Red Wings – Predators Postgame Notes

Back from watching the Plymouth Whalers drop a 2-0 decision to the Kitchener Rangers in Game Six of their playoff series, I’ll finally post my thoughts on the Red Wings’ 4-3 OT win today in Nashville…

Holmstrom’s Goalie Interference
Replay showed that Tomas Holmstrom did appear to elbow Pekka Rinne in the head, so this was the right call. Call me cynical, but it still doesn’t sit right with me.

First off, it took a slow-mo replay from above the crease to show what happened on TV. Did the eagle-eyed ref actually see it happen or did he call a phantom penalty and luck out that one was actually there. If he did see it, did he miss Rinne’s punch to the back of Holmstrom’s head a second earlier?

Right call but frustrating.

Abdelkader in General
What an afternoon for Justin Abdelkader. I admit to a bit of a hometown bias towards him but that doesn’t have to apply this time. Five hits, two goals… He was all over the place. And his hit on Martin Erat was *not* boarding. Erat got away with worse against Abdelkader two weeks ago – not that what Erat did was legal then, just allowed. Hooray for consistency.

Bertuzzi vs. O’Brien
Where did Todd Bertuzzi come from? Something set him off today, I’m not sure I want to see that every game but today it was nice. Bertuzzi smacked Shane O’Brien around once and O’Brien went for the ill-timed rematch and got beat down again. That second fight was a major turning point. I can’t believe O’Brien did that when a win for him would mean nothing but a win for Bertuzzi would fire the Red Wings up.

Overall
Great physical effort from the Wings. Great mental resilience after going down 3-0. It was a playoff-style win and they need some of those down the stretch here.

Bonus Hockey
The Whalers had a chance to finish off the Rangers tonight and failed pretty miserably. Like I have the tendency to complain about with the Wings, the Whalers were just not getting any second chances around the Kitchener net. It was a pretty physical game, with the Rangers seeming to win most of those battles. Whalers need to get it together to avoid losing a series they were up 3-1 in.

Red Wings Ride Another Late Goal to OT Win over Canucks

One night after Brian Rafalski scored with 0.2 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime against the Edmonton Oilers, Henrik Zetterberg scored with 0.3 seconds left in overtime to give the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

In the closing seconds of the extra period, Henrik Zetterberg cut from the left wing boards to the slot. He backhanded a shot over Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo‘s glove to give the Red Wings the win before time expired.

Earlier in the game, the Red Wings had tied a team record for fastest consecutive goals scored, when Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk erased a 2-0 deficit with goals five seconds apart.

With 7:26 left in the second period, Todd Bertuzzi crashed the net and knocked home a loose puck in a scramble. Brad Stuart had originally thrown the puck on net and Valtteri Filppula had a rebound chance, leading to Luongo being out of position on Bertuzzi’s opportunity.

Datsyuk got possession of the puck on the ensuing faceoff and jumped across the blue line, whipping a shot past Luongo’s stick to tie the game.

Filppula gave the Red Wings the lead later in the period, scoring on a shorthanded breakaway with 2:21 left.

Kyle Wellwood had opened the scoring just 4:10 into the game, tipping a Christian Erhoff shot from the point past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, with Daniel Sedin also screening.

With 6:22 left in the first, Shane O’Brien made it 2-0 when his shot from above the left faceoff circle sailed through a heavy screen to beat Howard.

After the Red Wings rallied to take the lead, Daniel Sedin tied things back up at 4:40 of the third. Zetterberg deflected Kevin Bieksa’s shot from the blue line but the puck fluttered to Sedin at the side of the net. Sedin gloved it down, nearly throwing it into the net but getting his stick on it just before it crossed the goal line to make it a legal goal.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, with Filppula’s shorthanded tally the only special teams goal of the game. Each team had two tries with the extra attacker.

Howard made 29 saves on 32 shots while Luongo stopped 50 of 54 Detroit chances.


The Red Wings were without Patrick Eaves (head) and Dan Cleary (groin). With no cap room to call up replacements, defenseman Derek Meech played at forward while Brett Lebda was dressed but did not play.

Osgood Remains Perfect Against Lightning, Wings Win 4-2

Goaltender Chris Osgood improved his career record against the Tampa Bay Lighting to 16-0 Thursday night, helping his Detroit Red Wings to a 4-2 win to remain in first place in the National Hockey League.

The Red Wings earned the win without forwards Kirk Maltby or Kris Draper. Draper is expected to miss two weeks with a sprained knee while Maltby – nursing a sore back – sat out for the first time in 189 games.

Detroit got on the board early and never let up, scoring just 3:24 into the game.

Jiri Hudler opened the scoring, jumping off the left-wing boards to redirect a Chris Chelios slap-pass from the blue line past goalie Marc Denis.

The Lighting survived being outshot 17-1 in the first period down by only a goal but they would fall further behind in the second.

Pavel Datsyuk scored a power play goal at 4:04 to put the Red Wings up by a pair. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line that was knocked down as Denis fought off a screen by Tomas Holmstrom. Datsyuk grabbed the loose puck from the side of the net and put it in.

Tomas Kopecky, playing in his first game back from a shoulder injury, made it 3-0 3:35 later. Andreas Lilja sprung Kopecky with a long outlet pass to the Tampa Bay blue line. Kopecky broke in on Denis down the right wing and froze him with a shoulder fake before putting the puck into the top of the net.

Brad Richards put the Lightning on the board with 7:57 left in the second. Andreas Lilja couldn’t control a dump in behind Osgood’s net and the Lightning recovered, working the puck out front to Richards to put into the top corner of the net.

Dan Cleary scored another early-period goal to re-extend the Wings’ lead. Just 2:05 into the third, Brett Lebda put a shot from the blue line on Denis. At the top of the crease, Denis kicked it aside, straight to Cleary on the right wing for a shot back into the open net.

Mathieu Darche scored the game’s final goal with 3:06 remaining, tipping a Shane O’Brien shot past Osgood from inside the crease.

Osgood stopped 21 of 23 shots to earn his twelfth win of the season. Denis made 35 saves on 39 Detroit shots.

Detroit went one-for-two on the power play and the Lightning did not score on any of their three tries with the extra attacker.


Mark Hartigan was called up from Grand Rapids replace the injured Maltby. He was sent back to the Griffins after the game.

Power Plays Lead Ducks over Red Wings

The Anaheim Ducks scored three times on ten power play chances en route to a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday night.

The three power play goals all came in the second period.

After an apparent goal by Teemu Selanne was called back for the net being off its moorings, Ryan Getzlaf scored at 8:46.

Just 1:40 later, Shane O’Brien scored his first NHL to extend Anaheim’s lead.

Chris Kunitz was credited with Anaheim’s third goal of the middle frame, though he later said he thought he didn’t get his stick on the puck as it slipped through Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek.

Corey Perry scored the Ducks’ lone even-strength goal with 6:20 in regulation but the Red Wings answered with Tomas Kopecky‘s first career goal 44 seconds later.

Hasek finished the night with 27 saves on 31 shots against while Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 21 of 22 shots.

The Red Wings will continue their road trip on Thursday in San Jose. Chris Osgood is expected to start in net for Detroit.