Shorthanded Red Wings Dominate Wild in Win

Without two-thirds of their top forward line, the Detroit Red Wings still shut down the Minnesota Wild Saturday night, winning 4-1 while outshooting them 51-19.

The 51 shots were a season-high for Detroit.

Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik, who scored five goals on Thursday against the New York Rangers, tallied only one assist and was -2 with two shots.

Gaborik’s point came on a Kim Johnsson power play goal with nine seconds left in the second period. Gaborik sent a cross-ice feed from the right wing to Johnsson for a shot into the top of the net.

The goal made cut Detroit’s lead to 3-1.

Detroit got on the board with a power play goal at 6:57 of the first period. A Valtteri Filppula shot into the top of the net was knocked down by the stick of goalie Niklas Backstrom, sprawled out on the ice. Pavel Datsyuk was on the doorstep, though, and banged in the rebound.

Second-period goals just 45 seconds apart gave the Wings a 3-0 lead.

With 4:46 left in the period, Johan Franzen carried the puck behind the net for a wraparound attempt, coming out wide and using defenseman Sean Hill as a screen. Backstrom came off the near post and Franzen fired a shot into the top corner.

Dan Cleary scored Detroit’s second of the period on a long outlet pass from Nicklas Lidstrom. With the Wild pushing into the Detroit zone, Lidstrom grabbed the loose puck and flung it out to Cleary, behind the Minnesota defense in the neutral zone. Cleary caught up with it at the Wild blue line and broke in on Backstrom alone, snapping a shot past him.

Tomas Kopecky wrapped up the game’s scoring at 9:59 of the third period. Brian Rafalski threw the puck on net and Backstrom couldn’t control the rebound. Kopecky fought off a defender to get to the puck and shovel it into the net.

Backstrom finished the night with 47 saves to Dominik Hasek‘s 18.

Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had seven chances with the extra attacker and Minnesota had two.

The Red Wings will be back on the ice after the holiday break, meeting the Blues in St. Louis on Wednesday night.

Mark Hartigan, who was planning to travel to Minnesota over the holiday break anyway, was called up from Grand Rapids to fill in for the injured Zetterberg… Kirk Maltby was also still out of the lineup… Cleary and Filppula replaced Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg on Datsyuk’s line.

Red Wings Hold Off Wild

The Detroit Red Wings scored all of their goals in the first 30 minutes Wednesday against Minnesota, holding off the Wild for the last 30 minutes of play to pick up a 3-1 win.

After Detroit finished scoring, Minnesota outshot the Red Wings but couldn’t get the puck in the net enough to even things up.

Kirk Maltby got Detroit on the board just 16 seconds into the game. Johan Franzen threw the puck on net from the right circle and Maltby tipped it into the pads of goaltender Niklas Backstrom. The rebound deflected off the leg of defender Keith Carney and back past Backstrom to put Detroit up, 1-0.

Henrik Zetterberg extended the lead at 4:03 of the second, getting a pass from behind the net and kicking it from his skate to his stick before wristing a shot over Backstrom’s blocker.

Franzen added a goal of his own 2:44 later, putting the puck past Backstrom from an acute angle in the left circle.

After that, the Red Wings were content to sit back and hold on to their lead.

Pavol Demitra scored Minnesota’s lone goal with 2:46 remaining, putting in the second rebound off a series of Wild chances that left Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek lying on the ice.

Despite outshooting Detroit 10-5 in the final frame, Minnesota couldn’t get another goal.

Hasek finished the night with 32 saves on 33 shots, while Backstrom stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced.

Neither team scored on the power play. Detroit had six chances with the extra skater and Minnesota had three.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Thursday night when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets. As it will be the second game in as many nights, Chris Osgood will be expected to start in goal for Detroit.

Danny Markov made his return from injury, playing 18:05. To make room for Markov, Andreas Lilja was a healthy scratch… Robert Lang played only 6:05 before leaving the game with the flu during the first intermission… Mikael Samuelsson did not return from a groin injury as had been previously expected, Josh Langfeld was called up from Grand Rapids to take his place in the lineup.