Coyotes Not Wily Enough

The Phoenix Coyotes must have hoped to benefit from the World Series-winning ways of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the Red Wings showed them that maybe the desert is better suited for baseball than hockey, as the Wings won, 3-1.

Scotty Bowman made a few changes in the lineup, as is to be expected. With Max Kuznetsov and Tomas Holmstrom both injured, Mathieu Dandenault was moved back to defense, and forward Yuri Butsayev was recalled from Cincinnati to help out.

The first period went scoreless, even though Detroit had a four-minute power play opportunity just sixteen seconds into the game. Phoenix’s Brad May got called for cutting Brent Gilchrist‘s chin with a high stick. The Coyotes ran their penalty kill in a tight box formation in front of their net, keeping the Wings to the outside and allowing few shots on goalie Sean Burke.

Detroit had another power play chance late in the first, but this one would be a greater scoring chance for the Coyotes than the Red Wings, when Daymond Langkow was able to get off a breakaway shot on net. Fortunately, Dominek Hasek was alert and able to stop the puck.

Freddy Olausson opened the scoring with only 6:41 left in the second period. The Wings were shorthanded, with Chris Chelios in the box for tripping, but Brendan Shanahan got the puck and headed up the ice on the left wing side, Olausson trailing on the right. When Shanahan passed across to Olausson, Burke seemed to expect the puck to be passed back again, and Olausson was able to flip it into the net.

With just over 3:10 left in the second, May was given another double minor for high sticking, again on Gilchrist. The Wings were unable to score before the buzzer, but carried fifty seconds of power play over into the third.

Just five seconds after the power play had ended, before May was able to catch up to the play, Sergei Fedorov picked up a blue line pass from Nicklas Lidstrom and fired hard into the net from the right point, to bring Detroit ahead by two.

Kirk Maltby scored his first goal of the season less than a minute later. Chelios cleared the puck off the glass, Maltby picked it up, and fired past Burke from the right side.

The Coyotes answered exactly one minute later. Krys Kolanos stole the puck when Jiri Fischer mishandled it, and fired against Hasek, who blocked. May was able to pick up the rebound and slide it underneath Detroit’s goalie for his second goal of the season.

Phoenix pulled Burke for the extra skater with three minutes left, then sent him back in when the faceoff came outside the Detroit zone. They pulled him out again with 1:49 left to play. Just as the buzzer sounded, it looked as if Brett Hull had scored a goal into the empty net, but the goal was ruled down after review.

Hasek made sixteen saves on seventeen shots, while Burke made twenty-eight saves on thirty-one shots. Detroit currently leads the league in games, with a 13-3-0-0 record, and in shorthanded goals, with five. They continue their West Coast road trip in Anaheim Friday night.

Wings Down ‘Canes in a Whirlwind

Red Wings netminder Manny Legace bounced back from a neck injury suffered Saturday night against Nashville to lead Detroit to a 5-2 win over the Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.

Legace stopped twenty-six of twenty-eight shots in a game he didn’t expect to even dress for. With Dominik Hasek sick, Legace became the starter and shut down the Hurricanes.

Detroit jumped out to an early lead when Mathieu Dandenault scored on the rebound from a Pavel Datsyuk shot just 1:22 into the first period. Datsyuk scored his first NHL goal exactly five minutes later, flipping a backhand shot past Carolina goaltender Tom Barrasso.

We got two goals out of the young line,” Detroit coach Scotty Bowman said. “Mathieu Dandenault scored one and Pavel Datsyuk scored his first NHL goal. They give us a lot of energy out there.”

Brendan Shanahan added his ninth goal of the season just over two minutes later and the Wings carried a three goal lead into the first intermission.

The Hurricanes bounced back during the second period. Sami Kapanen took a pass from Sandis Ozolinsh to get a breakaway and score with 6:35 remaining in the period. Former Red Wing Aaron Ward also assisted on the goal.

Ron Francis deflected a shot past Legace 2:09 later to bring the ‘Canes within one. Carolina kept the pressure on for the rest of the period but Legace came up strong and kept the Wings in the lead.

Steve Yzerman put the Red Wings back in control, beating Barrasso at 4:10 of the third. The Hurricanes were never able to get back in the game, and Kris Draper ended it with an empty net goal with 1:19 remaining in the game.

The Red Wings complete their three game road trip tonight against the Stars as Brett Hull makes his first trip back to Dallas since signing with Detroit. Faceoff is at 8:30 PM.

Costly Victory?

Goaltenders Manny Legace and Domink Hasek will share Detroit’s first shutout of the season, and Steve Duchesne got his first goal of the season, as the Red Wings won 1-0 against the Nashville Predators.

With Jiri Fischer back in the lineup, Scotty Bowman moved Mathieu Dandenault back from defense to right wing on the “3-D Line” with Pavel Datsyuk and Boyd Devereaux. While this line was not able to score in this game, they did an admirable job of controlling the puck and creating scoring chances against Nashville goalie Mike Dunham.

Tomas Holmstrom got the first penalty of the game, being sent off for holding with 13:09 left in the first period. Detroit’s penalty killing was effective against Nashville, never really letting them get off a quality shot. Just twenty-four seconds before the penalty was to end, Nashville’s Patrick Kjellberg was sent out for high-sticking, to give the Red Wings a four-on-four situation and then a shortened power play.

Detroit’s power play did a good job of controlling their passes and staying in the offensive zone, but were not able to beat Dunham for a goal.

Near the end of the period, the Predators’ Scott Hartnell was hit in the face by the stick of his own teammate, Rich Brennan. Hartnell was taken to the dressing room, where he was diagnosed as having a bruised left eye.

Steve Duchesne scored the game’s lone goal two and a half minutes into the second period. Fischer passed the puck behind the net to Sergei Fedorov, who tried to pass out front to Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan was too well-covered by Nashville’s defense to pick up the puck, but Duchesne was able to snag it and shoot along the ice from the right point, to slide under Dunham and into the net.

With just over five and a half minutes left in the period, Manny Legace had just made his fifteenth big save of the game when Nashville’s Kimmo Timonen was tripped up and fell on top of him. Legace hit his head hard on the ice, and was wheeled out immobilized on a stretcher to keep him from moving his neck. Legace was taken to a Nashville hospital for x-rays and tests, but further details were unavailable as of press time. Dominek Hasek came off the bench to take Legace’s place in goal.

In the third period, control of the puck went back and forth between the two teams. Neither was able to score, although Detroit had ten shots on Dunham, several of which were quality scoring chances. Detroit tightened up defensively and held the Predators to only two shots on Hasek in the third period.

Scotty Bowman showed great confidence in his young “3-D Line” by putting them on the ice to take a defensive zone faceoff with only two minutes left to play, and leading by only one goal. Devereaux, Datsyuk, and Dandenault did not betray their coach’s trust. They got the puck out to the Predator’s zone. Devereaux attempted to score against Dunham, but the shot was blocked. The Wings kept control of the puck for the remaining seconds of the game, keeping Dunham from edging out to the bench for the sixth skater.

Dunham stopped 32 of 33 shots, while Legace stopped all of the 15 he faced, and Hasek stopped all 4 shots the Predators managed to get on him. The Wings were 0 for 5 on the power play, and 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. Their next game will be in Carolina against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Belfour’s Best Imitation of a Wall

The Stars were hungry for a win, after their humiliating loss to Pittsburgh. They got what they wanted. Brett Hull and Pat Verbeek came up even with two assists each, in their first game against their former teammates, as the Red Wings lost to the Dallas Stars, 5 to 3.

With defenseman Uwe Krupp out indefinitely with an injured rotator cuff, coach Scotty Bowman moved Mathieu Dandenault back to the defensive line and brought in Brent Gilchrist to play forward. Gilchrist made a defensive play which kept a loose puck from becoming a scoring opportunity for the Stars, but was unfortunately given a penalty for holding in the process. Joe Nieuwendyk was able to get the puck past Dominek Hasek off a rebound of Verbeek’s shot, eight minutes into the game.

Dallas scored again just a minute and a half later. Jamie Langenbrunner shot the puck from the point, and Shaun Van Allen tipped it in behind Hasek.

The Red Wings got a power play chance with 6:09 left to play in the first, when Verbeek was sent off for interference. Between the Dallas players intercepting many of Detroit’s passes, and goalie Ed Belfour holding onto any shot that came his way, the power play was shut down, and the score remained 2-0.

With just under a minute left in the first, Tomas Holmstrom was penalized for high-sticking Brad Lukowich. Because Lukowich was cut by Holmstrom’s stick, the penalty was automatically a four-minute double minor, and the Red Wings carried that into the second period.

Only sixteen seconds into the period, Kris Draper was given a tripping penalty. With valiant goaltending by Hasek, and clever defensive play by Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, and Steve Yzerman, the Wings were able to kill off a full two minutes of 5-on-3 penalty.

Detroit finally got on the scoreboard with just over eight minutes in the period. Brenden Morrow had been sent to the box for tripping, and this time, the power play kept the puck in the offensive zone. Yzerman passed to Hull, who fired on Belfour. Hull picked up his own rebound and fired again, and the puck bounced off Luc Robitaille‘s skate and over the line, just as Robitaille was falling, and just before he knocked the net off its moorings.

Dallas managed to answer just over a minute later. During a tripping penalty to Steve Duchesne, Sergei Zubov fired the puck from the blue line. Hasek, being screened by Verbeek, was unable to see it, and the puck bounced in behind him.

With 2:25 left before the break, Holmstrom and Rob DiMaio were given offsetting penalties. Detroit would get to go to a 4-on-3 situation when Zubov was penalized for holding. Lidstrom made good on the power play, receiving a pass from Hull and one-timing a shot from the right point past Belfour.

Two and a half minutes into the third, Holmstrom was penalized for hooking, and Donald Audette was able to slide a backhand shot along the ice right past Hasek’s outstretched glove and into the net. The Stars scored again with just over eight minutes to play. Hasek came far out of the net to block a shot by Audette, and Pierre Turgeon picked up the rebound and flipped it into the wide open net before anyone could stop him.

Detroit made answer only sixteen seconds later. Draper won a faceoff in the Dallas zone, and Max Kuznetsov shot the puck right past the surprised Belfour.

Three and a half minutes before the end of the game, Jyrki Lumme took a tripping penalty and gave the Wings a man advantage. Bowman pulled Hasek from the net to send in an extra skater, and then the Stars’ Derian Hatcher took a penalty for cross-checking. For thirty-five seconds, the Wings would have six skaters against three.

It was not enough to get past Belfour, who made save after save to keep the Wings from scoring on him again before the game was over. Belfour and Hasek each faced forty-five shots during the game, and Robitaille and Yzerman were able to continue their scoring streaks.

The Wings begin a three-game road trip on Saturday, when they will face the Predators in Nashville.

Powerful Play

The Red Wings demonstrated tonight just why they are known for their depth, as they defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 and improved their record to 8-1-0.

Control of the puck went back and forth between the two teams throughout the first period; however, the Red Wings outshot the Oilers badly, holding them to only two shots in the first twenty minutes.

Sergei Fedorov opened the scoring late in the first period. Edmonton’s Marty Reasoner received a penalty for high-sticking with 8:23 before the break. The power play unit kept control of the puck in the offensive zone, and Fedorov was able to pick up a blue line pass from Nicklas Lidstrom and rifle a shot past goalie Tommy Salo.

The Oilers got their first power play opportunity with just over a minute left to play in the first, when Kirk Maltby was given a penalty for roughing after the play. The Oilers couldn’t seem to get organized, and Yzerman and Brett Hull were able to get a breakaway scoring chance up the ice.

Detroit got another power play chance 4:31 into the second period when Jason Smith was penalized for roughing. This time, though, Edmonton’s penalty killers effectively shut down the power play’s passing.

The Red Wings’ next goal came on their very next power play. Smith was back in the box for roughing with 8:48 left in the period. Lidstrom passed the puck to Brendan Shanahan, who fired from the left point, and Tomas Holmstrom tipped the puck in underneath Salo.

Edmonton’s Anson Carter believed that he had scored on Dominek Hasek while Jiri Fischer was serving a holding penalty, but Carter stopped short and looked with disbelief into the empty net while Hasek calmly handed the puck back to the referee for the next faceoff.

The Oilers brought their number of shots up in the second, mainly due to a total of three penalties to Fischer throughout the period. Still, they remained scoreless after two.

Detroit took back control of the game in the third period. Just two-and-a-half minutes in, Lidstrom got the puck to Igor Larionov on a three-on-one rush. Larionov passed to Luc Robitaille, who took the puck at the height of its bounce and flipped it past Salo.

The young “3-D Line” also managed to make their presence felt. Pavel Datsyuk stole the puck from the Oilers at their own blue line, and passed over to Mathieu Dandenault. Dandenault lured both the defense and the goalie towards him, then passed back to Boyd Devereaux, who slid the puck into the wide open net.

Edmonton decided at that point to pull Salo from the net and send in rookie Ty Conklin to take his place. With barely ten minutes left to play, it did not provide enough momentum to help the Oilers come back, but it apparently inspired them to take away Hasek’s first potential shutout as a Red Wing. With just 5:15 left in the game, Sean Brown was able to get the puck past Detroit’s well-screened goalie.

Shanahan, Fedorov, Robitaille, and Yzerman all continued their scoring streaks. Shanahan is still the current scoring leader in the NHL. Hasek stopped 27 of 28 shots, Salo stopped 26 of 30, and Conklin stopped 7 of 7.

The Red Wings will finish their five-game homestand Friday night against the Dallas Stars.

Wings’ Super Streaks Continue

Brendan Shanahan, Sergei Fedorov, Luc Robitaille, and Brett Hull all extended their scoring streaks by one more game as the Detroit Red Wings emerged victorious over Robitaille’s former team, the Los Angeles Kings.

Detroit opened the scoring only forty-one seconds into the game. Kris Draper fired on goalie Felix Potvin, but the puck was deflected. Shanahan picked up the rebound and fired again, but Potvin managed to block again. He wasn’t so lucky when Fedorov got hold of the second rebound, however; the puck went up and over Potvin.

The Red Wings scored again just 4:33 into the first period. Steve Yzerman, about to skate behind the net, passed out front to Brett Hull, who one-timed the puck over Potvin’s shoulder and into the net.

The Kings came back only twenty seconds later. Glen Murray picked up the puck as it bounced away from Dominek Hasek’s leg pads, and flipped it over the sprawled goalie.

Greg Johnson scored the equalizer with 6:27 left to play in the period, in a two-on-one rush against Hasek. The Kings had the opportunity to move into the lead when Steve Duchesne was given an interference penalty with just over two minutes in the period, but the Red Wings’ penalty-killers were able to keep the Kings from scoring.

Detroit was able to take a power play chance less than a minute into the second period, when Eric Belanger was given two minutes for holding the stick. The power play was able to get off three good shots against Los Angeles, but Potvin stopped each of them.

Detroit’s power play got another chance before the period was over, when Philippe Boucher was penalized for slashing. Nicklas Lidstrom passed the puck to Shanahan along the blue line. Shanahan fired from the left point, and Robitaille tipped the puck in behind Potvin.

Duchesne was given a penalty for holding with only 1:40 left in the period. Not only did the penalty-killing unit keep Los Angeles from scoring, but Hull, Draper, and Chris Chelios were each able to take shots against Potvin.

Detroit had another power play opportunity at the end of the second, when Kim Johnsson was sent to the box for cross-checking. Even though this power play generated more scoring chances, Boucher kept the puck out of the net.

Detroit got what nearly amounted to a double power play 9:33 into the third period. Boucher was called for tripping up Mathieu Dandenault, and Aren Miller was called for cross-checking with just thirteen seconds left in Boucher’s penalty. Even though coach Scotty Bowman called a timeout in-between to rest his power play unit, Detroit was unable to capitalize on their man-advantage.

Los Angeles pulled Potvin from goal when the game was down to its last minute and fifteen seconds, but the Red Wings kept the Kings from scoring again, giving Scotty Bowman the twelve-hundredth win of his career, and improving their record to 7-1-0.

The Wings continue their homestand Wednesday night against the Edmonton Oilers, who currently have a record of 6-2-1.

Wings’ Passing Scores

A number of pretty passing plays by the Red Wings helped bring them the win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4 to 3.

With Darren McCarty out for at least a month with a knee injury sustained in the 10/13/01 game against the New York Islanders, Mathieu Dandenault was moved from defense back to right winger, and Steve Duchesne was brought back to play defense.

The first period was relatively quiet, for a hockey game. Both teams had scoring chances. Detroit got a power play opportunity 6:42 into the game when Kevin Dineen was sent off for cross-checking, but the power play was unable to score.

Brendan Shanahan opened the scoring with 4:01 remaining in the period. Sergei Fedorov passed the puck from the blue line up to Kris Draper, who sent it back to Shanahan. Shanahan sent the puck flying past goaltender Marc Denis, continuing his six game scoring streak and reaffirming his place as the NHL’s current high scorer.

The Wings scored again 6:52 into the second period. Jiri Fischer fired the puck from the blue line. Denis was able to block, but Luc Robitaille grabbed up the rebound and sent it into the net to continue his three game goal streak.

Fredrick Olausson was penalized for cross-checking with 10:53 left in the second. Only eleven seconds before the end of that penalty, Shanahan was sent off for slashing. The Blue Jackets’ Rotislav Klesla was able to score during the short 5-on-3 situation, firing the puck from the blue line past a well-screened Dominik Hasek.

The Wings responded with 3:48 left in the period. Boyd Devereaux passed to Olausson, and Olausson got the puck across center ice to Dandenault. Dandenault got the puck past Denis to score his 100th career point, showing that he didn’t forget how to play forward while he was back on defense.

Rookie Pavel Datsyuk nearly scored on a fast-moving breakaway early in the third period, but the Blue Jackets defense shot down his scoring opportunity and kept him from passing the puck back to Devereaux. Detroit’s fourth goal was not scored until 6:13 had gone by in the third period, when Sergei Fedorov picked up a rolling pass from Kris Draper and shot it into the net from the blue line. Chris Chelios also received an assist on that goal.

Columbus came back strong through the rest of the third. Tyler Wright flipped the puck past Hasek with 8:22 left in the game. Deron Quint was able to score three minutes later while Hasek was being screened by Dineen.

The Blue Jackets pulled their goalie with one minute remaining in the game, but six skaters were not enough to get past Hasek and the Red Wings defense a fourth time. Brett Hull nearly scored an empty net goal, but his shot went wide of the net.

Hasek stopped 19 of 22 shots, while Denis blocked 31 of 35.

The win lifted the Wings’ record to 4-1-0-0 and dropped the Islanders’ to 4-0-0-1. Detroit is off until Tuesday, when they begin their longest homestand of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Red Wings hope to continue their winning ways when they host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.

First Loss of Season Close to Home

The Red Wings took a 4-2 loss to the Flames in their home season opener, despite goals from Kris Draper and Brendan Shanahan, ending the 19 regular season game home unbeaten streak carried over from last season.

The game story was one of penalties, fights, and stoppages in play. Calgary’s Marc Savard got the penalty parade off to its slow start just 1:49 into the game, being sent off for elbowing. The game took on a deceptive flow for a few minutes after that, with both teams taking shots, but neither able to score.

4:20 into the game, Jarome Iginla started a fight with Darren McCarty, after seeing McCarty attempt to hit Savard. Both combatants got 5 minute fighting penalties. Iginla also received a 2 minute instigator call and a 10 minute misconduct. And yet, Detroit’s power play was unable to score.

Kris Draper opened the scoring with 7:17 left in the period. He came off the bench, flew down the ice with all his typical speed, received a bouncing pass from Igor Larionov, and flipped it past goaltender Roman Turek.

The remainder of the period was relatively quiet. Calgary’s Rob Niedermayer received an interference penalty with 5:49 remaining, and Maxim Kuznetsov was called for high sticking with 3:05 remaining, but neither power play unit was able to score.

The second period began with a deceptive calm. 6:11 into the play, Brendan Shanahan and Bob Boughner fought over a rough hit Boughner had landed on Shanahan. Both were sent to the box for five minutes.

With 11:44 left in the period, Mathieu Dandenault was called for elbowing. Detroit’s problems were compounded just 22 seconds later, when Steve Yzerman was given a penalty for high-sticking. The Flames’ Dean McAmmond was able to capitalize on the 5-on-3 opportunity, getting the puck past Dominek Hasek.

Calgary got another 5-on-3 opportunity just moments later. With 6:29 left in the period, Kuznetsov was called for cross-checking. Yzerman made a beautiful breakaway attempt in the short-lived 5-on-4 situation, but Turek was able to deflect the puck. Brett Hull received a tripping penalty at 5:56, and Calgary’s Scott Nichol was able to score on Hasek.

Calgary got another 5-on-3 opportunity just moments later. With 6:29 left in the period, Kuznetsov was called for cross-checking. Yzerman made a beautiful breakaway attempt in the short-lived 5-on-4 situation, but Turek was able to deflect the puck. Brett Hull received a tripping penalty at 5:56, and Calgary’s Scott Nichol was able to score on Hasek.

Darren McCarty, just back from a shoulder injury, elbowed Ron Petrovicky, most likely because Petrovicky had speared the back of his leg with the stick. The referees didn’t see that part, however, and McCarty was given a 5 minute major penalty and a game misconduct, and sent off to the locker room. The resulting Calgary power play was partially cancelled when Craig Conroy took a 2 minute hooking penalty.

The Flames were able to score an even strength goal 3:50 into the third period, with Igor Kravchuk picking up the rebound and sneaking it in behind Hasek, despite Frederick Olausson’s attempt to block the shot.

Kravchuk then took a cross-checking penalty 6:08 into the period, and Detroit’s power play unit kicked into action. Shanahan picked up the puck from where it had slipped away from Turek’s glove, waited for an opportunity, and fired it home.

The game could have changed for the Wings after that, but it was not to be. Shanahan was given a boarding penalty with 7:05 left in the game. Yzerman and Hull attempted to score short-handed, but Iginla picked up the puck and got it past Hasek on a rebound.

Shanahan now leads the NHL in goals, with 5 goals in 3 games. Hasek stopped 29 of 33 shots, most of which came when Detroit was in penalty-killing mode.

Would the game have gone in Detroit’s favor had the penalties not fallen so hard and so fast? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Even a team starring nine future Hall-of-Famers is still going to lose some of the games. Even the Red Wings have to be human once in awhile.

25 January, 2001

See what happens when Matt Dandenault gets hot? That’s why we keep him around, for anyone who’s ever doubted his ability. Osgood had another strong game, just like every game he’s played in the last month. With Ozzie on his A game, I think it’s safe to say “We’re back!”

The Free Press has the recap of the win over Nashville and an extra bit on Larry Murphy’s longevity. They also have a nice little piece for Chris Pronger’s injury.

Speaking of the almighty Prongs, I can’t help but laugh that finally a team other than the Wings lost someone important to a knee injury. We’ve dealt with Yzerman and Chelios being gone and are still within striking distance of the Blues, even when our blueline corps includes Todd Gill, who really should be in Manitoba. The Wings have a big shot to play catch-up here, and don’t think they don’t know that.