Red Wings Return Home with Win over Predators

The Detroit Red Wings came back home following a six-game road trip and promptly defeated the Nashville Predators, 5-2, on Saturday night.

Tomas Tatar scored twice for the Red Wings, including the goal that saw Nashville goalie Carter Hutton removed from the game.

Hutton, starting in place of the injured Pekka Rinne, lasted just 12:32 after allowing three goals on four shots.

Just 57 seconds into the game, Gustav Nyquist took a centering feed from Tatar on a two-on-one and flicked a shot past Hutton to open the game’s scoring.

With 8:38 left in the opening period, Kyle Quincey‘s shot off a Pavel Datsyuk faceoff win deflected off Nashville’s Mike Ribeiro before bouncing off the ice and past Hutton to make it 2-0.

Just 1:10 later, Tatar snapped a shot from the right faceoff dot through a screen by Riley Sheahan and past Hutton to end the Nashville netminder’s night.

Mattias Ekholm got the Predators on the board with 1:22 left in the period, whipping a shot from the high slot through traffic that deflected past Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek for a 3-1 score.

Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg made it 4-1 with a power play goal at 2:14 of the second period. Skating down below the goal line, Zetterberg threw the puck out front, off goalie Marek Mazanec‘s helmet, and into the net.

Tatar added his second of the night with 39 seconds left in the middle frame. Tatar drove to the net to take a pass from Riley Sheahan in the corner and knock it past Mazanec for a power play goal.

Nashville’s Mike Fisher closed out the game’s scoring just 49 seconds into the third period, collecting the rebound of a Roman Josi shot in front of the net and lifting a backhander over Mrazek on the power play.

The Red Wings finished the night perfect on two power play opportunities while the Predators scored once on three tries with the man-advantage.

Mrazek made 34 saves on 36 shots in the Detroit net. After Hutton went one-for-four, Mazanec stopped 18 of 20 for Nashville.

The Red Wings are right back at it on Sunday as they host the Buffalo Sabres.

Red Wings Down Predators for Crucial Standings Points

The Detroit Red Wings kept control of their own playoff fate on Thursday night, riding a strong second period to a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators.

The win put Detroit into seventh place in the Western Conference, one point up on the inactive Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets for the eighth spot in Western Conference standings.

The Predators took a 2-1 lead into the middle frame but couldn’t hold off a rally by Detroit.

Johan Franzen pulled the Wings into a 2-2 tie just 1:01 into the second, collecting the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg shot at the side of the crease and lifting a shot over the shoulder of Nashville netminder Chris Mason into the top of the net.

Patrick Eaves gave Detroit its first lead of the game 2:40 later. Jordin Tootoo, playing against his former club, carried the puck from the right wing corner out through the faceoff circle and into the high slot before backhanding a pass down lot to Eaves for a snap past Mason to make it 3-2.

With 47 seconds left in the second, Pavel Datsyuk‘s wrister from inside the blue line on a rush beat a screened Mason to give the Red Wings a two-goal lead.

Justin Abdelkader rounded out the game’s scoring with 3:59 remaining in the third period, banging the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg chance past Mason on an odd-man rush.

Mike Fisher had opened the game’s scoring just 1:46 in, snapping a chance past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard off a pass from Ryan Clune on a two-on-one where Kyle Quincey couldn’t take away the pass.

Valtteri Filppula tied things back up at 6:53 taking a feed in the slot from Franzen at the side of the net for a wrister past Mason.

Nashville regained their lead with 7:30 left in the first, with Craig SMith getting to a rebound in a goal-mouth scramble and putting a shot in behind Howard while on the power play.

Howard finished the night with 20 saves on 22 shots. Mason stopped 33 of 38 chances against.

Each team had one power play goal on the night, with Nashville having five chances with the man-advantage to Detroit’s four.

The Red Wings will close out their season on Saturday with a visit to the Dallas Stars. They can clinch a playoff spot with a point in that game, a Columbus loss to Nashville on the same day, or the Wild failing to earn a point in either of their two remaining games.

TGTW: Red Wings Drop Opener to Predators

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout.  In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

The Detroit Red Wings opened the 2012-13 campaign on Friday night with a 5-4 loss to the Nashville Predators, the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last spring.

New Wings’ captain Henrik Zetterberg scored twice but Nashville’s Colin Wilson scored just five seconds into a late power play to secure the win for the Predators.  Detroit newcomer Carlo Colaiacovo was in the penalty box for the game-winning goal.

It was a see-saw effort all night.  Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring with 7:01 left in the first but Nashville replied in the second with goals by Roman Josi and Sergei Kostitsyn.  Zetterberg notched his second with 4:43 left in the period to tie things back up.

Kostitsyn scored again just 2:10 into the third and Mike Fisher extended Nashville’s lead to two with 8:59 remaining.

Jonathan Ericsson pulled the Wings to within a goal just 13 seconds after Fisher scored and Valtteri Filppula tied things up 3:28 later.

Wilson’s goal ended any momentum the Wings had, coming 16 seconds after Filppula’s.

Jimmy Howard was replaced in the Detroit crease by Jonas Gustavsson after allowing the fifth goal.  Howard finished the night with 18 saves on 23 shots against.  Gustavsson faced no shots in 5:02 of play.

Pekka Rinne made 26 saves on 30 shots against in earning the win.


With the Red Wings’ defense in flux following the retirement of former captain Nicklas Lidstrom, the Red Wings went with seven defensemen in the lineup.  Kyle Quincey led all blueliners with 26 minutes, while Brendan Smith had a team-low five minutes.

Filppula Scores Twice as Red Wings Defeat Predators, 4-1

Valtteri Filppula scored two goals and added an assist Saturday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators.

Filppula opened the game’s scoring with 6:37 remaining in the first period, lifting a backhander from an acute angle over sprawled Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne after a Todd Bertuzzi chance bounced off the post.

Henrik Zetterberg made it 2-0 just 1:31 into the second period. Zetterberg picked drifted backwards from in close to Rinne, outwaiting him before firing a shot from the left faceoff circle into the top of the net.

At 8:34 of the period, Filppula’s second put the Red Wings up by three. Jakub Kindl threw a shot towards the net that was deflected by both Jiri Hudler and Filppula to get past Rinne.

Danny Cleary finished off Detroit’s scoring at 4:03 of the third period. Darren Helm stole the puck from Mike Fisher as the Predators attempted to clear their zone, then sent a pass to Cleary in the right faceoff circle for a one-timer past Rinne.

Nashville’s lone goal came 1:31 later, when Jack Hillen snuck in behind Helm and Jonathan Ericsson in the slot to take a pass from Colin Wilson and tip it past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Howard, making his fifteenth consecutive start, needed to make only 18 saves on 19 shots. Detroit held Nashville to only eight shots in the game’s first forty minutes.

Rinne made 33 saves on the Red Wings’ 37 shots.

Filppula’s first goal was the only power play tally of the night. Detroit had two chances with the extra attacker while Nashville had three,

After three games in four nights, the Red Wings are off until Wednesday when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Detroit forward Patrick Eaves left the game late in the third period after taking a Roman Josi shot to the side of his head. He was taken to the Detroit Medical Center for observation, where he is expected to be held overnight… Cory Emmerton, Fabian Brunnstrom and Mike Commodore were the Red Wings’ healthy scratches.

Red Wings Rally for 4-3 Overtime Win in Nashville

The Detroit Red Wings scored four consecutive goals Saturday afternoon, turning a 3-0 deficit to the Nashville Predators into a 4-3 overtime win.

Danny Cleary deflected a Brian Rafalski shot from the point past Pekka Rinne at 2:58 of the overtime period, giving the Red Wings the win.

Jakub Kindl started Detroit’s rally at 3:28 of the second period when his shot from the left point found its way through traffic and past Rinne to get the Red Wings on the board.

Justin Abdelkader made it 3-2 just 1:21 later, deflecting a Brad Stuart shot over Rinne’s shoulder from in the slot.

Abdelkader scored again at 3:59 of the third period. Todd Bertuzzi threw the puck to the front of the net and Abdelkader broke free to poke it past Rinne, tying the game up.

The Red Wings thought they had opened the game’s scoring with 3:44 left in the first but Nicklas Lidstrom‘s power play goal was called back when Tomas Holmstrom elbowed Rinne in the mask as the puck went past them.

Ryan Suter put a shot from the high slot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard with one minute left in the first period and the Predators on a five-on-three to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.

Just 1:42 into the second, Martin Erat added another power play goal to make it 2-0. Erat tipped a Shea Weber shot past Howard for the goal.

Sergei Kostitsyn blasted a shot past Howard to make it 3-0 just 55 seconds later. Mike Fisher‘s shot wide of the net deflected off the back boards to Kostitsyn, who put it in before Howard could get in position.

Howard stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced, including making a post-to-post save on Joel Ward midway through the third period to preserve the 3-3 tie. Rinne stopped 37 of 41 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings finished the afternoon scoreless on three power play opportunities while Nashville went two-for-eight, including one-for-three on five-on-threes.

Detroit is next in action on Sunday hosting the Minnesota Wild.


The Red Wings clinched their twentieth consecutive playoff berth with the win.

Red Wings Fall Short Against Senators

In a matchup that could be a preview of this spring’s Stanley Cup Finals, the Detroit Red Wings’ third-period comeback wasn’t enough as the Western Conference’s leaders fell to the Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa Senators, 3-2.

The Red Wings scored twice in the third period to tie the game but a late Ottawa power play goal gave the Senators the win.

Ottawa got on the board just 1:09 into the game on a power play when Daniel Alfredsson scored on a blast from the blue line.

Mike Fisher put the Senators up by a pair at 3:26 of the second. A Chris Chelios turnover put the puck on the stick of Luke Richardson, who sprung Fisher into the Detroit zone on a 3-on-2. Fisher raced in on goal and put a shot on Red Wings’ netminder Dominik Hasek, then poked the rebound past him.

Detroit began the comeback with a power play goal by Brian Rafalski at 7:46 of the third. Pavel Datsyuk got the puck after coming across the ice to help a two-on-two battle for the puck on the right wing boards. He tapped it along to Rafalski, who jumped in from the blue line for a blast over the glove of Ottawa goaltender Ray Emery.

With 7:54 left in the period, Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line wide of the net and off the back boards. The puck came out high into the left circle and Hudler stepped up to rifle a shot to the top corner of the net.

Alfredsson’s second of the night negated the Detroit comeback. With 2:56 left in the game, Alfredsson’s acute-angle shot from the bottom of the right circle slipped through a Jason Spezza screen and past Hasek for a power play goal.

Hasek finished the night with 29 saves on 32 shots against. Emery made 27 saves on 29 Detroit shots.


Ottawa’s Dany Heatley left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return.

Number One in the Western Conference

A hat trick by Brett Hull, 41 astonishing saves by Curtis Joseph, and a very high shot percentage by Detroit gave the Red Wings a 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. With those two points, the Red Wings have 96 points for the season””keeping a seven point division lead over the St. Louis Blues, and gaining a one point margin over the Dallas Stars for top spot in the Western Conference.

The Senators came out flying, and they were the ones to open the scoring. Karel Rachunek was able to carry the puck in a circle around the Detroit net and leave it in front for Marion Hossa to come in from nowhere and slide it around Joseph.

Joseph held the Senators off for the rest of the period, and the Red Wings tied up the game when they got a power play chance. Peter Schaefer was sent out for high-sticking Chris Chelios, and Rachunek followed for holding just over a minute later. With 52 seconds of 5-on-3 play to work with, the Red Wings were ready to go. Nicklas Lidstrom slid the puck from the right point to Hull at the left. Hull fooled everyone by passing back instead of shooting, and Lidstrom’s one-time shot sailed into the net over the left shoulder of goaltender Patrick Lalime.

Ottawa kept right on pushing, and Joseph continued to hold them off, making save after save until his defense would carry the puck away. “He was tremendous tonight,” said Ottawa’s Jason Spezza. “That’s the best goaltending we’ve seen. It was getting frustrating.”

Hull capitalized on an Ottawa turnover early in the second period to give Detroit the lead. He stole the puck from Chris Philips just outside the Senators’ zone and carried it in on the right side, then snapped the shot right past Lalime.

The Senators tied the game back up with a power play goal midway through the period. Hossa tripped Mathieu Schneider in front of the net, which went unnoticed by the referees, but gave Bryan Smolinski a clear shot on Joseph. Joseph made that save, but the rebound came free to Mike Fisher, who put the puck into the net.

Hull’s second goal of the night regained the lead for Detroit barely a minute later. Henrik Zetterberg pulled the puck out of a tangle of players along the left boards inside the Senators’ zone, then set up the pass for Hull at the left circle. With another characteristic snapping shot, Hull put the puck past Lalime.

The Red Wings got another power play chance when Shane Hnidy was sent to the box for hooking, and Zetterberg increased the lead to 4-2. Pavel Datsyuk danced the puck around an Ottawa player near the left boards and sent it to Brendan Shanahan behind the net. Shanahan made the centering pass, and Zetterberg was waiting to one-time the shot up and over Lalime.

Detroit closed out the second period having to kill off a four minute high-sticking double minor penalty to Darren McCarty. They did so successfully, and again, it was Joseph who made the difference.

Shanahan’s goal early in the third period was the one that sent Lalime out of the game. Rookie Ray Emery came in to take his place. The Red Wings had a little bit better defensive control in the third period””Joseph was still called upon to make big saves, but not on so many quality shots.

Finally, with just 44 seconds left in the game, Datsyuk and Hull capitalized on another Ottawa turnover. Datsyuk stole the puck at center ice, carried it into the Senators’ zone, and sent it across to Hull. Hull whipped a one-time slapshot right past the very surprised Emery, and fans started tossing their hats onto the ice for Hull’s third goal of the night.

The final count of shots on net was 43 to 20 in the Senators’ favor, much to the bemusement of Dave Lewis. “The goals we scored were tremendous goals,” he said. “You look at the shots at the end of the game and think, ‘What happened?’ But we won the game.”

The Red Wings’ next game will be Tuesday night at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Steve Yzerman rested this game after playing yesterday against Colorado…. Hull was honored by the NHL in a small ceremony before the game. A League official presented him with the milestone awards for his 700th goal and 600th assist, and team owners Mike and Marian Illitch presented him with a gold-plated hockey stick.