Red Wings Fail to Finish, Fall to Predators

The Detroit Red Wings led the Nashville Predators twice on Thursday night but failed to finish them off, leaving room for the Predators to pick up a 3-2 win.

The Red Wings led in the first and second periods on power play goals by Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg.

Franzen’s goal came just 2:49 into the game. After barely holding the puck in at the Nashville blue line, the Wings worked it down low to Franzen. He backed up to the side of the net and backhanded a shot under goalie Chris Mason‘s arm for his first point of the season.

Zetterberg scored with 1:24 remaining in the second period to give Detroit their second lead. Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck into the Nashville zone and sent a centering pass to Zetterberg in the high slot. Zetterberg faked out defenseman Greg Zanon and rifled a shot past Mason.

Both times the Predators rebouned. Jason Arnott scored from right in front of Dominik Hasek with 7:40 remaining in the first period and Martin Erat evened things up just 32 seconds after Zetterberg’s goal, putting a rebound over the sprawling Hasek.

Radek Bonk scored the game-winner on a Nashville power play just 2:22 into the third. A blocked shot stopped right at Bonk’s feet in front of the Detroit goal and he roofed a shot over Hasek.

Detroit’s power play went two-for-eight in a night that saw the teams combine for 44 penalty minutes. Nashville was one-for-seven with the extra attacker.

Hasek stopped 26 of 29 shots in his first start in three games. Mason made 28 stops on 30 Detroit shots.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Saturday when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets to close out a stretch of nine-straight games against Central Division opponents.


Matt Ellis left the game with what the Red Wings’ PR staff described as a headache.

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.

Injured Red Wings Earn Shootout Win over Predators

The Detroit Red Wings were missing several of their regulars but still managed to pick up a 4-3 shootout win over the Nashville Predators Tuesday night.

Without Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Holmstrom, Mikael Samuelsson, and Dan Cleary, it fell to Johan Franzen to be the shootout hero, scoring in the fourth round to put the Red Wings out in front. Chris Osgood stopped Martin Erat to preserve the victory.

In the first round of the tiebreaker, Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit. Paul Kariya evened things in the second round.

Nashville forced the shootout with 8:18 remaining in regulation on a goal by Greg Zanon. Zanon floated a shot on net from the left point that went through a three-player screen and hit Osgood’s arm, bouncing off his shoulder and just across the goal line.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring 4:23 into the game when Pavel Datsyuk broke down the right wing and cut to the net, lifting a shot from in close over Nashville netminder Tomas Vokoun‘s shoulder and into the top of the net.

The Predators replied with 4:52 remaining in the period on a power play, when a Paul Kariya shot from the right circle trickled through Osgood’s pads and Erat jumped up to poke it into the net.

Jason Arnott one-timed a blast past Osgood at 5:11 of the second period to give the Predators their only lead of the game.

Two goals in 25 seconds put Detroit back out in front.

With 7:30 remaining in the period, Robert Lang put the rebound of a Mathieu Schneider shot past Vokoun with the Red Wings on the power play.

Just seconds later, Lang sprung Schneider free to break up the middle of the ice all alone and wrist a shot past Vokoun, his 200th career goal.

Vokoun finished the game with 32 saves on the 35 shots he faced. Osgood made 24 saves on 27 shots against.

Each team scored once on the power play. Nashville had three tries with the extra skater while Detroit had five, including a long five-on-three in the first period that they couldn’t score on.

The shootout win means the Red Wings gain one point on the Predators in the Central Division standings, putting them one point back with a game in hand. The two teams will face each other three more times this season, including a home-and-home next week.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Friday when they host the Los Angeles Kings.


The win was coach Mike Babcock‘s 100th with the Red Wings.

Wings Close Regular Season with Loss to Preds

The Detroit Red Wings, having already clinched the NHL’s best regular season record, ended their schedule on a low note Tuesday, dropping a 6-3 decision to the Nashville Predators.

Four goals in the second period helped propel the Predators to the victory.

Detroit had opened the scoring when Kris Draper scored off a Mark Mowers rebound with 6:19 remaining in the first period but Nashville scored the next six goals.

Early in the second period, after an apparent power play goal by Paul Kariya was called back, the Predators went on the first of a series of five-on-three power plays that led to two goals.

Kariya scored at 4:29 to put the Predators on the board, rifling a one-timer off of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood‘s glove and into the net.

Just 21 seconds later, Martin Erat deflected a shot by Shea Weber to give Nashville the lead.

At 9:45, Kariya scored his second of the night on a two-on-one rush, getting a pass from David Legwand. With 3:57 remaining in the period, their roles were reversed as Legwand scored the Predators’ fourth goal.

Kariya completed his hat trick on another odd-man rush at 1:40 of the third period and Mike Sillinger added another goal 1:31 later.

With 5:07 remaining in the final period, Mikael Samuelsson deflected a shot by Mathieu Schneider for a Detroit power play goal.

Detroit finished the game’s scoring with 2:10 remaining when a Jason Williams shot deflected off a Nashville defenseman and past goalie Chris Mason for another power play goal.

Both teams finished the night two-for-seven on the power play.

Osgood stopped 24 of the 30 shots he faced in net for Detroit while Mason made 30 saves on 33 shots for Nashville.

The Red Wings will return to the ice on Friday night when they host the Edmonton Oilers in the first game of the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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

Preds Take Game Three

The Nashville Predators were able to celebrate their first-ever home playoff game with their first-ever playoff win. Strong goaltending by Tomas Vokoun and the ability to take advantage of some lucky breaks gave the Predators a 3-1 win over the Red Wings.

The Red Wings were undoubtedly the better team early in the game. They skated hard, slipped through the Nashville defense, and challenged Vokoun with plenty of shots on net. They had their best scoring chance of the period during a slashing penalty to Steve Sullivan. Brendan Shanahan threaded a pass across the goal crease to Tomas Holmstrom, but Holmstrom was too well tied up by Brad Bombardir and couldn’t get his stick on the puck.

That same power play, unfortunately, allowed Nashville to get on the scoreboard. The Predators had cleared the puck into Detroit’s zone. Derian Hatcher made a soft back pass to send the puck back up ice, but the puck hit David Legwand‘s skate and stayed in the zone. Legwand was away with the puck, speeding to the front of the net and putting the puck in over the top of Manny Legace‘s shoulder.
Adam Hall made the score 2-0 with only 14.9 seconds left in the period. He picked up the pass from Greg Johnson in the right corner. Mathieu Schneider noticed Hall with the puck and moved towards him, but Hall let his shot go as Schneider stepped into Legace’s sight line.

Nashville seemed content to sit on their lead for the majority of the second period, although Legace was called upon to make big saves against Vladimir Orszagh on a two-on-one rush and Scott Walker on a wraparound attempt. Detroit, for their part, didn’t seem able to muster enough energy to pressure the Predators’ defense.

Brett Hull finally got the Wings into the game early in the third period, at the end of a long shift for his line. Henrik Zetterberg was being held up in the left corner, but he managed to backhand the puck out to Pavel Datsyuk, who tipped the puck towards the front of the net. Hull took two whacks at it, and the second shot deflected off Vokoun’s pads and up into the net.

The Red Wings came out with much more energy after Hull’s goal, but they still didn’t manage to put much traffic in front of the net to screen Vokoun from seeing their shots until very late in the period. By then, it was too late.

Scott Hartnell put the game away for Nashville with 3:57 left. Steve Yzerman was tripped just inside the Predators’ blue line, which allowed a 4-on-2 rush the other way. Hall was able to flip the puck across to Hartnell, who charged the net and banged the puck in between Legace’s skate and the goalpost.

Martin Erat took a holding penalty with 1:56 left to play, and the Red Wings pulled Legace from the net so they could go in six skaters to four, but they were unable to solve Vokoun in the remaining time.

Detroit doubled Nashville’s shots in the course of the game?42 to 21. Game Four of the quarterfinal series will be Tuesday evening in Nashville.

Another Close Win For Game Two

It was another close game, but the Red Wings once again defeated the Nashville Predators with a late goal to take a 2-1 win and move the quarterfinal to Nashville with a 2-0 series lead.

The first period seemed to be a continuation of Game One, marked by strict calling of interference by the referees and a tight goaltending battle between Manny Legace and Tomas Vokoun. Vokoun had to be quick to stop an early power play shot from Robert Lang. Legace held the Predators off with three saves in quick succession against Martin Erat and Vladimir Orszagh.

Lang got the Red Wings on the scoreboard early in the second. Brendan Shanahan circled the puck behind the net and centered a pass. Lang was coming towards the net with Mark Eaton hounding him, but Lang pushed Eaton away just far enough that he could get his stick blade down to the ice to deflect Shanahan’s pass across Vokoun’s goal line.

Orzagh tied the game up with 7:19 left in the period. Chris Chelios was tripped at center ice, allowing Orszagh and Erat to get into Detroit’s zone on a two-on-one rush. Legace was sliding to his left to stop Orszagh, but Orszagh cut hard to his own left, slipped, and slid into the net with the puck. He bumped his head hard on the goalpost, but appeared to be uninjured afterwards.

Both teams came on hard in the third period. The Red Wings and Predators both did a good job of breaking up most attempts at scoring plays by their opponents. Finally, Detroit got their break when Scott Hartnell took a careless penalty for interference in the neutral zone.

Mathieu Schneider, playing the right point as he usually does on the power play, shot the puck hard towards the net. Vokoun was sliding to his left to tussle with Tomas Holmstrom, but managed to deflect the puck just enough to send it wide. Unfortunately for Vokoun, the puck bounced off the back boards, hit his skate, and slid just across the goal line.

Shots on net were even at 28 apiece. Detroit outclassed Nashville on faceoffs, winning 39 of the 60 draws. Game Three of the quarterfinal series will be Sunday afternoon in Nashville.


Observant fans got a bit nervous when they noticed that Nicklas Lidstrom was not on the bench for the final six minutes or so of the second period, but Lidstrom was back out to start the third period. He had been cut when his hand was hit by Orszagh’s skate and had to go for stitches…. Steve Yzerman led all Detroit forwards in ice time, playing 17:11. This, of course, is in spite of many professional hockey analysts’ continued questions about the strength of his knee. Can’t keep a good Captain down at playoff time.

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.

Saturday Stunner: Preds Rally to Win

The world of hockey is full of cliche trite phrases such as, “If we want to win, we have to play hard,” and, “The players all have to be accountable.” The phrases may be overused, but they are usually true, especially the one about, “If we want to win, we have to play a full sixty minutes.” The Red Wings relearned that one tonight, allowing a four goal rally late in the third period to lose 4-3 to the Nashville Predators.

Detroit got off to a good start, opening the scoring just 13 seconds into the game. Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun held the puck on a long shot in, leading to a faceoff deep in his zone. Pavel Datsyuk won the draw back to Nicklas Lidstrom, who sent the puck across to Ray Whitney at the left point. Whitney shot on net, and Tomas Holmstrom deflected it on its way through for his first even-strength goal of the season.

Martin Erat almost evened the score when he got a breakaway shortly thereafter, but Curtis Joseph made the big save without any trouble.

Kris Draper increased the lead at 7:24. Brendan Shanahan blocked a Nashville clearing attempt at the left point. He passed the puck up to Steve Yzerman, who sent it across to Draper. Draper fanned on his first shot attempt, but he had time for a second one. Vokoun had flopped down to block an expected low shot, so Draper had plenty of room to score.

Shanahan added a power play goal late in the second period. Jason Woolley passed the puck along the blue line, and Shanahan shot it hard. Vokoun was already sliding the wrong way and couldn’t get back in time to block the shot.

Through the first and second periods, the Red Wings had done a very good job of stifling the Predators. They controlled the puck well, beat Nashville to loose pucks, and refrained from turning the puck over in bad situations. They continued the technique into the beginning of the third period. Nashville had come out with more intensity, but Joseph had covered up for his team’s small lapses.

That all changed once Vladimir Orszagh got the Predators on the scoreboard at 6:47. The goal was not a pretty one””Orzsagh beat Jiri Fischer to a loose puck in front of the net to bank it in””but it brought the Predators back to life.

Erat narrowed the gap five minutes later. The Predators had been pressuring in Detroit’s zone. Erat carried the puck towards the blue line, then wheeled and fired. Joseph was screened and had no chance to make the save.

Scott Hartnell tied the game with 3:34 left by crashing the net and whacking at the puck until it went in, then Scott Walker did the unthinkable.

Draper had been sent to the penalty box at 2:33 for goaltender interference, leaving Detroit shorthanded. Dan Hamhuis took a shot towards the net, where Joseph was screened yet again. Walker tipped the shot on its way through to move the Predators into the lead with just 57 seconds left to play.
The Red Wings pulled Joseph from the net for a sixth skater in the dying seconds of the game. Yzerman and Brett Hull both had scoring chances, but Vokoun held them off to keep the win.

The shots on net were tied at 31 apiece. Twenty of Nashville’s shots came in the third period. The Red Wings’ next game will be at home Monday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.


With Mathieu Dandenault and Jason Williams both tending to minor groin injuries, defenseman Jamie Rivers and forward Darryl Bootland made their way into the lineup…. Darren McCarty left the game with back spasms after sliding feet-first into the boards early in the first period. He is scheduled to have x-rays taken on Sunday.