Red Wings Hold Off Predators for Fifth Win in a Row

The Detroit Red Wings fended off a late comeback attempt by the Nashville Predators Tuesday night en route to their fifth consecutive win after losing five-straight games.

Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa each scored to give the Red Wings an early 3-0 lead but the Predators battled back to 3-2 and 4-3 before Datsyuk added an empty-net goal to wrap up the game.

The Wings threw 27 shots at Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne in the first period, setting a new franchise record for the opening frame of a game. With a 51-shot total on the game, it was the fourth time in franchise history that the Red Wings have taken at least 50 shots on the Predators. No other team has done it once.

Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring 5:02 into the game, lifting the rebound of a Brian Rafalski shot over Rinne.

Datsyuk stretched the Wings’ lead to 2-0 with 9:43 left in the first, scoring on a snap-shot from the top of the left faceoff circle on a Detroit power play.

At 4:18 of the second, Hossa scored from the left circle on another Red Wings’ man-advantage.

Radek Bonk deflected a long Jason Arnott shot 1:12 later for a Nashville power play goal and Joel Ward scored on a rebound with 8:37 left in the middle frame to pull the Predators to within a goal.

Zetterberg added a second goal just 3:10 into the third, putting a backhander over Rinne’s shoulder after being sprung by a long pass by Rafalski.

Ward pulled the Predators back in it with 9:24 left, pushing past Rafalski and cutting across the crease to beat netminder Ty Conklin.

Datsyuk’s empty-net goal came with 12 seconds left in the game.

Conklin stopped 18 of 21 shots against. Rinne made 46 saves on 50 shots.

Red Wings – Predators Game Five Notes

I want to write a recap of Game Five but I’m still so psyched about the win that I don’t feel like I can put it together.

After Radek Bonk scored to tie the game, I was thinking it was going to be one of those nights. I knew the Red Wings could win – that they had the talent and all that – I just expected it to be a night where Nashville got that one extra bounce.

Instead, Detroit’s strong team defence forced the bounce, a turnover in the neutral zone that Niklas Kronwall used to spring Johan Franzen in all alone on Dan Ellis.

And Franzen, as has been said so many times this season in the forums here, is a beast.

Compare this season to the Red Wings’ 1998 campaign (so much easier to do now with Chris Osgood in goal) and Franzen is playing Tomas Holmstrom‘s role. We’re watching his breakout and he’s just got insane amounts of confidence right now.

Speaking of Osgood… Twenty saves on twenty-one shots is about everything anyone could have asked of him. He was steady, not spectacular, and the team played more confidently in front of him than they do in front of Hasek.

Obviously, the Predators were without David Legwand and Jason Arnott, which makes a big difference. I fully expect them to be back for Game Six though I do wonder what was actually bothering Arnott, since I don’t think the flu would have been enough to keep him from playing in such an important game.

If the Red Wings play Game Six like they did Game Five, the Predators will not return to Detroit when the Wings do.

Red Wings Down Predators for Game One Win

The Detroit Red Wings rode two third-period goals by Henrik Zetterberg to a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night, giving them a 1-0 lead in their first-round playoff matchup.

A lucky bounce off of a linesman kept Nashville’s Shea Weber from clearing the puck early in the third period. Pavel Datsyuk recovered it and sent a cross-ice pass to Zetterberg for a one-timer past goalie Dan Ellis at 6:54.

Zetterberg would add an empty-net goal with 19 seconds remaining in the game, scoring on a shot from the neutral zone after a faceoff win by Kris Draper.

Johan Franzen scored the series-opening goal 5:58 into the game, grabbing the puck off of a missed clearing attempt by Radek Bonk and backhanding it over Ellis from the low slot.

Jordin Tootoo scored Nashville’s lone goal with 2:13 left in the second, tipping a Greg Zanon shot from the point through Dominik Hasek and into the net.

Hasek finished the night with 19 saves on 20 shots against while Ellis stopped 37 of 39 Detroit attempts.

Game Two of the series will be on Saturday afternoon from Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.

Nashville’s Scott Nichol left the game with an injury early in the second period.

Red Wings Fail to Finish, Fall to Predators

The Detroit Red Wings led the Nashville Predators twice on Thursday night but failed to finish them off, leaving room for the Predators to pick up a 3-2 win.

The Red Wings led in the first and second periods on power play goals by Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg.

Franzen’s goal came just 2:49 into the game. After barely holding the puck in at the Nashville blue line, the Wings worked it down low to Franzen. He backed up to the side of the net and backhanded a shot under goalie Chris Mason‘s arm for his first point of the season.

Zetterberg scored with 1:24 remaining in the second period to give Detroit their second lead. Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck into the Nashville zone and sent a centering pass to Zetterberg in the high slot. Zetterberg faked out defenseman Greg Zanon and rifled a shot past Mason.

Both times the Predators rebouned. Jason Arnott scored from right in front of Dominik Hasek with 7:40 remaining in the first period and Martin Erat evened things up just 32 seconds after Zetterberg’s goal, putting a rebound over the sprawling Hasek.

Radek Bonk scored the game-winner on a Nashville power play just 2:22 into the third. A blocked shot stopped right at Bonk’s feet in front of the Detroit goal and he roofed a shot over Hasek.

Detroit’s power play went two-for-eight in a night that saw the teams combine for 44 penalty minutes. Nashville was one-for-seven with the extra attacker.

Hasek stopped 26 of 29 shots in his first start in three games. Mason made 28 stops on 30 Detroit shots.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Saturday when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets to close out a stretch of nine-straight games against Central Division opponents.

Matt Ellis left the game with what the Red Wings’ PR staff described as a headache.

Detroit Power Play On A Roll

It’s been a hockey fact for the past several years: if you give the Red Wings a power play chance, you are very likely going to go down by a goal. The Ottawa Senators tested this theory on Saturday night, and it proved true once again. Detroit had a 37.5% power play success rate, leading to a 3-2 overtime win over the Senators.

Both teams had a strong first period. Ottawa had the edge in shots on goal, with nine to Detroit’s five, but few of those nine were high quality scoring chances, and Dominik Hasek was able to control most of them without any problems. Hasek had a lot of help from Derian Hatcher and Jiri Fischer. The two big defensemen did a very good job of pushing away any Ottawa players who got too close to the goal crease.

The Senators took a bench minor penalty for having too many men on the ice late in the first period, and the Red Wings were able to set up the first goal of the game. Nicklas Lidstrom passed the puck from the left side to Mathieu Schneider at the point. Schneider’s shot bounced off goaltender Patrick Lalime. Tomas Holmstrom, tenaciously standing his ground in front of the net, was able to get the rebound and stuff it past Lalime.

The Red Wings played more offensively in the second period, slipping through the Senator’s trapping style of play and generating more shots on net. The power play got another chance to shine when Marian Hossa was sent to the penalty box for holding the stick 4:51 into the period. Brendan Shanahan took a hard shot from the right faceoff circle. Holmstrom was screening Lalime once again, and the puck bounced off Holmstrom and fell into the goal crease. Steve Yzerman sped towards the net and slammed the puck in for the goal.

The Senators answered just over a minute later. Schneider attempted to clear the puck away from behind Hasek’s net. Instead of sending it up one of the sides of the ice, he sent it up the middle. Jason Spezza was right there in the slot to intercept the pass, and he lifted it over Hasek and into the net.

Ottawa was able to tie the game midway through the third period when they got a five-on-three power play chance. Fischer had been sent to the box for tripping. That penalty was down to 23 seconds remaining when Ray Whitney was sent out for tripping Daniel Alfredsson. The Wings attempted to argue that Alfredsson had simply fallen over Hasek’s skate in the crease, but the referee was unmoved and the Senators took advantage of their golden opportunity. Radek Bonk took a pass from Hossa and placed it past Hasek.

Both teams tried to win the game before the end of the third period, but defense prevailed and the game went into overtime. Zdeno Chara took a foolish penalty 55 seconds into the extra period. He knocked down Kris Draper far behind the play, and the referee was right behind them. The Senators did a good job clearing the puck out of their zone for most of the two-minute minor, until only three seconds remained. The Red Wings had finally managed to get set up in Ottawa’s zone. Henrik Zetterberg sent the puck across to Brett Hull, who dropped it back to Lidstrom. Lidstrom moved to his right down the blue line and let fire a laser of a shot which went right past Lalime and into the net.

The shot totals favored Ottawa, 23-18. The Red Wings’ next opponent will be the hard-hitting Vancouver Canucks, Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Yzerman has already tied his goal total of last season. He had two goals in the 16 regular-season games he played after his recovery from knee surgery. Okay, it doesn’t mean much to say so after only two games, but the Captain is the team’s current goal-scoring leader. It’s all about leading by example.

Hasek Allows Three as Wings Fall to Senators

In his second complete game of the preseason, Dominik Hasek allowed three goals as the Ottawa Senators defenated the Detroit Red Wings, 3-1.

The Senators opened the game’s scoring early in the first period. Marian Hossa took a centering pass from Radek Bonk in the low slot and put a quick shot past Hasek’s pad at 3:36 of the period.

Detroit responded with a similar goal just 1:04 later. Henrik Zetterberg carried the puck behind the Ottawa net and sent a quick pass to a streaking Ray Whitney, who put the puck past Ottawa netminder Ray Emery for his second preseason goal.

Hasek allowed the first of two weak goals 6:01 into the second period when he couldn’t get his pads closed in time to stop a Radek Bonk shot from the left circle.

Marian Hossa’s second of the night finished off the scoring. With 7:55 remaining in the game, he streaked down the left side of the ice and put a shot through the gap in Hasek’s pads, lifting the Senators to a 3-1 lead.

Hasek allowed the three goals on only 18 Ottawa shots. Emery stopped all but one of Detroit’s 29 shots.

The Red Wings will be back in action Thursday night in Boston. It will be their last game before the NHL’s annual Waiver Draft, which could decide the fate of Wings’ goalie Curtis Joseph.

Super Sergei!

The Red Wings and their power play are right back into the game after last night’s slightly embarrassing loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, taking a 3-2 victory over the Senators at the Corel Centre in Ottawa.

Scotty Bowman chose to start the game with the old Grind Line of Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, and Darren McCarty on the ice, and the Red Wings applied strong offensive pressure from the beginning of the game. Most of the first period was spent in the Senators’ zone. However, Ottawa played a strong defense in front of the net and kept many of the Red Wings’ shots from getting through to goaltender Jani Hurme.

Dominik Hasek showed off his new decorated helmet for the first time while making a few big saves to keep the game scoreless through one. Detroit ended the period on a good note when Ottawa’s Jody Hull took a hooking penalty with only ten seconds left.

Ottawa kept the Detroit power play from getting very organized for most of the minute and fifty seconds carried over into the second period, until Igor Larionov carried the puck into the zone and passed along the blue line to Chris Chelios at the right point. Chelios drew the Senators’ defensemen towards him, then quickly passed the puck up to Steve Duchesne at the left side. Duchesne’s quick wrist shot went past Hurme with only three seconds left on the power play.

The Senators came back before very long. Radek Bonk fished the puck out from a tangle of players along the right boards and sent a centering pass across for Marion Hossa, who flipped the puck into the net.

Ottawa was attempting to score once more, trying to bang the puck into the net, but Draper knocked it free to Sergei Fedorov, who took off down the ice alone. An Ottawa defenseman attempted to force Fedorov wide of the net, but Fedorov put a backhand shot past Hurme’s far side to score his 350th career goal.

Jody Hull took another penalty, this time for holding the stick, with five and a half minutes left in the period. The power play was unable to score, and just as Hull stepped back onto the ice, Daniel Alfreddson carried the puck towards Detroit’s end. Brett Hull was knocked down and out of the play, giving the Senators a three-on-one rush. Alfreddson’s shot from point-blank range went past Mathieu Dandenault and Dominik Hasek to tie the game.

Fedorov came to the rescue before the second period was over. Brendan Shanahan carried the puck into the zone on a three-on-two rush with Fedorov and Draper. He flew up the right wing side, just past the net, and angled a pass back to Fedorov who put the puck right through Hurme.

The Senators turned up the offense through the third period, trying to come back once more, but Detroit played a careful defense, and Hasek made all the saves that were required of him. Ottawa pulled their goaltender for the sixth skater with forty seconds left to play, but it was to no avail- Fedorov’s second goal stood up as the game winner.

Shots on net were twenty-six to twenty-two in the Red Wings’ favor. Half of the Red Wings’ shots came in the second period, and half of Ottawa’s came in the third. The Wings’ next game will be Monday night in Montreal.

Fedorov’s scoring appears to be good luck for the Wings: they have a record of 29-2-1 in games in which he has at least one point. Their overall record is 39-11-6-2, giving them a total of eighty-six points on the season.

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