Kronwall’s First Lifts Red Wings over Oilers

Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall‘s first goal of the season broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period Saturday afternoon, lifting the Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers.

Kronwall’s goal was also part of a strong special teams effort by the Wings, as they scored both of their goals on the power play and stopped seven of Edmonton’s eight chances with the extra attacker.

It was at 6:08 of the third period when Pavel Datsyuk corralled a loose puck in the right faceoff circle and backhanded a pass out to Kronwall at the blue line. Kronwall stepped up to the top of the left circle and blasted a shot through traffic and past Oilers’ netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.

Datsyuk had opened the game’s scoring at 8:33 of the second period on the conclusion of a quick passing play. Henrik Zetterberg sent the puck from the high slot to Damien Brunner down low on the left side. Brunner snapped a cross-ice pass through the top of the crease to Datsyuk on the right side, who cut to the front of the net and slid it under Khabibulin.

Edmonton’s lone goal came with 2:05 left in the second period when Justin Schultz snapped a wrister from the high slot through a screen and in behind Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Howard finished the afternoon with 23 saves on 24 shots while Khabibulin made 28 saves on 30 shots.

The Red Wings will have little time to rest following their win. They host the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday at 12:30.

Wings’ Streak Reaches 18 with Win over Oilers

The Detroit Red Wings stretched their franchise-record home winning streak to eighteen games Wednesday night with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

It was the first game of the streak not won by goaltender Jimmy Howard, who’s out of the lineup with a broken index finger. Joey MacDonald earned the victory in net for the Red Wings, stopping 15 of the 17 shots he faced.

The Red Wings needed a third-period charge to finish off the Oilers. After Detroit took a 2-0 lead, Edmonton rallied before the Wings scored twice more to finish things off.

Johan Franzen opened the game’s scoring with 6:42 left in the first period with a rare power play goal. Ian White fired a shot from the middle of the ice, just inside the blue line. Franzen tipped it at the top of the crease, redirecting it past Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

Cory Emmerton made it 2-0 at 2:45 of the second period, driving to the net to lift a backhander past Khabibulin when the rebound of a Justin Abdelkader chance squirted free.

Sam Gagner continued his torrid scoring pace for the Oilers, getting them on the board with 8:52 left in the middle period. With Jakub Kindl heading to the bench to be replaced by White and Jonathan Ericsson trying to fight Edmonton’s Ben Eager, Gagner was left all alone to take an outlet pass and break in on MacDonald, faking around his poke-check to score his seventh goal in four games.

Gagner tied things up on an Oiler power play at 8:23 of the third, putting the rebound of a Magnus Paajarvi chance past MacDonald.

The Red Wings would regain the lead 2:23 later. Justin Abdelkader’s chance from the left circle slipped through Khabibulin’s pads and came to a stop in the crease. Drew Miller drove to the net and found it before anyone else could, knocking it in to make it 3-2.

Henrik Zetterberg wrapped up the game’s scoring with 5:16 remaining, snapping a shot from down low in the left circle over Khabibulin’s blocker.

Khabibulin finished the night with 26 saves on 30 shots against.

Each team scored once on the power play. The Oilers had seven tries with the extra attacker, including 1:14 of five-on-three in the first period. Detroit had four power play tries.

The Red Wings continue their six-game homestand on Friday when they host the Anaheim Ducks.

Detroit forward Danny Cleary left the game after the second period. The team announced after the game that he will have his knee drained and is expected to miss up to a week… Jan Mursak and Mike Commodore were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Miller Scores Late to Carry Red Wings Past Oilers

Drew Miller scored his fourth goal in five games with 4:15 left in the third period Monday night, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

It was the second time this season that Miller scored the game-winning goal against Edmonton, as he had previously scored Detroit’s first goal in a 3-0 win over the Oilers on November 11.

Darren Helm won a battle in the right corner with Ladislav Smid and sent the puck out to Nicklas Lidstrom at the left point. Lidstrom fired a shot that Miller tipped in the slot, redirecting it past Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

Danny Cleary had opened the game’s scoring at 4:33 of the first period.

After a broken play in the right faceoff circle saw a series of shots blocked before they could get through to Khabibulin, the puck squirted out to Jakub Kindl at the top of the circle. Kindl snapped a shot that Cleary deflected past Khabibulin to get the Red Wings on the board.

The Oilers tied things back up at 2:37 of the second, when Ryan Jones broke in alone on netminder Jimmy Howard and snapped a shot past him to make it 1-1.

Detroit regained the lead with 5:24 left in the middle frame. Jiri Hudler parked himself in front of the Edmonton crease and tipped a Henrik Zetterberg shot from the slot past Khabibulin.

With less than a second remaining and Edmonton on a power play, Jordan Eberle jumped on a loose puck in the high slot and whipped it past Howard to tie things back up heading into the second intermission.

Eberle’s goal was the only power play goal of the night. Edmonton had five tries with the extra attacker while the Red Wings had two.

Howard finished the night with 21 saves on 23 shots against. Khabibulin made 25 stops on 28 shots.

The Wings continue their road trip through Western Canada on Wednesday when they visit the Vancouver Canucks.

Howard Stops 24 as Red Wings Blank Oilers

Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped all 24 shots he faced Friday night, leading the Red Wings to a 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers to stretch the team’s winning streak to three games.

Howard outdueled Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who carried a goals against average of 0.98 into the game. Khabibulin stopped 27 of the Red Wings’ 30 shots.

Drew Miller was the first to beat Khabibulin with 9:25 left in the first period. Patrick Eaves threw a shot towards the goal and the puck deflected off the skate of defenseman Tom Gilbert to Miller in the slot. Miller swatted it back past Khabibulin to get Detroit on the board.

It was 2-0 just 2:05 into the second period when a Niklas Kronwall blast beat Khabibulin top shelf from high between the faceoff circles.

Valtteri Filppula finished off the scoring with 5:08 left in regulation, tipping the puck past Khabibulin on a two-on-one with Henrik Zetterberg.

The Red Wings did not score a power play goal on the night. They had six tries with the power play to Edmonton’s three.

The Wings are back in action on Saturday when they host the Dallas Stars in the final game of their six-game homestand.

Justin Abdelkader fought Lennart Petrell early in the second period… Todd Bertuzzi sat out his third consecutive game with a head injury… Fabian Brunnstrom and Mike Commodore were healthy scratches.

Late Goals Lift Red Wings over Oilers

Todd Bertuzzi and Darren Helm scored within 44 seconds of each other late in the Red Wings’ Tuesday night matchup with the Edmonton Oilers, carrying Detroit to a 5-3 win.

Bertuzzi’s second of the night broke a 3-3 tie with 2:50 remaining and Helm added an insurance marker with 2:06 left in the game.

Bertuzzi scored on a shot from the left faceoff circle that deflected off of the skate of defenseman Ladislav Smid in front of the net and past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

Helm outwaited Khabibulin on a rush, cutting to the slot and snapping a shot into the top corner after Khabibulin went down.

The goals came after the Oilers had rallied from two down to start the period, tying the game.

On a delayed penalty 4:54 into the third, Theo Peckham jumped up and snuck into the slot, where he took a pass from Sam Gagner and snapped a shot past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

Gagner would tie the game with 8:29 left, slipping a shot from the left circle through Osgood’s pads after a faceoff win.

Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring just 3:43 in with a slap shot from the blue line.

Gilbert Brule responded with 8:22 remaining in the first, skating around Kris Draper to get to the slot and take a feed from Liam Reddox, backhanding a chance past Osgood.

Bertuzzi’s first of the night made it 2-1 at 6:40 of the second, when he scored on a wraparound chance.

Draper raced to the net to take a feed from Helm and backhand a shot over Khabibulin with 9:17 remaining in the middle period to make it 3-1, setting up the third.

Though the Oilers did get a goal on a delayed penalty, neither team scored on the power play. The Red Wings had two tries while Edmonton had three.

Osgood stopped 22 of 25 shots in earning the win. Khabibulin made 32 saves on 37 chances.

The Red Wings now have two days off before they visit the Calgary Flames as their five-game road trip continues.

Detroit was without Patrick Eaves for the third consecutive game. Tomas Tatar continued to play in his place.

Howard Stops 29 Shots in Red Wings’ Win over Oilers

Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard allowed only one goal Friday night, stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced in leading the Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Howard is unbeaten in his last 22 games that ended in regulation, a streak stretching back to last March. He is 6-0-1 this season.

Justin Abdelkader scored his second goal in as many games to open the game’s scoring just 1:45 into the first period. He drove to the net on a two-on-one with Mike Modano and swatted the rebound from Modano’s shot under Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

The Oilers pulled back even on a power play at 5:26 of the second. Howard sprawled out in the crease to stop a chance from right in front by Shawn Horcoff but Horcoff dished the puck off to Taylor Hall, who roofed it from the side of the net.

Detroit responded with a power play goal of their own 3:20 later, as Nicklas Lidstrom and Danny Cleary combined to work the puck from the left faceoff circle to the right, where Valtteri Filppula snapped a shot into the open side of the net.

Cleary added an empty-net goal with 21 seconds remaining in the game to round out the scoring.

Khabibulin stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced, including a highlight-reel glove save in the second period.

Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had four tries with the extra attacker while Edmonton had five.

The Red Wings are back in action Saturday night as they visit the Vancouver Canucks.

Detroit forward Jiri Hudler was back in the lineup after missing two games as a healthy scratch. Drew Miller sat to make room for Hudler.

Helm Scores in OT to Put Red Wings in Finals

Red Wings’ rookie forward Darren Helm scored 3:58 into overtime Wednesday night, lifting Detroit to a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks and putting the Wings into the Stanley Cup Finals for the second consecutive year.

Detroit’s 4-1 series win over Chicago means the Red Wings move on to face the Pittsburgh Penguins, who they defeated in a six-game series in last season’s Finals.

The game-winning goal came on a scramble in front of Chicago netminder Christobal Huet. Brett Lebda put a shot on net that Huet stopped but Tomas Holmstrom knocked the puck loose from the edge of the crease. Helm was free to bang the puck into the open net for his fourth career playoff goal.

Huet had been stellar all night, finishing the game with 44 saves on 46 Detroit chances, including a sprawling kick save on Johan Franzen in the closing seconds of regulation.

The Red Wings broke a scoreless tie 6:08 into the third period, with Dan Cleary deflecting a shot from Lebda past Huet.

Chicago tied things back up with 7:07 left in regulation on Patrick Kane‘s first goal of the series. Kane raced into the Detroit end down the right wing boards and lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Wings’ netminder Chris Osgood.

Osgood ended up with 30 saves on the night, including several on Colin Fraser, who made his first appearance of the series in place of the injured Martin Havlat.

In addition to missing Havlat, the Blackhawks were without starting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

The Red Wings came into the game with a long list of injured players. Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper, Tomas Kopecky and Andreas Lilja were joined by Jonathan Ericsson, who had an emergency appendectomy Wednesday morning.

Datsyuk, Lidstrom and Ericsson are expected to be in the lineup for Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Lidstrom, Datsyuk Out for Game Five

The Detroit Red Wings will remain without captain Nicklas Lidstrom and forward Pavel Datsyuk for tonight’s Game Five against the Chicago Blackhawks. Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock ruled the two players out after they missed the morning skate.

“I think they’re both getting closer,” said Babcock. “I’d like to think they’ll play the next time we play. I thought that today though.”

Both players, along with Kris Draper, also missed Game Four of the series. The Wings are expected to use the same lineup as they did in that game, with Justin Abdelkader and Chris Chelios playing.

The Blackhawks had goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin back on the ice for the morning skate after he missed Game Four. Martin Havlat did not skate with the team. He was injured in the past two games on hits by Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart.

Hossa, Zetterberg Lead Shorthanded Red Wings over Blackhawks

Marian Hossa and Henrik Zetterberg each scored twice for the Red Wings Sunday afternoon, providing the scoring to lift a Detroit team that was missing many of its top players to a 6-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Red Wings now have a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference Final matchup.

Detroit was without MVP finalist Pavel Datsyuk, Norris Trophy finalist Nicklas Lidstrom, and faceoff master Kris Draper, all lost to injury. They then lost goalie Chris Osgood to dehydration after the second period.

The Blackhawks were without injured goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and eventually lost Martin Havlat to a crushing hit for the second consecutive game.

Missing so many players, the Red Wings were already in a hole when Zetterberg was called for holding at 7:41 of the first period. Hossa and Valtteri Filppula turned the tables on the Chicago power play, though, breaking free on a two-on-one that saw Hossa convert to get Detroit on the board.

Johan Franzen snapped a shot from the right wing to the top corner of the net over Chicago netminder Christobal Huet’s shoulder with just 21 seconds left in the first to put the Wings up by a pair.

Filppula scored on Detroit’s second power play of the game, banging in a rebound at 1:13 of the second period to extend the lead.

Jonathan Toews got the Blackhawks on the board with a power play goal at 3:53 of the second, jamming home the rebound of a Cam Barker shot.

Chicago’s attempt at a rally would end just 12 seconds later when Hossa swept down the right wing and cut to the net, beating Huet once again.

Corey Crawford came into the ‘Hawks crease after Hossa’s second goal but the goalie change did little to stop the Wings, with Zetterberg roofing a shot into the top of the net on a five-on-three at 7:42.

Huet returned to the Chicago net to start the third period while Ty Conklin took over for Osgood.

Zetterberg added one more power play goal to round out the scoring with 7:13 left in the game.

Detroit went three-for-eight on the power play in a game that saw Chicago take 56 minutes worth of penalties. The ‘Hawks were one-for-four with the man-advantage.

Osgood made 18 saves on 19 shots against and Conklin stopped all nine shots he faced. Huet stopped 21 of 26 Detroit chances. Crawford had six saves on seven shots.

The Red Wings will look to close out the series on Wednesday in Game Five at Detroit.

It was the first career missed playoff game for Lidstrom, who mad made 228-straight postseason appearances.

Game Four: Red Wings – Blackhawks Pregame Notes

Injuries abound for both the Red Wings and the Blackhawks heading into Sunday’s Game Four in their Western Conference Final matchup.

Detroit will be without Kris Draper with a groin injury. Pavel Datsyuk, who missed Game Three with a foot injury, will be a game-time decision once again. Justin Abdelkader returns to the Wings’ lineup to replace Draper, unless Datsyuk is able to go. In that case Ville Leino will stay in the lineup while Abdelkader sits.

Chicago calls both Martin Havlat and Nikolai Khabibulin game-time decisions. Havlat left Game Three after being crushed by Niklas Kronwall, while Khabibulin was replaced for the third period by Christobal Huet after suffering an undisclosed lower-body injury.

‘Hawks defenseman Brian Campbell has essentially called for Kronwall’s head after the hit on Havlat, calling it gutless. Kronwall was not suspended for the play after being given a five-minute interference penalty and an ejection.

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