Tatar Leads Red Wings to Preseason Win over Blackhawks

Tomas Tatar scored three goals for the Red Wings, leading Detroit to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in their exhibition home opener. The win came one night after Detroit fell to the Blackhawks in overtime in Chicago

Tatar opened the game’s scoring with 8:30 left in the first period, working a quick give-and-go with former Blackhawk Brad Richards before snapping a shot from the slot past Chicago goalie Corey Crawford.

With 5:31 left in the second, Andrew Shaw tied things up, snapping a shot from the left faceoff dot through a screen by Bryan Bickell on a Chicago power play and beating Detroit netminder Jared Coreau, who replaced starter Petr Mrazek midway through the game.

Just 1:36 later, Justin Abdelkader took a long feed from Niklas Kronwall to break in all alone and beat Michael Leighton for a power play goal, restoring the Detroit lead.

Tatar’s second made it 3-1 at 4:24 of the third period, as he banged home a loose puck in the crease after Richards threw it on net.

With 1:34 remaining, Tatar completed the hat trick with an empty net goal.

Each team finished the night with a power play goal. Chicago had six tries with the extra attacker while Detroit had four.

Mrazek stopped all 16 shots he faced in net for the Red Wings in 29:23 of play. Coreau made 14 stops on 15 shots over the remainder of the game. Crawford stopped seven of eight shots in 30:35 while Leighton went 14-for-16 to close things out.

The Red Wings will play their third game in as many nights tomorrow when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Thoughts on “Rock Out the Lockout”

I’m not going to try to do a blow-by-blow recap of Team White/Red’s 17-11 win over Team Black in the “Rock Out the Lockout” charity hockey game at Windsor’s WFCU Centre on Saturday night. Too many goals and I wasn’t keeping notes. I’m sure the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff will have something good to cover it.

You can’t take much away from a charity All-Star game, but since it’s the first chance to see some of the Red Wings on the ice since last April, I wanted to put some of my thoughts together.

Goalie Jimmy Howard looked pretty bad for Team Black. Yeah, the goalies aren’t going to look good in a game like this, but there were some softies that he was allowing that neither Jonas Gustavsson nor Michael Leighton were. Gustavsson’s lateral movement, in particular, looked really good.

Howard’s trouble might have been related to Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson not being in front of him. The Team White (previously advertised as Team Red) defense pair was very solid all night, breaking up a lot of the too-fancy net mouth passes. They also moved the puck up to their offense pretty well (which put pressure on Howard).

That said, Ian White was jumping up into the play early and often for Team Black. He was one of the first players to really let loose with a shot from the high slot on a night where I don’t think I single one-timer was taken. While he held back on the one-timers, he had several chances to take a big shot and didn’t back down from the opportunity.

Darren Helm‘s hands didn’t look any better than usual for Team Black. He had three chances in close that he couldn’t finish on. Shamless bragging: I won Helm’s stick in the silent auction, so maybe forcing him to get a new one will fix all his problems.

Similarly, Team White’s Mikael Samuelsson had at least three chances where he completely missed the net, including his shootout attempt. Some things never change, it would seem.

Some things do change. Both Justin Abdelkader and Cory Emmerton had a goal and an assist for Team White and Team Black, respectively. Emmerton didn’t look like he had a broken finger with some nice passing and Abdelkader was all over the place early in the game.

Johan Franzen scored the game’s opening goal for Team White on a nice chance from the slot but was pretty quiet overall.

Todd Bertuzzi played the Chris Chelios role, cherry-picking and generally looking like he was out to have fun more than worry about how he was playing. He collided with Kronwall in the first period and went straight to the bench, later calling it a Kronwalling.

Overall, the player who stood out to me wasn’t Kevin Westgarth of the Los Angeles Kings, who had a four-goal night for Team White. It was unrestricted free agent Sergei Samsonov, who seemed to be all over the place all game. He played like there were scouts in the stands, even if it didn’t show up on the scoresheet.

Of course, the outcome of the game and the way people played doesn’t really matter. The players presented a check for $10,000 to Windsor-based childhood cancer foundation Sparkles From Above before the game and all of the still-to-be-determined proceeds from the night will also go to the charity. While we all want to see these players playing in “games that matter” it’s fantastic to see them come together for a game that doesn’t matter but has an effect that does.

Edit, 12/9 – 9:40 AM: I was interviewed about the game (as a fan, not as a blogger) by one of the area TV stations, but I didn’t catch which one. If anyone sees the interview, let me know.

NHLPA Charity Game Rosters Announced

Per the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff, rosters for Saturday’s “Rock Out the Lockout” NHLPA charity game in Windsor have been announced.

Team Red
Justin Abdelkader, #8 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Clarkson, #23 (New Jersey Devils)
Johan Franzen, #93 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Legwand, #11 (Nashville Predators)
Jamal Mayers, #22 (Chicago Blackhawks)
Steve Ott, #29 (Buffalo Sabres)
Mikael Samuelsson, #37 (Detroit Red Wings)
Drew Stafford, #21 (Buffalo Sabres)
Thomas Vanek, #26 (Buffalo Sabres)
Kyle Wellwood, #13 (Winnipeg Jets)
Kevin Westgarth, #19 (Los Angeles Kings)

Jonathan Ericsson, #52 (Detroit Red Wings)
Niklas Kronwall, #55 (Detroit Red Wings)
Jordan Leopold, #3 (Buffalo Sabres)
Nick Schultz, #55 (Edmonton Oilers)
James Wisniewski, #21 (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Jonas Gustavsson, #50 (Detroit Red Wings)
Michael Leighton, #49 (Philadelphia Flyers)

Team Black
Todd Bertuzzi, #44 (Detroit Red Wings)
Adam Burish, #37 (San Jose Sharks)
Dan Cleary, #11 (Detroit Red Wings)
Matt Ellis, #37 (Buffalo Sabres)
Cory Emmerton, #48 (Detroit Red Wings)
Darren Helm, #43 (Detroit Red Wings)
Shawn Horcoff, #10 (Edmonton Oilers)
Matt Martin, #17 (New York Islanders)
Brenden Morrow, #10 (Dallas Stars)
James Neal, #18 (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Sergei Samsonov, #14

Trevor Daley, #6 (Dallas Stars)
Mike Komisarek, #8 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
John-Michael Liles, #24 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Jeff Petry, #58 (Edmonton Oilers)
Ian White, #18 (Detroit Red Wings)
Ryan Wilson, #44 (Colorado Avalanche)

Jimmy Howard, #35 (Detroit Red Wings)

All players will be available for a free autograph session in the WFCU Centre concourse from 4:45 – 5:30 PM. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM.

Update, 12/8 – 10:10 AM: Event co-organizer Steve Ott tweeted a full roster including jersey numbers this morning. There will be overlapping numbers in some cases. On Team Red, Drew Stafford and James Wisniewski will wear #21 while Niklas Kronwall and Nick Schultz will wear #55. For Team Black, Todd Bertuzzi and Ryan Wilson will both wear #44, Shawn Horcoff and Brendon Morrow will both wear #10, and James Neal and Ian White will both wear #18.

Wings Fall to ‘Hawks in OT

Chicago’s Mark Bell slid a slow shot past Detroit goaltender Curtis Joseph just 15 seconds into overtime Thursday night to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 win over the Red Wings.

Bell broke in on Joseph, fighting off a check from Jason Woolley. As Joseph moved to poke check the puck away, Bell slid it past the Detroit netminder and into the net. Bell had picked up the puck at the Detroit blue line on a pass from Scott Nichol, who had carried the puck to center ice after Steve Poapst stuck his leg out and tripped up Pavel Datsyuk in the Chicago zone to steal the puck.

Chicago took an early lead in the game on almost identical goals by Tyler Arnason and Igor Radulov. At the 3:47 mark of the first period, Arnason deflected a Brett McLean pass over Joseph’s shoulder from just outside the crease. With four minutes remaining in the period, Radulov did the same with a pass from Igor Korolev.

Detroit pulled to within one on a goal from Kris Draper in the second period. With 4:03 left in the second, Draper wrapped around the Chicago net and threw a shot into the crease. The shot hit Blackhawks’ netminder Michael Leighton and deflected into the net.

At 4:51 of the third period, Detroit tied the game at two. Pavel Datsyuk fought off Poapst to put a shot on Leighton. He then picked up his own rebound a slid a shot to the side of the Chicago goalie for his 15th goal of the season.

Chicago regained the lead when Tuomo Ruutu sent a screened wrist shot through Joseph’s five-hole with only 6:31 remaining in regulation.

With the Red Wings’ net empty, Brendan Shanahan sent a one-timer past Leighton’s stick to tie the game with 1:08 remaining and force overtime.

Detroit was held scoreless on three powerplay opportunities and did not allow a goal any of the five times Chicago had an extra skater. Joseph ended the game with 22 saves on 26 shots in net for the Red Wings while Leighton stopped 30 of 33 shots between the pipes for the Blackhawks.

Detroit will next be in action on Saturday night when they visit the Washington Capitals.

Staying the Course

This time, the lead held up. This time, the defensive plays worked all game. This time, the Red Wings played a full game and made it all the way to the happy ending””- a 3-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dominik Hasek played a solid game in his first start after recovering from a groin injury. He made an excellent save against Scott Nichol on a shorthanded breakaway early in the game to keep the Blackhawks from jumping out to an early lead.

With the exception of that one breakaway, the Red Wings played a very careful, steady style through the first period. They did set up some good scoring opportunities against goalie Michael Leighton, but they were careful not to get out of their defensive position.

Pavel Datsyuk opened the scoring with a power play goal early in the second period. Steve McCarthy had been called for cross checking just as the first period ended. The Chicago penalty killers cleared the puck, but Brett Hull brought it back to center. He sent it over to Mathieu Schneider, who got it to Datsyuk. The speedy young center got into the Chicago zone ahead of all the defending players, fooled Leighton, and put the puck high into the net.

The Red Wings killed off three straight penalties after Datsyuk’s goal before Ray Whitney increased the lead with 1:50 left in the period. Kris Draper forced a turnover at center ice, and he and Whitney headed into the offensive zone on a two-on-one rush against Steve Poapst. Poapst was unable to take away the passing lane, so Draper got the puck across the crease for Whitney to flip it into the net.

Brendan Shanahan capped off the scoring with just eleven seconds left in the second period. Boyd Devereaux made a good play to cause the Blackhawks to give up the puck in their own zone. Devereaux sent the puck to Chris Chelios at the right point. Chelios shot on net, and Shanahan put the rebound past Leighton from about two feet in front of the goal line on the left side.

The Red Wings protected their lead in the third period. They still applied some offensive pressure against Chicago, but they didn’t take any risks in doing so. Mostly, they kept the puck away from the Blackhawks so Chicago couldn’t set up any attempts at a comeback, or even a shutout spoiler.

Detroit outshot Chicago by a count of 31 to 21. The Red Wings will head out of town for another road trip after this, beginning against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

New acquisition Steve Thomas received his work visa and will join the team for the road trip…. Darren McCarty will be staying at home. He is still unable to play because of the back spasms caused by a crash into the boards in Saturday’s Nashville game…. This was Hasek’s 62nd career shutout…. This was also the first time the Blackhawks have lost in regulation play at the Joe since April of 1999.

Milestone Not Quite Enough To Win

Sergei Fedorov apparently doesn’t believe in taking a long time to score a milestone goal after scoring the one right before it. He scored the 400th goal of his career today, just two games after scoring his 398th and 399th, but that wasn’t enough to lift the Red Wings over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks took advantage of their opportunities to come out with a 4-3 overtime win, meaning that the Red Wings will finish second in the Western Conference and face the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs.

The Red Wings started the game with a lot of energy, and they opened the scoring. Jason Woolley made a pass across the slot to Kirk Maltby. Maltby faked a hard one-time shot from the left circle, but then carried the puck a few steps closer to the middle of the rink before shooting. Rookie goaltender Michael Leighton made the first save, but the rebound came right back to Maltby and he was able to put it into the net.

Luc Robitaille increased the Red Wings’ lead to 2-0 just 23 seconds later. Igor Larionov made a good pass from the right point up to Mathieu Dandenault near the goal line. Dandenault sent the puck across the goal crease, and Robitaille was able to slide it into the net beneath Leighton.

A strange bounce got the Blackhawks back into the game. Eric Daze made a pass from behind the net which bounced off Alexei Zhamnov before landing on the stick blade of Nathan Dempsey. Dempsey shot the puck on net. Daze had come back out front, and the puck hit the heel of his skate as it passed through. The puck deflected up and over the shoulder of Curtis Joseph.

The Blackhawks came on a lot more strongly in the second period, applying much offensive pressure in the Red Wings’ zone. Joseph made some excellent saves to hold the lead for his team.

The Blackhawks got even with a power play goal early in the third period. Steve Sullivan made a wraparound scoring attempt to Joseph’s right. Joseph stopped that one easily enough, but the rebound came out to Igor Radulov right in front of the goal crease. Radulov was able to flip the puck in to the empty side of the net.

Fedorov’s goal came with 8:15 left to play. The Red Wings were shorthanded due to a tripping penalty agaisnt Patrick Boileau, but Mathieu Schneider made a clearing pass that sent Fedorov flying up the ice on a full breakaway. Fedorov took a hard wrist shot which sailed into the net past Leighton’s goal stick.

The lead was shortlived, however. Daze scored another strange goal 1:14 later to tie the game back up. He took a shot which bounced off the goalpost, off the back of Joseph’s arm, and back into the net.

Kris Draper thought that he had regained the lead a few minutes later, but the video review showed that the puck had been kicked into the net, and the goal was disallowed.

The game went to overtime, and Tyler Arnason was able to score the game winning goal with 2:50 left, thus ending the regular season and sending the Red Wings home to get ready for the playoffs.

The final count of shots on net was 35 to 30 in favor of Detroit. The first round playoff schedule will be released by the NHL on Monday. The Red Wings’ first game could be either Wednesday or Thursday against the Mighty Ducks.

The First Round Matchups

Eastern Conference:
#1 Ottawa vs. #8 NY Islanders
#2 New Jersey vs. #7 Boston
#3 Tampa Bay vs. #6 Washington
#4 Philadelphia vs. #5 Toronto

Western Conference:
#1 Dallas vs. #8 Edmonton
#2 Detroit vs. #7 Anaheim
#3 Colorado vs. #6 Minnesota
#4 Vancouver vs. #5 St. Louis

Wings’ Slumps Snap in Overtime Win

An assist by Luc Robitaille ended his twelve game scoring drought and helped end the Red Wings’ nine game home winless streak against the Chicago Blackhawks with a 5-4 overtime win. The Red Wings had not beaten the Blackhawks at the Joe since April 2, 1999.

The first period went by scoreless, though it wasn’t due to a lack of effort by either team. Curtis Joseph and rookie goaltender Michael Leighton both came up huge for their respective teams. Leighton managed to stop Kirk Maltby on a point-blank shot just as the period was about to end.

Chicago came out with good pressure to start the second period, and they were able to capitalize on a disjointed, scrambling play. Andre Nikolishin passed the puck from behind the net, and Kyle Calder, just off the bench, was able to get to it and slide it underneath Joseph.

The Red Wings answered quickly, scoring their first of the night less than two minutes later. Sergei Fedorov carried the puck into Chicago’s zone and sent a good feed up to Jason Woolley. Woolley circled the net and scored on the wraparound by putting the puck between Leighton’s glove and the goalpost.

Nicklas Lidstrom gave Detroit its first lead of the game a few minutes later by one-timing a good pass Luc Robitaille sent from the left corner out towards the blue line. Unfortunately a rare faceoff violation penalty against the Wings led Chicago to tie the game up, with Calder scoring again, this time from Phil Housley and Alexei Zhamnov.

Detroit started the third period with two minutes of four-on-four followed by a three minute power play. Just before the buzzer to end the second period, Maltby and Theo Fleury had a battle. Maltby wound up with two minutes for slashing, while Fleury took a five minute spearing major and a game misconduct. Even so, the Wings didn’t regain their lead until a few minutes after the power play had expired.

Maltby stole the puck at Chicago’s blue line and went in alone on Leighton, and this time Leighton wasn’t so lucky. The puck bounced off of him, curved up into the air, and came down inside the net.

The Blackhawks answered with another power play goal. Sergei Berezin and Steve Thomas brought the puck in on a two on one rush. Mathieu Dandenault dropped to block the passing lane, but somehow Berezin made the pass anyway, and Thomas put the puck past Joseph.

Brett Hull got Detroit another one goal lead with unwitting help from two Chicago defenseman. Henrik Zetterberg passed Hull the puck, and Hull brought it out from the corner. He made a tight angle shot, but Mike Eastwood got his stick in the way so that the shot went wide””just wide enough to bounce off Housley’s rear end and into the net.

Housley evidently didn’t want the game’s deciding goal to be one scored off of his rear, because he tied the game back up for the Blackhawks with just over three minutes to play. Calder centered a pass from behind the net and Housley fired off a quick one-time shot to send the game to overtime.

Joseph made an excellent stop against Zhamnov early in the overtime, and Fedorov took the puck over, heading up ice with Lidstrom and Brendan Shanahan.. Fedorov made the pass, Shanahan made the shot, and Lidstrom followed up and flipped the puck in over Leighton.

Chicago outshot Detroit by a count of 38-33. These two teams will skate again Wednesday night in Chicago.

Two more goals for Brett Hull, and he’ll be celebrating the 700th of his career…. Dave Lewis was not necessarily pleased with tonight’s game, though he’ll take the two points gladly. “That was too wild for me,” he said. “As a team, we were too porous and we lost a lot of battles. But we found a way to win.”…. Steve Yzerman will travel with the Wings on their upcoming western road trip so that he can continue to workout with his teammates and begin a regular practice routine.

Cujo Ready And Set

Curtis Joseph stopped thirty-five of thirty-six shots, and Nick Lidstrom posted a shorthanded goal, but a slow-to-start Red Wings offense couldn’t quite get past the Chicago Blackhawks. The two teams ended the pre-season with a 1-1 tie at Joe Louis Arena.

The Blackhawks held the Red Wings to only four shots on goal in the entire first period, in spite of a four minute Detroit power play resulting from a double penalty to Alexei Zhamnov for interference and slashing. Curtis Joseph, meanwhile, was brilliant in his net, stopping all twelve of the shots Chicago sent at him in the first period.

The Red Wings managed to generate some more offensive effort in the second period, but were still outshot by the Blackhawks. The first goal of the game came towards the end of the period when the Wings were shorthanded. Sergei Fedorov got the puck down the ice and carried it around the Chicago net and into the left corner. When four of the Blackhawks went towards him, Fedorov dropped a pass back to Nick Lidstrom coming up in the high slot. A quick one-time shot right past rookie goaltender Michael Leighton, and the Wings were in the lead.

Chicago tied the game back up early in the third period. Nathan Dempsey shot the puck towards the net. The shot was blocked, but the puck went back to Dempsey, so he angled it behind the net to Steve Sullivan. Sullivan’s quick shot hit Joseph on the back of the leg and went into the net before anyone could stop it.

The game headed to overtime, but the teams couldn’t break the tie.

The Red Wings begin the regular season with a West Coast road trip. They open against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night before continuing on to Los Angeles and Anaheim.

The players seem to be glad the preseason is coming to an end. “This camp seemed like it was long for whatever reason,” said Kris Draper before the game. “We’ve got one more game left — let’s go play it and the bottom line is, remain healthy.”… Defenseman Patrick Boileau was sent to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday, leaving only two more cuts to be made to get the roster down to twenty-three players. The likely cuts will be either Derek King, Stacy Roest, or Doug Brown. Coach Dave Lewis planned to make his decision after tonight’s game.

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