40 of 41 chances.

Game Five of the series will be on Friday.

Postgame: Predators @ Red Wings – Game 4 – 4/17

Ahh, where to begin after this one?

I’m not sure if we can call it the good, since it didn’t lead to anything, but we’ll start with the first two periods where the Red Wings were dominating the Predators. It was fantastic to see Detroit playing their game and felt like it was just a matter of time before they got a goal playing the way they were.

But at the same time, you kind of had the feeling they wouldn’t be able to keep it up. That either they’d make a mistake or Nashville would wake up. Or the calls that they were suddenly getting would stop coming.

Right off the bat, they needed one of those calls in the third. From the side of the net, the puck somehow trickles in off of Jimmy Howard. He really should have had it, I’m not even sure how it got through him right now, but the Wings actually benefit from an “intent to blow” play and the goal doesn’t count.

Rather than come out jumping after that bit of luck, the Wings were completely back on their heels, then they left Gabriel Bourque wide open in front of the net to take a feed that bounced off a skate on its way to him and put it past Howard.

The Red Wings finally converted on a power play to tie things up. We’re back to the good here, as it was a fantastic shot from the blue line by Niklas Kronwall nicely tipped in front by Jiri Hudler.

And just as quickly, we’re back to the awful. Nashville’s second goal was just a disgraceful effort by Detroit. Martin Erat takes the puck into the corner and three Red Wings follow him there, with Jimmy Howard also over-committing in that direction, leaving both Patrick Hornqvist and Kevin Klein wide open. Erat fed Klein for a shot into the open net.

Nashville’s third goal? Another WTF moment. Danny Cleary carries the puck up from behind the net but David Legwand pokes it away at the edge of the crease and it just goes through Howard, who never reacts to it. Cleary has to protect the puck there but Howard didn’t even look awake. Maybe he was thinking ahead to getting out of the net as Cleary cleared the zone. Whatever the reason, it was an awful mental mistake.

So now Detroit is a game from elimination, having lost both games at home after having the league’s best home record all year. I do think this team can come back and win this series but I don’t think they’re going to. The Predators have been too good and the Wings have been unable to sort out their own problems. That said, I thought that against San Jose last year and Detroit made a hell of a series out of it.

Red Wings Rally for 4-3 Overtime Win in Nashville

The Detroit Red Wings scored four consecutive goals Saturday afternoon, turning a 3-0 deficit to the Nashville Predators into a 4-3 overtime win.

Danny Cleary deflected a Brian Rafalski shot from the point past Pekka Rinne at 2:58 of the overtime period, giving the Red Wings the win.

Jakub Kindl started Detroit’s rally at 3:28 of the second period when his shot from the left point found its way through traffic and past Rinne to get the Red Wings on the board.

Justin Abdelkader made it 3-2 just 1:21 later, deflecting a Brad Stuart shot over Rinne’s shoulder from in the slot.

Abdelkader scored again at 3:59 of the third period. Todd Bertuzzi threw the puck to the front of the net and Abdelkader broke free to poke it past Rinne, tying the game up.

The Red Wings thought they had opened the game’s scoring with 3:44 left in the first but Nicklas Lidstrom‘s power play goal was called back when Tomas Holmstrom elbowed Rinne in the mask as the puck went past them.

Ryan Suter put a shot from the high slot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard with one minute left in the first period and the Predators on a five-on-three to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.

Just 1:42 into the second, Martin Erat added another power play goal to make it 2-0. Erat tipped a Shea Weber shot past Howard for the goal.

Sergei Kostitsyn blasted a shot past Howard to make it 3-0 just 55 seconds later. Mike Fisher‘s shot wide of the net deflected off the back boards to Kostitsyn, who put it in before Howard could get in position.

Howard stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced, including making a post-to-post save on Joel Ward midway through the third period to preserve the 3-3 tie. Rinne stopped 37 of 41 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings finished the afternoon scoreless on three power play opportunities while Nashville went two-for-eight, including one-for-three on five-on-threes.

Detroit is next in action on Sunday hosting the Minnesota Wild.


The Red Wings clinched their twentieth consecutive playoff berth with the win.

Red Wings – Predators Postgame Notes

Back from watching the Plymouth Whalers drop a 2-0 decision to the Kitchener Rangers in Game Six of their playoff series, I’ll finally post my thoughts on the Red Wings’ 4-3 OT win today in Nashville…

Holmstrom’s Goalie Interference
Replay showed that Tomas Holmstrom did appear to elbow Pekka Rinne in the head, so this was the right call. Call me cynical, but it still doesn’t sit right with me.

First off, it took a slow-mo replay from above the crease to show what happened on TV. Did the eagle-eyed ref actually see it happen or did he call a phantom penalty and luck out that one was actually there. If he did see it, did he miss Rinne’s punch to the back of Holmstrom’s head a second earlier?

Right call but frustrating.

Abdelkader in General
What an afternoon for Justin Abdelkader. I admit to a bit of a hometown bias towards him but that doesn’t have to apply this time. Five hits, two goals… He was all over the place. And his hit on Martin Erat was *not* boarding. Erat got away with worse against Abdelkader two weeks ago – not that what Erat did was legal then, just allowed. Hooray for consistency.

Bertuzzi vs. O’Brien
Where did Todd Bertuzzi come from? Something set him off today, I’m not sure I want to see that every game but today it was nice. Bertuzzi smacked Shane O’Brien around once and O’Brien went for the ill-timed rematch and got beat down again. That second fight was a major turning point. I can’t believe O’Brien did that when a win for him would mean nothing but a win for Bertuzzi would fire the Red Wings up.

Overall
Great physical effort from the Wings. Great mental resilience after going down 3-0. It was a playoff-style win and they need some of those down the stretch here.

Bonus Hockey
The Whalers had a chance to finish off the Rangers tonight and failed pretty miserably. Like I have the tendency to complain about with the Wings, the Whalers were just not getting any second chances around the Kitchener net. It was a pretty physical game, with the Rangers seeming to win most of those battles. Whalers need to get it together to avoid losing a series they were up 3-1 in.

Red Wings – Blackhawks Postgame Thoughts

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted postgame thoughts and this game has a lot to talk about, so might as well give it a shot. Handling things somewhat chronologically…

Detroit came out with a solid first shift and then it was all Chicago for the next five minutes. Red Wings passes weren’t connecting and they couldn’t clear the zone. Both of those issues bit them in the ass when Troy Brouwer held the puck in at the blue line and worked it down to Jonathan Toews right on Joey MacDonald‘s doorstep. I don’t really blame Ruslan Salei for not being tight to Toews just then as the puck should have been cleared. Quick release by Toews, he didn’t have a lot of time there, nice shot.

Todd Bertuzzi‘s hit on Ryan Johnson a couple minutes later was not something I wanted to see. He deserved the penalty. He probably deserved the misconduct. I’m not sure about a suspension. On one hand, it was a hit to the head. On the other hand, first contact was with Johnson’s shoulder. On yet another hand, Todd Bertuzzi is an acceptable target to make an example of. It was a stupid play so I don’t think I’ll complain if Bertuzzi does get a couple games. Anything more than that and I’ll have a problem. That said, if I were the Wings and there was a hearing on this, I’d take the clip of Martin Erat‘s elbow to Justin Abdelkader in and say “We’ll take the same punishment this guy got.”

Nicklas Lidstrom‘s goal to tie the game was a great shot through a screen but was also blown defensive coverage by the Blackhawks. That’s why everyone loves four-on-four so much, you just can’t make a mistake like that or it ends up in the back of your net.

Similar is Brent Seabrook’s goal to make it 2-1. Detroit never got properly set up off the faceoff in their own end and no one covered Seabrook. Somewhat understandable while down a man but painful to see on replay.

Funny thing about the second period is that, at the time, I remember thinking the Wings had a bit of control back. It was the period with no scoring, no penalties, and the only full period in which Detroit was outshot but I feel like they were getting back to playing their game, just not getting anything from it.

As I said at the time, Danny Cleary deserves a lot of credit for Henrik Zetterberg‘s third period goal. Zetterberg wouldn’t have thrown that puck to the front of the net had Cleary not gotten to the top of the crease, something Detroit wasn’t doing a good job of earlier in the game.

As for the end of the game, it’s not hard to guess my thoughts on that. No doubt that Chicago executed extremely well on the four-on-three in overtime. They deserve credit there. The power play itself was a gift, though. Tomas Holmstrom tripped on a breakaway in the second period is no call but a tap to the hip of Patrick Kane sends Zetterberg to the box with four seconds left in regulation.

That said… Had Detroit taken advantage of more of their power play chances (not that I think one-for-four is bad), that never would have come up. It’s not like each team didn’t get chances, I just think the calls were inconsistent, which is always my complaint.

Overall, my takeaway is that the Blackhawks were the desperate team tonight and played like it. The Red Wings did not, and Joey MacDonald kept them in this one so that they could get the point from it.

Red Wings Force OT but Fall to Predators

Ryan Suter scored just 16 seconds into overtime on Saturday, giving the Nashville Predators a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings after Pavel Datsyuk had scored late for Detroit to force the extra period.

Two Detroit defenders moved to pressure Joel Ward after he led the Predators into the Wings’ zone. Ward sent the puck to Suter in the right faceoff circle, where he snapped a shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard for the win.

Datsyuk had one-timed a pass from Tomas Holmstrom past Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne with 37 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, 3-3.

Detroit’s Brian Rafalski opened the game’s scoring with a power play goal with 1:45 left in the first period.

From the seat of his pants, Datsyuk passed the puck down to Holmstrom, who sent it from the side of the goal to Johan Franzen in the crease. Franzen moved it to Rafalski in the left circle and continued to the front of the net, with Rafalski snapping a shot past Rinne through Franzen’s screen.

The Predators responded early in the second with two goals to take the lead.

Shea Weber blasted a shot past Howard 1:36 into the period, taking advantage of the Red Wings’ failure to freeze the puck with two injured players on the ice.

Martin Erat evaded heavy defensive coverage to snap a shot past Howard 4:25 later.

Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game back up with 3:59 left in the second but J.P. Dumont put the Predators back in front with 43 seconds left in the period.

The Red Wings’ first goal was the lone power play tally of the game. Detroit had three chances with the extra attacker while Nashville at two.

Rinne stopped 28 of 31 Detroit shots. Howard made 20 saves on 24 Nashville chances.

The Red Wings are now two points behind the Predators in the Western Conference standings but have two games in hand. One of those games will be Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.


Detroit was without Danny Cleary for the third consecutive game. Derek Meech filled in at forward in his absence.

Red Wings Hold Off Predators to Take Two-Game Lead

The Detroit Red Wings held off a strong push by the Nashville Predators Saturday afternoon, allowing a two-goal comeback before scoring twice more themselves and earning a 4-2 win.

Detroit also benefitted from an early no-goal call against the Predators, when goalie Dominik Hasek was beaten as the goal was knocked off of its moorings in what replays showed could have been and allowed goal.

Shortly afterwards, the Red Wings got on the board.

Dallas Drake drove to the net and backhanded a shot that goalie Dan Ellis knocked aside. Charging through the slot, Darren McCarty got to the puck and banged it back past Ellis just 2:26 into the game.

Nicklas Lidstrom added a power play goal 39 seconds into the second period to put the Red Wings up by a pair, sending a pass from the right point through a screen by Tomas Holmstrom.

Just 1:40 later the Predators got on the board with a bounce off the boards. Martin Erat sent the puck around the boards into the Detroit zone. As Hasek went behind the net to play it, the puck bounced off the glass and back out in front for Alexander Radulov to put into the vacated net.

Only 11 seconds lated, Jordin Tootoo tied the game when a bobbled puck by Jiri Hudler and Andreas Lilja put him in alone on Hasek, beating him through the legs.

Kris Draper put Detroit back in front after a Red Wings time out, putting a shot off defenseman Greg Zanon‘s skate and into the net at the 5:00 mark.

Midway through the third period, Holmstrom added a goal off the rebound of a Pavel Datsyuk chance, wrapping up the game’s scoring.

Hasek made 25 saves on 27 shots, 15 of them coming during Nashville’s spirited first-period effort. Ellis made 34 saves on Detroit’s 38 shots.

The two teams meet again on Monday when the series shifts to the Sommet Center in Nashville for Game Three.


Chris Chelios became the NHL leader for career playoff games played, stepping onto the ice for his 248th playoff game… The Predators replaced the injured Scott Nichol with Darcy Hordichuk.

Red Wings Hold On to Beat Predators

The Detroit Red Wings withstood a late comeback by the Nashville Predators Sunday afternoon, holding on for a 4-3 win.

The Red Wings had led 4-0 with half a period remaining but Nashville notched three goals to pull within a shot of tying things.

Special teams led the way as none of the seven goals were scored five-on-five.

Detroit’s first goal came on a five-on-three with 8:43 remaining in the first period. Nicklas Lidstrom, playing in his first game after missing six with a leg injury, worked the puck from the top of the left circle down to Henrik Zetterberg in the right circle, who sent it back across to the front of the net for a tip-in by Franzen.

Jiri Hudler scored on another smooth passing play 4:26 later. On another Detroit power play, Valtteri Filppula sent the puck past Hudler to Niklas Kronwall in the crease, who immediately sent it back to Hudler for a one-timer past goalie Chris Mason.

Brad Stuart notched his first goal as a Red Wing with 4:39 left in the second, scoring on a wraparound with the teams skating four aside.

Just 1:06 later, Franzen added a second power play goal, tipping a blast from the blue line by Lidstrom past Mason.

The Predators would begin their comeback in the second half of the final period.

With 8:36 remaining, just after the expiration of the first penalty in a five-on-three, Shea Weber‘s blast from the high slot went over Dominik Hasek‘s glove and into the net.

Martin Erat scored Nashville’s second with 3:25 remaining, banging in the rebound of a Scott Nichol chance on another power play.

With 1:01 left in regulation and the Nashville net empty for an extra attacker, Jordin Tootoo banged home another lose rebound, pulling the Predators to within a goal.

Detroit held on for the game’s final minute to preserve their lead and the victory, their third in a row after winning just one of eleven games.


Tomas Holmstrom missed the game with a groin injury. He will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine its severity… Brett Lebda was scratched due to illness.