Nyquist Scores Twice in Season Debut as Red Wings Down Hurricanes

Making his first appearance of the season with Detroit, forward Gustav Nyquist scored twice to lead the Red Wings to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Nyquist had been buried in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins as the Red Wings didn’t have space under the salary cap to fit him on their roster. With defenseman Danny DeKeyser on long-term injured reserve, room opened up for Nyquist’s promotion.

Just 17 seconds into the game, Nyquist opened the scoring off the rebound of a Jonathan Ericsson chance. Henrik Zetterberg forced a turnover on the left wing in the Carolina end and carried the puck into the slot before dropping it off to Ericsson up high. Ericsson’s shot was knocked away but came right to Nyquist at the inside edge of the far faceoff circle, where he swatted a chance between the pads of Hurricanes’ netminder Justin Peters.

Darren Helm made it 2-0 at 2:37 of the second period. Justin Abdelkader drove to the front of the net from the right wing and had a shot blocked. The rebound came out to Helm in the slot for a quick snap past Peters.

Windsor-native Brett Bellemore’s first career goal got the Hurricanes on the board 2:12 later. Bellemore got the puck at the top of the left faceoff circle and sent it down low to Radek Dvorak before driving to the net all alone, getting the puck back at the hashmarks for a quick slapper past Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson.

With 7:09 left in the middle period, Andrej Sekara tied things up, carrying the puck from center ice into the slot untouched before snapping a shot past Gustavsson.

Detroit regained the lead at 8:29 of the second with a goal credited to Niklas Kronwall. Skating with a two-man advantage, Kronwall threw a shot on net from the slot that was blocked in front. The puck bounced out towards Jordan Staal, who inadvertently kicked it back into his own net.

Nyquist would round out the Red Wings’ scoring with 4:02 remaining, beating Peters between the pads on a breakaway chance.

Sekara rounded out the scoring with a shorthanded goal after Tomas Tatar couldn’t handle the rebound of Staal’s chance with 16 seconds remaining.

Kronwall’s goal was the only power play tally of the night. Each team had four tries with the man-advantage, including a long five-on-three.

Gustavsson stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced for his fourth win of the season. Peters stopped 43 of 47 shots against.

Weiss Completes Red Wings’ Rally in Overtime

In just his second game with the Red Wings, forward Stephen Weiss scored the game-winning goal with 1:47 remaining in overtime to give Detroit a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The goal capped a comeback by Detroit after the host Hurricanes carried a 2-0 lead into the third period.

Justin Abdelkader got the Red Wings on the board just 42 seconds into the final period of regulation. Henrik Zetterberg‘s attempted feed from the left wing to Stephen Weiss in the slot redirected out to Abelkader in the far faceoff circle, where he snapped a shot past Carolina netminder Cam Ward.

Detroit would remain down a goal until the final seconds of regulation. With goalie Jimmy Howard pulled for an extra attacker, Pavel Datsyuk‘s chance from the side of the net sparked a goal-mouth scramble. Zetterberg gathered up the loose puck in the slot and spun to put a backhander on net but it was knocked down. Zetterberg collected the puck again and switched to the forehand, threading a shot through traffic and past Ward with just 16.4 seconds remaining.

Weiss would end it on a rush with Johan Franzen. Franzen drove to the net and put a chance off Ward’s pad and Weiss followed it up, with the rebound bouncing off his leg and past Ward to give Detroit the win.

Radek Dvorak had opened the game’s scoring with 6:30 remaining in the first period. Jeff Skinner poked the puck towards the net from the left wing boards and defenseman Kyle Quincey couldn’t reach it to knock it away. Dvorak beat Howard’s poke-check and lifted a shot into the top of the net.

With 1:49 remaining in the period, Nathan Gerbe made it 2-0 on a power play. Justin Faulk’s shot from the blue line deflected off both Zetterberg and Danny DeKeyser, ending up on Gerbe’s stick at the edge of the crease. Gerbe snapped a shot past Howard before anyone could get to him.

Gerbe’s tally was the only power play goal of the night. Each team had three chances with the man-advantage.

Howard finished the night with 23 saves on 25 shots against. Ward made 35 saves on 38 shots.

The Red Wings continue their short road trip Saturday night in Boston.

Filppula’s Penalty Shot Helps Red Wings Past Panthers

For the second time in three games, Valtteri Filppula scored on a penalty shot attempt, helping the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-2 win over the visiting Florida Panthers.

Filppula’s goal was the final goal of the game, coming with 8:43 left in the third period. Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun threw his stick while Filppula tried to score, forcing an automatic penalty shot.

On the chance, Filppula tried the same move that was successful on Monday night in Nashville. Vokoun didn’t fall for the fake but missed on an attempted poke check, giving Filppula room to score on the stick side.

It was the second penalty shot of the night for the Red Wings. Pavel Datsyuk missed on a chance 3:29 earlier after being tripped while going to the goal.

Datsyuk had opened the game’s scoring at 6:18 of the first, with Detroit on a five-on-three. Brian Rafalski sent the puck down from the high slot to Henrik Zetterberg, parked to Vokoun’s left. Zetterberg sent a cross-crease pass to Datsyuk who put it back in the middle, banking it in off of Vokoun.

The Panthers rallied and then took the lead on a pair of lucky bounces in the second period.

Just 46 seconds in, Olli Jokinen threw the puck across the crease. It bounced off of defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and floated into the net.

Only 4:13 later, Radek Dvorak put the puck out front. Chris Chelios attempted to clear but knocked it off of his own skate and across the goal line, putting Florida out in front.

A power play goal by Johan Franzen pulled the Red Wings back into a tie at 8:58 of the period. With Detroit on a power play and Rostislav Olesz hurt, the Red Wings controlled the puck long enough for Niklas Kronwall to work it down low to Jiri Hudler. Hudler couldn’t control it but it bounced to the other side of the crease where Franzen put it home.

The Red Wings took over in the third, scoring twice in 1:04 before Filppula’s penalty shot finished things off.

Dan Cleary scored at 5:40 of the period putting home a rebound chance and Brian Rafalski added a power play goal with a rifled shot from the blue line that deflected over Vokoun’s shoulder.

Detroit finished the night with a season-high 46 shots, of which 41 were stopped by Vokoun. Goaltender Chris Osgood stopped 33 of Florida’s 35 chances for his fifteenth win of the season.

The Red Wings are back in action on Monday night when they host the Washington Capitals.

It was the first game in Red Wings history to feature two Detroit penalty shot attempts… The win was head coach Mike Babcock‘s 200th.

Red Wings’ Streak Reaches Three with Win over Blues

The Detroit Red Wings extended their winning streak to three games on Saturday night, defeating former Detroit goalie Manny Legace and the St. Louis Blues, 3-2.

The Red Wings got to Legace early, scoring on each of their first two shots of the game.

Tomas Holmstrom beat Legace at 4:22 of the first period, rifiling a shot from the slot into the top half of the net.

Just 1:59 later, Valtteri Filppula‘s first career NHL goal put Detroit up by two as he skated around two St. Louis defenders and into the left faceoff circle before cutting back in front of Legace to lift a shot over him.

Bill Guerin pulled the Blues to within one with 6:25 remaining in the second, deflecting a Christian Backman shot from the point past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

The teams traded goals in the third, with Holmstrom picking up a rebound goal at 6:34 and Radek Dvorak scoring on a shorthanded breakaway off a turnover at 16:34.

Detroit continued their recent trend of improvement on the penalty-kill, holding St. Louis scoreless on five chances. The Blues were also perfect while shorthanded, stopping all five Detroit attempts.

Osgood finished the night with 28 saves on 30 shots while Legace stopped 22 of 25 shots.

The win allowed team owner Mike Ilitch to avoid a St. Louis sweep of his teams after Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers failed to win a game in three tries in the Gateway City this week… Both starting goalies played for their opponent at one time in their respective careers. Legace was with Detroit from 1999-2006 while Osgood was with St. Louis from 2003-2004.

Wings Trounce Oilers in Yzerman’s 1400th Game

It’s been a year of extremes for the Red Wings thus far. Either everything goes right, or everything goes wrong. This was one of the nights when they could do no wrong. Steve Yzerman celebrated his 1400th regular season game by scoring a power play goal, one of the four power play goals that helped lift the Red Wings to a lopsided 7-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Detroit knew it was important to start the game strongly. They did so, and then followed it up by taking advantage of power play opportunities, keeping the Oilers from setting up scoring plays, and continuously pressuring Edmonton goalie Ty Conklin.

Yzerman’s goal came ten seconds into the Wings’ first power play of the game. Brendan Shanahan shot the puck from the left circle. Yzerman was being knocked down repeatedly in front of the net, but he batted Shanahan’s shot down to the ice, then backhanded it past Conklin.

Darryl Bootland scored his first NHL goal late in the first. The puck was lying loose in front of Edmonton’s net. None of the Oilers seemed to know who was supposed to get it, so Bootland beat them to it and flipped it in.

Yzerman returned the favor to Shanahan early in the second, by making a pass which Shanahan converted into a power play goal of his own, but the Oilers got on the board with a strange goal just over a minute later. Radek Dvorak took a shot on net from the left corner. The puck glanced off Jiri Fischer‘s stick, which caused it to flutter, and Manny Legace hit it with his wrist instead of his catching glove. The miscalculation caused the puck to bounce into the net, making the score 3-1.

Detroit continued to press, and caused the Oilers to take another penalty. This time, Brett Hull scored the power play goal. Mathieu Schneider‘s shot hit Pavel Datsyuk in front of the net, and Hull grabbed that rebound to scoop past Conklin.

After Hull’s goal, the Red Wings never looked back. Kris Draper chased Conklin from the net by scoring off a nice pass from Boyd Devereaux, but Conklin’s replacement, Steven Valiquette, fared no better against the streaking Grind Line member. Draper scored his ninth goal of the season during a five-on-three power play.

Steve Thomas capped off the night with a late goal. Datsyuk wheeled around Mike York as he carried the puck into the Oilers zone. He fell, but still managed to center the puck. Thomas was in all alone, and carried the puck right to the goal crease to backhand a shot over Valiquette.

In the end, Detroit outshot Edmonton by a count of 43 to 16. The Red Wings’ next opponents will be the New York Islanders, Friday night at the Joe.

Tomas Holmstrom left the game with an injured shoulder late in the first period. More details will be provided as they become available… Draper is second only to Yzerman and Hull in goal scoring at this point in the season. Who knew?

Losing Streak Ends In Tie With Oilers

Four quick goals and a good performance by Manny Legace let the Red Wings hang on against a late rally to tie the Edmonton Oilers, 4-4.

The Red Wings had a good chance to open the scoring early in the game when Oilers goalie Tommy Salo was assessed a penalty shot for throwing his stick while making a save against Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan’s shot didn’t get quite high enough off the ice, and Salo was able to stack his leg pads to make the save.

The Oilers opened the scoring midway through the first. Radek Dvorak cycled the puck behind the net. Raffi Torres was waiting on the left side. Pavel Datsyuk attempted to shove Torres out of the way, but was not able to do so before Dvorak completed the cross-crease pass and Torres put the puck in behind Manny Legace.

Edmonton increased their lead with 2:22 left in the period. Torres shot the puck on net from just behind the goal line. Legace made the save, but the rebound went out to Marc-Andre Bergeron on the right wing side. Bergeron took a wrist shot which went into the net.

Detroit played a more focused game in the second period, and were rewarded by scoring four goals in the space of 5:17. First they successfully weathered two penalties assessed to Jiri Hudler. Legace made some impressive saves, and Nicklas Lidstrom was right at the net to block the one save Legace wouldn’t have been able to make. Then Darren McCarty got the goals going.

McCarty received a pass from Kirk Maltby just inside the Oiler’s blue line. He shot the puck, using big defenseman Eric Brewer as a screen, and the puck reached the net at just the right height to sail over Salo’s shoulder.

A mistake cost the Oilers their lead. Alexei Semenov turned the puck over in front of his own net. To make matters worse, he gave it up to the NHL’s leading active goal scorer. Brett Hull skated the puck a little way towards the right boards before firing. Salo was sliding over, but he was being screened by Tomas Holmstrom, and the puck slid in underneath Salo’s left leg.

The Oilers, understandably, wanted their lead back. Legace had to make a huge save against Marty Reasoner at point blank range to keep Detroit’s momentum going.
Kris Draper moved Detroit into the lead. He carried the puck across Edmonton’s blue line, then made a back pass to Maltby. Maltby shot the puck from the left side, and Draper tipped it into the net.

Datsyuk increased the lead with a power play goal. The Oilers almost cleared the puck out of their zone, but Hull held it in at the blue line and made a pass to Datsyuk in the high slot. Datsyuk put a perfectly placed wrist shot just underneath the crossbar.

Both teams committed defensive turnovers in the third period, but the Oilers were the ones able to capitalize and score. Ales Hemsky added a power play goal with Mathieu Schneider in the penalty box for slashing. Chris Chelios cleared the puck away from the front of the net, but it took a strange bounce right back to Hemsky, who stuffed it in from behind the goal line.

Ethan Moreau tied the game up with only 3:57 left in regulation. Fernando Pisani squeezed past Shanahan to create a two-on-one rush. Schneider wasn’t able to take the passing lane away, so Pisani got the puck across for Moreau to scoop into the net.

Legace was the hero of the overtime period. The Oilers came out on the attack, but Legace made all five saves he needed to make so that the game would end in a tie.
Edmonton outshot Detroit by a count of 33 to 31. The Red Wings will continue their road trip when they face the Canucks Monday night in Vancouver.

Curtis Joseph slightly injured his groin during morning practice, which is why Legace got the start. Joseph played backup, and Dominik Hasek is still day-to-day with his own groin injury…. The last Red Wing to score on a penalty shot was Igor Larionov in 1995.

Wings Better Off With Anaheim Matchup

With Detroit’s loss to Chicago and Dallas’ win over Nashville on Sunday, the Red Wings’ first-round playoff picture came into focus and revealed that Detroit will play the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the opening round.

Had Detroit defeated the Blackhawks to claim the Western Conference’s first seed, they would have matched up with the Edmonton Oilers.

A first-round matchup with the Mighty Ducks will be better for the Red Wings than one with the Oilers would have been. The Ducks are a more defensive team than the Oilers, allowing only 193 goals this season compared to the 230 goals scored on Edmonton, but are coming into the playoffs with a slightly worse record. Anaheim is 5-2-1-2 in their last ten games, while Edmonton ended the season 5-1-3-1.

Anaheim also plays a less offensive game than Edmonton. The Oilers have scored a total of 231 goals this season while the Mighty Ducks have scored only 203. Edmonton utilizes the speed of forwards Mike Comrie and Radek Dvorak to pressure opposing defenses. The Ducks do not have the same speed at the forward position and can’t apply the same amount of pressure.

History is in the favor of a matchup with Anaheim over one with Edmonton. The Red Wings are unbeaten in the playoffs against the Ducks, having swept them in 1997 and 1999. In two series’ against Edmonton, the Red Wings are 2-8.

The Ducks are the weaker team from a goaltending standpoint as well. Jean-Sebastien Gigure has never appeared in an NHL playoff game. Edmonton’s Tommy Salo has stolen series’ from the Dallas Stars in 1997 and Colorado Avalanche in 1998.

Despite not claiming the first seed in the Western Conference, the Red Wings are in good position with their matchup against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. They should not see as tough a series as they would have against the Edmonton Oilers.

Note from the writer, 4/11/2003: Tommy Salo was not the goaltender between the pipes for Edmonton’s upsets of Dallas and Colorado in 1997 and 1998, it was instead now-Red Wing Curtis Joseph. I failed to double-check my “facts” and apologize for any confusion. I still stand behind my belief that Anaheim is the better opponent for the Wings to be facing.

NHL Rosters Jumbled as Trade Deadline Passes

As the NHL’s trade deadline came and went at 3:00 PM (US Eastern) on Tuesday, teams scrambled to shore up their rosters for a playoff push or deal away high-priced contracts in favor of rebuilding.

In all, twenty-five of the NHL’s thirty teams made a trade on Tuesday. All thirty teams made deals in the two days before the deadline.

Some of the big-name players traded on Monday and Tuesday include Sergei Berezin, Janne Niinimaa, Brad Isbister, Anson Carter and Valeri Bure.

Berezin was sent from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Washington Capitals for a fourth-round draft pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Niinimaa and Isbister were traded for each other in a multi-player deal. The New York Islanders send a package of Isbister and prospect Raffe Torres to the Edmonton Oilers for Niinimaa and two draft picks.

The Oilers also dealt Anson Carter, sending him and Ales Pisa to the New York Rangers for Radek Dvorak and Cory Cross.

Bure was sent to the St. Louis Blues, who traded Mike Van Ryn to Florida for him.

With rosters now set for the remainder of the season, the top teams in the league will make their playoff push.

Trading will not reopen until the end of the playoffs.

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