Quick Goals Give Red Wings Win over Blue Jackets

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 2-1 deficit Wednesday night with three goals in a 1:16 span en route to a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The win, combined with the Phoenix Coyotes’ defeat of the Nashville Predators, puts the Red Wings in fifth place in the Western Conference with two games remaining in the season.

Tomas Holmstrom scored two power play goals and Danny Cleary added an even-strength tally that proved to be the game-winner.

Holmstrom’s first goal came 8:05 into the third, when a Henrik Zetterberg shot deflected past Columbus goalie Steve Mason off of Holmstrom’s skate.

His second came 40 seconds later, tipping Nicklas Lidstrom‘s one-timer from the high slot past Mason.

Cleary scored just 36 seconds later, snapping a shot from the slot past Mason into the top of the net.

Mike Blunden pulled the Jackets to back within a goal with 9:47 left in the third, weaving between defenseman Jonathan Ericsson and Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to slide the puck in the open side of the net.

The Blue Jackets could not tie things back up, however, even with Mason pulled for an extra attacker in the game’s final minute.

The Red Wings had opened the game’s scoring just 2:32 into the first period, when Niklas Kronwall whipped a shot past Mason from the high slot off of a backhand feed from Todd Bertuzzi.

R.J. Umberger tied the game at 8:58 of the first, capitalizing on a rare giveaway by Lidstrom to jump into the Detroit zone and roof a chance over Howard.

Samuel Pahlsson took advantage of another turnover, spinning to fling a shot past Howard from the left faceoff circle after Andreas Lilja failed to control the puck.

The Red Wings finished the night two-for-five on the power play while Columbus went scoreless on one power play attempt.

Howard made 21 saves on 24 Columbus shots. Mason stopped 31 of 35 shots faced.

The two teams will meet again in Columbus on Friday.

Columbus was without captain Rick Nash, out with neck and back stiffness… Eaves and Kris Russell fought late in the first period.

Red Wings to Face Ducks in Second Round

The Detroit Red Wings found out their second-round opponent Monday night. The Anaheim Ducks completed a six-game upset of the San Jose Sharks, advancing to face the Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Had the Sharks managed to come back to beat the Ducks, the Red Wings would have faced the Vancouver Canucks.

The Red Wings were 3-1 against the Ducks this season but both teams made significant changes after their last meeting. Detroit “flipped a switch” at the start of the playoffs, changing their style of play with stronger defense and better goaltending. Anaheim acquired defenseman Ryan Whitney for Chris Kunitz and James Wisniewski for Samuel Pahlsson, got Francois Beauchemin back from injury, and has been getting stellar goaltending from Jonas Hiller.

Red Wings Eliminated: Comeback Falls Short as Ducks Advance

Three third-period goals by the Detroit Red Wings weren’t enough on Tuesday night. The Anaheim Ducks scored that many in the first two periods and added one more in the final frame to hold off a Detroit comeback and pick up a 4-3 win in game six of their Western Conference Final matchup, giving the Ducks a 4-2 series victory.

Anaheim will advance to face the Eastern Conference Champion Ottawa Senators.

Heading into the third period down by three, the Red Wings charged back, led by Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.

Zetterberg got Detroit on the board just 3:15 into the period, deflecting a pass from Chris Chelios past Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

After a Ducks goal by Samuel Pahlsson only 2:39 later, Datsyuk scored twice on the power play to pull the Red Wings to within one with 3:04 left to play.

With goalie Dominik Hasek on the bench for an extra attacker, the Wings were unable to get the tying goal past Giguere to force overtime, ending their season.

The Ducks controlled the first two periods of the game and opened the scoring only 3:51 in, when Rob Niedermayer tipped a shot from the blue line by Chris Pronger past Hasek for a shorthanded goal.

Chris Perry extended the Ducks’ lead at 9:52 of the second, putting the rebound of a Francois Beauchemin past a sprawling Hasek.

Ryan Getzlaf added a power play goal with 1:27 remaining in the middle period, also scoring with Hasek sprawled on his back.

The teams each took 29 shots. Anaheim outshot Detroit 26-13 in the first two periods but the Red Wings had a 16-3 margin in the third.

The Ducks scored once while shorthanded, once on a delayed penalty, and once on their four power play attempts. The Red Wings scored on two of seven power plays.

Four Red Wings Named to Swedish Olympic Team

The Swedish Olympic men’s ice hockey team will feature four current Detroit Red Wings when they take to the ice in February. Defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall as well as forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg were named to their native country’s roster.

Additionally, Red Wings prospect Stefan Liv was announced as the team’s third goaltender.

Lidstrom has twice before represented Sweden in the Olympics. Zetterberg was a member of the team in 2002, before his first season in the NHL with Detroit. Samuelsson and Liv will be making their first Olympic appearances.

Team Sweden’s complete roster is as follows:

Goaltenders (3)
Stefan Liv
Henrik Lundqvist
Mikael Tellqvist

Defensemen (7)
Christian Backman
Kim Johnsson
Kenny Jonsson
Nicklas Lidstrom
Niklas Kronwall
Mattias Norstrom
Mattias Ohlund

Forwards (13)
Daniel Alfredsson
Per-Johan Axelsson
Peter Forsberg
Mika Hannula
Jorgen Jonsson
Fredrik Modin
Markus Naslund
Samuel Pahlsson
Mikael Samuelsson
Daniel Sedin
Henrik Sedin
Mats Sundin
Henrik Zetterberg

Ducks Win 8-6: Wings & Ducks Defy NHL’s Current Low-Scoring Reputation

The Red Wings had plenty of jump and generated plenty of scoring chances on Sunday, but their defense just wasn’t quite as strong. With key players Mathieu Schneider and Kirk Maltby now out of the lineup, and Kris Draper and Derian Hatcher already missing, the Wings’ penalty killing suffered accordingly, allowing the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to score 2 power play goals in 6 tries en route to an 8-6 win.

Detroit made a point of starting the game strong. Pavel Datsyuk, Brett Hull, and Steve Yzerman got the Red Wings out to an early 3-0 lead, each putting a wrist shot past Jean-Sebastien Giguere before six minutes had passed in the game. Unfortunately, the Wings’ defensive play was not nearly so well-executed as their offensive play.

The Ducks got their first power play of the game when Boyd Devereaux was called for hooking, and Sergei Fedorov set up a good play for Joffrey Lupul to score. Fedorov circled the net and centered a pass across the goal crease, and Lupul was right at the side of the net to whack the puck past Manny Legace.

Steve Rucchin took advantage of Detroit’s inability to clear the puck. Vaclav Prospal shot on net from the left point. Vitaly Vishnevski took a whack at the rebound, and Rucchin pulled the second rebound away before Legace could cover it up, then slipped it around the side of the goalie and into the net.

Jason Williams took a double minor penalty for high sticking as the first period was ending. Detroit thought they caught a break when Niclas Havelid was given a hooking penalty with a minute and a half gone in the penalty to Williams, but the Ducks scored twice during the resulting four-on-four. Sammy Pahlsson‘s goal off a partly screened wrist shot tied the game at 2:10, and Fedorov moved Anaheim into the lead by slipping a rebound of Rob Niedermeyer’s shot past Legace’s right skate at 2:36.

Curtis Joseph came in for Legace at that point, but that didn’t give the Red Wings quite the shake-up they were hoping for. Jamie Rivers took a boarding call, giving Anaheim 15 seconds of 5-on-3 play with Williams still in the box. Prospal was able to make a hard pass across the goal crease, and Petr Sykora smacked the puck into the net.

Nicklas Lidstrom converted on a good centering pass from Henrik Zetterberg to get the Wings back within one just two minutes later, and Rivers jumped into the play from the blue line to tie the game with a high shot over Giguere with 3:07 left in the third. Joseph did his part by coming up with a big save against Lupul with only 1:25 left in the period.

Ray Whitney moved Detroit back into the lead early in the third. He got the rebound from Yzerman’s shot. Giguere had slid far to his left while making the first save, but defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was flopped in the crease trying to cover as much of the net as he could. Whitney whacked at the puck until he finally put it past Ozolinsh.

Vishnevski negated the momentum swing by tying the game back up just 26 seconds later. Detroit made an uncoordinated line change, and Vishnevski was able to drive to the net uncovered to put the rebound of Pahlsson’s shot past Joseph.

Fedorov flipped a deflection by Niedermeyer into the net at 7:01 to give the Ducks the lead for good. Rucchin capped off the scoring with an empty net goal with 14 seconds left.

Detroit outshot the Ducks by a count of 57 to 30. The Red Wings will have tomorrow off to try to regroup before facing the Pacific Division-leading Sharks in San Jose on Tuesday night.

Yzerman’s assist on Whitney’s goal was the 1041st of his career, moving him past Marcel Dionne into 8th on the all time assists list”¦. Schneider is listed as day-to-day with a groin injury. Hatcher wasn’t quite ready to play, so the Wings had to play with only five defensemen”¦. Maltby left the team after Saturday’s game to return to Detroit in preparation for the birth of his first child.

Ducks Bounce Back to Tie Wings, 2-2

A two-goal lead late in the second period wasn’t enough for the Detroit Red Wings to defeat the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Wednesday night. The Ducks scored in the final minute of both the second and third periods to force a tie with the Wings, who failed to defeat Anaheim for the first time this season.

With goaltender Martin Gerber on the Anaheim bench in favor of the extra attacker and only one minute remaining in regulation, Anaheim’s Vaclav Prospal picked up a rebound at the edge of the crease and flipped a shot over Detroit netminder Manny Legace to tie the game.

Detroit had led since Pavel Datsyuk scored with 7:38 remaining in the first period. With the Wings on the power play, Datsyuk sent a shot into the top of the net. The puck bounced back out so quickly that play continued and the shot had to be reviewed by video before the goal was announced.

Detroit’s lead was extended to two goals when Mathieu Schneider blasted a shot from the blue line by a screened Gerber with 9:20 left in the second period. The goal came at even strength, but Anaheim’s Cam Severson had not yet rejoined the play after leaving the penalty box.

Petr Sykora scored the Ducks’ first goal with 13 seconds remaining in the second period. Legace moved out of the net to corral the puck behind the goal but Samuel Pahlsson beat him to the puck and sent a pass to Sykora, who was all alone in front of the empty net.

The game was Detroit’s first in Anaheim since falling to the Ducks in a four-game sweep in the first round of the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Wings defeated Anaheim twice this season in Detroit.

Former Red Wing Sergei Fedorov did not play in the game. He was a late scratch after coming down with the stomach flu.

Brett Hull‘s goal scoring drought reached twenty games. He assisted on Datsyuk’s goal but did not score.

Ducks Win Again in OT to Even Series

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim remained perfect in overtime as goaltenter Jean-Sebastien Giguere shutout the New Jersey Devils and veteran forward Steve Thomas scored just thirty-nine seconds into the extra period to put the Ducks past the Devils and tie the Stanley Cup Finals series at two games apiece.

Anaheim is now 7-0 in overtime playoff games this season, including Games Three and Four of the Finals, both played on their home ice. Ten of the Ducks’ fourteen wins have come in overtime.

Thomas, a late-season acquisition, scored for the Ducks after picking up the rebound from a Samuel Pahlsson shot in the right circle.

“I thought their D-man was going to get to it,” Thomas said. “I just went to the net, and it came right to me and I shot it. … When you have an opportunity to score an overtime goal like that, that’s the ultimate.”

The Ducks had fallen behind in the series after being shutout by Devils’ netminder Martin Brodeur in both Games One and Two in New Jersey.

“We gave them too much respect, and we needed to go out there and play our game, do what we’ve done all year. (As a result) there is a hell of a lot of difference on the ice,” Giguere said.

“It’s a lot different going back to Jersey 2-2 instead of 3-1,” Thomas said. “We knew after those two games in Jersey we were a lot better team than we showed. We decided it was time to turn up our game. It was a little bit embarrassing to play the way we played in the first two games.”

Brodeur agreed that the series has changed dramatically since the teams left New Jersey.

“They feel pretty good about themselves, and on the other side, we just blew a 2-0 lead,” he said. “So it’s kind of hard to bring any kind of momentum into Game 5. But we’ll regroup. … It’s really important for us to have that confidence that we’re going to be hard to beat in our building, because they didn’t play well in those games.”

Tempting Fate

In spite of a late rally after Tomas Holmstrom finally cracked the armor of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, in spite of outshooting the Mighty Ducks once again, in spite of the huge amounts of ice time logged by Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, and Steve Yzerman, the Ducks took a 2-1 win in their first home game and now lead the quarterfinal series 3-0.

The game started off well for the Red Wings. The Grind Line played well, with Darren McCarty, Kirk Maltby, and Kris Draper taking it in turns to post themselves in front of the net to screen Giguere and try to grab up stray rebounds or redirect shots on the way through. Curtis Joseph made two big saves early against Steve Rucchin. The Red Wings even got the first power play of the game late in the first. Brendan Shanahan had a good chance to score from his customary spot at the left faceoff circle. He had beaten Giguere, but the puck clanged off the crossbar.

A turnover at the blue line let the Ducks open the scoring early in the second period. Stanislav Chistov barely managed to drag the puck around Dmitri Bykov, but got the pass away to Samuel Pahlsson. Pahlsson took a quick shot which rattled into the net.

Mathieu Dandenault thought he had evened the game up with a long shot from the blue line just a minute later, but the play was whistled down because Detroit had had too many men on the ice. Shanahan and Steve Yzerman had a good chance to score shorthanded on the resulting penalty, but Shanahan’s shot was just low enough that Giguere could catch it in his glove.

The Red Wings certainly had their chances to score, but again Giguere played an excellent game, and his defensemen picked off most rebounds before Detroit could get to them.

The Ducks increased their lead early in the third period. Joseph came out of the net to clear the puck away, but his pass bounced off the leg of Chris Chelios and back to Chistov. Joseph scrambled to get back, and Henrik Zetterberg scrambled to help him cover the empty parts of the net, but Chistov put the puck off Zetterberg’s skate and into the net.

Pahlsson took a penalty for holding the stick of Luc Robitaille (and thus denying Robitaille a strong scoring chance) at 6:22, and the Red Wings finally got on the board within six seconds. Holmstrom went to the front of the net, got shoved around as usual, and was rewarded with the rebound from Lidstrom’s shot. He lifted the puck up and over Giguere, making it a one-shot game.

The Red Wings scrambled after that, trying to beat the solid goaltender one more time. They pulled Joseph from the net for an extra attacker with just over a minute left to play, but Giguere was able to control all his rebounds, and the Red Wings finally just ran out of time.

The count of shots on net was 37-26 favoring Detroit. The best-of-seven series will continue Wednesday night from Anaheim.

Penalties End Winning Streak

Darren McCarty summed it up like this: “It disrupts the flow, because some guys don’t get into the game. We had to kill eight penalties, which is nearly a whole period on the PK. But the real story of the game was Giguere. He won the game for them.” Aided by 39 saves from goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks brought the Red Wings’ eight game winning streak to an end with a 4-1 game.

The penalties against Detroit started early in the game and kept right on going through the first period. Ironically, the penalty-killing units did a fine job, and the Ducks never did score a power play goal. Their two goals in the first period were both during the short bits of time at even strength, in-between the five Detroit penalties.

Steve Rucchin opened the scoring 5:23 into the game. He whacked at it twice at the left corner of the net before he was shoved behind the net and out of the way. Unfortunately, the puck went behind with him, and he was able to stuff it in the right side of the net before Curtis Joseph could slide across to stop him.

Stanislav Chistov increased the Ducks’ lead. The rebound from Samuel Pahlsson‘s shot was not knocked out of the way after Joseph made the save. Chistov was trailing the play and he was able to push the puck in past Joseph.

The Red Wings had a number of shorthanded scoring chances, most notably a breakaway by Sergei Fedorov. Brendan Shanahan made the pass that sent Fedorov flying up the ice with t he puck, but Giguere was alert and ready. “I just wanted to be aggressive on that guy,” he explained. “He’s got a good shot, so you don’t want to give him any room to shoot the puck and pick the corners on you. You’ve got to force him to deke, and once he starts making his move, you’ve got to be patient and wait until the last possible second.”

Detroit took their sixth penalty of the game, a phantom slashing call against Boyd Devereaux, early in the second period. (Devereaux had used his stick to lift the stick of Paul Kariya and keep him from picking up a pass.) Again, the Red Wings generated more scoring chances on this penalty than the Ducks did. Unfortunately, Kurt Sauer scored his first NHL goal shortly after the penalty expired to increase the lead to 3-0. Sauer and Pahlsson rushed the puck into the zone. Sauer one-timed a wrist shot from Pahlsson’s pass. The puck deflected off the outstretched stick of Henrik Zetterberg and into the net over Joseph.

The Red Wings got their only two power plays of the game late in the second, but luck was not with them, and the Ducks were able to get a shorthanded goal on their second penalty. Marc Chouinard made a pass through center ice to Pahlsson, who went in all alone against Joseph. Pahlsson faked a shot to the right to lure Joseph over, then backhanded a shot in on the left.

Manny Legace came out to start the third period for Detroit, but by then, Anaheim was content to sit back and play a defensive game. Legace only had to make five saves in his twenty minutes of playing time.

Brett Hull ruined Giguere’s shutout bid midway through the third. Pavel Datsyuk stole the puck from an Anaheim player trying to clear the zone. Datsyuk sent it to Zetterberg, who passed across the goal crease to Hull. Hull put it in high over Giguere.

The goal (and the relative lack of penalty-killing in the third period) seemed to revive the Red Wings, and they began to pressure the Ducks more efficiently than they had been doing, but they simply ran out of time.

The final count of shots on net was 40 to 28 for Detroit. The Red Wings play their next game Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Steve Yzerman was kept out of this game to rest his knee, but he is likely to play tomorrow night in Los Angeles…. Hull’s goal was the 708th of his career, tying him with Mike Gartner for fifth leading scorer of all time.

Power Play Gets The Win

The Red Wings’ power play got the new year off to a good start, despite third period defensive lapses, by defeating the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, 5-3.

The Ducks started out the game trying to keep in a tight defensive trap, but it was not enough to stop the Red Wings’ offense in the first period. Oleg Tverdovsky started Anaheim’s troubles by picking up a penalty for holding 3:13 into the game. He barely had time to sit down in the penalty box before Luc Robitaille picked up the rebound from Igor Larionov‘s shot on net and sent it in behind goaltender Steve Shields.

The Wings scored their second of the night on another power play, this one resulting from a tripping call on Keith Carney. Pavel Datsyuk fished the puck out from a tangle of Anaheim players in the right corner and put a centering pass out front for Brendan Shanahan, who had been left wide open. Shields dropped down to block before the shot was fired, and Shanahan sent it over Shields into the top corner of the net.

The Red Wings’ power play scored again before the end of the period. Jason York was given a roughing call for a hard hit on Darren McCarty with eighteen seconds left, and Shanahan scored his second goal of the night by firing in the rebound from Nick Lidstrom‘s shot.

The Ducks didn’t change up their play in the second period, and the Red Wings stayed on the offensive. Robitaille got the puck along the left boards, and passed to Sergei Fedorov, speeding up center to join the play from his defensive position. Fedorov faked left and put the puck into the right side of the net.

That was all Shields and the Anaheim bench could take, and they called him out to be replaced by Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Anaheim got a lucky break late in the period, when Samuel Pahlsson was able to score against Dominik Hasek on a short-handed breakaway. The Mighty Ducks took that momentum and translated it into energy for the third period.

Tverdovsky scored by shooting from the right point while Hasek was screened from seeing the puck, 3:19 into the third.

Anaheim continued to pressure the Red Wings, who seemed to lose energy even as the Ducks gained it, and brought the game within one point with just under four minutes left to play. A confused tangle of Anaheim offense and Detroit defense surrounded the net in front of Hasek on a delayed penalty to the Wings, and the Ducks kept whacking at the puck until Marc Chouinard finally poked it into the net.

Luck was with the Red Wings, however, when Jeff Friesen was sent to the penalty box for roughing with 2:37 remaining. Steve Yzerman, playing his first game back after a foot injury, stole the puck from Pavel Trnka in front of the Anaheim net and passed neatly to Mathieu Dandenault, coming up the right wing side. Dandenault fired, and the puck fluttered into the net behind Giguere to lock up the Red Wings twenty-ninth win of the season.

Hasek stopped twenty-six of the twenty-nine shots he faced, while Shields stopped only nine of thirteen before being pulled. Giguere stopped fourteen shots out of fifteen.

The Red Wings play next on Saturday afternoon, when their arch-nemesis, the Colorado Avalanche, comes to play at the Joe.

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