Costly Victory?

Goaltenders Manny Legace and Domink Hasek will share Detroit’s first shutout of the season, and Steve Duchesne got his first goal of the season, as the Red Wings won 1-0 against the Nashville Predators.

With Jiri Fischer back in the lineup, Scotty Bowman moved Mathieu Dandenault back from defense to right wing on the “3-D Line” with Pavel Datsyuk and Boyd Devereaux. While this line was not able to score in this game, they did an admirable job of controlling the puck and creating scoring chances against Nashville goalie Mike Dunham.

Tomas Holmstrom got the first penalty of the game, being sent off for holding with 13:09 left in the first period. Detroit’s penalty killing was effective against Nashville, never really letting them get off a quality shot. Just twenty-four seconds before the penalty was to end, Nashville’s Patrick Kjellberg was sent out for high-sticking, to give the Red Wings a four-on-four situation and then a shortened power play.

Detroit’s power play did a good job of controlling their passes and staying in the offensive zone, but were not able to beat Dunham for a goal.

Near the end of the period, the Predators’ Scott Hartnell was hit in the face by the stick of his own teammate, Rich Brennan. Hartnell was taken to the dressing room, where he was diagnosed as having a bruised left eye.

Steve Duchesne scored the game’s lone goal two and a half minutes into the second period. Fischer passed the puck behind the net to Sergei Fedorov, who tried to pass out front to Brendan Shanahan. Shanahan was too well-covered by Nashville’s defense to pick up the puck, but Duchesne was able to snag it and shoot along the ice from the right point, to slide under Dunham and into the net.

With just over five and a half minutes left in the period, Manny Legace had just made his fifteenth big save of the game when Nashville’s Kimmo Timonen was tripped up and fell on top of him. Legace hit his head hard on the ice, and was wheeled out immobilized on a stretcher to keep him from moving his neck. Legace was taken to a Nashville hospital for x-rays and tests, but further details were unavailable as of press time. Dominek Hasek came off the bench to take Legace’s place in goal.

In the third period, control of the puck went back and forth between the two teams. Neither was able to score, although Detroit had ten shots on Dunham, several of which were quality scoring chances. Detroit tightened up defensively and held the Predators to only two shots on Hasek in the third period.

Scotty Bowman showed great confidence in his young “3-D Line” by putting them on the ice to take a defensive zone faceoff with only two minutes left to play, and leading by only one goal. Devereaux, Datsyuk, and Dandenault did not betray their coach’s trust. They got the puck out to the Predator’s zone. Devereaux attempted to score against Dunham, but the shot was blocked. The Wings kept control of the puck for the remaining seconds of the game, keeping Dunham from edging out to the bench for the sixth skater.

Dunham stopped 32 of 33 shots, while Legace stopped all of the 15 he faced, and Hasek stopped all 4 shots the Predators managed to get on him. The Wings were 0 for 5 on the power play, and 4 for 4 on the penalty kill. Their next game will be in Carolina against the Hurricanes on Tuesday.

Belfour’s Best Imitation of a Wall

The Stars were hungry for a win, after their humiliating loss to Pittsburgh. They got what they wanted. Brett Hull and Pat Verbeek came up even with two assists each, in their first game against their former teammates, as the Red Wings lost to the Dallas Stars, 5 to 3.

With defenseman Uwe Krupp out indefinitely with an injured rotator cuff, coach Scotty Bowman moved Mathieu Dandenault back to the defensive line and brought in Brent Gilchrist to play forward. Gilchrist made a defensive play which kept a loose puck from becoming a scoring opportunity for the Stars, but was unfortunately given a penalty for holding in the process. Joe Nieuwendyk was able to get the puck past Dominek Hasek off a rebound of Verbeek’s shot, eight minutes into the game.

Dallas scored again just a minute and a half later. Jamie Langenbrunner shot the puck from the point, and Shaun Van Allen tipped it in behind Hasek.

The Red Wings got a power play chance with 6:09 left to play in the first, when Verbeek was sent off for interference. Between the Dallas players intercepting many of Detroit’s passes, and goalie Ed Belfour holding onto any shot that came his way, the power play was shut down, and the score remained 2-0.

With just under a minute left in the first, Tomas Holmstrom was penalized for high-sticking Brad Lukowich. Because Lukowich was cut by Holmstrom’s stick, the penalty was automatically a four-minute double minor, and the Red Wings carried that into the second period.

Only sixteen seconds into the period, Kris Draper was given a tripping penalty. With valiant goaltending by Hasek, and clever defensive play by Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, and Steve Yzerman, the Wings were able to kill off a full two minutes of 5-on-3 penalty.

Detroit finally got on the scoreboard with just over eight minutes in the period. Brenden Morrow had been sent to the box for tripping, and this time, the power play kept the puck in the offensive zone. Yzerman passed to Hull, who fired on Belfour. Hull picked up his own rebound and fired again, and the puck bounced off Luc Robitaille‘s skate and over the line, just as Robitaille was falling, and just before he knocked the net off its moorings.

Dallas managed to answer just over a minute later. During a tripping penalty to Steve Duchesne, Sergei Zubov fired the puck from the blue line. Hasek, being screened by Verbeek, was unable to see it, and the puck bounced in behind him.

With 2:25 left before the break, Holmstrom and Rob DiMaio were given offsetting penalties. Detroit would get to go to a 4-on-3 situation when Zubov was penalized for holding. Lidstrom made good on the power play, receiving a pass from Hull and one-timing a shot from the right point past Belfour.

Two and a half minutes into the third, Holmstrom was penalized for hooking, and Donald Audette was able to slide a backhand shot along the ice right past Hasek’s outstretched glove and into the net. The Stars scored again with just over eight minutes to play. Hasek came far out of the net to block a shot by Audette, and Pierre Turgeon picked up the rebound and flipped it into the wide open net before anyone could stop him.

Detroit made answer only sixteen seconds later. Draper won a faceoff in the Dallas zone, and Max Kuznetsov shot the puck right past the surprised Belfour.

Three and a half minutes before the end of the game, Jyrki Lumme took a tripping penalty and gave the Wings a man advantage. Bowman pulled Hasek from the net to send in an extra skater, and then the Stars’ Derian Hatcher took a penalty for cross-checking. For thirty-five seconds, the Wings would have six skaters against three.

It was not enough to get past Belfour, who made save after save to keep the Wings from scoring on him again before the game was over. Belfour and Hasek each faced forty-five shots during the game, and Robitaille and Yzerman were able to continue their scoring streaks.

The Wings begin a three-game road trip on Saturday, when they will face the Predators in Nashville.

Wings’ Super Streaks Continue

Brendan Shanahan, Sergei Fedorov, Luc Robitaille, and Brett Hull all extended their scoring streaks by one more game as the Detroit Red Wings emerged victorious over Robitaille’s former team, the Los Angeles Kings.

Detroit opened the scoring only forty-one seconds into the game. Kris Draper fired on goalie Felix Potvin, but the puck was deflected. Shanahan picked up the rebound and fired again, but Potvin managed to block again. He wasn’t so lucky when Fedorov got hold of the second rebound, however; the puck went up and over Potvin.

The Red Wings scored again just 4:33 into the first period. Steve Yzerman, about to skate behind the net, passed out front to Brett Hull, who one-timed the puck over Potvin’s shoulder and into the net.

The Kings came back only twenty seconds later. Glen Murray picked up the puck as it bounced away from Dominek Hasek’s leg pads, and flipped it over the sprawled goalie.

Greg Johnson scored the equalizer with 6:27 left to play in the period, in a two-on-one rush against Hasek. The Kings had the opportunity to move into the lead when Steve Duchesne was given an interference penalty with just over two minutes in the period, but the Red Wings’ penalty-killers were able to keep the Kings from scoring.

Detroit was able to take a power play chance less than a minute into the second period, when Eric Belanger was given two minutes for holding the stick. The power play was able to get off three good shots against Los Angeles, but Potvin stopped each of them.

Detroit’s power play got another chance before the period was over, when Philippe Boucher was penalized for slashing. Nicklas Lidstrom passed the puck to Shanahan along the blue line. Shanahan fired from the left point, and Robitaille tipped the puck in behind Potvin.

Duchesne was given a penalty for holding with only 1:40 left in the period. Not only did the penalty-killing unit keep Los Angeles from scoring, but Hull, Draper, and Chris Chelios were each able to take shots against Potvin.

Detroit had another power play opportunity at the end of the second, when Kim Johnsson was sent to the box for cross-checking. Even though this power play generated more scoring chances, Boucher kept the puck out of the net.

Detroit got what nearly amounted to a double power play 9:33 into the third period. Boucher was called for tripping up Mathieu Dandenault, and Aren Miller was called for cross-checking with just thirteen seconds left in Boucher’s penalty. Even though coach Scotty Bowman called a timeout in-between to rest his power play unit, Detroit was unable to capitalize on their man-advantage.

Los Angeles pulled Potvin from goal when the game was down to its last minute and fifteen seconds, but the Red Wings kept the Kings from scoring again, giving Scotty Bowman the twelve-hundredth win of his career, and improving their record to 7-1-0.

The Wings continue their homestand Wednesday night against the Edmonton Oilers, who currently have a record of 6-2-1.

Detroit Defeats Vancouver… Again

The Red Wings’ power play unit may still need some time for the players to get used to each other, but the penalty kill unit seems on target to become a name to be feared throughout the NHL. The Wings continued their great start to the 2001-2002 season on Saturday night with a 4-1 victory against the Vancouver Canucks.

Vancouver continued the rough, tough style of play that caused such a rough time for Colorado in last season’s playoffs. Just 3:40 after the opening faceoff, Vancouver’s Donald Brashear boarded defenseman Maxim Kuznetsov, cutting him in the process. Brashear was given a 5 minute major penalty and a game misconduct. One less thug to worry about.

The game was full of penalties and stoppages in play, yet most of the penalties called seemed to be oddly unimportant. UPN 50 color commentator Mickey Redmond even complained about it, saying that he wished the referees would call more of the hard hits and cross-checks from behind that the Canucks were laying on Detroit. The first period ended scoreless, although a total of seven penalties (four for Detroit, three for Vancouver) had been handed out.

The second period continued in the same choppy fashion. Vancouver’s Ed Jovanovski opened the scoring 9:42 into the period with an unassisted goal against Dominek Hasek. Seconds later, however, at 9:53, the Canucks’ Matt Cooke was handed a penalty for tripping. Steve Yzerman won the faceoff and got the puck to Sergei Fedorov, who shot it right past goalie Dan Cloutier. The power play lasted a total of three seconds.

The Wings took the lead with 3:31 remaining in the second. Defenseman Jiri Fischer stepped out of the penalty box, grabbed the puck that teammate Frederick Olausson had just shot down the ice, and ran with it, flipping it past Cloutier on a bounce. Kirk Maltby was also given an assist on Fischer’s goal.

The Red Wings’ penalty killing unit, which, at this point, had already shut down seven Vancouver power plays, went on the offensive with 1:44 left in the second. Chris Chelios got the puck to Brendan Shanahan, who once again got past the surprised goalie for his third shorthanded goal in two games.

The third period began with Detroit determined not to lose a two goal lead as they had done against the Sharks. The penalties were less frequent. Shanahan and Jason Strudwick received offsetting penalties for roughing with 9:50 left in the game, while Strudwick also receievd a second minor for high sticking. Shanahan’s ear was bleeding from Strudwick’s stick, and he had to go off to the dressing room to receive treatment.

With 5:56 remaining in the game, Yzerman essentially clinched the game for the Wings, receiving a pass from Brett Hull and firing it into the net. Shanahan came back out to finish the game, but was almost immediately removed from the ice again, as he and Strudwick fought it out over the earlier high stick. Shanahan received the two minute instigator penalty and a game misconduct to go along with the regular five minute fighting major.

Detroit’s power play was 1 for 9, while Vancouver’s was 0 for 8. Hasek stopped 29 shots, and Cloutier stopped only 15. The Red Wings have not lost to Vancouver since February 6, 1997. It just goes to show, you don’t have to lay on the dirty hits to win a hockey game. Perhaps Vancouver coach Marc Crawford could learn a thing or two from Scotty Bowman.

Ward Dealt to ‘Canes

Restricted free-agent defenseman Aaron Ward was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for a second-round draft pick on Monday.

Ward, who fell out of favor with Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman, had requested a trade after being a healthy scratch for all six of Detroit’s playoff games. “It’s a good situation for me,” said Ward. “It gives me an opportunity to come in and prove myself.”

Carolina had shown interest in Ward previously, and will now use him to replace defensemen Dave Karpa and Kevin Hatcher, who the team lost through free agency.

Lidstrom Finally Wins Norris Trophy

After three years of finishing second, Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom finally won the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL’s top defenseman.

Lidstrom, who finished as a runner-up to Rob Blake, Al MacInnis and Chris Pronger in the last three seasons, was almost a unanimous choice for the award. His closest competition was Colorado’s Ray Bourque, who was the co-winner of the NHL Fans Association’s Best Role Model Award earlier this season.

“Oh, it’s tough to find words to describe how I’m feeling right now,” said Lidstrom, who flew back to North America after leaving to spend the summer in Sweden. “I’m really proud and honored to get this trophy. I have to give a lot of credit to the coaching staff and the players surrounding me.”

Lidstrom was also runner-up for the Lady Byng Trophy, while Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman finished second in voting for the Jack Adams Award.

Lindros a Wing? I Pray Not

First off, if this site still has any big fans, I’d like to apologize for not updating a lot recently, but I’m not gonna make a big deal about it so on with the news… Eric Lindros has added three teams to his list of aceptable destinations: Detroit, Washington and St. Louis. Thankfully, Ken Holland doesn’t seem interested. Neither are the Capitals, but the Blues are chomping at the bit for him or the Coyotes’ Keith Tkachuk. The Wings win out if Tkachuk goes elsewhere and Lindros goes to St. Louis because Eric the Red (or would it be Blue?) will go down before the end of the season. Nonetheless, the rumor out of Toronto is that Lindros would go to Detroit for Saturday’s hero of the day Brendan Shanahan, who would waive his no trade clause because he doesn’t like Scotty Bowman. They’re over-reacting in Toronto, everyone hates Bowman but he makes people win so the players tolerate it. Holland isn’t stupid.

Want to have your say? Visit the drwcentral.net Fan Forum.