Wings Deal Kuznetsov, Avery for D-man Schneider

The Detroit Red Wings acquired defenseman Mathieu Schneider from the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, just hours before the NHL’s trade deadline.

Schneider, who scored a goal Monday night in the Kings’ loss to Detroit, came at the cost of young defenseman Maxim Kuznetsov, agitator Sean Avery, a first-round draft pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round pick in 2004.

Kuznetsov has spent much of the season in and out of the Red Wings lineup, fighting for playing time with Jesse Wallin and Patrick Boileau. His only scoring of the season came in the form of three assists. He also has fifty-four penalty minutes in fifty-three games.

Avery had been playing with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins after being sent down to make roster room for Steve Yzerman.

Schneider has fourteen goals and forty-three points in sixty-five games this season.

Cujo Keeps The Streak Alive

It could have been a close call, but thanks to magnificent goaltending by Curtis Joseph and a timely late goal by Brendan Shanahan, the Red Wings extended their winning streak with a 3-2 decision over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Red Wings dominated the game in the first period and got out to an early 2-0 lead. Their first goal came on the power play with Alexander Svitov in the box for hooking. Pavel Datsyuk passed the puck neatly into the high slot area. Nicklas Lidstrom had come in unnoticed from the blue line, and he one-timed a wrist shot that beat Tampa Bay goalie John Grahame high on the glove side.

Mathieu Dandenault extended the lead a few minutes later. Igor Larionov slid the puck across to Dandenault at the right point, and Dandenault let fly a slapshot which sailed into the net past Grahame.

The Lightning came into their own in the second period, aided by a number of power play chances. Dan Boyle scored with a slapshot from the blue line less than 30 seconds into the second period, just as an interference penalty to Maxim Kuznetsov was coming to its end. The goal energized the Tampa Bay team, and only a spectacular display of goaltending by Joseph kept them from tying up the game as they continued to pressure throughout the second and third periods.

Tampa Bay had an excellent chance to score again midway through the second when they gained over a minute of five-on-three power play time. Boyd Devereaux was sent to the box for holding the stick, and 54 seconds later, Kuznetsov was sent out for slashing. Steve Yzerman, Kirk Maltby, and Lidstrom were the three skaters to kill off the penalty, and they did an excellent job. Yzerman cleanly won a faceoff deep in the Detroit zone, and Maltby sent the puck down the ice. The Lightning brought it back, but Joseph stopped them in their tracks, ending the penalty without giving up a goal.

Coach Dave Lewis had much praise for his starting goaltender. “We had a tremendous first period, and then I thought Curtis Joseph took over. He was the difference in the game.”

Shanahan gave the Wings a two-goal cushion late in the third period. Pavel Datsyuk stole the puck from a Tampa Bay defender along the boards and made a soft centering pass to Shanahan, who put the puck high over Grahame.

The Lightning pulled Grahame from the net for the final minute and a half, and were aided by another power play. With six skaters out to Detroit’s four, Vincent Lecavalier threaded a pass through to Vaclav Prospal near the corner of the net, and Prospal put the puck in high as Joseph scrambled to get across. Grahame had to go back in net for the faceoff at center ice, and there simply wasn’t enough time left on the clock for the Lightning to mount another attack.

Joseph made 33 saves throughout the course of the game. Grahame made 19 saves. The Red Wings’ next opponent will be the St. Louis Blues, who visit the Joe on Friday night. Expect intensity: the Blues are just two points behind the Wings in the playoff race, and will be seeking to gain the top spot in the Central Division.

Sergei Fedorov (back) and Chris Chelios (knee) both sat out for the second straight game…. Dmitri Bykov had to leave the game early in the third after being sticked in the face. He had to have stitches on the bottom of his left eyelid and the top of his nose, but team doctors didn’t believe there was any damage to the eye itself…. Datsyuk has 4 goals and 15 assists for 19 points in his last 11 games.

Still Rolling

Superior penalty killing, skillful playmaking by Pavel Datsyuk, and excellent goaltending by Manny Legace led the Red Wings to their sixth straight victory, a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets were given five power plays in the first period alone, including a four minute high-sticking double minor to Maxim Kuznetsov. With the constant penalty-killing necessary, the Red Wings managed only two shots on net the entire period, but one of those shots was the first goal of the game. Datsyuk threaded a pass across the front of the goal crease through a passing lane just wide enough to get a puck through. Brendan Shanahan was skating towards the net, and he had his stick down on the ice to tip the puck past Marc Denis.

Columbus managed thirteen shots in the first period, but only one of those, a wrist shot by Ray Whitney, made it in past Legace. The high number of shots didn’t seem to bother Legace at all, however. “It was good to get shots early,” he explained. “The last game I didn’t get any shots. Getting a lot of shots early gets you into the game and gets you back into a little rhythm.”

Brett Hull, playing through a bad cold, gave the Red Wings the lead again early in the second period. Datsyuk passed the puck to Jason Woolley, who had pinched in deep towards the goal line, and Woolley centered the puck to Hull. Hull then one-timed the shot, and the puck sailed into the net past Denis.

A bad bounce for Detroit let Columbus tie the game back up early in the third period. Whitney’s pass from behind the net bounced off the skate of Rostislav Klesla and into the net before Legace could react.

Midway through the third period, the Red Wings were able to take the lead for good when Jaroslav Spacek was sent to the penalty box for a boarding call against Darren McCarty. Woolley got the puck to Shanahan along the left side. Shanahan used a Columbus defenseman as a screen. His shot went right between the defenseman’s legs and past Denis for the goal.

The Blue Jackets were far from done, and Legace made some key saves as the clock ran down. Geoff Sanderson had a chance to score on a rebound right in front of the crease, but Legace got in the way. Jamie Allison made a hard, well-aimed shot from the left faceoff circle, but Legace blocked that one too, leaving Columbus coach Doug MacLean shaking his head. “We had a great third period,” he said. “Great chances and great saves by Legace. He made five or six great saves at the end.”

Over the course of the game, Columbus outshot Detroit by a total of 31 to 23. The Red Wings will return home for their next game Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Steve Yzerman returned to the lineup for this game. He played 14:49 over the course of the game, an increase over his two previous games…. Sergei Fedorov and Chris Chelios both sat out. Fedorov warmed up before the game, but returned to the dressing room complaining of a sore back from being slammed into the goalpost Sunday night against Phoenix. Chelios had an MRI on the knee he twisted in the last game. The results were fine, but Chelios will sit out the rest of the week as a precautionary measure. Fedorov should return to the lineup against Tampa Bay.

Captain’s Debut a 5-4 Win

He looked a little awkward at times, and his timing was definitely off. But yes, it really was Steve Yzerman out there on the ice at Joe Louis Arena, winning nine of the fifteen faceoffs he took (important) and (more important) inspiring his team on to a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

The Red Wings were perhaps buoyed by the fans’excitement at the Captain’s return, because they definitely dominated the first period of play. Los Angeles goaltender Jamie Storr was sharp in the net, but Brett Hull finally put one past him as the period was winding down. Nicklas Lidstrom shot the puck deep into the right corner, and it bounced off the boards and out just past the goal line. Hull took his shot from a very tight angle. It didn’t look like a particularly good scoring chance, but the puck slid between Storr’s legs and in for the goal.

Igor Larionov increased the Red Wings’ lead early in the second. Brendan Shanahan passed from behind the net to Sergei Fedorov, and Fedorov sent the puck across the goal crease to Larionov. Larionov put the puck in high from right in front of the net.

The Kings got to go on the power play shortly after that, when Maxim Kuznetsov was sent to the box for holding the stick, and Mathieu Schneider was able to put his team on the board. He shot the puck from the blue line after taking a pass from Zigmund Palffy. Manny Legace was screened by both Lidstrom and Bryan Smolinski, and wasn’t able to see the puck on its way through.

Kirk Maltby and Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings back out front before the period was over. Maltby’s goal resulted from a tangle of players in front of the Los Angeles net. Storr didn’t cover up the puck, and it squirted free to Maltby, who put it over all the bodies for the goal. Holmstrom’s power play goal came less than two minutes later. Hull’s shot bounced off Storr’s chest. Holmstrom came around from the back of the net hoping to pick up the rebound, but as he skated, the puck bounced off his skate blade and into the net. The goal was reviewed by the officials, who determined that Holmstrom had not kicked the puck in.

The Kings didn’t give up, and the Red Wings’ defense started to break down a little. Ian Laperriere was allowed to get right up in front of the net with no one to cover him. When Aaron Miller sent the pass through, Legace was able to stop the first shot by Laperriere, but the second one went high and out of Legace’s reach.

The late period goal energized the Kings, and they came on strong in the third period. Legace made some very strong saves, but the onslaught finally broke through with just 6:52 left to play. Laperriere and Eric Belanger got through on a 2-on-1 break. Kuznetsov dropped down to take away the passing lane, but Belanger’s shot deflected off the big defenseman and up into the net.

Fedorov put the Red Wings ahead for good just as a slashing penalty to Yzerman had expired. Fedorov got the puck through center and up to Shanahan, who left the drop pass just inside the Los Angeles blue line. Fedorov picked up the puck, tipped it past a Kings’ defenseman, regained it, and backhanded it past Storr.

Derek Armstrong added one more goal for the Kings with 2:06 left in the game. They pulled their goalie to send in an extra skater in the last minute, but the Red Wings tightened up and came out with the win.

The final count of shots on net was 31-30 in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings play next on Thursday evening, when their Original Six rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs pay a visit to the Joe.

Holmstrom’s goal was his 17th of the season, setting a new personal best record…. League Standings at the three-quarter mark of the season: In the East, the #1 Senators would play the #8 Lightning, the #2 Devils would play the #7 Bruins, the #3 Capitals would play the #6 Islanders, and the #4 Maple Leafs would plat the #5 Flyers. In the West, the #1 Stars would play the #8 Oilers, the #2 Canucks would play the #7 Wild, the #3 Red Wings would play the #6 Mighty Ducks, and the #4 Blues would play the #5 Avalanche.

Superb Power Plays Contribute to Win

The Red Wings came into tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers wanting to prove themselves. Not only did they want to drive away the bad memories of Tuesday’s game against the Canucks, but they had gone 0-0-1-2 against the Oilers this season. And as usually happens when the Red Wings have something to prove, they proved it, with five power play goals on seven attempts, five successful penalty kills on six attempts, and a 6-2 win over the Oilers.

The Wings had to kill off a penalty for too many men on the ice to start off the game, and they did so easily enough. The Oilers play a “crash the net” style of game, with most of their players down low to try to jam the puck in. Curtis Joseph made some impressive stops, and Detroit was able to clear the puck easily once it came free from the net area.

Just as the Edmonton power play was over, Ales Pisa was trying to bring the puck across his own blue line. He made a pass which hit the skates of Brendan Shanahan, who turned and brought the puck back into the Oilers’ zone. Shanahan made a snappy wrist shot which bounced off the leg pads of goalie Tommy Salo and into the net.

The Red Wings got their first power play of the night with 8:44 left in the first, and Shanahan added his second goal. Sergei Fedorov sent the puck from the right point to Pavel Datsyuk in the high slot, and Datsyuk threaded a pass between two Oilers to Shanahan at the left faceoff circle. Shanahan one-timed the shot into the mostly-empty net.

Detroit had to start off the second period killing off a hooking penalty assessed to Jason Woolley with four seconds left in the first. It was another easy penalty kill, and the Wings got to go back on the power play when Ethan Moreau was sent out a few minutes later. The Red Wings set up their play. Brett Hull sent a pass from the left circle to Woolley at the blue line. Woolley one-timed the shot, and Tomas Holmstrom tipped it past Salo.

Jani Rita got the Oilers on the board just over a minute later by flipping in the rebound from a shot by Steve Staios, but Holmstrom answered with another power play goal, this one off of a wrist shot from the left circle instead of his usual redirections of shots from the front of the net. The Edmonton bench pulled Salo from the game and sent in backup Jussi Markkanen.

Igor Larionov slipped a goal in off a pass by Hull. Big Georges Laraque tried to energize his team by picking a fight with Maxim Kuznetsov“”they’re about the same height, but Laraque outweighs Kuznetsov by quite a bit and has a lot more fighting experience. Kuznetsov held his ground and hung on, and the officials broke the fight up and sent the combatants to the penalty box for five minutes each.

The Red Wings had to do a lot of penalty killing in the third period, including 52 seconds of 5-on-3 when a hooking call to Larionov and a high-sticking double minor to Nicklas Lidstrom overlapped. Again, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, and Chris Chelios did an excellent job of protecting their goalie, and the Wings escaped the 5-on-3 and extended 5-on-4 unscathed.

Lidstrom took another penalty later in the period, and this time Todd Marchant did score a power play goal. The Red Wings were ready to put the game away, though, and when Scott Ferguson was given an instigating minor for starting a fight with Maltby, Detroit was ready. Shanahan got the puck just inside his own zone and carried it up the right wing side. He passed across to Larionov keeping up on the left, got the return pass, and wristed in the shot for his 15th career hat trick and 23rd goal of the season.

The final count of shots on net was 38-35 in favor of Detroit. The Red Wings will play their next game Saturday evening, when they will face the Capitals in Washington.

Stacy Roest played his first game of the season, while Sean Avery was a healthy scratch…. Steve Yzerman is expected back within the week, even though he didn’t name a specific game for his return. “I should play relatively soon,” he told reporters on Thursday.

Frustration Boils Against Canucks

Dan Cloutier has cause to thank his goalposts – five times over.

That’s how many times the Red Wings had Vancouver’s goalie beaten but rang shots off the posts or crossbar, and that would have given them more than enough goals for a win. Instead, thanks to Cloutier’s luck and a strong game by Vancouver, the Canucks took a 4-1 win.

The Red Wings looked very strong to start the first period. Tomas Holmstrom scored early to take a 1-0 lead. Nicklas Lidstrom sent the lead pass up across the blue line, and Holmstrom fired straight on net. The shot got past Cloutier on his short side.

The Red Wings got a power play shortly thereafter when Marek Malik was sent out for obstruction tripping, and the Canucks basically stood there and watched them pass the puck around. Cloutier had to come up with some good saves to keep the puck out.

The skillful power play was basically the last thing to go well for Detroit. Trent Klatt got the Canucks even with 6:39 left in the period. He brought the puck out from behind the net, with a teammate rushing to join him on the other side for a sort of reverse 2-on-1. Maxim Kuznetsov took away the passing play, but Klatt was in close to the net, and his shot deflected off the stick of Curtis Joseph and in for the goal.

The goal seemed to energize the Canucks, and they took the lead before the period was over. Joseph had stopped the first shot by Markus Naslund, but he was down and the rebound slipped away from him. Bryan Allen was able to sneak in from the left point to the low slot and put the puck high into the net.

Joseph did a fine job in the second period to keep the Red Wings within one. He shone in stopping a breakaway by Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi. Luc Robitaille, back in the lineup after having been a healthy scratch against Colorado, had multiple scoring chances, but the shots would go just wide or bounce off the posts, contributing to the growing frustration of the team.

Chris Chelios and Bertuzzi continued their feud from last year’s playoffs, and their teammates joined them in the fray. Chelios wound up with a double minor for roughing and high-sticking (one was served by Sean Avery), and Kirk Maltby, Naslund, and Bertuzzi each had two minutes for roughing, resulting in a Vancouver power play with just over seven remaining in the second. Sami Salo was able to score by one-timing a pass from Mattias Ohlund. The shot appeared to brush Joseph’s elbow on its way into the net.

A horrible defensive breakdown midway through the third led to the Canucks’ fourth goal. Malik carried the puck right past two Detroit players with Matt Cooke keeping up on his right side, and the last man back, Mathieu Dandenault, lost a skate edge and fell. Malik looked as if he would shoot, but passed across to Cooke, which fooled Joseph and allowed Cooke to put the puck in for the goal.

The Red Wings made an attempt to come back. Holmstrom was hooked down on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot late in the game. He deked well enough to fool Cloutier, but- story of the game- the puck hit the goalpost.

The final count of shots on net was 34-31 in favor of Vancouver. The Red Wings will head out west for a few games after tonight. Their next matchup will be with the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.

Boyd Devereaux was a healthy scratch to make room for Luc Robitaille in the lineup…. This was Nicklas Lidstrom’s 900th career game…. The Red Wings’ television color commentator, Mickey Redmond, was back in the broadcast booth after undergoing a successful lung operation to remove a malignant tumor. According to doctors, the cancer was completely removed.

Hawks Avenge 2 OT Losses, Even Season Series

In spite of strong first and third periods by Detroit, the Chicago Blackhawks were determined not to lose their third meeting in eleven nights. They played a solid game, capitalized on some lucky bounces and breaks, and took a 4-1 victory.

The Red Wings had fairly solid control of the first period. Sergei Fedorov escaped on a breakaway attempt shorthanded, but was thwarted by goalie Jocelyn Thibault. Maxim Kuznetsov and Mathieu Dandenault played solid defense, blocking shots and keeping Chicago players’ sticks so tangled up that they couldn’t even get shots on net.

Henrik Zetterberg opened the scoring for Detroit with a power play goal midway through the first. Fedorov made the pass as Zetterberg was crossing the blue line. Zetterberg jumped over a Chicago defenseman who had dropped to block the shot, kept the puck long enough to fool Thibault into going low, then put the puck into the high corner of the net.

The Blackhawks tried to rush back after that, but their scrambling play led them to take a few penalties late in the first and early in the second. They did manage to calm down as the second period got underway, and they capitalized on a failed clearing attempt to tie the game. Chris Chelios made a pass which didn’t cross the blue line, and Kyle Calder picked it up. He passed backwards to Alexei Zhamnov coming up center, and Zhamnov’s shot flew across the goal line before Manny Legace could get his glove on it.

Dandenault took a double minor penalty for holding the stick and unsportsmanlike conduct with 6:40 gone in the period, and the Blackhawks took the lead with a power play goal. Andre Nikolishin brought the puck out from the right boards. His pass took a strange bounce off of Chris Simon and into the net.

Less than a minute later Eric Daze added a goal for his team. He somehow managed to get around the net and stand by the corner uncovered. When the puck trickled through the crease from Mike Eastwood’s deflected shot, Daze was able to flip it in to a wide open corner.

The Red Wings tried to settle the game down and regain control in the third period. They had a number of chances to score, but Thibault was ready for them. The Wings had a good opportunity when Steve Poapst took a penalty for holding with just over five minutes remaining. Unfortunately, the Blackhawks were able to get the puck out at the blue line. Eastwood sent the bouncing puck down the ice to Mark Bell, and Bell got in alone to knock the puck out of the air and into the net to put the game away.

Chicago had 30 shots on net to Detroit’s 27. The Red Wings play their next game tomorrow night, when they travel to Denver for their first meeting of the season with the Colorado Avalanche.

Sean Avery played tonight in place of Igor Larionov, who was scratched so that he could be well-rested for tomorrow night’s game against the Avs.

Wings and Stars Tie Again

The Red Wings and the Dallas Stars are quite possibly the two most evenly matched teams in the NHL right now. Their previous three meetings all ended in ties, and this fourth and last meeting of the regular season ended the same way, a 2-2 overtime decision.

Tomas Holmstrom, who has played remarkably well paired with Sean Avery and Boyd Devereaux, opened the scoring just over a minute into the game. Chris Chelios shot on net from the blue line. Goalie Marty Turco was out of position from making the first save, and Holmstrom was able to flip the rebound high into the net.

The Stars had plenty of scoring chances of their own through the first period, most notably the 41 seconds of 5-on-3 play they gained with overlapping penalties to Sergei Fedorov and Maxim Kuznetsov. Kris Draper, Chris Chelios, and Nicklas Lidstrom did a good job of blocking shots before they could get through to Curtis Joseph.

Dallas did manage to score on a regular 5-on-4 penalty near the end of the period. Mike Modano‘s shot had Joseph sliding one way to make the block, and Jere Lehtinen was able to put the rebound into the net with a quick shot.

The Red Wings scored a power play goal of their own early in the second period to regain the lead. Again, the goal came through Holmstrom’s hard work. Jason Woolley took a shot from the left point. Holmstrom was able to deflect the puck in from in front of the net, even though Darryl Sydor was trying to shove him out of the way.

The Stars scored a controversial goal a few minutes later to even the game. Video replay later showed that an icing call should have been made, as Lidstrom touched the puck before the Dallas player did, but the linesman didn’t see it and waved off the call. That led directly to Niko Kapanen’s shot which Brenden Morrow tipped in for the equalizer.

The third period was intense on both sides. Play went repeatedly end to end, with neither team able to get more than one shot away before the defensemen or the goalies pounced on the rebounds. The overtime went just the same way. The Red Wings had a good chance to make the win when Scott Young was sent out for high sticking with just 2:21 left in overtime. They did set up some good chances, but then Brendan Shanahan was penalized for holding the stick, which gave the teams 1:01 of 3-on-3 play, followed by 20 seconds of Dallas power play time to close the game and the regular season series.

The final count of shots on net was 29-28 in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings next game will be at home on New Year’s Eve against the St. Louis Blues.

Holmstrom’s goals were his 8th and 9th of the season. Last season, he scored only 8 total…. Coach Dave Lewis was full of praise for his fourth line of Holmstrom, Avery, and Devereaux. “They played a very good game again,” he said after yesterday’s win over Nashville. “They’re maximizing their minutes and contributing goals.”…. The point gained from the tie with the Stars gives the Red Wings a total of 50 points and puts them in sole possession of first place in the NHL standings.

Legace, Cujo Lead Wings Over Predators

History seemed to repeat itself for Manny Legace. Last season, he was crashed into and injured in Nashville, in the middle of a well-played game, and the same thing happened to him tonight. Curtis Joseph came in for him and continued the excellent goaltending. At the other end of the ice, Tomas Vokoun and Jan Lasak split the netminding duties less skillfully, and the Red Wings took a 4-2 win over the Predators.

Kris Draper opened the scoring for Detroit 6:02 into the game. Brendan Shanahan took a shot from the left side which went wide and hit the back boards. The puck bounced right out to Draper on the right side of the net, and Draper took just a second to settle it before putting it high past Tomas Vokoun.

The Red Wings got a four minute power play to work with to try and open up their lead when Adam Hall was given a double minor for high-sticking, but Nashville’s penalty kill was efficient enough that the Wings never got a real chance to set up. In fact, Manny Legace had to be sharp to stop David Legwand on a breakaway shot.

The Predators had a great chance of their own when they wound up with just over a minute of five-on-three power play with both Tomas Holmstrom and Chris Chelios in the box. Draper, Kirk Maltby, and Nicklas Lidstrom were the three chosen to defend the net, and they did an excellent job, blocking most of the shots before they could get through. Legace was easily able to handle the ones that did get to him.

Boyd Devereaux increased Detroit’s lead early in the second. Maxim Kuznetsov forced a turnover at Detroit’s blue line and sent the puck ahead to Sean Avery, who carried in to Nashville’s zone. He dropped the puck off for Devereaux, who made a quick wrist shot which deflected off the rear of Kimmo Timonen and past Vokoun.

When Avery faked out both Bill Houlder and Vokoun to score Detroit’s third goal just a few minutes later, that signaled the end of the game for Vokoun. Nashville sent in backup goalie Jan Lasak instead, for his first game this season. Lasak was tested quickly by the Wings, but his teammates got the puck to the other end of the ice. Legwand was pushed off the puck in front of the net, but no one bothered to pick up the puck. Andreas Johansson managed to get in, fake a low, left shot, and then put the puck high to Legace’s right.

The Predators got another shorthanded scoring chance on another four minute penalty, but this one didn’t end so well as the last one. Scott Hartnell got out on a breakaway, but he forgot to stop at the other end and crashed into Legace, kneeing him in the helmet. Legace had to be helped off the ice for examination, and Curtis Joseph came in to take his place.

The Wings used the rest of that four minute power play to score. Lidstrom sent the puck towards the net from the blue line. Brett Hull took a shot at the puck and it deflected high above the net and players. As the puck came back down, Sergei Fedorov slapped it out of the air and into an empty corner of Lasak’s net.

Hartnell scored the Predators’ second goal midway through the third period, on a very similar play to the one he attempted against Legace. His teammates won a faceoff just outside the Detroit blue line, and got the puck back far enough to spring Hartnell. He crashed the net again, this time getting the puck in before he knocked the goalie down. Chelios took exception to Hartnell’s tendency to bulldoze goaltenders (once might be an accident, but twice in one game?), and both of them served time for roughing each other up twice before the end of the game. Both times, Chelios received double minors while Hartnell received only the single roughing calls.

The final count of shots on net was 35-23 in favor of Nashville. The Red Wings will play their next game tomorrow night in Dallas against the Stars for their fourth meeting of the season. The previous three have all ended in ties.

Nick Lidstrom‘s assist on Sergei Fedorov’s goal was the 500th of his NHL career… Team doctors reported that Manny Legace was more dazed and shaken up than anything else after being run over by Scott Hartnell. They plan to run more tests, but they feel he should be fine.

More of the Same Against Columbus

For once, a Red Wings game against the Columbus Blue Jackets was not decided by only one goal. The teams were feisty again, and the goaltending was excellent again, but this one ended as a 4-2 Wings victory.

Tomas Holmstrom opened the scoring in the early going, just 2:50 into the first period. Boyd Devereaux took a shot off of Patrick Boileau’s pass. It rebounded off the blocker of Marc Denis, and Holmstrom was able to tap it past Denis while falling.

Mike Sillinger scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game 8:49 into the period. He broke free on a two-on-one rush. Henrik Zetterberg was able to get in between and take away the possibility of a passing play, but Sillinger pulled Curtis Joseph to the left just enough to give himself space on the right side to put the puck in the net.

Holmstrom took advantage of a bad clearing attempt by the Blue Jackets to regain the lead for Detroit just a few minutes later. The Columbus defenseman poke checked the puck away from Nicklas Lidstrom, but it didn’t pass the blue line. Holmstrom was the last Detroit player back, and he was able to get the puck, fake out Denis, and bang the puck into the net.

Jason Woolley scored the eventual game winning goal late in the first. Brett Hull set up a centering pass from the left boards, and Woolley sneaked in to slap the puck past Denis from the high slot.

There was no scoring in the second period, but there was a fair bit of hitting. Sean Avery seemed to be the preferred target of the Blue Jackets, and he of course returned the hits in kind.

Columbus scored again early in the third. Max Kuznetsov had trouble handling a pass at his own blue line, and Geoff Sanderson and Sillinger got in with the puck onside. Sillinger passed to Sanderson, then got the puck back, and put it in past Joseph.

The Blue Jackets tried to use their momentum from that goal to come back and tie the game, but the Red Wings really shut down defensively after that, allowing only four shots on net through the whole period. Columbus made their final bid for a tied game in the last minute when they pulled Denis to send in the extra skater, but they weren’t able to get enough control of the puck to get a scoring chance. Brett Hull got the puck just to the Columbus side of center, and even though he was being hooked by Derrick Walser, he made a good backhand shot which sailed down the ice and into the empty net to put the game away.

The final count of shots on net was 34-26 in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings play their next game on Saturday night, when they travel to Nashville to face the Predators.

Patrick Boileau’s assist on Tomas Holmstrom’s first goal was the first of his NHL career…. Brett Hull’s goal moved him within eight of becoming only the sixth player in league history to score 700 career goals.

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