Wings’ Streak Reaches 18 with Win over Oilers

The Detroit Red Wings stretched their franchise-record home winning streak to eighteen games Wednesday night with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

It was the first game of the streak not won by goaltender Jimmy Howard, who’s out of the lineup with a broken index finger. Joey MacDonald earned the victory in net for the Red Wings, stopping 15 of the 17 shots he faced.

The Red Wings needed a third-period charge to finish off the Oilers. After Detroit took a 2-0 lead, Edmonton rallied before the Wings scored twice more to finish things off.

Johan Franzen opened the game’s scoring with 6:42 left in the first period with a rare power play goal. Ian White fired a shot from the middle of the ice, just inside the blue line. Franzen tipped it at the top of the crease, redirecting it past Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

Cory Emmerton made it 2-0 at 2:45 of the second period, driving to the net to lift a backhander past Khabibulin when the rebound of a Justin Abdelkader chance squirted free.

Sam Gagner continued his torrid scoring pace for the Oilers, getting them on the board with 8:52 left in the middle period. With Jakub Kindl heading to the bench to be replaced by White and Jonathan Ericsson trying to fight Edmonton’s Ben Eager, Gagner was left all alone to take an outlet pass and break in on MacDonald, faking around his poke-check to score his seventh goal in four games.

Gagner tied things up on an Oiler power play at 8:23 of the third, putting the rebound of a Magnus Paajarvi chance past MacDonald.

The Red Wings would regain the lead 2:23 later. Justin Abdelkader’s chance from the left circle slipped through Khabibulin’s pads and came to a stop in the crease. Drew Miller drove to the net and found it before anyone else could, knocking it in to make it 3-2.

Henrik Zetterberg wrapped up the game’s scoring with 5:16 remaining, snapping a shot from down low in the left circle over Khabibulin’s blocker.

Khabibulin finished the night with 26 saves on 30 shots against.

Each team scored once on the power play. The Oilers had seven tries with the extra attacker, including 1:14 of five-on-three in the first period. Detroit had four power play tries.

The Red Wings continue their six-game homestand on Friday when they host the Anaheim Ducks.


Detroit forward Danny Cleary left the game after the second period. The team announced after the game that he will have his knee drained and is expected to miss up to a week… Jan Mursak and Mike Commodore were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Pre-emptive Postgame: Red Wings @ Canadiens – 1/25

I’m not going to waste the rest of my night watching the Red Wings put in zero effort in Montreal so I’m writing my postgame thoughts up in the middle of the second period.

It’s not the lack of Nicklas Lidstrom that has Detroit looking this bad. Missing Lidstrom doesn’t cause Jimmy Howard to screw up on the third and fourth goals against. Missing Lidstrom doesn’t cause Niklas Kronwall to pinch in on that third goal. It doesn’t cause some of the stupid penalties.

If you want to say this is what Life After Lidstrom will look like, remember that the Red Wings aren’t going to replace Lidstrom with Mike Commodore when he retires. They’re going to take Lidstrom’s salary and put it towards another top defnseman. No, it won’t be an even trade, but it won’t be the lineup we see tonight.

Tonight is an anomaly. Like the loss in Washington in October. A game to learn from, of course, but hardly a reset of the status quo.

Bertuzzi Scores in Shootout to Carry Red Wings Past Coyotes

Todd Bertuzzi scored the only goal of the shootout Thursday night, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

The victory put the Red Wings back into first place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of both the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Bertuzzi’s shootout goal came on the backhand on a spin-o-rama move at the edge of the crease.

Phoenix netminder Mike Smith stopped Pavel Datsyuk and Jiri Hudler on Detroit’s first two stops. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard stopped Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata while Gilbert Brule lost the puck on his chance.

Bertuzzi had given the Red Wings their only lead of the game with 8:47 left in the second period. Johan Franzen sent the puck from behind the net to Bertuzzi at the bottom of the left circle, where he fired a rocket of a shot past Phoenix netminder Mike Smith to put Detroit up 2-1.

Brule tied things back up just 2:55 later when he carried the puck into the Detroit zone on a three-on-two and drove to the net, putting a shot between Howard’s pads.

Raffi Torres opened the game’s scoring only 2:23 into the game, beating Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard on a wraparound chance.

Ian White‘s shot from top of the right circle made it 1-1 at 1:36 of the second period. It was the Red Wings’ 30th goal of the season from a defenseman.

Howard finished the night with 31 saves on 33 shots against. Smith made 33 stops on 35 shots.

Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had five tries with the extra attacker to Phoenix’s two, the second of which was in overtime.

The Red Wings’ next game is Saturday evening when they host the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets.


Mike Commodore and Jan Mursak were healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Hudler Scores Lone Goal of Shootout as Red Wings Down Stars, 3-2

Detroit forward Jiri Hudler scored the only goal of the shootout Tuesday night, giving the Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars.

The goal kept the Red Wings unbeaten in the tiebreaker this season and at least temporarily moved them into first place in the Western Conference.

Hudler faked twice on Dallas netminder Richard Bachman but couldn’t sell anything before resorting to the cutting to his left and pushing the puck out to the right, into the open side of the net. It was the same “Forsberg move” that Henrik Zetterberg successfully executed last week against Phoenix.

Pavel Datsyuk hit the post on Detroit’s first shot and Todd Bertuzzi fired into Bachman in the third round.

Wings’ goaltender Ty Conklin stopped Loui Eriksson, Michael Ryder and Trevor Daley in earning the win.

Detroit opened the game’s scoring at 6:41 of the first period. Jan Mursak beat Bachman to the puck behind the net and sent it to Justin Abdelkader, who only tipped the puck on his shot attempt from the side of the net. The puck slid out into the slot where Tomas Holmstrom fired a slapper back past Bachman for the early 1-0 lead.

Brenden Morrow tied things up with 9:01 left in the opening frame. With the Stars on a power play, Alex Goligoski fired a shot from above the slot. The puck deflected off of a jumping Morrow at the top of the crease and bounced past Conklin.

With 3:32 remaining, Eriksson made it 2-1 by backhanding the rebound of a Sheldon Souray chance past Conklin with a broken stick.

Hudler scored the last goal of regulation at 1:43 of the second, bouncing the puck off Goligoski’s skate and past Backman on a crossing attempt.

Bachman stopped 30 of the 32 Detroit shots he faced on the night. Conklin made 25 saves on 27 shots for his third win of the season.

Detroit went scoreless on four power play chances. The Stars scored on one of their two tries with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings will continue their road trip on Thursday when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes.


Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton were healthy scratches for the Red Wings, with Mike Commodore and Mursak in the lineup in their respective places.

Red Wings Blank Sabres for Franchise-Record 15th Straight Home Win

Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard stopped all 27 shots he faced Monday night as the Red Wings cruised to a 5-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres for their 15th consecutive home win, a new franchise record.

The previous record was set during the 1964-65 season, which saw the Red Wings finish first overall in the six-team league but lose to the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs.

Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring at 5:20 of the first period when he carried the puck from the right faceoff circle through the slot and into the left circle to snap a shot past Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller.

With 1:49 left in the period, Johan Franzen took a long pass through the neutral zone from Pavel Datsyuk to break in on Miller before rifling a shot from the inside edge of the right circle past Miller.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 3-0 with just 17 seconds left in the first, jumping in from the left point all alone to bang the rebound of a Todd Bertuzzi chance past Miller from the bottom of the left circle.

Bertuzzi added a goal of his own at 4:19 of the second. Datsyuk stole the puck behind the net and sent it out to Bertuzzi at the bottom of the right circle. Bertuzzi cut across the top of the crease with it but couldn’t get to the open net, so he spun back around and backhanded a shot under Miller.

Just 13 seconds later, Darren Helm made it 5-0 beating Miller on a shot from the slot off a feed from the Buffalo goalie’s brother, Drew Miller.

Having allowed five goals on 14 shots, Ryan Miller was pulled after the Helm goal. Jhonas Enroth played the final 35:28 of the game for the Sabres, stopping all 12 shots he faced.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. The Sabres had three power play chances while Detroit had four.

The Red Wings next travel to Dallas to face the Stars on Tuesday night.


Datsyuk’s assist on Bertuzzi’s goal was his third of the night and his 700th career point, reaching the milestone in 706 games played… Jan Mursak and Mike Commodore were scratches for Detroit.

Bertuzzi Lifts Red Wings Past Blackhawks in OT

Todd Bertuzzi scored with 39 seconds remaining in overtime on Saturday afternoon, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.

It was Detroit’s 14th consecutive home win, tying a franchise record.

Bertuzzi banged the rebound of a Valtteri Filppula chance past Chicago netminder Corey Crawford from the slot to give the Red Wings the win. It was his second goal of the afternoon.

Tomas Holmstrom had opened the game’s scoring with 7:04 remaining in the first period, tipping an Ian White shot from the high slot past Crawford on a power play.

Bertuzzi’s first of the game extended Detroit’s lead with 3:50 left in the period, as he beat Crawford with a backhand shot on a breakaway.

The Red Wings outshot the Blackhawks 21-4 in the opening frame but only carried the 2-0 lead into intermission.

Chicago would halve that lead with 5:06 left in the second. Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard went behind the net to play the puck but it took a funny bounce and deflected off the heel of his stick to the side of the net, where Andrew Shaw jumped on it and put it into the open net.

The Blackhawks dominated the third period in an effort to get even They took the first eleven shots of the period and outshot Detroit 16-5 but needed until the game’s final minute to tie things up.

With 52 seconds left, former Red Wing Marian Hossa fired a shot from the blue line that deflected off of Wings’ defenseman Niklas Lidstrom and Chicago forward Jonathan Toews to get past Howard, knotting the game at two.

The Red Wings seeminly flipped a switch in the overtime, outshooting Chicago 9-0 before Bertuzzi’s game-winner.

Howard finished the afternoon with 25 saves on 27 shots against. Crawford made 40 stops on 43 shots.

Holmstrom’s power play goal was the only goal scored with the man-advantage on Detroit’s only chance with the extra attacker. The Blackhawks were scoreless on three power plays.

The Red Wings look to extend their home winning streak on Monday when they host the Buffalo Sabres.


Bertuzzi was a late addition to the Red Wings’ lineup, having recovered from the injury that kept him out of Detroit’s win over Phoenix on Thursday. Jam Mursak was a healthy scratch to make room for him. Injured defenseman Mike Commodore was the other Detroit scratch… The game was the 700th of head coach Mike Babcock‘s career.

Red Wings Reach Milestones in Shootout Win over Coyotes

Two members of the Detroit Red Wings reached career milestones with the team’s 3-2 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.

Goaltender Jimmy Howard, who stopped Lauri Korpikoski on the final shot of the tiebreaker to preserve the win, picked up the 100th victory of his career. In 171 NHL games, he is now 100-47-16.

It was the 400th career win for Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. He started his career with 69 wins across two seasons for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and has picked up 331 more in six seasons with the Red Wings.

Additionally, Danny Cleary picked up his 200th career assist on Detroit’s third-period tying goal.

Henrik Zetterberg‘s shootout goal ended up being the difference in the game. In the fourth round Zetterberg used the “Forsberg Move” to beat Phoenix netminder Mike Smith, drawing Smith to his right before reaching back and poking the puck into the open side of the net with one hand on his stick.

Pavel Datsyuk also scored for the Red Wings, beating Smith glove side. Radim Vrbata faked out Jimmy Howard for Phoenix’s lone shootout tally. Smith made saves on both Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula while Howard stopped Gilbert Brule, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Korpikoski.

The Coyotes had opened the game’s scoring at 9:41 of the first period, when Vrbata carried the puck from his own blue line into the Detroit end and snapped a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Howard.

Filppula blasted a shot from the high slot past Smith with 51 seconds left in the opening frame to tie things back up.

After a scoreless second period, Taylor Pyatt put Phoenix back in front at 3:02 of the third. Kyle Chipchura drove down the right wing and cut to the net, with Howard making the initial stop. Pyatt was right there to chip the rebound over Howard, though, making it 2-1.

The Red Wings rallied again with 9:57 left in regulation. Johan Franzen snuck to the far side of the crease all alone and Datsyuk hit him with a pass from the right wing boards for a tip past Smith.

Smith finished the night with 40 saves on 42 Detroit shots. Howard stopped 25 of the 27 chances he faced.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, each having two tries with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings are back in action when they host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday afternoon.


Pavel Datsyuk and Jan Mursak each returned from injury for the game. Datsyuk had missed the previous game with a sore groin while Mursak had yet to play this season, recovering from a broken leg… Todd Bertuzzi was the scratched forward for the Red Wings… Mike Commodore was the scratch on defense.

Blackhawks Rally Twice to Defeat Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings had a one-goal lead twice Friday night but the Chicago Blackhawks bounced back each time en route to a 3-2 win over their Original Six rivals.

Brent Seabrook’s blast from the high slot just 1:52 prooved to be the game-winner for Chicago, who moved to five points up on Detroit in the Central Division standings.

Justin Abdelkader had opened the game’s scoring at 9:49 of the first period. After Chicago goalie Corey Crawford stopped a Drew Miller shot, Abdelkader jumped up and flipped the rebound over him to give the Red Wings their initial lead.

Jonathan Toews tied things up on a penalty shot with 5:28 left in the period. Toews snapped a low shot from the slot past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to make it 1-1.

The Red Wings regained their lead at 5:25 of the second period when a Mike Commodore shot from the point deflected off of Todd Bertuzzi and beat Crawford.

Just 2:05 later, former Red Wing Marian Hossa shook off Valtteri Filppula and drifted into the left side of the Detroit zone all alone, slapping a shot past Howard.

Howard finished the night with 25 saves on 28 Chicago shots. Crawford also faced 28 shots, stopping 26.

The Blackhawks were scoreless on five power play chances but converted on their penalty shot attempt. Detroit did not score on their lone chance with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday in their annual New Year’s Eve game, hosting the St. Louis Blues.

Red Wings’ Rally Falls Short Against Flames

The Detroit Red Wings scored twice in the third period Thursday night but couldn’t make up for allowing three goals in the first 35:47 of play, falling to the Calgary Flames, 3-2.

Curtis Glencross scored twice for the Flames – the game’s opening goal and the eventual game-winner.

With 3:50 remaining in the first and Calgary on a power play, Detroit goalie Ty Conklin stopped an Olli Jokinen chance from the outside but couldn’t control the rebound. Glencross jumped to the side of the net and chipped the puck over Conklin to get the Flames on the board.

Just 1:30 into the second, Blake Comeau made it 2-0. Wings’ defenseman Niklas Kronwall jumped up in the neutral zone to hit Tim Jackman but Jackman got the puck through to Brendan Morrison. Morrison and Comeau continued on a two-on-one and Morrison’s centering pass slipped through the defending Brad Stuart, getting to Comeau for an easy shot into the empty side of the net.

At 5:47 of the middle period, Glencross scored again when he raced down the right wing and fired a shot off the far post and into the net as the teams skated four-on-four.

Detroit wouldn’t get on the board until 4:55 of the third period, when Jiri Hudler evaded a check and backhanded a shot past Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff from in the slot.

With just 4:12 remaining, the Red Wings drew to within a goal when Pavel Datsyuk won a draw in the right circle back to Ian White for a blast that deflected past Kiprusoff.

Detroit would be unable to even things up, though Henrik Zetterberg rang a shot off the post in the closing minutes.

The Flames finished the night one-for-three on the power play with the Red Wings going scoreless on two tries with the extra man.

Conklin stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced while Kiprusoff made 29 saves on 31 shots.

The Red Wings finished their Western Canadian road trip with one win and two losses. They’ll pick up again in Nashville after Christmas.


Jakub Kindl was a healthy scratch for the Red Wings as Mike Commodore made only his fourth appearance of the season.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Flames – 12/22

I’m not going to say much about this one. It’s late and I’m exhausted.

This was one of those cases that came down to effort. If the Red Wings had put in the effort in the first forty minutes of play that they did in the final twenty, that game is a win. They – as they have too much of a tendency to do – instead played a single period of good hockey and they lost.

Blame the travel if you want, the fact that the third period is when they woke up makes me think they weren’t burned out early. Whatever the reason, that level of effort is unacceptable.

Additional notes: Conklin didn’t look awful, so this might be his first loss of the season that you can’t blame him for. Also, Mike Commodore looked decent out there – not fantastic but he wasn’t awful in only his fourth game of the season. A couple plusses to take away from an otherwise annoying night.