Wings Sign Defenseman Commodore

The Detroit Red Wings signed free agent defenseman Mike Commodore to a one-year deal on Friday.

The contract is reportedly for $1 million, though financial terms were not announced.

Commodore was bought out by the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier in the day. He played 20 games for Columbus in 2010-11, scoring two goals and adding four assists before being sent to the AHL’s Springfield Falcons.

In 2009, Commodore famously told the Columbus Dispatch, “Mike Babcock was without a doubt an obstacle in my career.”

Commodore broke into the NHL under Babcock in Anaheim before he was traded to Calgary.

“I wanted to prove him wrong, I’m not going to lie,” Commodore continued. “I used him as big-time motivation. I thought he put his best foot forward to bury me.”

With Commodore signed, the Red Wings now have seven defensemen under NHL contracts for the 2011-12 season.

Red Wings Take Command of Series, Lead Blue Jackets 3-0

The Detroit Red Wings put the Columbus Blue Jackets’ backs to a wall Tuesday night, taking a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series with a 4-1 win.

Detroit spoiled the first-ever playoff game in Columbus with a goal just 67 seconds into the game and didn’t allow the Blue Jackets on the board until the game’s closing minutes.

Tomas Holmstrom opened the scoring early. Marian Hossa snapped a shot off the crossbar behind Columbus goalie Steve Mason. The puck dropped down into the crease and Holmstrom poked it home to give Detroit the early lead.

Dan Cleary stretched the lead to a pair with 45 seconds left in the period, taking a pass from Johan Franzen in front of the net, then spinning and sliding the puck around Mason.

Henrik Zetterberg scored with 6:05 left in the second period, scoring from the slot after being left all alone as Mike Commodore moved to hit Franzen behind the net.

R.J. Umberger returned from being knocked woozy on a second-period hit by Brad Stuart to score the Blue Jackets’ lone goal of the game. Umberger backhanded a rebound chance past Chris Osgood on a power play with 3:53 remaining in regulation.

Zetterberg added an empty-net goal to finish off the scoring.

Mason finished the night with 22 saves on 25 shots against, while Osgood stopped 31 of 32 Columbus chances.

The Red Wings did not score a power play goal for the first time this series, as they were unable to convert either of their two chances. The Blue Jackets scored their first power play goal of the series, going one-for-four on the night.

Detroit looks to complete the sweep on Thursday night.

The Red Wings were without Kris Draper for the third-straight playoff game and fifth in a row overall.

Red Wings’ Osgood Blanks Blue Jackets in Game Two Win

Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood continued to silence his critics Saturday night, leading the Red Wings to a 4-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game Two of their Western Conference Quarterfinals matchup.

The shutout comes on the heels of a twenty-save performance in Game One, after which he addressed his doubters.

“I don’t doubt myself ever. People that don’t know me do,” Osgood said after the series opener. “I’ve played for 15 years. I have the most wins in Red Wings playoff history for a reason, not because I’m a bad goalie.”

Osgood made 25 saves en route to the shutout.

The power play carried Detroit’s scoring, counting for three of the Red Wings’ four goals. The Wings finished the night three-for-ten on the power play, their percentage hurt by a series of Columbus penalties late in the game, after things had already been decided.

Brian Rafalski opened the game’s scoring on a power play with 6:27 left in the first period, snapping a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle off of Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin and over goalie Steve Mason‘s shoulder.

Pavel Datsyuk‘s power play goal at 7:18 of the second period stretched Detroit’s lead to two. Marian Hossa sent a shot from the left side purposely wide, with Datsyuk open to deflect it in.

Henrik Zetterberg scored the only even-strength goal of the game with 4:30 left in the middle frame, looping around defenders down low and lifting a shot from the inside edge of the right circle into the top of the net.

Jiri Hudler wrapped up the game’s scoring just 3:38 into the final period, bouncing an acute-angle shot off of defenseman Rostislav Klesla, off the post, off of Mason and into the net.

With the game out of reach, the Blue Jackets attempted to send a message as time ran down, taking 22 penalty minutes in the final ten minutes of the game, including a misconduct to Mike Commodore.

Game Three between the two teams will be Tuesday night in Columbus. It will be the first home playoff game in Blue Jackets’ franchise history.

The Red Wings were without Kris Draper, who also missed Game One with an upper-body injury. He will be re-evaluated on Monday.

Bolts Even Series at Two

Lightning forward Brad Richards‘ scored the lone goal of Tampa Bay’s Game Four matchup with the Calgary Flames, setting a new NHL record with his seventh game-winning goal of the playoffs and lifting the Lighting into a 2-2 series tie with the Flames.

Tampa Bay is now 8-0 this postseason when Richards scores. The Lightning went 30-0-2 when the center scored during the regular season.

Richards’ goal came just 2:48 into the game. Calgary’s Mike Commodore and Chris Clark were sent to the box for holding and cross-checking, respectively, at 1:52 of the first period. Tampa Bay used the two-man advantage to get Richards open for a one-timer off a pass from captain Dave Andreychuk. Richards put the shot past Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff‘s glove and into the net.

“When you get the shot in your wheelhouse, you have to do something with it,” Richards said. “(Rhett) Warriner was on (Kiprusoff’s) stick side and that left a lane on the glove side and I shot it.”

Tampa Bay goaltender Nikolai Khabibulan stopped 29 shots for his fifth shutout of the postseason.

The series returns to Tampa for Game Five on Thursday.

Wings Even Series: Yzerman Leads Detroit to 5-2 Win

Steve Yzerman scored two second-period goals and the power-play converted three times as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Calgary Flames by a score of 5-2. The Red Wings and Flames are now even in their second round playoff series at a game apiece.

Detroit opened the game’s scoring on the power play. Tomas Holmstrom scored his second goal of the playoffs just 3:02 into the period, deflecting a Nicklas Lidstrom shot from the high slot between the legs of Calgary netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.

With 9:54 remaining in the middle frame, Detroit went up by a pair of goals. As a Mathieu Schneider roughing penalty came to a close, Mathieu Dandenault got the puck in the Detroit zone and raced up the near-side boards. He carried the puck all the way behind the Calgary net and wrapped around before sending a pass to Yzerman, perched on the doorstep. Yzerman put the puck into the net for his first home playoff goal in 11 games and his second goal of this postseason. The goal came one second after Schneider stepped out of the penalty box.

Yzerman didn’t wait long to score his third playoff goal of the year. With 7:41 remaining in the second, Yzerman again was parked on the doorstep when Kirk Maltby sent a pass to him. This time Kiprusoff was in better position, but Yzerman hesitated just long enough to roof a shot over the Calgary goalie’s shoulder and put the Red Wings up by three.

The Flames responded 1:31 later, when Shean Donovan held off Derian Hatcher and reached to deflect a Marcus Nilson pass by Detroit goaltender Curtis Joseph, who had hardly been tested to that point.

The Red Wings clamped down defensively in the third period and Calgary’s frustration showed. With 6:06 remaining, Donovan went off for slashing. Mike Commodore put the Red Wings on a 5-on-3 just 49 seconds later when he slashed Holmstorm in front of the goal.

The Wings needed only six seconds of the two-man advantage to score. Robert Lang won the puck back to Pavel Datsyuk, who passed it off to Lidstrom. Lidstrom fed Brett Hull for one of his trademark one-timers, giving the Red Wings a 4-1 lead with 5:11 remaining in the game.

With Commodore still in the box and 4:35 remaining on the clock, Robyn Regehr was called for cross-checking Holmstrom. The Red Wings converted on the 5-on-3 again with 3:52 remaining when Lidstrom scored on a shot from the blue line that may have been tipped in the slot by Brendan Shanahan.

Although the Red Wings were in firm control of the scoreboard, the physical play didn’t stop. With 3:18 remaining Chris Chelios went to the box for slashing and Calgary’s Martin Gelinas scored just eight seconds after the penlaty expired.

With 40 seconds remaining in the game, Calgary’s Matthew Lombardi and Detroit’s Jason Williams went off for roughing and Shanahan went for charging.

Sixteen seconds later, Calgary captain Jarome Iginla slashed at the back of Detroit defenseman Derian Hatcher’s legs and the two dropped the gloves. Iginla landed the first shots but Hatcher tore off Iginla’s visored helmet and landed several hits to the head before he was pushed down. Meanwhile, Commodore and Darren McCarty fought, keeping Commodore from stepping in on the Hatcher-Iginla fight.

The final half-minute of the game was penalty- and goal-free.

The Red Wings finished 3-for-6 on the power play while the Flames went 0-for-5. Joseph stopped 14 of the 16 shots he faced. Kiprusoff made 27 saves on 32 Detroit shots.

The series moves to Calgary for Game Three on Tuesday night.

Calgary defenseman Rhett Warriner left the game in the first period and was taken to a hospital for a possible eye injury. He returned to the game in the third period but did not play a shift… Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios suffered what appeared to be an arm injury in the second period but missed only one shift.