Red Wings Rally for Shootout Win over Sabres

Jiri Hudler scored with less than a minute remaining in regulation and then again in the shootout to help lead the Detroit Red Wings to a comeback win over the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night.

The Sabres led 2-0 after the first period before the Red Wings rallied.

Hudler tied the game up with 58 seconds left in the third period. He jumped off the bench as an extra attacker just in time to jump into the play and put the rebound of a Johan Franzen shot past Sabres netminder Ryan Miller.

Pavel Datsyuk had gotten the Red Wings on the board with 9:17 left in the second period, with Detroit on a power play. Datsyuk’s attempted shot from the high slot was blocked but the puck came right back to him to swat through traffic and past Miller.

Datsyuk and Hudler provided the scoring in the shootout, as well. Datsyuk beat Miller on a backhand on Detroit’s first attempt and Hudler tried the same move, putting a shot off the crossbar before the puck bounced back down off Miller’s back and across the goal line.

Detroit goalie Joey MacDonald stopped Drew Stafford and Thomas Vanek in their shootout chances.

Buffalo scored twice in 2:04 in the first period to get out to their early lead.

Andrej Sekera lifted a backhander on a quick two-on-one over MacDonald with 7:05 left in the period.

With 5:01 left, Mike Grier kicked the puck from his skate to his stick and beat MacDonald from in close to make it 2-0.

MacDonald finished the night with 30 saves on 32 Buffalo shots. Miller stopped 35 of Detroit’s 37 chances.

Datsyuk’s goal was the lone power play goal of the night. Detroit had two tries with the man-advantage to Buffalo’s one.

The Red Wings continue their five-game road trip in Los Angeles on Monday when they face the Kings.


Detroit was without defenseman Brian Rafalski, who missed the game with back spasms. He is expected to return in Los Angeles. Jakub Kindl played in his place… Mike Modano and Valtteri Filppula returned to the Red Wings lineup from injury. Drew Miller was a healthy scratch to make room for them.

Same Old, Same… Oh, Nevermind

After the first period, I fully expected this game to be another like Detroit’s matchup with Anaheim earlier this week. Thankfully, the second and third periods were a bit better to the Red Wings.

San Jose made their mark – both on the scoresheet and on the Detroit lineup – early. Mike Grier scored a power play goal and Kyle McLaren got away with interference on Dallas Drake, driving Drake into the end boards and out of the game. The Red Wings would say nothing more than that Drake got “his bell rung.” McLaren would get what was coming to him later when Aaron Downey went toe-to-toe with him.

Detroit got on the board in the second period with goals by Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg. Both were on hard shots from the high slot, something the Wings haven’t been doing well. Those shots haven’t been getting through but tonight they did.

Another thing that had been going against the Wings but went for them tonight: Quick whistles. Detroit lost out on a goal in Chicago earlier this season on a quick whistle but tonight they were saved when the officials lost sight of the puck in Chris Osgood‘s crease.

Matt Ellis‘ third-period goal – the first of his NHL career – ended up as the game-winner. Pavel Datsyuk added an insurance marker on a five-on-three made possible by a slash to the stick of Kris Draper by Mike Grier – another play that has gone in reverse against Detroit earlier this season.

Hasek Blanks Sharks, Red Wings Advance

Goaltender Dominik Hasek was perfect on Monday night, stopping all 28 shots he faced as his Detroit Red Wings picked up a 2-0 win over the San Jose Sharks, ending their Western Conference Final series.

With the win, the Red Wings advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they will face the Anaheim Ducks.

Hasek had help in earning his 13th career playoff shutout, including a first period stop on Mike Grier by defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.

Hasek came out of the net to play the puck and lost it to Grier, who took it behind the net for a wraparound attempt. Lidstrom dove across the crease to cover for Hasek, knocking the puck away from the goal line.

Mikael Samuelsson scored both Detroit goals, starting with 4:34 remaining in the first period.

Samuelsson caught up with a long outlet pass from Johan Franzen in the Sharks zone, then cut across the top of the crease and outwaited San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov, sliding the puck behind the netminder after he had sprawled out on the ice.

With 8 seconds remaining in the opening period, Samuelsson added his second, putting a wrist shot over Nabokov’s glove while on a two-on-one with Robert Lang.

Nabokov finished the night with 20 saves on 22 shots.

Neither team scored on the power play with four opportunities.

The Red Wings will open their Western Conference Final series with Anaheim on Friday night in Detroit.


Detroit was without defenseman Mathieu Schnieder, who suffered a broken wrist in game five of the series. Brett Lebda returned from injury to take Schneider’s spot in the lineup.

Sharks Blank Red Wings to Open Series

The San Jose Sharks took an early 1-0 series lead over the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night, picking up a 2-0 victory in game one of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup.

The Sharks rode two quick first period goals to the victory and the Red Wings were never able to make up the difference.

Matt Carle got San Jose on the board on the Sharks’ lone power play at 9:45 of the first period. Joe Thornton got the puck down low near the right faceoff circle and sent a pass across the ice to a streaking Carle, who put a one-timer from the left circle past Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek.

The Sharks extended their lead just 24 seconds later on a broken play. As the teams fought for the puck in the left circle, it squirted out into the skates of Mike Grier in the slot. Grier spun and whacked the puck on net, getting it past Hasek.

Detroit would dominate the play from then on out but couldn’t get on the board. After allowing ten San Jose shots in the first period, the Red Wings held the Sharks to only nine for the rest of the game. The Wings would end up with 34 shots but goalie Evgeni Nabokov stopped them all, as well as getting help from his team with 18 blocked shots.

The Red Wings look to even up the series on Saturday when they host the Sharks in game two.


Detroit was without forward Tomas Holmstrom (eye) and defenseman Brett Lebda (concussion/ankle). Neither player has set a return date.

Trade Deadline Updates: Today’s News from Around the NHL

Bertuzzi Suspended Indefinitely: (updated 6:06 EST) Forward Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks has been suspended indefinitely without pay following a match penalty assessed for deliberately injuring Steve Moore during Vancouver’s 9-2 loss to Colorado Monday night. Bertuzzi punched Moore in the head from behind, and Moore collapsed to the ice as his blood pooled around him.

Moore, who had hit Vancouver captain Markus Naslund hard enough to cause a concussion back on February 16, was taken off the ice on a stretcher and transported to the hospital. Moore will miss the rest of the season with a concussion and neck fracture.

A hearing will take place Wednesday at the NHL’s offices in Toronto to determine the length of Bertuzzi’s suspension. British Columbia Provincial Police are also investigating the incident.

Canucks Stack Up for Playoffs: (5:58 EST) The Vancouver Canucks put through a flurry of deals just before the deadline, hoping to provide the missing pieces of the playoff puzzle. Their biggest deal was to acquire left wing Martin Rucinsky from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Martin Grenier and the rights to unsigned draft pick RJ Umberger. They also acquired left wing Geoff Sanderson from the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for a third round draft pick in 2004, and gained left wing Sylvain Blouin from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Rene Vydareny. On defense, the Canucks picked up Marc Bergevin in exchange for a 2004 seventh round draft pick. (So many left wings…. could they be expecting to not have Todd Bertuzzi for the playoffs?)

Preds Fine-Tune Roster at Deadline: (5:49 EST) The Nashville Predators continued to adjust their roster in hopes of their first ever playoff run by acquiring defenseman Shane Hnidy from the Ottawa Senators for a third round pick in the 2004 draft and sending Stan Neckar to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a 2004 sixth round pick. Neckar knows the Lightning well- he played for them for parts of the previous three seasons.

Kings, Thrashers Swap Wingers: (4:23 EST) The Los Angeles Kings made a minor deal Tuesday at the NHL trade deadline, acquiring Jeff Cowan from the Atlanta Thrashers for Kip Brennan in a swap of left wings. Cowan, 27, has played 58 games this season, recording career highs with nine goals and 15 assists. “Jeff is a big, physical winger who forechecks well and is strong around the net,” Kings general manager Dave Taylor said. “We like his work ethic and feel he will be a real good fit for our team.”

Sharks, Bruins, Sabres Complete 3-Team Deal: (updated 4:19 EST) The San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres have completed a three-way swap of two centers and a defenseman. Defenseman Jeff Jillson, originally a Shark, was traded from Boston to Buffalo. Buffalo sent center Curtis Brown to the Sharks, who sent defenseman Brad Boyes to the Bruins.

The deal was followed by another three-way trade with the same teams. Buffalo sent defenseman Andy Delmore to San Jose for a ninth-round pick in 2005, and the Sharks sent Delmore to Boston for future considerations.

Sabres Obtain Grier: (4:16 EST) The Washington Capitals continued to trim the payroll before the deadline by giving up veteran right wing Mike Grier to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for 19-year-old Czech prospect Jakub Klepis. “Mike Grier is one of the finest individuals we have ever had in Washington. It was difficult to trade Mike, but as we look to the future, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to acquire Klepis,” Capitals general manager George McPhee said. Klepis has 4 goals and 9 assists in 44 games this season with team HC Slavia Praha in the Czech Republic.

Isles Pick Up Karpovtsev: (3:30 EST) The New York Islanders acquired defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a fourth round draft pick in 2005. Karpovtsev is expected to add depth at the blue line and help fill the hole left when defenseman Radek Martinek sustained a broken left ankle which will keep him out for the rest of the regular season.

Jackets, Pens Make Deal: (3:27 EST) The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired center Brian Holzinger from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for left wing Lasse Pirjeta in a trade deadline deal between teams that will miss the playoffs. Each player, however, should help his new team to improve for next season.

Rangers Restock Depleted Team: (3:06 EST) The New York Rangers have been trading away most of their higher-level players for prospects and draft picks in a desperate effort to dump salary. They filled two holes in the lineup by picking up forward Sandy McCarthy (formerly of the Boston Bruins) and center Mike Green (formerly of the Florida Panthers) from waivers Tuesday afternoon.

Blues Acquire Savage: (3:01 EST) The St. Louis Blues picked up left wing Brian Savage from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for future considerations. In a separate deal, the Coyotes gained defenseman Tom Koivisto from the Blues in return for other future considerations.

Stars Sign Sekeras: (2:24 EST) The Dallas Stars signed free agent defenseman Lubomir Sekeras of the Swedish Elite League through the end of this season. Sekeras, formerly of the Minnesota Wild, will join his new team as soon as his immigration paperwork is completed. “This signing gives us eight capable defensemen as we head into the playoffs,” said Dallas general manager Doug Armstrong.

Sekeras will join trade acquisitions Chris Therien and Valeri Bure as the newest members of the Stars.

Francis Waives No-Trade Clause: (1:25 EST) Veteran center Ron Francis waived his no-trade clause and was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In return, the Carolina Hurricanes recieved a fourth-round draft pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Francis, the now-former Hurricanes’ captain, had refused to accept a trade until today. The Vancouver Canucks were also interested in acquiring him, but Francis did not want to play in the travel-intensive Western Conference. He will provide veteran leadership to the Maple Leafs in their playoff run.

The Leafs also acquired left wing Chad Kilger off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.

Rangers Continue to Sell: (1:00 EST) The New York Rangers continued their fire sale, sending defenseman Greg DeVries to the Ottawa Senators for Karel Rachunek and Alexandre Giroux. DeVries was signed by the Rangers before the start of this season and was one of their more consistant defensemen. Rachunek was one of the Senators’ top defensemen and will be one of the pillars of the rebuilt Rangers’ defensive corps. Giroux, a center, has not played in the NHL this season.

Avs on the Move: (12:00 EST) The Colorado Avalanche made two deals in the hours leading up to Tuesday’s 3:00 EST trade deadline. Most notably, Colorado acquired goaltender Tommy Salo from the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday in exchange for the rights to defenseman Tom Gilbert. The Avalanche also acquired Edmonton’s sixth round pick in the 2005 draft as part of the deal. The 33-year-old Salo has never won a playoff series, but has lost four times to the Dallas Stars in the first round.

Colorado also sent defensemen Derek Morris and Keith Ballard to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for center Chris Gratton, defenseman Ossi Vaananen, and the Coyotes’ second round pick in the 2005 draft.

Leafs Sign Johansson: (12:00 EST) Defenseman Calle Johansson came out of retirement to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the remainder of this season. Johansson retired from the Washington Capitals in August of 2003. He holds the Capitals’ all-time records for points (983), assists (474), and power play goals (51) by a defenseman. Financial terms of the deal with Toronto were not disclosed.

DetroitHockey.Net writer Clark Rasmussen contributed