Postgame Notes: Red Wings @ Rangers – 10/19

Alright, I’m going to make this one quick because, admittedly, I was mostly watching this out of the corner of my eye with the volume down low.

You know when the Red Wings were a powerhouse and they’d come up against some random horrible team who, for some reason, they just couldn’t beat?  Those games against Nashville (usually in Nashville), 1999ish, where they doubled up the Preds in shots and controlled play and just couldn’t solve frikkin’ Mike Dunham, while some random like Mark Mowers (future Red Wing) would score goals on multiple deflections and Detroit would lose, 2-1?

That’s what happened tonight.

By all accounts, the Red Wings had no right to win this game.  The Rangers controlled play for the most part.  But Jimmy Howard – in his first start of the season and playing in his favorite arena – stood on his head and the Wings managed to get another power play goal out of Thomas Vanek and a goal from their fourth line and it was enough.

It wasn’t a good game but a win is a win.

Rangers Fight History, Beat Detroit First Time in 8 Tries

After coming off such a decisive win (4-0) against Dallas on Friday night, the Red Wings can’t be too pleased with their play in Saturday night’s 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers. Passes were bumbled. The Rangers were more often than not the first to scoop up loose pucks. The Red Wings didn’t have much trouble getting the puck through New York’s trap, but they did have trouble keeping the puck in the Rangers’ zone long enough to set up a scoring chance. Most of the play was at center ice or in Detroit’s zone, and that, in the end, is what cost the game.

The Rangers started out seeming a little shaky and unsure of themselves, but they gained in confidence when Petr Nedved opened the scoring late in the third period. Dominik Hasek attempted to shove the puck towards Nicklas Lidstrom, but Lidstrom couldn’t quite get to it. Nedved got to it first and shot it into the net over Hasek’s outstretched leg.

Mark Messier had a chance to increase New York’s lead early in the second when he got out on a breakaway. Hasek came all the way out to the left circle to challenge him, then the two got tangled up in each other’s skates. Messier attempted a shot from his prone position on the ice, but the puck went wide of the net.

It was left to Bobby Holik to score the eventual game winner for New York. He and Chris Simon carried the puck into Detroit’s zone on a give-and-go play. Holik took a shot from the right circle which slid between Hasek’s leg pads.

Mathieu Schneider‘s power play goal brought Detroit back into the game with 7:27 left in the second period. Tomas Holmstrom carried the puck back into the zone after it had been cleared and left it for Schneider. Schneider took a booming shot from the top of the left circle, which went right through Mike Dunham‘s five-hole.

The Red Wings gained some momentum from the power play goal, but by the third period, the Rangers were slowly regaining control. Hasek had another chance to shine when Messier and Simon led a rush against him. Messier made a back pass to Simon, who broke through and made the shot, but Hasek made the save with his left shoulder then flopped onto his back to cover the puck in his traditional “snow angel” style.

The Red Wings pulled Hasek from the net for an extra attacker in the final minute of play, but Messier sealed the game by firing the puck into the empty Detroit net. Shots on net totaled 32 to 24 in favor of New York. The Red Wings will return home for a few days off before facing the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night.

Jamie Rivers made his first appearance in the lineup, in place of Steve Yzerman, who will most likely not be played in back-to-back games this season. Rivers, who normally plays defense, played right wing on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Ray Whitney…. The Rangers are 0 for 26 on the power play this season. They are the only team which has yet to capitalize with the man-advantage…. This was the first time the Rangers have beaten the Red Wings at Madison Square Garden since March 1997.

Rangers Hit Hard, Lose Anyway

It isn’t for nothing that the New York Rangers have a reputation as a team of high-paid thugs. They gave the Red Wings seven power plays during the game (the first time in awhile that the Wings have had more power plays than their opponent), and there was still more hitting going on that was not called by the game officials. They also happen to be a team of thugs with some highly skilled individuals, but the Red Wings held on to gain a 3-2 win.

Detroit had a 2-0 lead before the first period was even half gone. Igor Larionov broke the team’s three game power play scoring drought while Tom Poti was in the box for high-sticking. Brett Hull got the puck after it slipped away from the faceoff, and sent it back to Nick Lidstrom at the blue line. Lidstrom then passed it through a screen of players up to Larionov near the corner of the net, and Larionov scooped it in over Mike Dunham.

Lidstrom gave the team a two goal lead just over two minutes later. Sergei Fedorov was carrying the puck and looked as if he would turn and shoot on net, but instead he left it for Lidstrom, who let loose a hard slapshot. Dunham was partly screened by his own defenseman Poti, and couldn’t see the puck until it rattled past him.

The Rangers came back within one early in the second period. Eric Lindros shoved Kirk Maltby into Manny Legace in the goal crease, and before Legace could get back in place, Vladimir Malakhov had banked the puck into the net.

The Red Wings seemed to be a little thrown off by giving up their goal, and their defense slipped somewhat through the second period. The Rangers generated more scoring chances, but Legace was ready for each one, and New York seemed unable to get to the rebounds to get the second shots away.

The Red Wings came back in the third period. Brendan Shanahan increased the team’s lead back to two with another power play goal. He sent the puck behind the net to Larionov. Larionov centered it back out front, and Shanahan got it back and put the shot high over Dunham’s shoulder.

One of the multiple scrums of the night seemed about to lead to an all-out fight between Sean Avery and Billy Tibbets, but Tibbets pulled a dirty trick and tried to choke Avery with the strap of his own helmet. The two were separated, and both were given two minute roughing minors.

The Rangers came back within one with 6:31 left to play. Jason Woolley had been sent to the penalty box for a roughing call. The Red Wings cleared the puck out of the zone, but Malakhov carried it back in and let fly a well-placed shot from the left point. The puck just barely brushed the shoulder of Legace’s jersey as it sailed into the net.

When Darren McCarty and Matthew Barnaby were given coincidental roughing penalties with less than two minutes to play, the Rangers pulled Dunham so they could have a five-on-four advantage. The Red Wings managed to control the play and cycle the puck so that the Rangers never got a clear shot on Legace, and the game ended 3-2.

Legace made 29 saves on 31 shots in his second straight start to improve his season record to 5-1-2-1. Dunham made 29 saves on 32 shots.

The Red Wings next game will be Monday night in Columbus, the first game of a home-and-home series against the Blue Jackets.

This was the Red Wings’ seventh straight win against the Rangers…. Patrick Boileau played in his second game of the season in place of Jesse Wallin, who is still out with an injured elbow. Boileau played a quiet, solid game and came out even in the plus-minus category.

Rangers Get Dunham from Predators

Moments after revealing that starting goaltender Mike Richter will miss the remainder of the season due to a concussion sustained over a month ago, the New York Rangers announced a trade with the Nashville Predators for goalie Mike Dunham.

The Rangers acquired Dunham from the Predators for forward Rem Murray, defenseman Tomas Kloucek and the rights to defenseman Marek Zidlicky. With Richter out for the season, New York needed a starting netminder. Backup goalie Dan Blackburn had started the seventeen games since Richter’s injury.

Dunham had been the starting goaltender for Nashville since his selection in the 1997 Expansion Draft. With the Predators’ slow start this season, much of the blame fell to him and he lost the starting spot to Tomas Vokoun.

Murray was aquired by the Rangers at last season’s trade deadline along with Tom Poti in the deal that sent Mike York to the Edmonton Oilers. Kloucek had three goals and four assists with the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack but was deemed expendable by the Rangers’ glut of young defensemen.

The Rangers quickly moved to replace Murray, acquring Josh Green from the Oilers for a conditional pick in the 2004 draft.

This is Dunham’s second stint in the New York area. He broke into the league backing up Martin Brodeur with the New Jersey Devils and played his first two seasons there before moving on to Nashville.

Waking the Scoring Touch

The Nashville Predators were at the end of a seven game roadtrip, and they were weary. The Red Wings on the other hand, were in the middle of a five game homestand in which they had thus far tied with the Stars, been shutout by the Blackhawks, and finally squeaked out an overtime win over the Bruins. They were ready to play to win, so they did just that, and gained a 4-1 victory over Nashville.

The Red Wings definitely outplayed the Predators in the first period, outshooting them by a count of 16-6, but goalie Mike Dunham was sharp in his net. The Predators were able to open the scoring just before the period ended. Darren McCarty was in the penalty box for holding, and Nashville’s power play unit took advantage of their situation. Vladimir Orzagh pushed to the net with the puck. Martin Erat trailed close behind. When one of the Red Wings’ defensmen poked the puck away from Orzagh, Erat got it in the confusion and threw it back into the tangle of feet. The puck pinballed off the skate of Chris Chelios, past Curtis Joseph, and into the net.

Brendan Shanahan tied the game up for the Wings early in the second period. Sergei Fedorov‘s shot rebounded to the right side. Shanahan scooped it up and shot it from a tight angle. Dunham was still trapped at the other side of the net, and the puck went in high under the crossbar, ending Shanahan’s nine-game goal drought.

After that, the game belonged to Detroit. Fedorov scored a goal on a breakaway set up by Shanahan to give the Wings the lead before the period was over. He got in ahead of defenseman Bill Houlder, and his shot bounced off the goalpost, off Dunham’s skate, back off the goalpost, and finally into the net.

The Predators made a few attempts to get back into the game in the third period, even after the Wings went up by two goals. Nashville gave up the puck in their own end. McCarty got hold of it, spun around, and flung it at the net. Dunham was partially screened by Kirk Maltby, and the puck bounced off a skate to change direction on the way in. Dunham didn’t have much of a chance.

Nashville tried to make the most of a power play they were given when Jesse Wallin was penalized for delay of game, for covering up the puck with his body after a strange scramble left Joseph out of position. The Red Wings’ penalty killers took the play to them instead, giving them no chance to score against Joseph.

A slashing penalty on Scott Hartnell gave the Wings their opportunity to put the game out of reach for good. Pavel Datsyuk passed from behind the net to Fedorov on the right side. Fedorov’s shot was blocked by Dunham, but the rebound squirted straight to where Shanahan waited on the left side. Another quick one-timer from another tight angle, and the score was 4-1 to end the game.

The final tally of shots on net were 38-23 in favor of Detroit. The Red Wings will end their five game homestand on Friday night when they host the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

This was Curtis Joseph’s first ever victory against the Predators. He has a 1-2-1 lifetime record against them…. Sean Avery has been sent to the Grand Rapids Griffins to play in a few conditioning games…. Jiri Fischer left the game in the third period with a knee injury. An MRI has been scheduled.

Defensive Woes

The Nashville Predators were winless coming into tonight’s game, and they were desperate. They were fully willing to take advantage of any slack the Red Wings might give them. They had some key opportunities to do so. Sloppy Detroit defense and an opportunistic Nashville offense led to a 3-1 win for the Predators.

A defensive lapse early gave the Predators the first goal of the night. Andreas Johansson got the puck away from the boards in Detroit’s zone. He managed to deke around Sergei Fedorov, then around Brendan Shanahan, and slid the puck into the net underneath Curtis Joseph.

The Red Wings got their first power play of the game a minute later when Greg Klassen was sent to the box for hooking, and they came back to tie with a crisp passing play. Fedorov held the puck in the Predator’s zone at the right point. He sent it up to Luc Robitaille at the half-boards, and Robitaille passed it to Igor Larionov. Larionov then angled the puck out to Nick Lidstrom, who slapped the puck past Mike Dunham to score his 150th career goal.

Unfortunately, the Predators scored a power play goal of their own less than a minute later, with Kris Draper in the box for high-sticking. Kimmo Timonen shot the puck from the blue line, and Adam Hall tipped it on its way through. With the redirection of the puck and the screen of players in front of the net, Joseph never even had a chance to see the puck before it was too late.

Still the Red Wings couldn’t get their defensive play together, and the Predators took advantage of it again. Andy Delmore got a pass through to David Legwand in the slot, and the rebound from Legwand’s shot was allowed to bounce free to Johansson standing unhindered near the side of the net. Johansson got the puck into the empty space before Joseph could slide across to stop him.

The second and third periods saw the Red Wings tighten their defense somewhat, but not enough to keep Joseph from having to make some spectacular saves. Most notable was a save in the second period against former Red Wing Brent Gilchrist, who got around the net unmolested, took a pass, and flung it at the net. Joseph flung himself across the net so the puck would land harmlessly in his midsection. Joseph also gave the Wings a chance to climb back into the game when he stopped a shorthanded breakaway attempt by Timonen. That time, he dropped his stick to slide across cleanly and keep the puck out.

The Red Wings got a power play with just over three minutes left to play, when Denis Arkhipov was sent out for high-sticking. They even pulled Joseph from the net to go six-on-four for part of the time. They controlled the puck from the start of that power play to the final buzzer, but Dunham came up huge against the barrage of shots, and the Predators came away with their first win of the season.

Dunham stopped thirty-seven of thirty-eight shots throughout the night, while Joseph stopped twenty-seven of thirty. The Red Wings return home for their next game; they will face the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday evening. The Sharks recently signed holdout goaltender Evgeni Nabokov to a contract, so they will be at full strength for this next meeting.

Sean Avery was recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins, but was a healthy scratch for this game”¦. Brett Hull suffered a severe cut above his left eye midway through the second period when a Nashville player’s skate came up and hit Hull in the face. Hull was led off and given a lot of stitches by Nashville’s team doctor, but he returned to play in the third period. “Just in time for Halloween,” said Hull about the bloody gash on his forehead.

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.

Never Leave A Game Early

The puck simply bounced the right way for the Nashville Predators, who came from behind to beat the Red Wings 3-2 in overtime.

The offensive play of both teams seemed evenly matched in the first period, but it was the Red Wings who took a one-goal lead into the intermission. Max Kuznetsov recovered the puck after overskating it slightly in front of his own net, and passed it up the ice to Brett Hull. Hull passed over to Boyd Deveraux, who left the puck for Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk deked past two Nashville defensemen to shoot the puck past goalie Mike Dunham.

The second period was scoreless, despite two power plays by Detroit and three by Nashville.

Sean Avery and Vladimir Orszagh got into a fight with just under eight minutes left in the third period, and were given offsetting minor penalties for roughing. During the resulting four-on-four play, Kris Draper got the puck out from a tangle of players along the boards in the Nashville Zone, and passed to Kirk Maltby. Maltby fired on Dunham from the right circle. The puck bounced off Dunham’s leg pad, off a Nashville defenseman’s skate, and Maltby was able to grab it back and slide it underneath Dunham.

Vitali Yachmenev was able to bring the Predators within one with 4:20 left in regulation play. He attempted to make a centering pass from behind the Detroit net, but instead, the pass deflected off of Sergei Fedorov‘s stick and into the net past Dominik Hasek.

Nashville’s golden opportunity arose when Tomas Holmstrom was sent to the penalty box for closing his hand on the puck. Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan did get a two-on-one shorthanded breakaway opportunity, but Dunham was able to block both shots, and the Predators regained control.

Nashville pulled Dunham in favor of the extra skater, giving them a six-on-four advantage, and Orszagh was able to flip in the rebound from a blue line shot by Petr Tenkrat, sending the game to overtime.

Andy Berenzweig scored the game winner with 2:20 left in the overtime period. Orszagh fished the puck out from a tangle on the right side of the boards, and passed it out front. Berenzweig grabbed it up and flipped it in over Hasek, before Mathieu Dandenault could get back to stop him.

Hasek stopped thirty-two of thirty-five shots during the game. Dunham stopped twenty-six of twenty-eight. The Red Wings will play against the Minnesota Wild Monday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Staying on Top

Brendan Shanahan scored three goals for his second hat trick of the season and the fifteenth of his career, to help the Red Wings defeat the Nashville Predators, 6-3.

The Predators opened the scoring 6:19 into the game. Stu Grimson shot the puck from behind the net, and it deflected off the stick of Chris Chelios and over Dominik Hasek‘s shoulder for the goal.

The Wings answered just under a minute and a half later. Mathieu Dandenault passed the puck cross-ice from the blue line up to Shanahan by the net, and Shanahan was able to rifle it past Nashville goalie Mike Dunham.

The Predators got a chance to go on the power play with 8:56 left in the first, when Shanahan was sent to the box for holding. However, the Red Wings got two shorthanded scoring opportunities; first a two-on-one with Brett hull and Steve Yzerman, and then a breakaway by Sergei Fedorov, but Dunham came up with big saves both times.

Detroit didn’t get a power play chance until 7:33 into the second period. David Legwand hit Chelios in the face with his stick, and was sent to the box for four minutes. Chelios, meanwhile, went to the locker room for sutures on the deep cut on his nose and forehead. The Wings were able to capitalize on the power play opportunity when Shanahan scored again, taking a pass from Fedorov and firing hard from the left point, while Tomas Holmstrom screened the goalie. There was some confusion at first as to whether the goal belonged to Shanahan, or whether Holmstrom had tipped the puck in, but it was finally awarded to Shanahan.

Chelios was stitched up and back on the ice in the third period, just in time to see Kris Draper give Detroit a 3 to 1 lead by picking up a well-aimed pass from Kirk Maltby, squeezing right between two Nashville defensemen, and faking out Dunham for the goal.

The Predators didn’t even consider giving up. Cliff Ronning scored twice in a row. His first came 4:32 into the period, off a rebound from Greg Johnson’s shot. His tying goal came with nine minutes left in the game. He knocked down Igor Larionov, grabbed up the puck, and took off down the ice, managing to fool Hasek with a faked pass.

Maltby broke the tie only eighteen seconds later. He took a pass from Darren McCarty and one-timed the shot right past Dunham and into the net.

Draper added his second goal of the night with just over four minutes left to play, when he and Nicklas Lidstrom got a two-on-one rush up the ice. Draper passed to Lidstrom, and Lidstrom passed back, giving Draper the chance to put the puck behind Dunham.

Detroit really put the game away with 1:41 left in the game, while Nashville’s Cale Hulse was in the penalty box for tripping. Chelios banked a shot off the back boards and up to Shanahan, waiting patiently by the goal for just such an opportunity to flip the puck into the net.

Detroit’s power play was two for three against Nashville, even though the Predators have the second best penalty-killing percentage in the NHL. Hasek was able to make twenty-nine saves against thirty-two shots, while Dunham blocked twenty-five of thirty-one shots. Shanahan is currently second in the league in both goals and points, and leads the league in penalty minutes.

The Red Wings will take a short road trip to play against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday before returning home for four more games.

Costly Victory?

Goaltenders Manny Legace and Domink Hasek will share Detroit’s first shutout of the season, and Steve Duchesne got his first goal of the season, as the Red Wings won 1-0 against the Nashville Predators.

With Jiri Fischer back in the lineup, Scotty Bowman moved Mathieu Dandenault back from defense to right wing on the “3-D Line” with Pavel Datsyuk and Boyd Devereaux. While this line was not able to score in this game, they did an admirable job of controlling the puck and creating scoring chances against Nashville goalie Mike Dunham.

Tomas Holmstrom got the first penalty of the game, being sent off for holding with 13:09 left in the first period. Detroit’s penalty killing was effective against Nashville, never really letting them get off a quality shot. Just twenty-four seconds before the penalty was to end, Nashville’s Patrick Kjellberg was sent out for high-sticking, to give the Red Wings a four-on-four situation and then a shortened power play.

Detroit’s power play did a good job of controlling their passes and staying in the offensive zone, but were not able to beat Dunham for a goal.

Near the end of the period, the Predators’ Scott Hartnell was hit in the face by the stick of his own teammate, Rich Brennan. Hartnell was taken to the dressing room, where he was diagnosed as having a bruised left eye.

Steve Duchesne scored the game’s lone goal two and a half minutes into the second period. Fischer passed the puck behind the net to Sergei Fedorov, who tried to pass out front to Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan was too well-covered by Nashville’s defense to pick up the puck, but Duchesne was able to snag it and shoot along the ice from the right point, to slide under Dunham and into the net.

With just over five and a half minutes left in the period, Manny Legace had just made his fifteenth big save of the game when Nashville’s Kimmo Timonen was tripped up and fell on top of him. Legace hit his head hard on the ice, and was wheeled out immobilized on a stretcher to keep him from moving his neck. Legace was taken to a Nashville hospital for x-rays and tests, but further details were unavailable as of press time. Dominek Hasek came off the bench to take Legace’s place in goal.

In the third period, control of the puck went back and forth between the two teams. Neither was able to score, although Detroit had ten shots on Dunham, several of which were quality scoring chances. Detroit tightened up defensively and held the Predators to only two shots on Hasek in the third period.

Scotty Bowman showed great confidence in his young “3-D Line” by putting them on the ice to take a defensive zone faceoff with only two minutes left to play, and leading by only one goal. Devereaux, Datsyuk, and Dandenault did not betray their coach’s trust. They got the puck out to the Predator’s zone. Devereaux attempted to score against Dunham, but the shot was blocked. The Wings kept control of the puck for the remaining seconds of the game, keeping Dunham from edging out to the bench for the sixth skater.

Dunham stopped 32 of 33 shots, while Legace stopped all of the 15 he faced, and Hasek stopped all 4 shots the Predators managed to get on him. The Wings were 0 for 5 on the power play, and 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. Their next game will be in Carolina against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.

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