Franzen Out 3-4 Weeks

Turns out that Johan Franzen‘s injury is more serious than he thought. Bruce MacLeod blogged today that Franzen will be out 3-4 weeks with an MCL sprain.

Aaron Downey or Matt Ellis will fill Franzen’s spot in the lineup but will likely join the third or fourth line. Kris Draper, Dan Cleary or Valtteri Filppula will be bumped up to Franzen’s spot.

My guess is that Babcock will want to give Filppula the ice time but since he’s not quite as gritty as Franzen, Cleary might fit the role better.

Wings’ Roster Set

Bruce MacLeod blogs that the Red Wings’ final roster has been announced.

As expected, Derek Meech claims a spot as the 7th defenseman. The injured Kyle Quincey will work out in Grand Rapids and join the Griffins when healthy.

Matt Ellis will remain in Detroit. Free agent try-out Aaron Downey has been offered a contract and will play in Detroit if he accepts, which he’s expected to do.

Igor Grigorenko will head down to Grand Rapids. This is likely only to last through the end of the month as he’ll have the ability to return to Russia. At that point, Ellis or Downey would have to be sent down.

Mark Hartigan has been placed on waivers and will go to Grand Rapids if he clears.

Red Wings Fall to Wild in Preseason Home Opener

The Detroit Red Wings played their first home game of the 2007 exhibition season Thursday night, dropping a 3-2 decision to the visiting Minnesota Wild.

Dominik Hasek started the game in the Detroit net, surrendering power play goals to Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Brent Burns on 13 shots against before Jimmy Howard took over in the Detroit crease.

Mark Hartigan got the Red Wings on the board, banging in the rebound after a shot from Matt Ellis rang off the post.

Minnesota picked up another power play goal when Brian Rolston was left all alone to pick up a pass at the back door, whipping a shot past Howard.

Mattias Ritola added Detroit’s second goal, puting a quick shot from the left circle off of a Minnesota defender and over the shoulder of Harding.

Harding finished the night with 28 saves on 30 shots. Howard made seven saves on the eight shots he faced.

The Red Wings will hit the ice again tomorrow when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins before visiting Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Red Wings Lose Holmstrom for 2-3 Games

The Detroit Red Wings lost yet another forward to injury on Monday as Tomas Holmstrom missed practice with what coach Mike Babcock called an “upper-body injury.”

Babcock expects Holmstrom out for two or three games.

Already out with injuries are forwards Henrik Zetterberg, Dan Cleary, Mikael Samuelsson, Todd Bertuzzi and Tomas Kopecky, as well as goalie Dominik Hasek.

The Red Wings recalled Darryl Bootland from the Grand Rapids Griffins to fill Holmstrom’s roster spot. The Detroit roster already features Griffins’ regulars Josh Langfeld, Matt Ellis, and Matt Hussey.

Red Wings’ Skid Ends with Win over Avalanche

The Detroit Red Wings ended a losing streak with a win over the Colorado Avalanche for the second time this month on Sunday, picking up a 3-1 win after three losses in a row.

With a 4-3 shootout win in Denver on January 9, Detroit ended an earlier three-game slide.

While the chippy play that has defined the twelve-year Detroit-Colorado rivalry was absent, the game was not without controversy. After a lengthy review, the eventual game-winning goal was allowed to stand when replay seemed to show that it should be called back.

Tomas Holmstrom scored Detroit’s second goal, knocking the rebound of a Nicklas Lidstrom shot out of the air and past Colorado netminder Jose Theodore with 5:58 remaining in regulation. Theodore immediately skated to the officials, signaling that it was deflected above the crossbar. After review, the replay footage was deemed inconclusive and the goal was allowed to stand.

Only eight seconds later, Holmstrom was called for interference and the Avalanche pulled back within one on the ensuing power play.

Rookie Wojtek Wolski carried the puck through the slot and to the right of goalie Dominik Hasek before sending a pass across the top of the crease to Peter Stastny to tip the puck in from the far side of the net 27 seconds into the power play.

The Red Wings wrapped up their win with 1:06 remainging when Kirk Maltby deflected a shot from the point by Chris Chelios to Theodore’s right and just inside the post.

Detroit had opened the game’s scoring at 9:44 of the first period. Henrik Zetterberg wrapped around the back of the net with the puck before sending a pass into the slot for Pavel Datsyuk, who drifted to his left and outwaited Theodore before putting a shot under him.

The Red Wings allowed only 12 shots on the night, with Hasek making 11 saves. Theodore stopped 38 of the 41 shots he faced.

Colorado’s goal was the only goal scored with the extra attacker. Each team had three power play tries.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Tuesday when they make a rare trip into Eastern Conference territory, visiting the New York Islanders.

Kris Draper, Robert Lang and Dominik Hasek were all back in the lineup after missing Friday’s game with the flu. With their returns, Matt Ellis and Matt Hussey were sent back to Grand Rapids.

Red Wings Fall to Blues in Overtime

The Detroit Red Wings earned a point Friday night but their winless streak continued as they fell in overtime to the St. Louis Blues. It was Detroit’s third loss in as many games.

Bill Guerin scored the game-winner for St. Louis just 1:09 into the extra period, banging in a rebound from an acute angle with the Blues on a rush.

Ryan Johnson scored a similar goal to open the game’s scoring as the late man on a 3-on-2 at 8:03 of the second period, putting a rebound chance past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

Detroit’s lone goal came 1:56 later on a nifty move by Johan Franzen. Franzen carried into the St. Louis zone and moved to his right through the slot to get around defender Dennis Wideman. Wideman stood his ground and Franzen lost the puck but he cut around the far side of Wideman as former Red Wing Jamie Rivers‘ clearing attempt went right onto Rivers stick and over goalie Manny Legace.

Osgood finished the game with 18 saves on 20 shots while Legace stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced.

Neither team scored on the power play, with Detroit getting two chances and St. Louis having five tries.

The game saw the Red Wings debut of Matt Hussey as one of three players called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins. He was joined by Matt Ellis and Josh Langfeld. Hussey and Ellis took the spots opened when Kris Draper and Robert Lang fell ill with the flu while Langfeld was called up to replace Mikael Samuelsson, out with a broken foot.

The Red Wings will look to end their skid on Sunday when they host the Colorado Avalanche.

Red Wings Strike Back at Blue Jackets

Two nights after an awful first period led to a 4-3 loss in Columbus, the Detroit Red Wings played a strong sixty minutes and capitalized on all their chances, earning a 5-0 win over the Blue Jackets in the second game of a home-and-home series.

Dominik Hasek, who was pulled after allowing three goals in the first period on Monday, made 27 saves en route to the shutout.

Like the Blue Jackets did in Columbus, the Red Wings got on the board early, with Dan Cleary scoring the first of his two goals just 5:46 into the game.

With the teams skating four aside, Mathieu Schneider fired a shot from the right point as Cleary cut across the top of the crease, in position to deflect the puck past goaltender Fredrik Norrena.

Cleary’s second of the night came 4:32 later on a Detroit power play. A shot from the left circle by Robert Lang left both teams scrambling at the top of the crease until the Blue Jackets attempted a clear up the middle. Nicklas Lidstrom held the puck in and quickly turned to put it back on net, where it was tipped by Cleary to put Detrot up by two.

Kirk Maltby‘s first goal of the season came at 6:15 of the second period. Maltby blocked an outlet pass by defenseman Aaron Johnson and skated in all alone on Norrena, lifting a shot over his shoulder from in close.

Columbus appeared to score later in the period but the goal was called back. Alexander Svitov appeared to score on his own rebound but on review it was determined that the puck crossed the goal line on the first attempt, a kick off a feed from Rick Nash. The disallowal of the first goal voided the second.

Just 1:02 past the game’s midway point, Lidstrom added a fourth Detroit goal off a blast from the blue line with the Red Wings on a power play.

Jason Williams closed the game’s scoring at 4:38 of the third, taking a long pass and skating in all alone on Norrena before putting the puck between his legs on a backhand shot.

Norrena was replaced by backup Ty Conklin to finish the game. Conklin stopped all three shots he faced after Norrena made 17 saves on 22 shots.

Detroit scored on two of their six power play chances, while stopping all six of Columbus’ tries with the man-advantage.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Friday when they host the Minnesota Wild in the first game of a rare home-and-home-and-home that will see the two teams face off on Friday in Detroit, in Minnesota on Saturday, and back in Detroit on next Wednesday.

Rookie Matt Ellis played his second game for the Red Wings in place of the injured Mikael Samuelsson. Samuelsson is expected to return after Christmas.

Osgood Returns as Wings Beat Blackhawks

Chris Osgood made his first start for the Red Wings since 2000, helping them beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2, for their eighth straight win. It was also a homecoming of another sort for the Wings’ Brett Lebda, who was playing his first NHL game in his hometown of Chicago.

With the game tied at 2-2 early in the third period, and the Wings on the power play, Robert Lang stepped in front of a bad clearing attempt by the Blackhawks’ Jason Morgan. Lang then snapped the game winning goal from the right slot past Nikolai Khabibulin at 4:39 of the period.

The Wings had jumped out to an early lead, just three and a half minutes in, when Kirk Maltby was left alone in the slot to take a feed from Steve Yzerman at the left half boards.

The Blackhawks tied the game at 1-1 in the opening minutes of the second period. Tyler Arnason took a deflected pass that had squirted out from behind Osgood who was turned around and facing the left corner, coming out to cut down the angle on the rush.

Less than three minutes later the Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead on a goal from Kyle Calder, taking a pass from Matt Ellison behind the net.

The Blackhawks’ lasted less then four minutes as Mikael Samuelsson scored a power play goal off a rebound, tying the game at 2-2.

The Red Wings’ fourth goal was an empty-netter from Henrik Zetterberg with 28 seconds left in the game.

Osgood faced 25 shots, stopping 23, while Khabibulin stopped 32 of the Wings’ 36 shots. Both goalies had to come up with some great saves. The Wings’ two power play goals came on eight chances, while the Blackhawks couldn’t capitalize on their four power play chances.

The Wings and Blackhawks head back to Detroit to play their third game in a row Tuesday night.

Legace Sets Record as Wings Beat Blackhawks

Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace set a new NHL record for wins in the month of October as he backstopped Detroit to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. Legace’s ten wins breaks the old record of nine held by several players, while Detroit’s 10-1 start extends the record for the best start by a team in Red Wings history.

Legace was tested early and often, as the Blackhawks threw 12 shots at him in the first period. He allowed only one through, a goal by Matt Ellison at 10:02 of the period. Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek fired a shot from the blue line and Legace knocked the puck right out to Ellison, who put it back at the net and past Legace on his left side.

Despite pressure from the Blackhawks, the Red Wings were able to bounce back and tie the game. With 6:48 left in the period and the Wings on the power play, Mathieu Schneider fired a blast from the blue line that deflected off a Chicago player in front and beat Blackhawks netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.

Chicago regained the lead in the second period, as Spacek scored on a one-timer from the top of the left circle at 7:28.

Detroit answered back again just 1:58 later on a pretty play by Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk got the puck from Zetterberg in the neutral zone and carried it into the Chicago zone along the right wing boards. He skated into the faceoff circle and sent a centering pass into the slot, where Zetterberg reached to poke the puck past Khabibulin.

The game remained tied until Schneider scored a goal that was almost identical to his first with 8:02 left in the game.

Kris Draper scored his first goal of the season on a fluke play with 5:03 remaining to put the game away. Steve Yzerman fired the puck around the boards in the Chicago zone and Khabibulin came out to play it. The puck took a strange bounce and kicked back out in front of the goal, where Draper crashed in to put it into the empty net.

The assist was Yzerman’s first point of the season in his third game after being sidelined twice with groin injuries.

Brendan Shanahan closed the game’s scoring with 1:19 remaining. Jason Williams fought off several Blackhawks defenders through the slot and dumped the puck off to Shanahan, who lifted it into the net from the side of the goal.

After allowing 21 shots in the first two periods, the Red Wings allowed only two in the third and Legace went on to make 21 saves on the 23 shots. Khabibulin stopped 23 of Detroit’s 28 shots.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday in Chicago, the second of their three consecutive meetings.

Hudler Scores Hat Trick in Osgood’s Return to Ice

American Hockey League-leading scorer Jiri Hudler notched three more goals Wednesday night, helping the Grand Rapids Griffins earn a 6-3 victory over the San Antonio Rampage. Chris Osgood, making the first of two expected starts while on a rehabiliation assignment, made 22 saves on the 25 shots he faced.

Osgood made his first start of the season after going down to a groin injury early in training camp.

The Griffins opened the scoring on goals by Bryan Helmer and Matt Ellis at 3:41 and 5:29 of the first. Ellis’ goal, scored while shorthanded, came after Nate DiCasmirro skated around San Antonio goalie Steve Passmore and lured him out of the net. He sent a pass from behind the goal back through the crease to Ellis, who was wide open for the goal.

The Rampage answered quickly, scoring before their power play was up. At 6:19, Osgood couldn’t hold the puck after a long shot from Mike Bishai and it bounced out to the side of the crease, where Steve Gainey was open to knock in the rebound.

Just 2:24 later, Bishai added a goal of his own on a quick one-timer from the slot off a pass from Martin Sonnenberg.

The Griffins regained the lead on Hudler’s first goal at 11:17 of the second, the only goal of that period. While being knocked down by Brad Ference, Hudler wristed a shot past Passmore on the short side from the left circle.

Hudler scored again at 1:26 of the third, this time on a one-timer from the slot. Darryl Bootland added a goal at 6:17 before Hudler completed his hat trick at 8:22 with a big blast from the left circle.

Layne Ulmer scored San Antonio’s third goal to complete the game’s scoring with 8:01 remaining. With the Rampage on the power play, the puck pinballed from one side of the net to the other, leaving Osgood scrambling and spinning. He was left on his stomach, facing the goal, unable to see the puck as Ulmer picked it up and flipped it into the net.

Passmore made 22 saves on 28 shots for San Antonio. The Rampage went two-for-five on the power play while the Griffins converted one of their four chances.

Osgood, who last played in the AHL with the Adirondack Red Wings during the 1994-95 season, is expected to be in net when the Griffins visit the Houston Aeros on Friday.