Third-Period Lead Not Enough as Red Wings Fall to Stars in OT

Pavel Datsyuk gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 lead with 8:26 remaining in regulation on Thursday night but it wasn’t enough, with the Dallas Stars scoring in the final minutes of the third and again late in the overtime period for a 4-3 win.

Datsyuk got the puck all alone at the top of the right faceoff circle and faked around Dallas’ Shawn Horcoff to get into the slot, then snapped a shot past both defender Jordie Benn and goalie Kari Lehtonen to put the Red Wings in front.

A Justin Abdelkader penalty for goalie interference would set up the Stars’ tying goal.

Skating six-on-four with 1:10 remaining, Cody Eakin got the puck at the left faceoff dot and whipped a shot through traffic and off of Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard‘s blocker, into the top of the net for a 3-3 tie.

The Stars would sustain pressure in the Detroit zone leading to the game-winning goal. Valeri Nichushkin dropped the puck to Rich Peverley down low on the left wing and Peverley looped back up that side of the ice, cutting across the top of the faceoff circle to the slot before snapping a screened shot past Howard to give the Stars the win with just 19 seconds remaining.

Detroit had opened the game’s scoring at 7:44 of the second period when Henrik Zetteberg fed Todd Bertuzzi for a one-time from the left side of the high slot that deflected twice before getting past Lehtonen.

With 5:10 left in the middle frame, Adam Almquist‘s first NHL goal made it a 2-0 lead for Detroit. From down low, Zetterberg sent it out to Almquist pinching to the right side of the slot for a snap past Lehtonen.

Horcoff got the Stars on the board with 21 seconds left in the second. The Red Wings lost a puck battle along the right wing boards and Ray Whitney worked it to Horcoff all alone in front of Howard for a quick move to his forehand and a wrister into the back of the net.

Jamie Benn‘s individual effort at 4:08 of the third tied things up before the Datsyuk goal. Benn knocked the puck off Darren Helm‘s stick at the Dallas blue line then circled through his own zone before breaking down the ice, through four Red Wings, and sliding a shot under Howard while falling at the edge of the crease.

Howard would finish the night with 24 saves on 28 shots against. Lehtonen stopped 26 of 29 shots faced.

The Stars scored on one of two power play attempts. Detroit did not get any opportunities with the man-advantage.

The Red Wings are back at it on Saturday night when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Almquist was playing in just his second NHL game… Johan Franzen, Brendan Smith, and Jonathan Ericsson all missed the game with injuries while Patrick Eaves and Jordin Tootoo were healthy scratches… Tootoo cleared waivers earlier in the day… With Gustavsson returning from injury, Jared Coreau was returned to Toledo of the ECHL.

Red Wings Avoid Shutout but Fall to Stars

The Detroit Red Wings narrowly avoided being shutout for the second time in three games on Tuesday night, dropping a 2-1 decision in their home opener to the Dallas Stars.

One night after being the shootout hero who gave the Red Wings their first victory of the season, rookie Damien Brunner scored the team’s only goal. Pavel Datsyuk‘s pass across the top of the crease reached Brunner on the far side with a wide open net for his first career NHL goal, coming with just three seconds left in the game.

Michael Ryder provided all of the offense for Dallas.

At 5:41 of the first period, Ryder carried the puck from the left wing boards across the top of the faceoff circles and flung a shot on net. The puck deflected off of defenseman Kyle Quincey‘s stick early and sailed over goalie Jimmy Howard‘s shoulder, into the top corner.

Ryder struck again at 5:34 of the third period when he was left wide open in the left circle, taking a pass from former Red Wing Ray Whitney and snapping a shot past Howard.

Howard finished the night with 32 saves on 34 Dallas shots. Stars’ goalie Kari Lehtonen made 40 saves on the 41 shots he faced.

Though Brunner’s goal came with Howard on the bench for an extra attacker, the Wings were scoreless on four power play tries, still looking for their first power play goal of the season. Dallas did not score on either of their two tries with the man advantage.

Having completed three games in four nights, the Red Wings are now off until Friday when they host the Minnesota Wild.

Former Red Wing Tomas Holmstrom, who announced his retirement earlier in the day, participated in a ceremonial puck drop to start the game… The Red Wings were without forwards Mikael Samuelsson, Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi, and Jan Mursak, defensemen Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Carlo Colaiacovo, and goalie Jonas Gustavsson… Defenseman Kent Huskins made his Red Wings debut, having been signed earlier in the day due to the injuries decimating Detroit’s blue line… Forward Gustav Nyquist was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to fill in up front. He and goalie Tom McCollum were returned to the Griffins after the game.

Red Wings Score Early, Down Coyotes 4-2

The Detroit Red Wings scored twice in the first three minutes Monday night, jumping out to an early lead that the Phoenix Coyotes never recovered from en route to a 4-2 win.

With the victory, Detroit leads their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup, 3-0, and will go for the sweep in Glendale on Wednesday.

Ruslan Salei and Drew Miller scored just 44 seconds apart to get Detroit on the board.

At 1:57, Darren Helm fought off a check by Ed Jovanovski to get the puck along the back boards and send it out to Salei at the top of the right faceoff circle for a blast past Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. At 2:41, a Niklas Kronwall shot deflected off of Drew Miller to make it 2-0.

Valtteri Filppula made it 3-0 just 2:50 into the second period, carrying the puck through the slot and into the left faceoff circle before flinging it past Bryzgalov.

David Schlemko got the Coyotes on the board with 8:17 left in the middle period. With Phoenix on a power play, Schlemko got the puck in the left circle and drove to the net, roofing a shot over Jimmy Howard‘s shoulder.

Johan Franzen put Detroit back up by three 45 seconds into the third period, breaking in alone on Bryzgalov and sniping a shot over his shoulder.

Ray Whitney‘s power play shot with seven minutes remaining deflected past Howard to put the Coyotes back within a pair but Phoenix would be unable to pull closer.

The Red Wings were scoreless on four power play attempts while the Coyotes’ two goals came on three tries with the extra attacker. The last five Phoenix goals have all been on the power play.

Howard finished the night with 28 saves on 30 shots. Bryzgalov made 30 stops on 34 chances.

Detroit was without forward Henrik Zetterberg for the fifth consecutive game. He is not expected to play in Game Four… Mike Modano and Jakub Kindl were healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Detroit Comeback Falls Short in Loss to Carolina

A flurry of shots during a last-minute power play wasn’t enough for the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night, failing to score a tying goal and falling to the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2.

Detroit had allowed the game’s first three goals before scoring the next two to pull within one.

Matt Cullen scored the game’s opening goal at 5:45 of the first. After a Detroit turnover in the neutral zone, Cullen carried the puck into the Red Wings’ zone before defenseman Brett Lebda dropped to the ice to block a possible shot. Cullen outwaited Lebda and stepped around him before wristing a shot past Detroit goalie Manny Legace.

Just 3:36 later, the Hurricanes went up by two with a power play goal. A backhand shot from the right circle by Bret Hedican deflected at the top of the crease to former Red Wing Ray Whitney at the far side of the goal. Whitney banged it in on his second attempt.

With 5:52 left in the period, Erik Cole scored Carolina’s third goal. Cole broke in on goal from the right circle and Legace came out to make the stop. Cole got the rebound and moved to go behind the net as Legace attempted to poke check him. Legace never recovered from the poke check and Cole retained the puck for an open wraparound.

The Red Wings would shut the Hurricanes down for the remainder of the game but the damage was already done.

Steve Yzerman showed that he’s not out of tricks yet, beginning Detroit’s comeback attempt just 1:59 after Cole’s goal.

Yzerman carried the puck on his own through the neutral zone and into Carolina’s end, cutting through the high slot and into the right circle past a pair of defenders. He moved back into the slot to get around Hurricanes’ goalie Martin Gerber and caught him sideways, lifting the puck over his outstretched pad.

Detroit pulled within one at 3:26 of the second period when Henrik Zetterberg scored a fluke power play goal. Zetterberg attempted a pass from the side of the net that deflected off former Red Wing Aaron Ward at the edge of the crease and past Gerber.

Detroit outshot Carolina 19-6 in the third period but the Red Wings could not even the score.

Legace finished the game with 22 saves on 25 shots as Gerber stopped 36 of 36 attempts in net for Carolina.

The Red Wings went one-for-six on the power play and allowed one Carolina power play goal on four chances.

Detroit will be back in action on Thursday when the Philadelphia Flyers visit Joe Louis Arena.

Wings Waive Three

The Detroit Red Wings placed three veteran players on waivers today, clearing a way for a buyout of their contracts.

If no other NHL team claims Derian Hatcher, Darren McCarty or Ray Whitney within 24 hours, they will be eligible for buyouts that would render them unrestricted free agents.

As part of the transitional phase of the NHL’s new collective bargaining agreement, a one-time buyout period is in effect until Friday at 5:00 PM EDT. Any player that is bought out in this period cannot play for the team that bought him out during the 2005-06 season.

Hatcher spent 2003-04 with Detroit after starting his career with the Minnesota North Stars and following that franchise to Dallas. He was limited to only 15 games for the Red Wings after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

McCarty broke into the league with the Red Wings in 1993-94 and has been with the team ever since. A member of the famous “Grind Line,” McCarty has been a fan favorite but has had several injuries in recent years.

Whitney joined the Red Wings for the 2003-04 campaign after spending time with the San Jose Sharks, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets. He finished second in scoring for Detroit during the 2004 playoffs, with his seven points trailing only Robert Lang‘s nine.

Locked-out Wings Help Honor Larionov

When former Red Wing Igor Larionov retired from the NHL last spring, he knew he had one game left in him. For a year, Larionov had been planning one final game in Moscow, where is Russian fans could see him skate for the last time.

With the NHL locked out and games put on hold, many of Larionov’s former teammates were able to make the trip to Russia with him, to honor the player who last year was the oldest in the NHL.

Larionov assembled a team of Russian All-Stars to take on a team representing the rest of the world, comprised mostly of his former teammates. Retired Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman returned to the bench along side former associate coaches Dave Lewis and Barry Smith to lead the world team while Larionov’s former linemates from the Soviet Red Army team, Sergei Makarov and Vladimir Krutov, coached the Russian team.

New Jersey Devils Martin Brodeur, Patrick Elias, Scott Gomez and Jay Pandolfo joined Red Wings Steve Yzerman, Chris Chelios, Mathieu Dandenault, Kris Draper, Jiri Fischer, Tomas Holmstrom, Nicklas Lidstrom, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty, Brendan Shanahan, Ray Whitney and Henrik Zetterberg on the World team. Former Red Wings Steve Duchesne, Martin Lapointe, Chris Osgood and Luc Robitaille also played.

The Russian squad was made up of Pavel Datsyuk, Sergei Fedorov, Viacheslav Fetisov, Sergei Gonchar, Valeri Kamensky, Nikolai Khabibulin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vyacheslav Kozlov, Larionov, Danny Markov, Evgeni Nabokov, Andrei Nikolishin, Sergei Samsonov and Oleg Tverdovsky.

The World team, most of whom hadn’t played competitively since last season, got off to a slow start and Brodeur allowed early goals to Nikolishin and Samsonov. McCarty responded later in the period and the Russians had a 2-1 lead after one period.

Osgood replaced Brodeur between the pipes for the second period but couldn’t stop Larionov from scoring on a quick shot from the slot, as Larionov capped his career with a goal in his final game in front of his home crowd.

For the third period, Larionov and Yzerman switched teams, complete with Yzerman donning a Russian jersey with his name in Cyrillic on the back. Yzerman, possibly playing in his final game as well, scored twice for the Russians as they held off the World team for a 6-5 win.

Tied Again: Wings Even Series with 4-2 Win

The Detroit Red Wings evened their first round playoff series with a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames Thursday night. The teams have now won two games each as they come back to Detroit for Game Five on Saturday afternoon.

The talk of the game was officiating, as the Red Wings had only one power play in the game, the only call on the Flames that couldn’t be ignored.

With the Red Wings leading, 4-2, and just four seconds remaining in the game, Calgary agitator Ville Nieminen skated in without the puck at Red Wings goalie Curtis Joseph and threw an elbow to his head. Officials ushered the smiling Nieminen off the ice before Detroit enforcer Darren McCarty could settle the score.

Twenty seconds earlier, the Red Wings sealed their victory with an empty-net goal by Henrik Zetterberg.

Detroit had opened the scoring with the first first-period goal of the series for either team. Only 26 seconds into the game, Kris Draper carried the puck behind the Calgary goal and sent a pass out from the right side of Flames’ goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff. Kirk Maltby came into the slot to get the pass and one-timed a shot into the net to give the Red Wings the early lead.

Detroit expanded their lead three minutes into the second period on a goal by Boyd Devereaux. Devereaux, inserted into the lineup for only the second time this postseason, twice held the puck in the Flames zone before getting the puck to Kris Draper as he skated through the right faceoff circle. Draper gave the puck to Ray Whitney, who took it to the bottom of the circle before sending it back up top to Devereaux, who one-timed a long shot past Kiprusoff to put the Red Wings up by two.

The Flames struck twice in 18 seconds to tie the game. At 5:45 of the second, Martin Gelinas got a loose puck at the side of the net and poked it by Joseph, who was attempting a poke-check. At 6:03, Nieminen was left all alone in front of Joseph and outwaited him before lifting the puck over his glove.

The Red Wings regained the lead just past the midway point of the third period. With 9:58 remaining in the game, Tomas Holmstrom put the puck between Kiprusoff’s pads. Defenseman Mathieu Dandenault pinched in and reached behind Kiprusoff to knock the puck over the goal line, scoring the eventual game-winner.

Detrit outshot Calgary, 29-27. Joseph and Kiprusoff each made 25 saves. The Red Wings did not score on their three-second “power play” at the end of the game and the Flames were held scoreless in their two tries with the man-advantage.

The NHL will likely review Nieminen’s actions at the end of the game. A suspension could be handed down from the league offices but the chances of that happening were unknown as the game came to a close.

Curtis Joseph celebrated his 37th birthday with the win Thursday night, just one day after Nicklas Lidstrom turned 34.

Now Leaving Music City: Wings Win Series With Shutout

Once again, the Red Wings pulled together when it counted, and their opponents weren’t quite prepared to deal with it. The Red Wings struck early to take a 2-0 lead over the Nashville Predators, then they held onto it for the rest of the game to win the quarterfinal series four games to two.

Nashville’s fans were on hand and louder than ever to start the game, looking to cheer their team on to an early start. The Red Wings were able to ignore the fans and take control early. In fact, the fans were calling their now-infamous “Chelios is a wussy” chant when Ray Whitney put Detroit on the scoreboard.

Steve Yzerman made a sharp centering pass from the right corner, and Whitney fired hard from the high slot. The puck was blocked by defenseman Andreas Johansson, but came right back to Whitney. Whitney’s second shot cleared Johansson and sailed past goalie Tomas Vokoun at 1:26.

Yzerman cemented the lead just 30 seconds later. Robert Lang worked the puck out from behind Mark Eaton’s dropped stick along the back boards, held off Eaton with one arm, and centered the puck with the other arm. Yzerman was pushing towards the net with no one to keep an eye on him, and it looked like a relatively simple matter for him to lift the puck up and over Vokoun.

Kris Draper nearly made the score 3-0 shortly thereafter with a shot off a drop pass from Tomas Holmstrom. The puck made it over Vokoun and landed on the goal line, but defenseman Brad Bombardir was able to clear it away before it crossed the line. Nashville called their timeout to calm down after that.

The Predators should have had their best chances to score during the second period, when they had three consecutive power plays, but they simply weren’t able to put their shots on net. David Legwand and Scott Walker both had scoring chances, but their shots went wide of Curtis Joseph. The Red Wings’ penalty killers did a good job of making sure the passing lanes were blocked and letting Joseph see each shot that did make its way through.

Detroit picked up their pressure again in the third period. They weren’t exactly testing Vokoun?they had only six shots on net in the third?but they were controlling the puck, picking off passes, and keeping the Predators from ever getting a clear shot against Joseph.

Nashville’s best chance came when Jason York had a screened shot from the right point, but Joseph was ready with the save.

The Predators pulled Vokoun for the extra skater with nearly two minutes remaining, but it did them no good. The Red Wings continued their careful control and kept the score at 2-0.

Detroit outshot Nashville by a count of 26 to 15. The Wings continued their dominance on faceoffs, winning 43 out of 70.

The Red Wings’ opponent for the Western Conference Semi-Finals could be either the Colorado Avalanche or the Calgary Flames, depending on whether or not the Flames manage to win their series against the Vancouver Canucks. The semi-finals are scheduled to start Thursday.

Yzerman’s goal was his 68th playoff goal, moving him past Gordie Howe into first place as the Red Wings’ all-time leading playoff goal scorer?. This was Joseph’s 16th career playoff shutout?. Game attendance was 17,329, marking the Predators’ largest crowd ever.

Wings Defeat Blues, Claim President’s Trophy

The Detroit Red Wings’ Ray Whitney scored late in the second period Thursday night to give Detroit a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues, clinching the President’s Trophy for the Red Wings with one game remaining in the season. It is the second time in three years and fourth time since 1995 that Detroit has won the President’s Trophy, awarded to the team with the NHL’s best regular season record.

Whitney scored with 2:02 remaining in the second period and fourth-string goaltender Marc Lamothe allowed only two goals on 28 shots against as the Red Wings held off a St. Louis team fighting to make the playoffs.

With the game tied a two, the Red Wings had the Blues reeling in their own zone. Whitney faked a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle and skated in to the faceoof dot, firing a quick wrister over St. Louis goaltender Chris Osgood‘s shoulder and into the top of the net.

Detroit had opened the scoring 6:32 into the game on a goal by Boyd Devereaux. With Osgood sprawling across the goal crease, Devereaux got the puck from defenseman Chris Chelios at the left side of the net. He roofed a shot over Osgood and put the Wings up by one early.

Steve Thomas added to the Red Wings’ lead with 7:14 remaining in the opening frame. As Brett Hull skated into the St. Louis zone with Pavel Datsyuk, Thomas trailed the play. Coming down the right side of the ice, Hull dropped a pass to Thomas, who fired a shot past Osgood, giving Detroit a two-goal lead.

St. Louis tied the game with two goals just 1:13 apart early in the second period. Former Red Wing Mike Sillinger scored 1:52 into the period to put the Blues on the board and Brain Savage knocked in a loose puck at 3:05 to tie the game.

Lamothe stopped 13 shots in the third period to preserve the Red Wings’ lead. Osgood stopped nine of the 12 shots he faced in the game.

The Red Wings were perfect on the penalty kill, not allowing a goal on either of the two St. Louis power play chances. Detroit did not have any power play attempts of their own, as St. Louis was not penalized in the game. The Red Wings have had only one attempt with the man-advantage in the last two games.

The Red Wings will wrap up their season Saturday night when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Wings Show Wild Some Variety in Win

If it’s true that a team needs offense from all possible sources in order to succeed in the playoffs, then the Red Wings look to be in pretty decent shape headng into next week. Five different players scored goals to overcome the normally stifling defense of the Minnesota Wild in a 5-3 win.

Darren McCarty opened the scoring early in the first. Kirk Maltby carried the puck into Minnesota’s zone and dropped a pass back to McCarty, who took a wrist shot from the top of the left circle. Wild goalie Manny Fernandez was sliding to his right, and the puck sailed over his catching glove.

Andrei Zyuzin tied the game up with a power play goal midway through the period. Zyuzin was able to drive to the net with no one covering him, then slam Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s centering pass past Manny Legace.

Jiri Fischer regained the lead for Detroit late in the first with a similar goal””he pushed his way to the net and banged in a centering pass from Brendan Shanahan.

Shanahan and Boyd Devereaux scored in quick succession to open the second period. Shanahan scored off a hard wrist shot set up by Ray Whitney‘s hard work shaking off a Minnesota defenseman in the right corner. Devereaux’s goal came after Jason Williams‘ shot bounced off the back of Willie Mitchell, who was tussling with Tomas Holmstrom in front of the goal crease. Devereaux was able to scoop up the loose puck and put it into an empty corner of the net while Fernandez was screened by Holmstrom and Mitchell.

Alexandre Daigle brought the Wild back within a pair a few minutes later. Wes Walz cleanly won a faceoff in Detroit’s zone, and Daigle one-timed the shot before Legace was quite ready for it. The puck barely squeezed through between the goalie’s pads.
Daigle outskated Derian Hatcher and put his own rebound into the net at a very tight angle to bring the Wild within one goal with 8:32 left in the game, but Pavel Datsyuk put the game out of reach with his 30th goal of the season. Datsyuk picked up the rebound from Brett Hull‘s shot, danced around three Minnesota skaters in the slot, then whipped the puck past Fernandez.

Detroit outshot Minnesota by a count of 38 to 24. The Red Wings will head out for their last road trip of the regular season after tonight. They’ll play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday and the St. Louis Blues on Thursday before returning home to close the season against Columbus on Saturday.

Detroit only needs one more point in the standings to clinch the Western Conference title”¦. Kris Draper and Robert Lang should be back in the lineup for Wednesday’s game. Mathieu Dandenault could return for Saturday’s game”¦. The Detroit chapter of the Professional Hockey Writer’s Association has nominated Steve Thomas as the Red Wings’ candidate for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which is awarded to the player who most exemplifies perseverance and dedication to hockey.

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