Late Goals Lift Red Wings Over Jets

The Detroit Red Wings scored twice in the final seven minutes on Thursday, rallying from down 3-2 for a 4-3 victory in Winnipeg against the Jets.

Justin Abdelkader started things off at the 13:00 mark of the third period. Brian Lashoff‘s shot from up high deflected off Abdelkader and pinballed between him and Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec, trickling across the goal line as both dove for it.

Tomas Tatar gave the Red Wings the lead 2:10 later with his second goal of the night. Abdelkader drove down the left wing and cut to the net before passing it off to Tatar alone at the top of the crease to bang it past Pavelec.

The Jets had opened the scoring just 2:15 into the second period, with Evander Kane’s backhand pass from the side of the net reaching Dustin Byfuglien in front for a quick shot past Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek.

At 9:32 of the period, Adam Lowry made it 2-0. Michael Frolik carried the puck into the Detroit zone on a three-on-two, looking to pass across to Lowry before dropping it off to Mark Scheifele. Scheifele’s shot from the slot was partially blocked but the bouncing puck came to Lowry to bat past Mrazek.

The Red Wings responded just thirty seconds later, as Tatar picked off an attempted clearing pass at the top of the left faceoff circle and stepped up towards the slot, ripping a shot past Pavelec to get Detroit on the board.

Johan Franzen evened things up with 7:08 left in the middle frame, skating around defenseman Mark Stuart to break in on Pavelec all alone before snapping a shot off the post and in for a power play goal.

Mathieu Perrault would restore the Winnipeg lead with 3:48 left in the period, carrying the puck from behind the net into the right faceoff circle before turning and snapping a shot past Mrazek.

Mrazek finished the night with 28 saves on 31 shots in his first appearance of the season. Pavelec made 23 saves on 27 shots.

Detroit finished the night one-for-four on the power play while Winnipeg was scoreless on three tries with the man-advantage.

The Red Wings are next in action on Saturday when they wrap up their three-game road trip in Toronto.


Detroit was without forwards Pavel Datsyuk (groin) and Stephen Weiss (conditioning assignment). Defenseman Jakub Kindl was a healthy scratch while Xavier Ouellet made his season debut… Prior to the game, forward Andrej Nestrasil was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Datsyuk Scores Twice but Red Wings Fall to Jets in Shootout

Detroit forward Pavel Datsyuk scored two power play goals but it wasn’t enough for the Red Wings, as they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Winnipeg Jets in a shootout.

With the loss, the Red Wings’ home losing streak reached six games. It’s their longest such streak since the 1996-97 season. They haven’t won an overtime game at Joe Louis Arena in ten tries.

Devin Setoguchi and Andrew Ladd both scored in the tiebreaker for Winnipeg. Daniel Alfredsson scored for Detroit but both Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi were stopped.

Winnipeg opened the game’s scoring at 7:10 of the first period when Bryan Little was left wide open on the left wing on a three-on-two rush, taking a cross-ice pass from Blake Wheeler and snapping a shot past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

Datsyuk would even things back up with 5:16 remaining in the period. On the man-advantage, Henrik Zetterberg got the puck in the right faceoff circle and sent it across to Datsyuk low in the left circle for a quick wrister over Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec. tying things up at 1-1.

After a scoreless second period, Winnipeg regained the lead on a broken play at the 10:47 mark of the third. Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey lost his stick on the initial rush into the Detroit zone and by the time he got it back, Zach Bogosian had gotten the puck all alone in the slot. Bogosian faked around the scrambling Quincey and flung a shot in behind Howard, who had come far out of the net to cut down the shooting angle.

Datsyuk would tie things again just 2:24 later. A single second after the expiration of a Detroit five-on-three, Datsyuk scooped up the rebound of a Johan Franzen chance at the side of the net and tucked it in around Pavelec’s outstretched pad to make it 2-2.

Pavelec finished the night with 41 saves on 43 Detroit chances, in addition to the stops on Datsyuk and Bertuzzi in the shootout. Howard made 19 saves on 21 shots without making a stop in the tiebreaker.

Winnipeg did not score on any of their three power plays while Detroit went two-for-four with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings look to snap their home losing streak on Friday when they host the Washington Capitals.


Franzen returned from injury to play in Tuesday’s game. Stephen Weiss (groin) replaced him on short-term injured reserve to make room on the roster… Jonathan Ericsson and Brendan Smith remained out. Both are expected to return on Friday… Daniel Cleary, Jordin Tootoo and Patrick Eaves were healthy scratches.

Pregame: Jets @ Red Wings – 11/12

Without a home win since October 15, the Red Wings look to get back on track tonight as they host a Winnipeg Jets team that beat them 4-2 a week ago in Manitoba.

Detroit will have Johan Franzen back in the lineup as he returns from the un-named mystery injury that kept him out since late October. He’ll skate on the second line with Darren Helm and Daniel Alfredsson.

To make room for Franzen’s return, Daniel Cleary will be a healthy scratch. He joins Jordin Tootoo and Patrick Eaves out of the lineup.

Jimmy Howard gets the start opposite Ondrej Pavelec.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings haven’t lost at home on November 12 since 1983.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

TGTW: Red Wings Atop Central After Week Three

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 rode a three-game winning streak into the third week of the NHL schedule and extended it on Monday with a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Livonia-native Ryan Kesler opened the game’s scoring at 3:42 of the first period but a pair of goals just 1:38 apart were enough for the Red Wings to get the win.  Pavel Datsyuk‘s first of the season came with 6:45 left in the opening period and Johan Franzen‘s first of the year came with 5:07 remaining.

Jimmy Howard made 26 saves on 27 shots in the effort, while Vancouver’s Cory Schneider stopped 25 of 27 chances.

The Red Wings’ winning streak came to an end the next night in Columbus.  The Blue Jackets’ win briefly pulled them into first place in the Central Division.

Jack Johnson opened the scoring with 11 seconds left in the first period and Justin Abdelkader replied at 3:11 of the second.  Nick Foligno‘s shorthanded marker and 6:27 of the third put the Jackets back out in front and Derrick Brassard added another at 9:46.  Steve Mason shut the door on the Wings, stopping 23 of 24 shots while Howard made 22 saves on 25 Columbus chances.

Howard rebounded on Friday with a 22-save shutout of the San Jose Sharks as the Red Wings picked up a 2-0 win.  Mikael Samuelsson scored the game’s opening goal at 4:38 of the second period, with former Red Wing Brad Stuart in the penalty box.  Pavel Datsyuk added an insurance marker at 1:02 of the third.

To close out the week on Saturday, the Red Wings picked up a 4-2 win in their first visit back to Winnipeg since the Atlanta Thrashers relocated there.

Abdelkader opened the scoring at 3:48 of the first period, Kyle Quincey had a pair of goals, and team leading scorer Valtteri Filppula also scored.  Evander Kane and Alexei Ponikarovski scored for the Jets.  Howard stopped 23 of 25 while Ondrej Pavelec made 14 saves on 18 shots against.

After three weeks, Detroit sits atop the Central Division, three points up on the Blue Jackets, who have two games in hand.  Howard’s 1.64 goals-against average is second in the league, just 0.02 back of Buffalo’s Ryan Miller.  His two shutouts are tied for the league lead.

Red Wings Sign Goaltender Gustavsson

The Detroit Red Wings made their first move of the 2012 NHL free agency season on Sunday, signing Swedish goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to a two-year deal.

The contract is reportedly worth $3 million for a cap hit of $1.5 million.

Gustavsson is expected to challenge Joey MacDonald for the backup role in Detroit.

Coming off a season in which he played 42 games and went 17-17-4 with a 2.92 GAA and .902 save percentage for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Gustavsson’s right were traded to the Winnipeg Jets on June 23 as a backup plan in case the Jets were unable to sign Ondrej Pavelec.

Gustavsson has played his entire career with the Maple Leafs after signing with them in 2009.  He is 39-45-15 overall with a 2.98 GAA and .900 save percentage.

Red Wings Rout Jets in First-Ever Meeting

The Detroit Red Wings routed the Winnipeg Jets, 7-1, Saturday night in the first meeting between the teams since the former Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg.

Barring a Stanley Cup Finals matchup, it will be the only meeting between the two teams this season. They’re slated to become conference rivals when the NHL realigns next year.

The Jets’ lone goal of the night came just 35 seconds in, when Bryan Little got behind the Detroit defense and skated in on goalie Jimmy Howard, sliding a backhander into the far side of the net.

Detroit would start their run of seven unanswered goals at 6:47 of the first period.

To open the scoring, Nicklas Lidstrom fired a long pass for Johan Franzen into the Winnipeg zone. Franzen went into the corner to pick up the puck and sent a pass back out front to Todd Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi, uncovered while cutting to the edge of the crease, put a wrister past Winnipeg netminder Ondrej Pavelec.

With 5:04 remaining in the opening period, Henrik Zetterberg made it 2-1. Rushing into the Winnipeg zone, Valtteri Filppula dropped a pass to the top of the left faceoff circle. Zetterberg caught up to the puck and blasted a high shot past Pavelec for what would be the game-winner.

Jiri Hudler scored the first of his pair of goals at 4:03 of the second period. Franzen had the puck behind the net again and sent it into the left circle for a speeding Hudler to pounce on and snap back past Pavelec.

Just 40 seconds later, Chris Conner scored his first as a Red Wing when his attempted pass to Danny Cleary deflected off of Winnipeg defenseman Randy Jones’ skate and into the net, making it 4-1.

At 9:31 of the middle frame, Pavel Datsyuk sent a no-look backhand pass from the right corner to the Filppula in the left faceoff circle. Filppula continued on to the slot and ripped a high shot past Pavelec.

With 7:19 left in the period, Drew Miller picked up a rebound in the left circle and put another high shot into the net.

Hudler finished off the game’s scoring – and Pavelec’s night – just 1:12 into the third period. Hudler picked off a pass from the Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien and sent it to Zetterberg at the top of the crease. Rather than shooting, Zetterberg sent it back to Hudler, who was driving in to put a shot into the open side of the net.

Pavelec finished the night with 19 saves on the 26 shots he faced. Chris Mason stopped all of the three shots Detroit put at him in relief while Howard stopped 29 of 30 Winnipeg chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, though Filppula’s tally came with the teams skating four-on-four. The Jets had two power play tries to the Red Wings’ three.

The Red Wings are now off until Tuesday when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall missed time in the game after taking a puck to the face, requiring stitches. He returned for the third period… The Red Wings’ healthy scratches were Cory Emmerton and Mike Commodore.

Postgame: Jets @ Red Wings – 12/10

That’s not the biggest rout I’ve ever been present for at the Joe, but the last time I saw Detroit beat a team by more than six goals, the original Winnipeg Jets were still in existence (a 7-0 Red Wings win over the Colorado Avalanche on March 22, 1996). If not for a bad goal early, tonight’s win over the new Winnipeg Jets could have matched that.

And I will throw Jimmy Howard under the bus on the one goal against – it was a bad goal. True, Bryan Little got in behind the defense but Howard had plenty of time to get square to him. The shot wasn’t so good that Howard could not be expected to stop it.

Thankfully, Howard had a much better game from there out and it ended up not mattering. I had been worried that the first goal would be a sign of what kind of game it would be, turns out that the second goal was much more of one.

Nicklas Lidstrom, long pass to Johan Franzen who goes into the corner to get it, pass back out front to Todd Bertuzzi to put home. Two things the Jets did wrong there that they just kept doing all night.

First, they let passes like that get through. Now it was a heads-up play by one of the top defensemen of all time, but Franzen had to race to get to that puck. Winnipeg had a chance to break things up right there.

Second, Bertuzzi was covered but not cancelled out in front of the net. Wings players were in high percentage areas all night tonight. Some of the goals that would come later were great shots but it’s a lot easier to make those shots happen when they’re uncontested.

Speaking of great shots, the wife pointed out midway through the game that the Wings must have gotten a memo about shooting high on Ondrej Pavelec. They seemed to be picking the corners on him with ease.

Detroit games against the Atlanta Thrashers always seemed to be a little crazy. This game was no exception.