Zetterberg Scores Twice as Red Wings Down Capitals, 3-2

Henrik Zetterberg scored twice Wednesday night, including the game-winning goal, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals.

Brian Rafalski, returning to the lineup after missing eight games with back spasms, assisted on all three goals as the Red Wings ended the Captials’ winning streak at nine games.

Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring with 7:37 left in the first period, taking a pass from Rafalski and one-timing a shot from the high slot past Washington goalie Michal Neuvirth.

The Caps responded just 33 seconds later, when John Carlson’s one-timer from the top of the right faceoff circle went through a screen and past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

Valtteri Filppula put the Wings back out in front with 5:15 left in the opening frame, tipping a Rafalski chance from the point past Neuvirth.

Alex Ovechkin knotted the game back up at 5:53 of the second period, snapping a shot from the high slot between the legs of defenseman Brad Stuart to beat Howard.

Zetterberg’s game-winner came at 9:57 of the third period. With the Red Wings on a power play, Zetterberg drove to the net along the goal line and lifted a backhander off the side of Neuvirth’s mask and into the net.

Detroit finished the night one-for-two on the power play. Washington was scoreless on four tries with the extra attacker.

Howard stopped 26 of 28 shots in the win. Neuvirth made 32 saves on 35 chances.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Thursday as they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.


Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller were healthy scratches up front for Detroit… Defenseman Ruslan Salei was given the night off to visit his pregnant wife in California… Goaltender Chris Osgood did not return to the lineup as expected, citing soreness after the team’s morning skate.

Datsyuk Leads Red Wings to Second Consecutive Win

Pavel Datsyuk scored the game-winning goal for the second consecutive night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

On Friday night, Datsyuk scored in overtime to give Detroit a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Datsyuk scored with 6:47 remaining in the third period Saturday, breaking a 3-3 tie. Ian Cole turned the puck over to Datsyuk along the boards right wing boards, then Datsyuk jumped between Cole and T.J. Oshie. Moving to the slot, Datsyuk stickhandled around Roman Polak and snapped a shot past goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Justin Abdelkader scored 1:20 later, taking a feed from Niklas Kronwall to break in alone and wrist a shot past Halak, locking up the win.

The Blues had opened the game’s scoring at 9:17 of the first when Adam Cracknell took a feed from Ryan Reeves and whipped a shot past Jimmy Howard from the left faceoff circle.

Ruslan Salei took advantage of a St. Louis turnover to get Detroit on the board 2:34 later, picking up a loose puck at the top of the right circle and snapping it past Halak.

Just 16 seconds later, Darren Helm knocked the rebound of an Abdelkader chance past Halak to put the Red Wings in the lead.

Niklas Kronwall’s power play blast from just inside the blue line made it 3-1 in favor of the Wings with 1:25 remaining in the second.

David Backes started St. Louis’ rally at 3:48 of the third, snapping the rebound of his own shot from the left faceoff circle past Howard.

Matt D’Agostini tied it up 2:31 later, deflecting a Kevin Shattenkirk shot from the point past Howard.

Kronwall’s goal was the only power play tally of the night. Detroit had two chances with the extra attacker while the Blues had four.

Howard made 26 saves on 29 shots. Halak stopped 22 of 27 chances.

The Red Wings will be off until Wednesday when they host the Washington Capitals.

Datsyuk, Cleary Lead Red Wings in Rout of Lightning

Pavel Datsyuk scored twice and Danny Cleary factored into two more goals, helping to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night.

Much was made of the matchup, as it was the first between the two teams since Steve Yzerman left the Red Wings organization to become general manager of the Lightning.

Cleary opened the game’s scoring on a Detroit power play 6:40 into the game. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line that Cleary tipped at the top of the crease, past goalie Dwayne Roloson.

Datsyuk made it 2-0 with 5:03 left in the period, pouncing on a rebound and swatting it past a sprawling Roloson on the backhand.

The Lighting would briefly rally in the second period, scoring twice in 2:47 to tie the game.

With 8:09 left in the period, Victor Hedman wristed a shot from just inside the blue line that deflected past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to get Tampa Bay on the board.

With 5:22 left, Steve Downie snapped a loose puck past Howard to make it 2-2.

The Red Wings regained control 1:56 later, when a Niklas Kronwall shot deflected off of Cleary’s skate and into the net for a power play goal.

Justin Abdelkader put a rebound chance past Roloson from the edge of the crease with 2:00 remaining to restore the two-goal lead.

Datsyuk’s second of the night came with 8:21 left in the third period. He was left uncovered to race into the Tampa zone and take a feed from Jiri Hudler before snapping a shot past Roloson.

Darren Helm wrapped up the game’s scoring with 1:51 left in the game, turning a turnover at the Lightning blue line into a breakaway goal.

Detroit’s power play goals gave them two on three tries with the extra attacker. Tampa Bay went scoreless on five chances with the man-advantage.

Howard stopped 38 of the 40 shots he faced on the night. Roloson made 25 saves on 31 shots.

The Red Wings continue their Florida road trip on Friday night as they visit the Panthers.


Brad Stuart returned to the Detroit lineup after missing 15 games with a broken jaw… Ruslan Salei was given the night off to spend more time with his California-based family. He will return to the lineup against the Panthers.

Red Wings – Blackhawks Postgame Thoughts

I said before the game that it wasn’t going to be a good one and it certainly turned out to be true.

The morning after, I’m trying to think of a single time where the Red Wings had sustained pressure in the Chicago zone, excluding their power plays. I can’t remember any.

I’m not going to directly blame that on injuries. There may not have been a lot of pressure but the kids called up from Grand Rapids were moving well. Cory Emmerton scored his first NHL goal (on a bit of a lucky bounce) just hours after being called up. The problem wasn’t so much a lack of talent out there for the Wings. It was a lack of energy.

Maybe that’s the ultimate effect of the injuries, but what we saw yesterday was a very tired Detroit team against a very rested Blackhawks squad. Aside from the fourth line, I didn’t see any jump from anyone.

You’re not going to win many games where you can’t get anything done in the offensive end but I think defense might have lost this game for the Wings. They’re relatively healthy on the blue line so there’s no excuse for Ruslan Salei backing off Bolland in the slot for Chicago’s first goal or the awful miscommunication that left both Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall going behind the net on the fourth goal, leaving the slot open.

That first goal still bothers me for another reason, though. I don’t agree with Salei backing off Bolland but I can see why he did it. Bolland got away with whacking the hell out of him in their battle in front of the net. I think that was why Salei backed off, and the minute he did the puck got there. Bolland then scored and hit Salei one more time for good measure.

It’s a common thing for Red Wings fans to say but I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that Tomas Holmstrom would get away with doing the same thing without a penalty.

Just to pile on the refs, I thought the Henrik Zetterberg non-goal was a quick whistle. We’ve been through that one before. Yes, the ref lost sight of the puck. Yes, the play is dead as soon as he intends to blow the whistle. As I’ve always said, that’s not an absolute. The ref loses sight of the puck when he blinks but he assumes it’s still in play. In this case, the ref assumed Corey Crawford had control when he didn’t. I think he made that assumption too quickly.

I don’t think there’s much to take from this except for the All-Star break is coming exactly when the Red Wings need it. One game in the next eleven days, with many of the team’s injuries expected to return at the end of the break. Things should turn around.

Red Wings Down Wild, Lose Cleary to Fractured Ankle

The Detroit Red Wings cruised to a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild Sunday night but their already-depleted forward ranks took another blow.

After blocking a shot from Brad Stuart in the third period, Danny Cleary will miss four weeks with a fractured ankle. Cleary returned to play after blocking the shot and appeared to be fine but the extent of the injury wasn’t known until after the game.

With the Red Wings already missing Mike Modano until March and Pavel Datsyuk for a month, Jan Mursak was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Cleary figured into the game’s scoring, notching the eventual game winning goal at 8:59 of the first period when he threw a shot from the right corner on goal. It deflected off goalie Niklas Backstrom and into the net.

Henrik Zetterberg had opened the scoring 4:28 into the game on a similar play from the left side.

Kris Draper scored his first of the year at 5:30 of the second, tipping a Niklas Kronwall shot past Backstrom from the left faceoff circle to extend Detroit’s lead to 3-0.

Tomas Holmstrom wrapped up the Red Wings’ scoring on the power play with 6:30 left in the period, knocking home the rebound of a chance by Zetterberg.

Brent Burns scored on the power play with 3:40 left to play to break up Jimmy Howard‘s shutout bid.

Howard stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced while Backstrom made 23 saves on 27 shots.

Both teams went one-for-six on the power play.

Mursak will join the team for Monday’s matchup in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche.


Jakub Kindl was in the Detroit lineup for the first time since returning from his conditioning stint with the Griffins. He took the place of Ruslan Salei, who was given an extra day off by the team to spend with his California-based family for the holidays.

Red Wings – Wild Pregame Notes

The Red Wings visit the Minnesota Wild tonight, looking to rebound from their 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues before the two-day Christmas break.

Rebounding has been a common theme for Detroit, as they’ve had a tendency to follow a bad game with a good one, only to revert to poor form the following game.

Jakub Kindl is back in the lineup, replacing Ruslan Salei. Salei was allowed to stay with his family for an extra day as they’ve remained in California this season and he’s been away from them most of that time. Kindl is fresh off an eight-game conditioning stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins, during which he scored a goal and added four assists.

Jimmy Howard gets the start for the Red Wings. Niklas Backstrom is expected to get the nod for the Wild.

Red Wings Rally for OT Win over Canucks

The Detroit Red Wings bounced back from a 4-3 deficit late in the third period Wednesday night, scoring with 3:54 remaining to force overtime and adding another in the extra period for a 5-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Nicklas Lidstrom evened the game up on a Detroit power play, putting home the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg shot into an open net from the left faceoff circle.

Zetterberg then gave the Red Wings the win, snapping a shot past Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo from the left faceoff dot with 2:01 left in the overtime period.

Danny Cleary had opened the game’s scoring at 8:12 of the first. Brian Rafalski sent a long pass from the Detroit zone to Todd Bertuzzi at the Vancouver blue line. Bertuzzi gained the zone and moved the puck across to Cleary, who fired it past Luongo from high in the right circle.

A power play goal by Henrik Sedin tied the game back up just 1:11 into the second. Ryan Kesler got the puck from Daniel Sedin in front of Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard and passed it off to Henrik at the edge of the crease for a tap into the open net.

Valtteri Filppula restored the Red Wings’ lead at 6:29 of the period, swatting the rebound of a Cleary chance past Luongo.

Daniel Sedin tied the game back up with 8:39 left in the second, scoring a power play goal that was nearly a carbon-copy of his brother’s.

Former Red Wing Mikael Samuelsson gave the Canucks their first lead with 21 seconds left in the second. Brad Stuart couldn’t hold the puck in the Vancouver end and the Canucks broke out on a three-on-two. After gaining the Detroit zone, Henrik Sedin dropped it to Samuelsson for a snap shot from the top of the left circle that deflected off of Stuart’s stick and past Howard.

Zetterberg’s first of the night evened things back up. At 1:54 of the first he snuck a low-angle shot between the post and Luongo’s pad to make it 3-3.

Jeff Tambellini beat Howard with 7:50 remaining to put the Canucks back out in front before Detroit’s comeback.

The Canucks finished the night two-for-three on the power play. The Red Wings went one-for-four.

Howard stopped 35 of 39 shots on the night while Luongo made 40 saves on 45 shots.

The Red Wings are back in action Thursday night when the visit the St. Louis Blues.


The Red Wings lost forward Pavel Datsyuk to a wrist injury late in the first period. He did not return… Ruslan Salei‘s assist on Zetterberg’s first goal was his 200th career point.

Zetterberg Scores in Overtime to Carry Red Wings Past Coyotes

Henrik Zetterberg scored on a delayed penalty in overtime Monday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.

Zetterberg tipped a slap-pass from defenseman Ruslan Salei past Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov at 1:23 of the overtime period. Todd Bertuzzi, who had come on as the extra attacker, picked up the secondary assist.

Nicklas Lidstrom had tied the game at 7:24 of the third period, blasting a shot from the left point past Bryzgalov.

Danny Cleary opened the scoring for the Red Wings just 1:40 into the game. Brian Rafalski, playing in his first game back after arthroscopic knee surgery, fired a shot from the right point wide of the net. It bounced off the end boards and came out the other side, where Cleary knocked it into the open net.

Martin Hanzal got the Coyotes on the board with 55 seconds left in the opening period on a similar play, banging in the puck after a Derek Morris shot went wide and caromed off the end boards, coming back out in front.

Keith Yandle put Phoenix out in front at 7:31 of the second period on a broken play. Lauri Korpikoski carried the puck into the Detroit zone and cut to the slot, losing control. The puck slid into the left faceoff circle, where Yandle caught up with it and snapped it past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Howard finished the night with 29 saves on 31 Phoenix shots while Bryzgalov stopped 37 of 40 Detroit chances.

Though the game-winning goal came with the extra attacker, neither team scored on the power play on the night. The Red Wings had four chances to the Coyotes’ three.

Filppula Scores Twice as Red Wings Down Blackhawks

Valtteri Filppula scored two goals and his line added a third, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, spoiling Chicago’s banner-raising ceremony for their 2010 Stanley Cup Championship.

Filppula opened the game’s scoring with 7:01 left in the first period, sneaking to the left side of the crease and tapping the puck past Chicago goalie Marty Turco off a pass from Johan Franzen.

The Blackhawks replied with just half a second left in the first, when Brent Seabrook was left all alone to snap a shot past Chris Osgood for a power play goal.

Detroit’s second line got on the board again at 1:12 of the second. Brad Stuart sent a shot intentionally wide of the net and Todd Bertuzzi was there to jam the puck past Turco.

The lead would be short-lived, as a Bryan Bickell shot from the slot deflected off of Ruslan Salei‘s leg and past Osgood just 37 seconds later.

A broken play put the Red Wings back in front at 6:01 of the third. Filppula carried the puck into the Chicago end on a power play and defender John Scott lost his footing. Filppula skated in on Turco and appeared to lose the puck but it slipped under Turco’s pads and into the net.

The Red Wings killed off three successive Chicago power plays to hold the lead. The Blackhawks finished the night one-for-five on the power play, while the Red Wings scored once on four chances, including 45 seconds of five-on-three.

Osgood made 26 saves on 28 shots in earning his 397th career win. Turco stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Tuesday as they host the Colorado Avalanche.

Red Wings – Blackhawks Exhibition Postgame Notes

Quick thoughts on the Red Wings’ 3-2 win over the Blackhawks tonight, without the benefit of replay…

I’m sure Tomas Holmstrom was in the crease on the goal that was called back. Someone tell me why that matters. He didn’t interfere with Corey Crawford and the crease rule hasn’t existed since Brett Hull, yet the Wings lose goals to it all the time. When is someone going to explain that?

The goal that did count for Holmstrom was a very nice tip out of the air. Seems like he’s in midseason form.

Early on, Crawford had no lateral movement and the Wings used it to burn him. He got better as the game went on.

Both Detroit goalies had trouble with rebound control. The lone goal Jimmy Howard allowed was because he couldn’t cover up a rebound and Joey MacDonald seemed to be fighting the puck as well. Not a bad night for either but they weren’t tested that much.

Brendan Smith looks a bit out of his league. I think he got caught flat-footed a couple times where it looked like he didn’t know where he needed to be. He also had a giveaway when he tried too hard to make a play. Not a horrible debut, though.

Horrible? Jonathan Ericsson. He was in full-on pylon mode several times. Highly disappointing.

Also a little disappointing… Mike Modano. We’ve heard he’s been doing this all camp but it was tough to see the chances he gave up to make another pass. Mike Babcock seems to think that’ll fix itself once he gets comfortable and I don’t doubt it but right now it jumps out at you.

Detroit’s other free agent signing, Ruslan Salei, looked pretty solid out there. Nothing amazing, nothing horrible, about perfect for a #5 defenseman.

Jordan Owens stood out most to me. He was all over the place, getting into the corners, moving the puck. I fully expected to see him and Brandon Bollig fight by the end of the night but that didn’t come to pass.

In all, I’d call the game as a whole a little disappointing because the roster that Detroit dressed should have beaten the roster that Chicago dressed a bit more handily. That said, if not for a couple close calls I might be calling it an easy win. If Howard controls that rebound and Detroit’s final goal isn’t called back, it’s 4-1 and looks a lot different. That didn’t happen, though, so what I’ll call it is something to build on.