Helm’s Late Goal Keeps Red Wings Alive Against Sharks

Darren Helm scored with 1:27 remaining in regulation Friday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks and forcing a Game Five in their Western Conference Semifinal series.

The Sharks lead the series, 3-1, and could have finished the Red Wings off in Game Four.

After a faceoff in the San Jose end, Brian Rafalski held the puck in and fired a shot on goal from the right point. Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made the stop but the rebound came out to Patrick Eaves in the right faceoff circle, who pushed it across to Helm in the left circle for a wrister past Niemi.

The tally made up for a first-period turnover by Helm, leading to San Jose’s first goal and the start of a comeback after Detroit took a 3-0 lead in the first period.

With 1:44 left in the first, just 15 seconds after the Red Wings extended their early lead to 3-0, Helm turned the puck over to Ryane Clowe at the Detroit blue line. Clowe carried the puck down low along the left wing boards and threw it on net. Logan Couture got a piece of it on the way through and it trickled through Jimmy Howard‘s pads to make it 3-1.

Dan Boyle pulled the Sharks to within a single goal with 6:16 remaining in the second, slipping past Jiri Hudler into the right circle all alone, then taking a pass from Kyle Wellwood and snapping a shot past Howard.

Just 1:14 into the third, Dany Heatley beat Howard from the top of the crease off a pass from Clowe to complete the comeback, but the Sharks would be unable to pull ahead.

Todd Bertuzzi had opened the game’s scoring at 6:22 of the first. Bertuzzi carried the puck into the San Jose zone and spun around Heatley at the top of the left circle before backhanding a shot that deflected and fluttered past Niemi.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 2-0 with 8:51 left in the period, blasting the rebound of a Danny Cleary shot by Niemi.

Lidstrom’s second of the night made it 3-0 with 1:59 left in the opening frame. In the closing seconds of a Detroit power play, Henrik Zetterberg pulled the puck out of a scramble around the front of the net and brought it to the left circle. He sent a high pass out to Lidstrom in the right circle, who knocked it down off his knee and then whacked a shot out of mid-air on Niemi. The puck bounced off the ice and skipped past the San Jose goalie.

Lidstrom’s second was the lone power play goal of the night. Detroit had four tries with the extra attacker while San Jose had two.

Niemi made 36 saves on 40 shots on the night. Howard stopped 25 of 28 shots.

The two teams will meet in San Jose for Game Five on Sunday.


Mike Modano, Drew Miller and Jakub Kindl were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Pregame Notes: Sharks @ Red Wings – Game Four

I’m not going to lie, there’s a part of me that kind of hopes that – if the Red Wings are going to lose this series – they just drop Game Four tonight and get it over with.

I still firmly believe Detroit *can* win this series. When they’ve been on, they’ve had no problem competing with the Sharks. They played well enough to win Game Three. Yes, they slowed down in the third but I think that was the first time all series that San Jose got outplayed.

The problem is the Wings haven’t been on enough. Even if they flip the switch, the Sharks will attempt to counter. So I think this Detroit team can win the series but, rationally, I don’t expect it to happen. And if it’s not going to happen, I don’t want to be jerked around anymore.

I’ll admit that I’ve got a little bit of morbid curiosity about what would happen if the Wings lost a series at home. Aside from 2009, when Pittsburgh won the Cup at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings haven’t finished off a losing series in Detroit since 1999. Since then, the trend of teams saluting their fans at season’s end has sprung up. I’ve never seen the Red Wings do it and I wonder if they would given a prime opportunity.

As far as the actual game goes… No lineup changes for Detroit. I don’t know how I feel about not putting Mike Modano in, seems like his scoring potential would be nice right now. That said, the Game Three lineup was pretty solid so maybe there isn’t a need to shake it up.

Game time is 7:00 on Versus.

Pregame Notes: Red Wings @ Sharks – 5/1

It’s not quite a must-win for the Red Wings as they take on the Sharks this afternoon but it’s close. A win here means a split in San Jose and turning this series into five games with Detroit having home ice. A loss means they go home needing to hold serve at Joe Louis Arena.

Mike Babcock says the Wings will need the puck more today. Kinda hard to argue with that.

The Wings got on their heels in Game One after an early lead. They need to stay on top of things today, not just getting an early lead but extending it. Not letting up.

There may be a roster change for Detroit but that’s not confirmed yet. Drew Miller could be swapped for Mike Modano or Kris Draper. Everything else stays the same, including the lines that feature Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk playing together.

Start time is 3:00 on NBC.

Red Wings Drop Game One to Sharks in OT

The Detroit Red Wings took a 1-0 lead into the third period Friday night but it wasn’t enough, as the San Jose Sharks rallied for a 2-1 overtime win.

Benn Ferriero scored 7:03 into the extra period, making the most of his first career playoff game.

The Red Wings failed to clear their own zone after killing a four-minute power play, leading to Ferriero getting the puck along the left wing boards. He threw it on net and it deflected off of Brad Stuart‘s stick, bouncing past Jimmy Howard to give the Sharks the win.

Joe Pavelski had tied the game up with 9:38 left in the third period, batting the rebound of a Joe Thornton shot out of the air and past Howard on a San Jose power play.

Detroit’s lone goal came 9:30 into the first period, when Nicklas Lidstrom snuck into the high slot to take a feed from Pavel Datsyuk and blast a shot past Antti Niemi.

Niemi finished the night with 24 saves on 25 chances while Howard stopped 44 of San Jose’s 46 shots.

Pavelski’s goal was the only power play marker of the night. The Sharks went one-for-six with the extra attacker. The Red Wings had two power play opportunities.

Game Two betwen the teams will be Sunday afternoon.


The Red Wings played with a healthy lineup for the first time all postseason. The scratches were Mike Modano, Kris Draper, and Jakub Kindl.

Pregame Notes: Red Wings @ Sharks – Game One

The Detroit Red Wings end come back from eight days off to visit the San Jose Sharks in Game One of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup tonight.

Detroit last played on April 20, when they finished off a first-round sweep of the Phoenix Coyotes. The Sharks completed a 4-2 series win over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

Henrik Zetterberg will return to the Red Wings’ lineup, having recovered from his sprained left MCL during Detroit’s time off. Johan Franzen is also expected to play after missing Game Four against Phoenix with a sore ankle. Mike Modano and Drew Miller are the probable healthy scratches up front, with Jakub Kindl remaining the odd-man-out on defense.

Much is being made of San Jose’s scoring depth but Matt Saler points out that the Sharks had only 10 different goal scorers in their six first-round games, while Detroit had 13 scorers in four games.

The Sharks could be facing a goaltending controversy, as Antti Niemi was pulled twice in the first round while earning a 3.99 GAA and .863 save percentage. Detroit’s Jimmy Howard had a 2.50 GAA and a .915 save percentage.

FSD and Versus have the Game One TV coverage, with the game set to start at 10:00 PM.

Red Wings Finish Sweep of Coyotes with 6-3 Win

The Detroit Red Wings rode three third-period goals to a 6-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday night, completing a four-game sweep in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Danny Cleary scored on a shot from the left corner with 6:19 remaining in regulation to break a 3-3 tie. Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov came off the near post and Cleary’s acute-angle shot deflected off of Bryzgalov’s arm and into the net.

Todd Bertuzzi put Detroit up by a pair 1:53 later when his wraparound attempt deflected off defenseman David Schlemko’s skate and slipped past Bryzgalov.

Patrick Eaves added an empty net goal to finish off the scoring, his second goal of the night.

Detroit had opened the game’s scoring just 3:47 into the first period. Tomas Holmstrom chipped the puck through the neutral zone for Pavel Datsyuk to gain the Phoenix zone. Datsyuk cut latterally through the slot and dropped a pass for a streaking Holmstrom to fling past Bryzgalov.

The Coyotes responded 1:59 later, when Taylor Pyatt’s attempted crossing pass from the left wing boards deflected off of Jonathan Ericsson‘s skate and slid past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

At 9:46 of the period, Shane Doan gave Phoenix its second lead of the series, winning a battle along the boards and stepping into the left faceoff circle to fire a shot that deflected off of Nicklas Lidstrom and squeaked past Howard.

Eaves scored his first of the night to tie things back up with 1:13 remaining in the opening frame. Darren Helm bowled over Michal Rozsival and Keith Yandle behind the Phoenix net and came away with the puck, coming out to the side of the goal and sending a cross-crease pass to Eaves for a tap-in.

Martin Hanzal put Phoenix back in front just 1:09 into the second. Radim Vrbata drifted across the front of the net with the puck on a Coyotes power play before passing off to Hanzal at the far side of the net. Hanzal buried it into the open goal as Howard dove to get back.

Detroit countered with their own power play goal as Niklas Kronwall buried a rebound chance from the slot after a scramble in front of the net at 4:49.

The Coyotes finished the night with one goal on two power play tries while the Red Wings went one-for-three with the extra attacker.

Howard stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced. Bryzgalov made 34 saves on 39 shots.

Detroit must now wait for the conclusion of the other first-round matchups to know who they will play in the Western Conference Semifinals.


The Red Wings played without Henrik Zetterberg (knee) and Johan Franzen (ankle). Zetterberg missed all four games of the series while Franzen was a late scratch, having taken the pre-game skate. Mike Modano replaced Franzen in the lineup… Jakub Kindl was a healthy scratch on defense.

Red Wings Score Early, Down Coyotes 4-2

The Detroit Red Wings scored twice in the first three minutes Monday night, jumping out to an early lead that the Phoenix Coyotes never recovered from en route to a 4-2 win.

With the victory, Detroit leads their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup, 3-0, and will go for the sweep in Glendale on Wednesday.

Ruslan Salei and Drew Miller scored just 44 seconds apart to get Detroit on the board.

At 1:57, Darren Helm fought off a check by Ed Jovanovski to get the puck along the back boards and send it out to Salei at the top of the right faceoff circle for a blast past Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. At 2:41, a Niklas Kronwall shot deflected off of Drew Miller to make it 2-0.

Valtteri Filppula made it 3-0 just 2:50 into the second period, carrying the puck through the slot and into the left faceoff circle before flinging it past Bryzgalov.

David Schlemko got the Coyotes on the board with 8:17 left in the middle period. With Phoenix on a power play, Schlemko got the puck in the left circle and drove to the net, roofing a shot over Jimmy Howard‘s shoulder.

Johan Franzen put Detroit back up by three 45 seconds into the third period, breaking in alone on Bryzgalov and sniping a shot over his shoulder.

Ray Whitney‘s power play shot with seven minutes remaining deflected past Howard to put the Coyotes back within a pair but Phoenix would be unable to pull closer.

The Red Wings were scoreless on four power play attempts while the Coyotes’ two goals came on three tries with the extra attacker. The last five Phoenix goals have all been on the power play.

Howard finished the night with 28 saves on 30 shots. Bryzgalov made 30 stops on 34 chances.


Detroit was without forward Henrik Zetterberg for the fifth consecutive game. He is not expected to play in Game Four… Mike Modano and Jakub Kindl were healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Red Wings Hold Off Coyotes for Game Two Win

The Detroit Red Wings took a 4-0 lead early Saturday and held off a comeback attempt by the Phoenix Coyoted to pick up a 4-3 win. The Red Wings now lead their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup, 2-0.

Pavel Datsyuk carried Detroit to their early lead, factoring in on all four goals, scoring once and assisting three more times.

Shane Doan played the same role for the Coyotes in their comeback, scoring twice and adding an assist on three power play goals.

Datsyuk got the Red Wings on the board with 9:18 left in the first period, the first of Detroit’s two goals on the power play. After getting the puck from Nicklas Lidstrom above the left faceoff circle, Datsyuk drifted into the high slot and dragged the puck to his right, snapping a shot past Ilya Bryzgalov to give Detroit the early lead.

Brian Rafalski added another power play goal with 4:10 left in the period, blasting a shot from just inside the blue line past Bryzgalov.

With just 59 seconds left in the first, Darren Helm made it 3-0. Datsyuk broke away from three defenders in the neutral zone and raced in on Bryzgalov, taking the puck between his legs for a shot that the Phoenix netminder got his pad on. After the initial save, no one made a move to stop Helm, who jumped in and banged the rebound over the sprawled-out goalie.

Tomas Holmstrom deflected a Valtteri Filppula shot into the top of the net to make it 4-0 at 1:11 of the second period, at which point the Red Wings seemingly let off the gas.

Radmin Vrbata got the Coyotes on the board at 7:02 of the middle period, snapping the rebound of a shot by Doan through an attempted block by Kris Draper and into the open side of Jimmy Howard‘s net while Danny Cleary was off for elbowing.

Doan’s first came at 5:49 of the third period, pulling Phoenix to within a pair. With Todd Bertuzzi off for slashing, Doan got to the side of the net and backhanded the rebound of a Keith Yandle shot past Howard.

In the closing seconds of a five-on-three, Doan slapped a shot from the high slot past Howard to make it 4-3 at 8:37 of the closing frame.

The Red Wings were outshot 11-10 in the third period but held on, taking back puck control in the final three minutes to limit the Coyotes’ chances with Bryzgalov on the bench for an extra attacker.

Detroit finished the afternoon with two goals on five power play chances. Phoenix went three-for-seven with the extra attacker.

Howard stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced in net while Bryzgalov made 27 stops on 31 chances.

The two teams will meet again on Monday in Glendale.


The Red Wings lost Johan Franzen for a significant portion of the first period after he went face-first into the boards on a hit by Doan. He required over twenty stitches and returned early in the second period… Detroit was without Henrik Zetterberg again, still out with a leg injury… Mike Modano and Jakub Kindl were healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Red Wings Score Four Straight in Game One Victory over Coyotes

The Detroit Red Wings scored four consecutive goals Wednesday night, propelling them to a 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Game One of their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup.

Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Brian Rafalski and Jiri Hudler scored in succession for Detroit after the Red Wings gave up the game’s first goal early.

Kyle Turris opened the scoring just 2:16 into the first period, roofing a shot from the near edge of the right faceoff circle over Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard‘s shoulder.

Phoenix was poised to take control of the game for the rest of the first period, as the Red Wings took four penalties in the frame. The Detroit penalty kill came up big, though, killing off every Coyotes chance, including 1:29 of five-on-three.

Datsyuk got the Red Wings on the board at 7:38 of the second period. Franzen drove to the net from low on the left wing but the puck was knocked back behind the goal, where Datsyuk picked it up and wrapped it around, beating Ilya Bryzgalov to the far post to make it 1-1.

Franzen made it 2-1 with 7:58 left in the period, snapping a shot from the high slot past Bryzgalov.

Rafalski blasted a shot from the blue line into the back of the net with 1:44 left in the second and the Red Wings on a power play, giving Detroit a 3-1 lead after two periods.

At 3:16 of the third, Hudler snapped a shot over Bryzgalov’s shoulder after streaking down the left wing, making it 4-1 in favor of Detroit.

Radim Vrbata slapped a bouncing puck from the right wing boards past Howard to pull Phoenix back to within two at 7:38 of the third but the Coyotes would be unable to close any further.

Rafalski’s goal was the lone power play marker of the night, with Detroit having three tries with the man-advantage and the Coyotes having six, including their five-on-three.

Howard stopped 26 of 28 shots while Bryzgalov made 32 saves on 36 chances.

Game Two between the two teams will be Saturday afternoon in Detroit.


With his goal and an assist on Datsyuk’s, Franzen has points in thirteen consecutive playoff games… The Red Wings were without Henrik Zetterberg, still recovering from a lower-body injury… Mike Modano and Jakub Kindl were healthy scratches for Detroit.

Red Wings Clinch Central Division with Win over Wild

The Detroit Red Wings locked up their ninth Central Division title in the past ten seasons with a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild Sunday afternoon.

The division championship was clinched one day after Detroit made the playoffs for the twentieth consecutive season, the active record in North American pro sports.

Darren Helm opened the scoring for the Red Wings just 2:46 into the game. Helm took a pass from Patrick Eaves in the slot and drifted towards the right faceoff circle before snapping a shot past Minnesota netminder Jose Theodore.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 2-0 with 20 seconds left in the first and the teams skating four-on-four with a blast from the blue line that went through a screen set by Pavel Datsyuk, playing in his first game since March 17.

The Wild pulled back to within a goal at 4:32 of the second period, when Brad Staubitz knocked the puck out from under Jimmy Howard and into the Detroit net.

Detroit regained the two-goal lead with 7:22 left in the period. With the Red Wings on the power play, Tomas Holmstrom got the puck in the high slot and skated around a diving Brent Burns before snapping a shot past Theodore.

Johan Franzen banged the puck past Theodore from in close at 6:11 of the third to put the Red Wings up by three.

Detroit thought they had a 5-1 lead later in the period when a Brad Stuart shot beat Theodore but the goal was waived off because Justin Abdelkader had been knocked into the net.

The Wild finished off the game’s scoring with 3:06 remaining when Carson MacMillan beat Howard on a rebound try for his first career goal.

Howard finished the night with 27 saves on 29 shots while Theodore maade 30 saves on 34 chances.

The Red Wings went one-for-three on the power play. Minnesota was scoreless on five power play tries.

Detroit is now off until Wednesday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes before a season-ending weekend series with the Chicago Blackhawks.


With Datsyuk’s return to the lineup, the Red Wings rested forward Mike ModanoNiklas Kronwall remained out of the lineup on the blue line and Kris Draper was a healthy scratch.