Red Wings Fall to Sharks, 4-2, for Third Straight Loss

The Detroit Red Wings lost their third consecutive game Friday night, dropping a 4-2 decision to the San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks scored three times in the second period to rally from down 1-0.

Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring with 7:40 left in the opening period. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line intentionally wide of goalie Antti Niemi, banking the puck off the back boards to Zetterberg low in the right faceoff circle. Zetterberg banged the puck past Niemi for the early lead.

Detroit thought they had a 2-0 lead later in the period when Tomas Holmstrom knocked the puck past Niemi while sprawled out on the ice above the crease but the goal was called back for incidental contact.

Ryane Clowe got the Sharks on the board with a power play goal just 2:10 into the second. Clowe snuck down the left wing untouched as San Jose gained the zone. Marc-Eduard Vlasic worked the puck to Martin Havlat in the slot, who spun it on to the open Clowe for a wrister past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

It was 2-1 San Jose at 7:57 of the second, with Patrick Marleau outracing Ian White to the puck and snapping a shot past Howard.

Holmstrom got a goal that counted with 5:16 remaining in the middle period, deflecting a Pavel Datsyuk power play shot into the net to tie things back up.

With just 1:42 left in the second period, Havlat sprung Joe Thornton for a breakaway, with Thornton beating Howard to make it 3-1.

Thornton added an empty net goal in the game’s final minute to wrap up the scoring.

Howard finished the night with 26 saves on 29 San Jose shots, including a perfect stretch early when the Sharks outshot Detroit 7-1. Niemi made 30 saves on 32 Detroit chances.

Each team scored a power play goal on the night, with Detroit getting four tries with the extra attacker and San Jose having three.

The Red Wings will look to end their skid Saturday night in Minnesota.

Cory Emmerton and Fabian Brunnstrom were the healthy scratches up front for Detroit… Defenseman Mike Commodore was cleared to return from his knee injury but did not play.

Red Wings’ Bertuzzi Marks 1000th Game with Shootout Winner over Wild

Detroit forward Todd Bertuzzi made the most of his 1000th career game Sunday afternoon, scoring the deciding shootout goal as the Red Wings defeated the Minnesota Wild, 2-1.

Bertuzzi slowly skated in on Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom and faked him out, lifting a shot into the top of the net. The goal gave Detroit two after three shots, with the Wild having none after two.

Pavel Datsyuk had also scored in the shootout, evading a poke check by Backstrom to lift a shot into the net.

After two scoreless periods, Nicklas Lidstrom drove a shot from the hight slot past Backstrom just 1:10 into the third.

Martin Havlat evened the game back up 3:40 later, taking advantage of a Detroit turnover at the Minnesota blue line to race in all alone and snap a shot past Jimmy Howard.

Howard finished the game with 25 saves on 26 shots. Backstrom stopped 38 of 39 chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had two chances to Minnesota’s three tries with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Tuesday when they host the San Jose Sharks.

Red Wings Rally but Fall to Wild in OT

The Detroit Red Wings rallied back from down 2-0 Friday night, taking a 3-2 lead before the Minnesota Wild mounted a comeback of their own to win 4-3 in overtime.

The Red Wings were trailing 2-0 when Justin Abdelkader brought the puck out front from behind the net and sent a cross-crease pass to Darren Helm for a tap-in with 34 seconds left in the second period.

Johan Franzen tied the game at 2:37 of the third period, throwing the puck on net from the bottom of the right faceoff circle. It bounced off defenseman Greg Zanon and past goalie Jose Theodore for a power play goal.

Patrick Eaves put the Red Wings in front 2:38 later on a wraparound after picking up the rebound of his own chance from in front.

Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu tied the game back up with 1:23 remaining in regulation. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard directed the rebound of a Nick Schultz shot right to Koivu in the slot to put it back past Howard.

With 52 seconds left in the extra period, John Madden drove to the net and put the rebound of a Martin Havlat deflection past Howard to win the game for the Wild.

Brent Burns had opened the scoring at 8:16 of the first, sending a seeing-eye shot from the top of the right faceoff circle through traffic and past Howard.

Cal Clutterbuck made it 2-0 1:25 into the second, sneaking a bad-angle shot in between the post and Howard’s pad.

Howard finished the night with 23 saves on 27 shots. Theodore stopped 41 of the 44 shots he faced.

Minnesota’s top-ranked power play did not score on three tries, though Burns’ goal came three seconds after the expiration of a Detroit penalty. The Red Wings scored once on four power play chances, including a lengthy five-on-three.

Red Wings Suvive Wild Comeback, Win in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings survived a late two-goal comeback by Minnesota and the longest shootout in team history Thursday night, earning a 4-3 win over the Wild.

Drew Miller won the game for Detroit in the eighth round of the shootout, snapping a shot over Niklas Backstrom‘s shoulder.

Miller had scored what seemed to be an insurance goal at 9:03 of the third period, deflecting a Derek Meech shot from the blue line past Backstrom to give the Red Wings a 3-1 lead.

Minnesota battled back with a pair of goals one minute apart.

With 6:12 remaining in regulation, Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard got his toe on a Kyle Brodziak chance from in front. The puck then deflected off of Martin Havlat‘s skate and trickled into the net.

The game was tied when Andrew Brunette gloved the puck out of mid-air, dropped it to his stick, and swatted it past Howard from the slot with 5:12 left.

All three of Minnesota’s goals came on fortunate bounces, as they got on the board with 7:26 left in the second when a Shane Hnidy shot went high, deflected off the glass behind the goal, then floated back out in front before hitting the chest of Robert Earl and dropping into the net.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring at 7:52 of the first when Todd Bertuzzi beat Wild goaltender Josh Harding.

Harding left the game with a lower body injury after the first period and Backstrom allowed his first goal against at 2:28 of the third when Patrick Eaves banged in a rebound chance after Darren Helm drove the net.

Howard finished the night with 27 saves on 30 Minnesota shots, stopping six of eight shootout attempts. Harding stopped ten of the 11 first-period shots he faced while Backstrom made 16 stops on 18 shots and went five-for-eight in the shootout.

Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had three chances with the extra attacker and Minnesota had one.

Helm Scores in OT to Put Red Wings in Finals

Red Wings’ rookie forward Darren Helm scored 3:58 into overtime Wednesday night, lifting Detroit to a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks and putting the Wings into the Stanley Cup Finals for the second consecutive year.

Detroit’s 4-1 series win over Chicago means the Red Wings move on to face the Pittsburgh Penguins, who they defeated in a six-game series in last season’s Finals.

The game-winning goal came on a scramble in front of Chicago netminder Christobal Huet. Brett Lebda put a shot on net that Huet stopped but Tomas Holmstrom knocked the puck loose from the edge of the crease. Helm was free to bang the puck into the open net for his fourth career playoff goal.

Huet had been stellar all night, finishing the game with 44 saves on 46 Detroit chances, including a sprawling kick save on Johan Franzen in the closing seconds of regulation.

The Red Wings broke a scoreless tie 6:08 into the third period, with Dan Cleary deflecting a shot from Lebda past Huet.

Chicago tied things back up with 7:07 left in regulation on Patrick Kane‘s first goal of the series. Kane raced into the Detroit end down the right wing boards and lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Wings’ netminder Chris Osgood.

Osgood ended up with 30 saves on the night, including several on Colin Fraser, who made his first appearance of the series in place of the injured Martin Havlat.

In addition to missing Havlat, the Blackhawks were without starting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

The Red Wings came into the game with a long list of injured players. Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper, Tomas Kopecky and Andreas Lilja were joined by Jonathan Ericsson, who had an emergency appendectomy Wednesday morning.

Datsyuk, Lidstrom and Ericsson are expected to be in the lineup for Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Lidstrom, Datsyuk Out for Game Five

The Detroit Red Wings will remain without captain Nicklas Lidstrom and forward Pavel Datsyuk for tonight’s Game Five against the Chicago Blackhawks. Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock ruled the two players out after they missed the morning skate.

“I think they’re both getting closer,” said Babcock. “I’d like to think they’ll play the next time we play. I thought that today though.”

Both players, along with Kris Draper, also missed Game Four of the series. The Wings are expected to use the same lineup as they did in that game, with Justin Abdelkader and Chris Chelios playing.

The Blackhawks had goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin back on the ice for the morning skate after he missed Game Four. Martin Havlat did not skate with the team. He was injured in the past two games on hits by Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart.

Hossa, Zetterberg Lead Shorthanded Red Wings over Blackhawks

Marian Hossa and Henrik Zetterberg each scored twice for the Red Wings Sunday afternoon, providing the scoring to lift a Detroit team that was missing many of its top players to a 6-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Red Wings now have a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference Final matchup.

Detroit was without MVP finalist Pavel Datsyuk, Norris Trophy finalist Nicklas Lidstrom, and faceoff master Kris Draper, all lost to injury. They then lost goalie Chris Osgood to dehydration after the second period.

The Blackhawks were without injured goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and eventually lost Martin Havlat to a crushing hit for the second consecutive game.

Missing so many players, the Red Wings were already in a hole when Zetterberg was called for holding at 7:41 of the first period. Hossa and Valtteri Filppula turned the tables on the Chicago power play, though, breaking free on a two-on-one that saw Hossa convert to get Detroit on the board.

Johan Franzen snapped a shot from the right wing to the top corner of the net over Chicago netminder Christobal Huet’s shoulder with just 21 seconds left in the first to put the Wings up by a pair.

Filppula scored on Detroit’s second power play of the game, banging in a rebound at 1:13 of the second period to extend the lead.

Jonathan Toews got the Blackhawks on the board with a power play goal at 3:53 of the second, jamming home the rebound of a Cam Barker shot.

Chicago’s attempt at a rally would end just 12 seconds later when Hossa swept down the right wing and cut to the net, beating Huet once again.

Corey Crawford came into the ‘Hawks crease after Hossa’s second goal but the goalie change did little to stop the Wings, with Zetterberg roofing a shot into the top of the net on a five-on-three at 7:42.

Huet returned to the Chicago net to start the third period while Ty Conklin took over for Osgood.

Zetterberg added one more power play goal to round out the scoring with 7:13 left in the game.

Detroit went three-for-eight on the power play in a game that saw Chicago take 56 minutes worth of penalties. The ‘Hawks were one-for-four with the man-advantage.

Osgood made 18 saves on 19 shots against and Conklin stopped all nine shots he faced. Huet stopped 21 of 26 Detroit chances. Crawford had six saves on seven shots.

The Red Wings will look to close out the series on Wednesday in Game Five at Detroit.

It was the first career missed playoff game for Lidstrom, who mad made 228-straight postseason appearances.

Game Four: Red Wings – Blackhawks Pregame Notes

Injuries abound for both the Red Wings and the Blackhawks heading into Sunday’s Game Four in their Western Conference Final matchup.

Detroit will be without Kris Draper with a groin injury. Pavel Datsyuk, who missed Game Three with a foot injury, will be a game-time decision once again. Justin Abdelkader returns to the Wings’ lineup to replace Draper, unless Datsyuk is able to go. In that case Ville Leino will stay in the lineup while Abdelkader sits.

Chicago calls both Martin Havlat and Nikolai Khabibulin game-time decisions. Havlat left Game Three after being crushed by Niklas Kronwall, while Khabibulin was replaced for the third period by Christobal Huet after suffering an undisclosed lower-body injury.

‘Hawks defenseman Brian Campbell has essentially called for Kronwall’s head after the hit on Havlat, calling it gutless. Kronwall was not suspended for the play after being given a five-minute interference penalty and an ejection.

Western Conference Triumphant in All-Star Game

In the National Hockey League’s first All-Star Game since 2004, the Western Conference’s veteran team outscored an Eastern Conference squad led by young stars, picking up a 12-9 win.

It was the first win by the Western Conference since 2003 and only their second in the six games that have been played in the East vs. West format.

Daniel Briere of the Buffalo Sabres was the game’s MVP, scoring a goal and adding four assists in the losing effort.

Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets scored the eventual game-winning goal, one of his two goals on the night. He also assisted twice.

Other were Yanic Perrault (Phoenix Coyotes), Teemu Selanne (Anaheim Ducks), Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lighting), Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes), Libomir Vishnovsky (Los Angeles Kings), Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks), Justin Williams (Carolina), Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins), Martin Havlat (Chicago Blackhawks), Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Brian Rolston (Minnesota Wild), Dany Heatley (Ottawa Senators), Sheldon Souray (Montreal Canadiens) and Dion Phaneuf (Calgary Flames).

Marty Turco of the hometown Dallas Stars got the win in goal while Cristobal Huet of Montreal took the loss, despite having the best save percentage of any of the Eastern Conference goalies.

Earlier in the day, the NHL announced that the Montreal Canadiens will host the 2009 All-Star Game as part of the celebration of the Canadiens’ 100th season. The Atlanta Thrashers will host in 2008, after originally having been selected to host the cancelled 2005 game.

Red Wings Ride Wild Finish Past Blackhawks

The Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks combined for three goals in a span of 50 seconds late in the third period on Saturday, with the Red Wings holding on and adding an empty-net goal in the final minute en route to a 6-3 win.

Detroit was up 3-2 when Jason Williams scored his second of the night on a blast from the blue line on the power play with 6:23 remaining in the period.

Just 27 seconds later, Tony Salmelainen slipped a shot between the pads of Detroit netminder Chris Osgood on a broken play.

Only 23 seconds after that, Danny Markov blasted a shot that bounced up and over Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and into the net, restoring Detroit’s two goal lead.

Kris Draper scored the empty-netter with 17 seconds left in the game to round out the scoring efforts.

Chicago had taken a lead at 5:18 of the first with a blast from the left point by Brent Seabrook that bounced off the skate of defender Niklas Kronwall just seconds after the expiration of a Detroit penalty.

Tomas Holmstrom would put the Red Wings on the board with 4:01 remaining in the period. Pretty passing got the puck from Pavel Datsyuk to Henrik Zetterberg and then to Holmstrom at the top of the crease before Holmstrom faked out Khabibulin and put it past him.

Williams’ first of the night, also a power play goal, put Detroit in the lead. Williams got the puck in the slot with his back to the net and lifted a backhander between the legs of a screening Dan Cleary and past Khabibulin with 7:00 remaining in the period.

Robert Lang would score 1:42 later for Detroit’s second power play goal of the night, giving the Red Wings a 3-1 lead by blasting home the rebound of a Nicklas Lidstrom shot.

Craig MacDonald cut the lead back to one with 3:46 left in the second, poking home the rebound of a Martin Havlat shot that Osgood lost track of in his skates.

The Red Wings killed off a two-minute five-on-three split across the end of the second period and the start of the third period to hold on to the one-goal lead. It was one of six power play chances that Chicago failed to score on. The Red Wings were 3-for-7 with the extra attacker.

Osgood stopped 33 of 36 shots against to earn the win while Khabibulin made 26 saves on 31 shots.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Monday night when they host the Montreal Canadiens in a nationally-broadcast Original Six matchup.

A short ceremony prior to the game featuring Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm recognized Saturday as Steve Yzerman Day throughout the state.

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