The Real Cujo Returns in Shutout of Columbus

Curtis Joseph made his return to the net against the Columbus Blue Jackets after sitting out two games, and he was more than ready to go. “It’s been a week; it feels like it’s been three weeks,” he told reporters. Whether it was the rest or the determination not to be pulled again, or a combination thereof, Joseph looked like his old, all-star self in net, stopping 33 good shots and letting the Red Wings take a 1-0 win.

It was a very different game from the 6-4 end the Red Wings and Blue Jackets played to just ten nights ago. This time, both teams worked hard to create scoring chances and outwork each others’ defense. Columbus looked like a team that should be higher in the standings than it is (they have 29 points for fourth place in the Central Division), and the Red Wings responded to their opponents’ enthusiasm with hard play of their own. Joseph and Columbus goalie Marc Denis were both phenomenal, turning aside scoring chances with seeming ease.

Sean Avery, Boyd Devereaux, and Tomas Holmstrom had an excellent game together. Their line did not score, but they did a great job of getting scoring chances and wreaking havoc among the Columbus defenders every time they were out on the ice. Maxim Kuznetsov, paired with Chris Chelios, made himself noticed with solid defensive play for most of the game.

Luc Robitaille “almost” scored a power play goal early in the second period. The puck was under the goaltender’s leg pads, but the referee did not call it a goal, no official deemed it worthy of review, and play continued. Later enhanced video replay showed that the puck had actually crossed the goal line, but by then it was too late to go back and allow the goal.

Avery ended the second period with a fight with Duvie Westcott. Westcott was given a game misconduct and thrown out of the game because he didn’t have his jersey strapped down properly, which gave him an unfair fighting advantage.

Kris Draper finally got the Red Wings on the board with only 4:27 left to play in the second period. Brendan Shanahan got the puck free along the left boards, then turned fired it at Denis while skating back towards the blue line. Denis bobbled the save, and Draper was in just the right place to slap the rebound into the net for his fourth goal of the season.

The Blue Jackets came on even stronger then. Joseph continued to come up huge, stopping two hard shots by Geoff Sanderson and keeping the lead for Detroit. Columbus got a break with 33 seconds left. Draper was sent to the box for obstruction holding, and the Blue Jackets pulled Denis for another skater and a 6-on-4 advantage. The Red Wings, however, kept control of the puck and didn’t even let the Blue Jackets get another shot on net with their manpower advantage.

Final shots on net were 33-28 in favor of Columbus. These two teams will meet again on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena to finish out their home-and-home series.

Brendan Shanahan’s assist extended his point streak to six games…. Columbus’s Andrew Cassels left the game after the second period because of a hyperextended elbow…. Pavel Datsyuk skated before the team practice yesterday with a brace on his knee. The team expects him to return sometime in mid-January…. Steve Yzerman also skated, and took part in three-on-three practice scrimmages. Coach Dave Lewis said that Yzerman looked the best he had since his knee surgery.

Third Time a Charm for Wings in OT

The Detroit Red Wings tied the Edmonton Oilers, 1-1, ater overtime last Friday in Edmonton. The Wings then fell to the Oilers, 5-4, in sudden-death at Joe Louis Arena on Monday. Wednesday night the third time was the charm for the Wings as Kris Draper scored just 1:55 into the extra period to give Detroit a 3-2 win over New Jersey.

Draper had stolen the puck as the Devils attempted to clear the zone. Kirk Maltby carried in and took a shot at New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur and Draper streaked in to pick up the rebound and flip it over the sprawling Brodeur and into the open net.

The goal came shortly after New Jersey through they had won the game. As New Jersey carried the puck into the Red Wings’ zone, a shot was deflected to Devils forward John Madden, who knocked the puck in with his skate. Upon review, the replay official determined that the puck was kicked in and the goal was disallowed.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring in the first period with Dmitri Bykov‘s first career NHL goal. Sean Avery won a faceoff in the New Jersey zone back to Bykov, who ripped a shot past Brodeur to put the Wings up, 1-0, at 8:59 of the first period.

The Devils tied things up less than a minute later. Turner Stevenson punched a shot past Detroit goaltender Curtis Joseph at 9:52, evening the scoring at one goal apiece.

New Jersey took the lead early in the second period, when Jeff Friesen clanged a shot from the slot off the left post and into the back of the net at the 1:58 mark. Igor Larionov was in the penalty box serving an obstruction penalty at the time.

Detroit rallied with a blast from Brett Hull while skating four-on-three. With the Wings’ Maxim Kuznetsov and the Devils’ Mike Danton in the box for roughing, along with New Jersey’s Colin White who was serving a slashing penalty, Hull fired a shot past Brodeur with 6:17 remaining in regulation time.

Joseph made twenty-five saves on twenty-seven shots in net for Detroit. Brodeur stopped twenty-two of the twenty-five shots he faced between the pipes for New Jersey.

The Red Wings are back in action on Friday night as they travel to Carolina for a Stanley Cup Finals rematch with the Hurricanes.

Wings Unfortunate on Defense in Loss to Sens

A poor defensive effort against a team desperate for their first victory in five games led the Red Wings to a 5-2 loss against the Ottawa Senators.

The game started well enough for Detroit. An early Ottawa penalty to Peter Schaefer for goaltender interference against Curtis Joseph led to the first goal of the game. Chris Chelios made a surprising deke around an Ottawa player along the right boards and got the puck back to Igor Larionov at the blue line. Larionov passed across to Brett Hull at the left faceoff circle, and Hull fired a hard one-time shot that flew into the net past goaltender Patrick Lalime.

A defensive lapse allowed the Senators to tie the game less than a minute later. Wade Redden got the puck to Magnus Arvedson in the left corner of the Detroit zone. No one covered Arvedson, and he was able to skate out to the front of the net, shoot the puck at Joseph, get his own rebound, and put the puck in for the goal.

Ottawa took the lead early in the second period. Brad Smyth managed to angle around Jiri Fischer and get the shot away while losing his balance. Joseph was slow to drop, and the puck slid into the net under his blocker.

Detroit made their best offensive effort of the game in the second period, but Lalime made several very strong stops to keep the Senators in front. Shaun Van Allen increased the lead towards the end of the period. Petr Schastlivy stole the puck from Max Kuznetsov by sneaking up behind him and pulling the puck back between his skates. The puck flipped over to Van Allen in front of the net, and Joseph didn’t have much of a chance to stop the shot.

The Red Wings had their best chance to get back into the game midway through the third period. Hull drew three Senators towards him before threading a pass to the net so Henrik Zetterberg could tip it in for a shorthanded goal. Unfortunately, Ottawa scored on that power play just seconds later. Schastlivy got the puck near the net, and just kept banging away at it until it went in.

Todd White put the game away for the Senators by flipping the puck into the net after a bad turnover by Sergei Fedorov in the Red Wings’ zone.

The Senators’ tight defense allowed the Red Wings to get only twenty-two shots against Lalime. The Red Wings allowed the Senators to get thirty-four shots against Joseph.

The Red Wings will travel home after tonight’s game to face the Dallas Stars on Sunday evening at Joe Louis Arena.

Wings Hand Wild First Loss of Season Before Record Crowd

19,344 people, the largest crowd ever to watch a hockey game in the state of Minnesota, gathered at the Xcel Energy Center to watch the Minnesota Wild attempt to defend their season-long unbeaten streak against the Detroit Red Wings. The Wild fans went home disappointed, because the Red Wings had other ideas, eventually gaining a 5-3 victory.

Minnesota opened the scoring early in the first period. Wes Walz took advantage of a defensive mistake by rookie Dmitri Bykov and got the puck away on a two-on-two rush. Sergei Fedorov dropped to the ice to take away the passing lane, but Walz instead deked around Fedorov and put the puck into the net through Curtis Joseph‘s five-hole.

The Wild increased their lead about six minutes later. Antti Laaksonen and Bill Muckalt got away another two-on-two rush against Bykov and Nick Lidstrom, Laaksonen passed across to Muckalt, and Muckalt’s hard shot found its way past Joseph.

Things seemed to go from bad to worse for the Red Wings when Kirk Maltby took a penalty for roughing. The penalty killing unit did its work well, and sent the puck down to the Wild’s end of the ice. Nick Schultz went to retrieve it, but he was forced to make a pass without looking with Henrik Zetterberg there to pressure him. To Schultz’s dismay, the errant pass landed right on the stick of Brett Hull, and Hull’s powerful one-time shot went right through goalie Dwayne Roloson.

The Wings surged back then, taking control of the game and cutting down the Wild’s chances to score. Bykov gained his first NHL assist by giving the puck to Kris Draper so that Draper could set up a one-time goal by Darren McCarty, and Lidstrom scored a power play goal to put Detroit into the lead. Fedorov passed along the blue line to Lidstrom at the left point, and Lidstrom’s shot deflected off the stick of Laaksonen and into the net.

Laaksonen tied the game back up early in the second period, on another two-on-two rush. Jiri Fischer tried to take the puck away from Laaksonen, but Laaksonen got the shot away first, and it went into the net high past Joseph’s catching glove.

McCarty put the Wings back in the lead to stay before too long. McCarty pushed to the front of the net. Draper threw the puck at the net from the right half-boards, and McCarty knocked it out of the air to bounce it off Roloson’s helmet and into the net.

Detroit settled the game down in the third period, holding the Wild to only four shots against Joseph. Boyd Devereaux had a good breakaway scoring chance, and the Grind Line continued its steady pressure in the Wild’s zone, but the Wings were careful not to take any unnecessary chances with only a one-goal lead. The Wild did not pull their goaltender for an extra attacker in the final minute, even though they had two faceoffs in Detroit’s zone, but Zetterberg scored into a nearly empty net anyway. Fedorov got the puck away from Minnesota’s attack and took off with it, Zetterberg keeping up on his left. Fedorov made the pass, and Zetterberg tried to pass it back, since Roloson came across to challenge Zetterberg’s shot, but the pass never got through to Fedorov. Instead, the puck hit the skate blade of Filip Kuba and slid into the net to guarantee the Red Wings’ victory with 25 seconds left in the game.

Shots on net were thirty-seven to twenty-two in favor of Detroit. The Red Wings scored on one of their three power plays, bringing their power play to 30% for the season. Detroit’s next game will be at home against the Calgary Flames on Monday night.

Detroit’s three shorthanded goals leads the NHL….Jesse Wallin made his season debut, while Max Kuznetsov sat this game out. Wallin played a responsible game, paired with Mathieu Dandenault for most of his time on the ice, and ended with a rating of +1.

Habs Spoil the Home Opener

Before the game, the 2001-2002 Stanley Cup Championship banner was raised to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena with all due ceremony. Scotty Bowman, Dominik Hasek, Steve Duchesne, and Vladimir Konstantinov all were on hand to salute the Stanley Cup one last time before it was taken back to its home in Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame. It was one last chance for fans, players, coaches, and staff to revel in last season’s glorious ending before settling down to the regular season grind and hopeful road to the 2003 playoffs.

Detroit’s Original Six rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, were on hand to be the first home opponent of the young season. The Canadiens got a slow start in the game, but their excellent goaltending bought them the time they needed to find their rhythm, and they wound up beating the Red Wings by a score of 3-2.

The Red Wings got a power play early in the game, when Richard Zednik was sent out for hooking, and that was all they needed to jump out to an early lead. Tomas Holmstrom brought the puck into the zone and made a short pass to Henrik Zetterberg on the left side. Zetterberg headed for the goal, drawing the defensemen to himself. Meanwhile, Brendan Shanahan had quietly maneuvered in behind the two defensemen. Zetterberg passed across the goal crease, and Shanahan’s tap-in goal caught all of the Canadiens by surprise, including goaltender Jeff Hackett.

The bigger surprise for both teams was that Detroit only had a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period. They applied steady offensive pressure to a Montreal team who looked to be not entirely prepared defensively. Perhaps Hackett sensed a chance at becoming the Canadiens’ starting goalie if last year’s star Jose Theodore is unable to break out of his slump soon; the winner of last year’s Hart and Vezina Trophies has allowed twelve goals in Montreal’s past two games. Hackett came up huge for his team, stopping eleven shots in the first period alone.

The Canadiens regained their rhythm in the second period, their confidence aided by scoring a goal in the early going. Andreas Dackell was able to backhand the rebound into the net after Joe Juneau’s shot just barely trickled free from Curtis Joseph‘s catching glove. The Red Wings continued to put the puck on net at every opportunity, but Hackett remained solid, and the game was tied after two periods.

The Red Wings lost their lead a few minutes into the third period. Zednik and Saku Koivu got away on a two on one rush against Dimitri Bykov, with defensive partner Max Kuznetsov held up in the neutral zone. Bykov tried to take the passing lane away, while Pavel Datsyuk tried at top speed to get to Koivu and take him out of the play, but the pass was released and Koivu sent the shot into the net just as Datsyuk got him enough off balance to send them both sliding into the end boards.

Danny Markov scored what would be Montreal’s eventual game-winner just about midway through the period. The teams were four-on-four, resulting from overlapping penalties to Kirk Maltby and Joe Juneau. Yanic Perreault shot the puck towards the Detroit net. The puck deflected off the stick of Nick Lidstrom, but with Joseph out of the net a little way to challenge Perreault’s shot, Markov was able to get the deflection and put it in behind Joseph before Luc Robitaille was able to get himself properly positioned to cover Markov.

Datsyuk brought the Wings back within one with just over six minutes left to play. Robitaille got the puck from a left side scrum and centered it to Datsyuk, who let fly a fast, hard, one-time shot that Hackett didn’t even see until it was behind him and the red goal light was already on.

The Red Wings went on the attack then. Most of their third period shots on net came in these last few minutes. Hackett was ready. Even when Detroit pulled Joseph to send in the extra attacker, Hackett kept the Canadiens in the lead, stopping shots by Holmstrom, Brett Hull, and Sergei Fedorov in quick succession. Eventually time ran down, and the banner celebrating last year’s glory looked down over the reminder that this season still has many, many games left to go.

Shots on net were thirty-two to fourteen in favor of the Red Wings.

The Wings’ next game will be on the road; they travel to Minneapolis to face the as-yet unbeaten Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

Boyd Devereaux returned to the lineup tonight. His broken thumb healed more quickly than expected, and his “Two Kids and an Old Goat” line with Pavel Datsyuk and Brett Hull was reunited. Stacy Roest was moved to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room for Devereaux in the lineup.

Off and Running

If it’s late night at home in Detroit, if it’s October, if the Wings are scoring on penalty kills as easily as on power plays, it must be Game One of the regular season, and we must be in San Jose. In a game strangely reminiscent of last year’s season opener in San Jose, the Red Wings got Dave Lewis off to a good start in his tenure as head coach with a 6-3 victory over the Sharks.

The Red Wings could have gotten into penalty trouble in the first period, as the Sharks were awarded four consecutive power plays, including a high-sticking double minor to Max Kuznetsov. Fortunately for Detroit, Kirk Maltby was on the penalty kill. Maltby scored two shorthanded goals on the Sharks’ first two power plays. His first resulted from a badly placed pass from Jeff Jillson to Mike Rathje in the San Jose zone. Maltby intercepted the puck, skated towards the net, and put the puck high over goalie Mikka Kiprusoff.

Maltby’s second shorthanded goal came from an interception by Kris Draper in the Red Wings’ zone. Draper got the puck and took off up the right wing side, with Maltby keeping up on the left and only one San Jose defenseman to get in the way. Draper passed across to Maltby. Maltby looked as if he would pass back, but instead drew the defender and the goalie towards him before putting the puck into the net again.

The Sharks got on the board with a goal by Vincent Damphousse while they were at five-on-three. With Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan both in the box, the three skaters and Curtis Joseph did well for most of their time, but just before the five-on-three would have ended, Damphousse picked up a rebound of a Mike Ricci shot and fired a quick shot which slid between Joseph’s leg pads.

Tomas Holmstrom gave the Wings their own power play goal before the period was over. Pavel Datsyuk won the draw in the Sharks’ zone, Nick Lidstrom received the pass and took a shot from the blue line, and Holmstrom, at the front of the net as usual, tipped the puck to redirect it past Kiprusoff.

The scoring continued in the second period, although the penalties let up. Fedorov got away on a one-on-one, used the Sharks’ defenseman as a screen, and zinged a wrist shot between the skater’s legs and right through Kiprusoff, just 30 seconds into the period. Damphousse brought San Jose back within two points ten minutes later by being in exactly the right place to receive Owen Nolan’s cross-crease pass and slap it past Joseph before the goaltender could slide back across the net. Fedorov was allowed to break loose on another one-on-one, this time against Rathje. The shot deflected off Rathje’s stick, fluttered high into the air, and dropped right over Kiprusoff’s shoulder. Finally, Lidstrom scored his second goal on a three-on-one rush. He picked up the rebound from his first shot and tapped it past Kiprusoff.

The Sharks started the third period on a power play, from an interference call on Jiri Fischer from the end of the second period, and with a new goalie in net. Rookie backup Vesa Toskala came in to replace the beleaguered Kiprusoff. Rathje scored on a one-time shot from a pass by Damphousse almost right away, but the Sharks were unable to follow up the momentum from their third goal, and the game ended 6-3. Toskala was tested by the Wings, most notably by Datsyuk and by Brett Hull, but he held up to the challenge and stopped all twelve of the shots he faced in the period.

The Red Wings will continue their West Coast road trip by heading further south to face the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

The usual starting goalie for the Sharks, Evgeni Nabokov, did not play tonight because he has not yet signed a contract for this season…. The Red Wings extended their winning streak in season openers to four seasons, currently the longest streak in the NHL.

Cup Begins European Tour

In celebration of the Red Wings’ 2002 Stanley Cup Championship, the famed trophy began it’s tour of Europe on Sunday when Pavel Datsyuk took it to the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, his hometown.

Datsyuk brought the Cup to Russia to encourage the Russian youth to take up hockey.

“Russian hockey should be helped, and as many children as possible should go in for sports so that they do not roam about in the streets,” he said.

Datsyuk, along with fellow Russian Red Wings Igor Larionov and Maxim Kuznetsov brought the Stanley Cup to Moscow on Monday. It was scheduled to be displayed in the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Larionov was among the first players to bring the Cup to Russia following the Red Wings’ 1997 Stanley Cup Championship.

The Stanley Cup will next go to Sweden with defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and forward Tomas Holmstrom before continuing on to the Czech Republic with now-retired netminder Dominik Hasek.

Dunham Spoils the Fun

On most counts, the Red Wings outplayed the Nashville Predators on Monday night, but Nashville goalie Mike Dunham outdid himself against the Wings’ offense, and the two teams skated to a 3-3 tie.

Nashville played a flat game in the first period, and the Red Wings seemed to be still buoyed by the leftover momentum from Saturday’s defeat of the Avalanche. Detroit outshot the Predators fifteen to five in the first.

The Red Wings got their first goal of the night on their first power play of the night, during an interference penalty to Vladimir Orzog. Nick Lidstrom one-timed Brett Hull‘s pass from the blue line, and goaltender Mike Dunham let the rebound slip up center. Sergei Fedorov was able to get to it before any Nashville defenders could, and he slapped it into the net between Dunham’s legs.

The Predators came back from the first intermission playing like a different team. They managed to block up the neutral zone and keep the Red Wings from setting up many quality scoring chances. Nashville scored a power play goal of their own to even up the game during an interference call to Max Kuznetsov. Manny Legace blocked the original shot, and Jiri Fischer tried to clear the rebound away, but the puck bounced off of Denis Arkhipov and into the net.

The Red Wings kept on and on firing shots on net, but Dunham demonstrated why he was named to the US Olympic team, and the game remained tied at one.

Nashville scored again to take the lead with less than two minutes left in the period. Scott Hartnell sent a backhand pass across to Karlis Skrastins, who slid the puck beneath Legace and into the net.

Detroit didn’t have to go to the intermission trailing. Kris Draper, Tomas Holmstrom, and Jason Williams took off on a three-on-one. Draper gained the zone and passed to Holmstrom at the right wing side, who sent the puck to Williams at center. Williams waited just long enough for Dunham to drop down low before putting the puck into the top of the net.

A defensive lapse by the Red Wings early in the third gave Nashville the lead again. Nashville had six skaters in Detroit’s end, due to a delayed penalty call, and Hartnell managed to get to the front of the net with no one to cover him. Jukka Hentinen sent the pass across, and Hartnell flipped it into the net.

With a one-goal lead, the Predators shut down and played defensively for the rest of the game. They lined up across their zone and sent only one forechecker up on the attack, causing Detroit to have to dump the puck into the zone and chase after it, rather than carry it in as they prefer to do. Dunham continued to make the necessary saves.

Legace made some strong saves to keep his team within one, and the Red Wings finally tied up the game with just under two minutes to go. Brendan Shanahan fired hard from the left wing side, with Luc Robitaille going to the net. Robitaille partially blocked Dunham’s view, and Shanahan’s shot flew into the net just above Dunham’s right shoulder.

Neither team was able to score in the overtime period. The best chance came to Mathieu Dandenault, who put a shot towards an empty net while being dragged down to the ice. The puck rang off the far goalpost, and the game ended in a tie.

Legace stopped seventeen shots of the twenty he faced during the game. Dunham stopped thirty-five of the thirty-eight the Red Wings put on net. The Red Wings will play the Predators again on Thursday night at home.

Mac’s Back, With Irish Luck

Darren McCarty made his presence known in a big way, in his first game back from finger surgery, scoring the game-winning goal to put the Red Wings over the New York Rangers, 5-3 at Madison Square Garden.

The Red Wings started off strong in the first period, opening the scoring 6:43 into the game. The Rangers’ Theoren Fleury attempted to clear the puck out of his zone, but Sergei Fedorov knocked it down from midair, and Chris Chelios put it past goalie Mike Richter, off the post and into the net.

The Rangers came back less than a minute later. Petr Nedved carried the puck around the net and fired high, and Michal Grosek redirected it past Dominik Hasek with the tip of his stick.

New York used their momentum from Grosek’s goal to pressure the Wings and take the lead a few minutes later. Matthew Barnaby fired the original shot on Hasek, and Roman Lyashenko got the rebound into the net for his first goal of this season.

The Rangers took a string of penalties early in the second period, and the Red Wings were able to take advantage of this during a cross-checking penalty to Dave Karpa. Fedorov slid the puck along the blue line to Nick Lidstrom, who fired on net. Brett Hull, waiting in front of Richter, redirected the puck in midair and into the net.

Detroit regained the lead during four-on-four play resulting from offsetting slashing penalties to Sean Avery and Vladimir Malakhov. Chelios got the puck to Jiri Fischer at the left wing side. Fischer had plenty of room to maneuver, but took only two strides forward before firing a hard shot on net. Two strides were all he needed, as the puck went through Richter’s armpit and into the net.

The penalties began to go in New York’s favor then, and they were able to tie the game during a high-sticking double minor to Max Kuznetsov. Former Michigan State Spartan Mike York passed to Eric Lindros from behind the net, and Lindros fired on Hasek from a very sharp angle. The puck bounced off the stick of Fischer and into the net.

Both teams played in a more laid back style through the third period, each waiting for the other to make a mistake. New York finally slipped up near the end of the game. Fedorov won the faceoff in New York’s zone, and got the puck back to Lidstrom. Lidstrom fired, and Richter left a huge rebound for Darren McCarty to grab up and scoop into the net.

The Rangers pulled Richter for a sixth skater with just under a minute to play, but Brendan Shanahan got the puck out of the zone and up to speeding Fedorov, who ducked around a hard hit from Fleury and put the puck into the empty net.

Shots on net were thirty-five to twenty-six in Detroit’s favor. The Red Wings’ next game will be at home Tuesday night against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Steve Yzerman suffered a setback in his knee recovery, and plans to seek a second opinion from a favored doctor in Birmingham, Alabama. Team spokespeople say that the delay in Yzerman’s return to the lineup will be a week at most….. Point of interest: If the playoffs were to start today, the Red Wings would be facing their old rivals the Dallas Stars in the very first round.

Home Sweet Home

Igor Larionov led the team with four assists, and Nick Lidstrom, Jason Williams, and Chris Chelios all contributed goals to give the Red Wings a 4-3 overtime victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Joe Louis Arena.

Like a shadow of Sunday’s game against Buffalo, the Red Wings had to start out by killing off a penalty. This time, it was a four minute double minor to Igor Larionov for high sticking. And this time, the Detroit penalty-killers kept control of the puck and kept Edmonton out of the net for the full four minutes.

The Red Wings looked sharp and ready to play, and spent most of the first period in Edmonton’s zone. When their first power play came along, from a tripping call on Steve Staios, they were ready. Larionov won the faceoff and got the puck back to Freddy Olausson, who passed along the blue line to Nick Lidstrom at the right point. Lidstrom fired a hard shot which dipped down and between the leg pads of goaltender Jussi Markkanen, exactly five seconds after the power play began.

Edmonton applied more offensive pressure in the second period, testing Dominik Hasek with twelve shots on net. Hasek made the saves, however, and Lidstrom increased the Red Wings’ lead, again on the power play. Georges Laraque was in the box for holding, and Luc Robitaille passed the puck from behind the net to Larionov at the right wing side. Larionov passed across to Lidstrom, coming up deep on the left side, and Lidstrom put a perfectly aimed wrist shot into Markkanen’s net.

The Oilers finally found some luck in the third period. Marty Reasoner scored twice on power plays within the first five minutes- the first during a holding call on Chris Chelios and the second during an obstruction hooking call on Kris Draper, tying the game at two goals apiece.

Sean Avery sought to re-energize his team by winning a fight against Scott Ferguson, and Jason Williams put the Red Wings back into the lead. Robitaille again centered the puck from behind the net, and Williams skated around Rem Murray and slapped the puck past Markkanen.

The Red Wings tried to protect their lead with defensive play, but when the Oilers pulled their goalie for an extra skater with just over a minute to play, the protection was not enough. Mike Comrie, whose earlier goal was waved off after review because it was kicked into the net, carried the puck towards Hasek while having his stick tied up by Lidstrom. Just as Hasek came out to poke the puck away, Comrie got his stick free, and put just enough on the puck to lift it over Hasek and send the game to overtime.

Luck was with Detroit in the overtime period, as a slashing call to Ryan Smyth gave them two minutes of a four-on-three penalty. Larionov passed from the blue line to Chelios at the left wing side, and Chelios blasted a hard one-timer past Markkanen, for what was, surprisingly enough, his first ever overtime goal.

Shots on net were thirty-eight to thirty-one in the Oilers’ favor. Detroit was three for six on power plays. The Red Wings next game will be Saturday afternoon, when they will travel to Boston to face the Bruins.

Team officials expect that Darren McCarty will be recovered from his finger injury by this weekend and Steve Yzerman will be recovered from his knee injury by next week. Max Kuznetsov returned to the lineup for the first time since December. This game was Hasek’s thirty-eighth win of the season, which is a new personal best record for him.