Red Wings’ Osgood Blanks Blue Jackets in Game Two Win

Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood continued to silence his critics Saturday night, leading the Red Wings to a 4-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game Two of their Western Conference Quarterfinals matchup.

The shutout comes on the heels of a twenty-save performance in Game One, after which he addressed his doubters.

“I don’t doubt myself ever. People that don’t know me do,” Osgood said after the series opener. “I’ve played for 15 years. I have the most wins in Red Wings playoff history for a reason, not because I’m a bad goalie.”

Osgood made 25 saves en route to the shutout.

The power play carried Detroit’s scoring, counting for three of the Red Wings’ four goals. The Wings finished the night three-for-ten on the power play, their percentage hurt by a series of Columbus penalties late in the game, after things had already been decided.

Brian Rafalski opened the game’s scoring on a power play with 6:27 left in the first period, snapping a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle off of Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin and over goalie Steve Mason‘s shoulder.

Pavel Datsyuk‘s power play goal at 7:18 of the second period stretched Detroit’s lead to two. Marian Hossa sent a shot from the left side purposely wide, with Datsyuk open to deflect it in.

Henrik Zetterberg scored the only even-strength goal of the game with 4:30 left in the middle frame, looping around defenders down low and lifting a shot from the inside edge of the right circle into the top of the net.

Jiri Hudler wrapped up the game’s scoring just 3:38 into the final period, bouncing an acute-angle shot off of defenseman Rostislav Klesla, off the post, off of Mason and into the net.

With the game out of reach, the Blue Jackets attempted to send a message as time ran down, taking 22 penalty minutes in the final ten minutes of the game, including a misconduct to Mike Commodore.

Game Three between the two teams will be Tuesday night in Columbus. It will be the first home playoff game in Blue Jackets’ franchise history.

The Red Wings were without Kris Draper, who also missed Game One with an upper-body injury. He will be re-evaluated on Monday.

Red Wings, Zetterberg Continue Streaks

The Red Wings and star forward Henrik Zetterberg both continued streaks with Detroit’s 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

The victory was the team’s ninth-straight, tying a franchise record that was also reached at this time last season, while Zetterberg’s third-period goal extended his point-scoring streak to sixteen games.

Zetterberg wrapped up the game’s scoring with 1:28 remaining. Columbus defenseman Rostislav Klesla deflected a shot from the point by Brian Rafalski directly to Zetterberg in the right circle. Klesla went down to block Zetterberg’s shot but Zetterberg outwaited him, waiting for Klesla to slide past before putting the puck between the pads of Pascal Leclaire.

Detroit got on the board first with a power play goal by Brett Lebda with 7:00 left in the first period.

The Red Wings held the puck in the Columbus zone on a Blue Jackets’ clearing attempt and Jiri Hudler got it to Mikael Samuelsson in the left circle. Samuelsson crossed it over to Lebda who wristed it past Leclaire with Dan Cleary screening.

Rick Nash tied the game only 49 seconds into the second period with the Blue Jackets on a five-on-three. After a one-timer from the point, the puck bounced around the edge of the crease and the Red Wings couldn’t clear. David Vyborny knocked it down low to Nash to bang in behind Dominik Hasek.

Tomas Holmstrom replied with Detroit’s second power play goal of the night with 6:07 remaining in the period. The puck came off the back boards to Holmstrom at the side of the net. Holmstrom’s first shot was stopped by Leclaire but the Columbus goalie fell off the post, leaving a gap for the rebound.

Cleary scored at 8:40 of the third to give the Red Wings some breathing room, pushing in his own rebound after cutting hard to the front of the net and taking a pass from Kirk Maltby at the left wing.

The Red Wings finished the game with two power play goals on six chances with the extra attacker. The Blue Jackets went one-for-seven with the goal coming on one of their two two-man advantages.

Hasek made 15 saves on 16 shots in his first game back from a hip injury. Leclaire stopped 32 of 36 shots against.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Sunday when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks in the third game of a nine-game stretch against Central Division opponents.

Red Wings Avoid Repeat of Blown Lead in Win over Blue Jackets

The Detroit Red Wings rebounded from a Friday night game in which they blew a 3-0 lead late in the third period to hold on to the same lead on Sunday afternoon, earning a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

While the Red Wings allowed three late third period goals to the Dallas Stars on Friday before losing in the shootout, they kept the Blue Jackets off the board until the game’s final minute on Sunday, securing the victory.

Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek‘s shutout wasn’t snapped until 59 seconds remained in the final period, when Rick Nash scored on a wraparound attempt, banging in his own rebound.

After a scoreless first period, the Red Wings opened the game’s scoring just 1:57 into the second when a blast from above the right circle by Brett Lebda found its way into the top of the net on a Detroit power play.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings up by a pair 8:30 later, putting the rebound of a Lebda shot around goalie Fredrik Norrena while being knocked to the ice by defenseman Marc Methot.

Pavel Datsyuk wrapped up the period’s scoring with the Red Wings on the penalty kill, stealing the puck from defenseman Anders Eriksson in the neutral zone and breaking in along on Norrena before rifling a quick shot past him.

Holmstrom added his second of the afternoon just 49 seconds into the third when a Kris Draper shot deflected off his skate, then the skate of defenseman Rostislav Klesla before getting past Norrena.

With the win, the Red Wings pull into sole possession of first place in the Western Conference, as well as the overall lead of the National Hockey League.

Hasek made 31 saves on 32 shots overall while Norrena stopped 21 of the 25 attempts he faced.

Detroit scored on one of three power play attempts. Columbus was without a goal on six chances with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings and Blue Jackets will meet again on Tuesday night to close out the season series in Detroit. Detroit will then end the regular season with a home-and-home series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Red Wings were without captain Nicklas Lidstrom who sat out the game with a back sprain. He is expected to rejoin the team on Tuesday. Kyle Quincey was called up from Grand Rapids to fill in on the blue line.

Red Wings Blow Third-Period Lead, Fall to Columbus in Shootout

For the first time this season, the Detroit Red Wings carried a lead into the third period only to come away with a loss.

Saturday night, the Red Wings led the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-0, after two periods. Columbus scored four-straight goals to take a 4-3 lead before the Red Wings tied the game back up. Detroit would eventually fall in a shootout in which they were kept scoreless.

Detroit’s defensive collapse began with a goal by Rostislav Klesla at 7:08 of the period, a blast from the blue line that appeared to be deflected before getting past Red Wings’ goalie Chris Osgood.

David Vyborny pulled the Blue Jackets to within one 3:31 later when he was left all alone to deflect a shot from the left wing by Klesla.

A Mikael Samuelsson turnover in the Columbus zone led to the third Blue Jackets’ goal with 5:44 remaining. Vyborny stole the puck and sent an outlet pass to Rick Nash, who easily skated around a slashing Andreas Lilja before cutting in front of Osgood and putting the puck around him.

Just 29 seconds later, Manny Malhotra scored after two Detroit turnovers in their own zone. He was left all alone in front of Osgood to bang a shot that defelected off of the Red Wings’ goalie and into the net.

Pavel Datsyuk tied the game with 1:50 remaining, breaking into the Columbus zone and rifling a shot past Blue Jackets’ netminder Pascal Leclaire.

Johan Franzen and Steve Yzerman scored first-period goals and Robert Lang added one in the second period to build Detroit’s initial lead.

After a scoreless overtime, Jaroslav Balastik scored on the first shootout attempt for the only goal of the tiebreaker.

Osgood finished the game with 23 saves on 27 shotsm facing more shots in the third period than in the rest of the periods combined. Leclaire made forty saves on 44 shots against.

Neither team scored on the power play, with Detroit having three chances and Columbus having two.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Monday when they visit the St. Louis Blues.

Lang’s First as a Red Wing Lifts Detroit over Columbus

Robert Lang‘s first goal as a Red Wing lifted Detroit to a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday night. The Red Wings claimed the regular season Western Conference Championship with the win.

Lang’s goal came with the game tied 9:03 into the third period. Tomas Holmstrom carried the puck into Columbus zone and cut through the crease before dropping a pass back to Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan skated past the puck, letting it sit in the slot where Lang got to it and slipped a shot under Columbus goalie Marc Denis.

The Red Wings had scored 4:22 into the period to tie the game at two. After half a minute of pressure from Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom, defenseman Jiri Fischer threw a shot on net from inside the blue line. Denis stopped the shot but the puck was left sitting on the goal line. From the side of the net, Holmstrom poked the puck across the goal line, tying the game.

Detroit had opened the scoring in the second period. Just 1:45 in to the middle frame, Darren McCarty and Kirk Maltby streaked in on the Columbus net. McCarty fired a shot that Maltby deflected with the shaft of his stick into the net.

Columbus’ goals came six minutes apart in the first half of the second period. At 2:48, Trevor Letowski scored and at 8:28, Donald MacLean beat Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace.

Legace made 30 saves on 32 shots while Denis stopped 27 of 30 shots. The Red Wings were unsuccessful in their lone power-play attempts, with the Blue Jackets held scoreless in each of their seven chances with the advantage.

After the game, the Blue Jackets were less worried about the loss than about a third-period hit Maltby put on Columbus defenseman Rostislav Klesla with 4:52 remaining.

Maltby lined up Klesla coming across the center red line and hit him into the boards in front of the Detroit bench – with one of the bench doors open. Klesla caught the corner of the boards and dropped to the ice. No penalty was called on the play.

Maltby claimed he didn’t see that the door was open.

“I’m really not going to get into an argument about it,” he said. “I’m backchecking. I can’t see who’s coming on, who’s coming off, if the door’s closed or not. I’m not trying to hurt the guy. It was a foot race.”

“You can’t say he didn’t see the door open because it was open for four seconds – we watched it on video,” Columbus interim coach Gerard Gallant said. “He just drove him into the door. Not smart at all by him.”

The Red Wings and the Blue Jackets close out the season in Detroit on Saturday night.

24 Hours Can Make A Big Difference

Whatever it was that Columbus Blue Jackets coach Doug McLean said to his team after last night’s 5-1 blowout loss to Detroit, it worked. The Blue Jackets rallied to take a 3-0 win over the Red Wings and split the home and home series with one win apiece.

It was evident from the first drop of the puck that tonight’s game was going to have more of a defensive focus than last night’s shooting match. Both teams seemed wary of each other. The Red Wings had a few good scoring chances against Marc Denis in the first period, but an odd bounce let Columbus open the scoring.

Rostislav Klesla took a shot from the right point. Trevor Letowski tipped the shot on its way through so that Manny Legace wasn’t able to stop it cleanly, and Rick Nash flipped the puck into an open corner of the net.

The Blue Jackets got an even bigger boost to their momentum when they managed to kill off a double minor penalty which overlapped the end of the first and beginning of the second periods. The Red Wings failed to capitalize on Jody Shelley‘s trip to the box for high sticking and unsportsmanlike conduct, which gave the Blue Jackets the energy they needed to score their second goal of the game.

Andrew Cassels carried the puck behind the net, then out to the side. His tight angle shot just squeezed into the net between Legace and his short side goalpost at 4:23 of the second.

Darryl Bootland made an effort to liven up the Red Wings by starting a a fight against David Ling. Bootland got the better of the fight, but he also got a two minute minor for instigating and a ten minute misconduct to go along with his five minute fighting major.

Legace kept Detroit in the game by stopping Nash on a breakaway attempt, but the Red Wings just couldn’t manage to set up a strong scoring chance against Denis. Dan Fritsche’s goal from the left faceoff circle early in the third period put the game away for good for Columbus.

Detroit outshot Columbus by a narrow count of 25-24. The Red Wings will play next on Saturday night when they face the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul.

Still Rolling

Superior penalty killing, skillful playmaking by Pavel Datsyuk, and excellent goaltending by Manny Legace led the Red Wings to their sixth straight victory, a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets were given five power plays in the first period alone, including a four minute high-sticking double minor to Maxim Kuznetsov. With the constant penalty-killing necessary, the Red Wings managed only two shots on net the entire period, but one of those shots was the first goal of the game. Datsyuk threaded a pass across the front of the goal crease through a passing lane just wide enough to get a puck through. Brendan Shanahan was skating towards the net, and he had his stick down on the ice to tip the puck past Marc Denis.

Columbus managed thirteen shots in the first period, but only one of those, a wrist shot by Ray Whitney, made it in past Legace. The high number of shots didn’t seem to bother Legace at all, however. “It was good to get shots early,” he explained. “The last game I didn’t get any shots. Getting a lot of shots early gets you into the game and gets you back into a little rhythm.”

Brett Hull, playing through a bad cold, gave the Red Wings the lead again early in the second period. Datsyuk passed the puck to Jason Woolley, who had pinched in deep towards the goal line, and Woolley centered the puck to Hull. Hull then one-timed the shot, and the puck sailed into the net past Denis.

A bad bounce for Detroit let Columbus tie the game back up early in the third period. Whitney’s pass from behind the net bounced off the skate of Rostislav Klesla and into the net before Legace could react.

Midway through the third period, the Red Wings were able to take the lead for good when Jaroslav Spacek was sent to the penalty box for a boarding call against Darren McCarty. Woolley got the puck to Shanahan along the left side. Shanahan used a Columbus defenseman as a screen. His shot went right between the defenseman’s legs and past Denis for the goal.

The Blue Jackets were far from done, and Legace made some key saves as the clock ran down. Geoff Sanderson had a chance to score on a rebound right in front of the crease, but Legace got in the way. Jamie Allison made a hard, well-aimed shot from the left faceoff circle, but Legace blocked that one too, leaving Columbus coach Doug MacLean shaking his head. “We had a great third period,” he said. “Great chances and great saves by Legace. He made five or six great saves at the end.”

Over the course of the game, Columbus outshot Detroit by a total of 31 to 23. The Red Wings will return home for their next game Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Steve Yzerman returned to the lineup for this game. He played 14:49 over the course of the game, an increase over his two previous games…. Sergei Fedorov and Chris Chelios both sat out. Fedorov warmed up before the game, but returned to the dressing room complaining of a sore back from being slammed into the goalpost Sunday night against Phoenix. Chelios had an MRI on the knee he twisted in the last game. The results were fine, but Chelios will sit out the rest of the week as a precautionary measure. Fedorov should return to the lineup against Tampa Bay.

Plenty of Goals For All!

Even with Steve Yzerman out of the game with a badly bruised foot for a projected one to two weeks, the Red Wings still have plenty of offense and defense to go around. The Columbus Blue Jackets learned this the hard way, going down 5-1.

Mathieu Dandenault took an early lead for his team 7:02 into the first period. Lyle Odelein sent the puck around his own net trying to keep it away from the Red Wings, but Dandenault got to it and shot it towards the net. The puck bounced off a Columbus defenseman’s skate, off the back boards, and straight back to Dandenault’s stick. He was then able to slide the puck under goaltender Marc Denis.

The Blue Jackets tied up the game just a few moments later. Grant Marshall shot the puck at Manny Legace from the right point. Legace flopped down to blocked the shot, but the rebound slipped away, and Michael Sillinger was able to snatch it up and flip the puck into the net.

Luc Robitaille regained the lead for the Red Wings six and a half minutes before the end of the period, while Rostislav Klesla was serving a minor penalty for elbowing. Brendan Shanahan put the puck on the net, and Tomas Holmstrom tried to tip it in, but the puck came free to Robitaille at the left side, and he sent it into the net behind Denis.

The second period was all downhill for the Blue Jackets, as the Red Wings scored twice to increase their lead. Just over five minutes in, Brett Hull and Pavel Datsyuk got a two-on-one breakaway. Hull passed left to Datsyuk, and Datsyuk faked to the left to lure Denis, then stuffed the puck in on the right side.

Columbus’s woes increased when Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre was sent to the penalty box for tripping. Lidstrom carried the puck in front of the net and left the pass for Shanahan, and Shanahan sent a quick wrist shot flying past Denis to become the first Red Wing to reach the twenty goal mark this season, making this the fourteenth consecutive season in which he has scored twenty or more goals.

The Red Wings essentially wrapped up the game early in the third period, in the last second of a penalty to Lyle Odelein carried over from the end of the second period. Lidstrom fired a hard shot from the blue line, and rookie Sean Avery tipped it into the net, to score his first NHL goal.

Columbus attempted to play harder and score again, but the Detroit defense was able to keep them away from the net, and Legace stopped any shots which came near him. The game ended with Legace having stopped twenty-seven of twnety-eight shots, and Denis having stopped twenty-eight of the thirty-three he was bombarded with.

The Red Wings will next travel south to Nashville to face the Predators on Friday night.

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