Red Wings Drop Game Five to Ducks in OT

The Detroit Red Wings were unable to pull out a third overtime win of their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup with the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, dropping a 3-2 decision.

The Red Wings had previously won Game Two and Game Four on goals scored in the first overtime period, accounting for all of their wins in the series.

Nick Bonino ended the game by knocking the puck past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard on a cross-crease pass from Ben Lovejoy just 1:54 into extra time.

The Red Wings had opened the game’s scoring at 5:28 of the first period on a power play. Johan Franzen went to the side of the net and threw the puck out front, where it deflected off of defenseman Sheldon Souray and dropped down at the edge of the crease. Franzen jumped in and swatted it past goalie Jonas Hiller for a 1-0 lead.

Kyle Palmieri tied things back up with 2:19 remaining in the opening period, snapping a shot from the high slot through traffic and past Howard on Anaheim’s 17th shot of the frame.

Detroit’s Mikael Samuelsson restored the Red Wings’ lead at 10:08 of the second. Henrik Zetterberg‘s two-on-two chance was knocked aside by Hiller but the long rebound came right to Samuelsson, who wristed a shot right back on net to make it 2-1.

With 32 seconds remaining in the second, Ryan Getzlaf re-tied things, gaining the Detroit zone on a power play and firing a shot from high in the slot past Howard.

Howard finished the night with 31 saves on 34 shots. Hiller made 29 saves on 31 chances.

Each team scored once on three power play tries.

The teams will meet again for Game Six in Detroit on Friday, with the Ducks now having a 3-2 series lead and looking to close things out.

Abdelkader’s Hat Trick Leads Red Wings in Rout of Ducks

Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader scored his first career NHL hat trick on Friday night, carrying the Red Wings to a 5-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks in the first of a pair of meetings between the teams.

The Red Wings’ win snapped Anaheim’s home winning streak at 13 games. Their last loss at home had been the home opener.

The Ducks thought they had gotten on the board midway through the first on a play in which Emerson Etem was ruled to have kicked the puck in behind Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. Teemu Selanne got one that counted with 8:29 remaining, however, tipping a pass from Kyle Palmeri past Howard on a three-on-two.

Abdelkader tied things up 2:05 later. After getting the puck in the neutral zone, Abdelkader broke into the Anaheim zone alone down the right wing. He got around Sheldon Souray in the corner and cut to the front of the net, shoveling the puck between Viktor Fasth‘s pads to make it 1-1.

After a scramble to the left of Fasth, Pavel Datsyuk corralled a loose puck on the other side of the crease and lifted it into the open side of the net on a Detroit power play to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead with 5:01 left in the opening period.

Abdelkader was back on the board at 3:06 of the second, snapping a shot from the left faceoff dot past Fasth and chasing the Anaheim netminder from the net. He completed the hat trick with 7:14 left in the middle period, snapping a shot past Jonas Hiller from the high slot after a Ducks turnover at the blue line.

Johan Franzen closed out the scoring with 4:43 left in regulation when his attempted centering pass to Abdelkader in the slot was deflected in off an Anaheim defender.

Datsyuk’s goal – the game-winner – was the only power play goal of the night. The Red Wings had two tries with the extra attacker while the Ducks had three.

Howard finished the night with 33 saves on 34 shots to earn the win. Fasth took the loss with eight saves on 11 shots in 23:06 of play while Hiller stopped ten of the remaining 12 Detroit chances.

The two teams will meet again at the Honda Center on Sunday.


With the win, the Red Wings improved to 6-5-4 all-time in the first game of two consecutive regular season games against the same opponent in the same venue.

Hudler Scores Lone Goal of Shootout as Red Wings Down Stars, 3-2

Detroit forward Jiri Hudler scored the only goal of the shootout Tuesday night, giving the Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars.

The goal kept the Red Wings unbeaten in the tiebreaker this season and at least temporarily moved them into first place in the Western Conference.

Hudler faked twice on Dallas netminder Richard Bachman but couldn’t sell anything before resorting to the cutting to his left and pushing the puck out to the right, into the open side of the net. It was the same “Forsberg move” that Henrik Zetterberg successfully executed last week against Phoenix.

Pavel Datsyuk hit the post on Detroit’s first shot and Todd Bertuzzi fired into Bachman in the third round.

Wings’ goaltender Ty Conklin stopped Loui Eriksson, Michael Ryder and Trevor Daley in earning the win.

Detroit opened the game’s scoring at 6:41 of the first period. Jan Mursak beat Bachman to the puck behind the net and sent it to Justin Abdelkader, who only tipped the puck on his shot attempt from the side of the net. The puck slid out into the slot where Tomas Holmstrom fired a slapper back past Bachman for the early 1-0 lead.

Brenden Morrow tied things up with 9:01 left in the opening frame. With the Stars on a power play, Alex Goligoski fired a shot from above the slot. The puck deflected off of a jumping Morrow at the top of the crease and bounced past Conklin.

With 3:32 remaining, Eriksson made it 2-1 by backhanding the rebound of a Sheldon Souray chance past Conklin with a broken stick.

Hudler scored the last goal of regulation at 1:43 of the second, bouncing the puck off Goligoski’s skate and past Backman on a crossing attempt.

Bachman stopped 30 of the 32 Detroit shots he faced on the night. Conklin made 25 saves on 27 shots for his third win of the season.

Detroit went scoreless on four power play chances. The Stars scored on one of their two tries with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings will continue their road trip on Thursday when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes.


Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton were healthy scratches for the Red Wings, with Mike Commodore and Mursak in the lineup in their respective places.

Free Agent Preview 2011

We’ve got under four hours until the NHL’s 2011 free agency season kicks off, so I’m going to take a quick look at the Red Wings’ roster, where they stand with their own free agents, and who they might be looking at on the market.

Forwards
Four forwards who were with Detroit last season are set to become free agents.Mike Modano won’t be back with the Wings but he’s not ruling out playing another year somewhere. His departure seems to have been a mutual decision as the team doesn’t have room for him and he didn’t have a particularly fun year in his hometown.

Kris Draper wants to return but has been told he won’t be offered a contract immediately. If the team can replace him they will.

Patrick Eaves is supposedly close to a deal to stay in Detroit but little is known about that. Reportedly, his concern is more about playing time than money.

Drew Miller has an offer on the table from the Wings but wants to test the open market. Like Eaves, he supposedly is looking for a place where he won’t have to worry about being a healthy scratch on a nightly basis.

Defensemen
The Red Wings kept Jonathan Ericsson in the fold, signing him to a (some might say ridiculous) three-year, $9.75 million deal last night. I don’t agree with the money but it gives Detroit six defensemen signed to NHL contracts for next season.

Detroit will look to replace the retired Brian Rafalski via free agency but their options are becoming limited. Christian Ehrhoff signed with Buffalo yesterday and James Wisniewski – long believed to be the Red Wings top target – seems to be set to sign a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tomas Kaberle is available as a third option from the top-tier talent but the Wings may have to look for a cheaper, less-talented player to round out their blueline corps. The name most mentioned to that extent is Ed Jovanovski.

If the Wings are looking to go cheap and roll the dice on defense, I’ve got a feeling about Sheldon Souray. Assuming a low contract, he’s the kind of low-risk, high reward guy Ken Holland likes to go after.

Of the team’s own free agents, neighter Ruslan Salei nor Derek Meech will be offered deals.

Goaltenders
Like Kris Draper, Chris Osgood won’t know if he’ll be back until the Red Wings are done shopping elsewhere. After injuries the last two seasons, the team is worried about Osgood’s health. With a relative glut of goalies on the market, he could be easily replaced. Former Osgood backup Ty Conklin is a possibility, among many others.

Joey MacDonald will not return to the Detroit organization. He’s looking for a one-way deal in the NHL or he’ll head to Russia. The Wings wanted him on a two-way deal so he could continue mentoring Thomas McCollum in Grand Rapids and be called on in Detroit if needed.

Conklin Blanks Oilers in First Wings Home Start

Goaltender Ty Conklin made his first home start as a member of the Detroit Red Wings a memorable one, stopping all twenty shots he faced in leading the Wings to a 4-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Conklin is now 5-1 with Detroit.

Niklas Kronwall‘s five-on-three goal 6:11 into the game would have been enough for the win but it didn’t have to be.

Kronwall scored on a quick wrister from the right faceoff circle after jumping in from the point to take a pass from Henrik Zetterberg.

Just 3:00 into the second period Mikael Samuelsson put Detroit up by a pair, tipping a Brett Lebda pass from the corner past Edmonton goalie Dwayne Roloson.

Jiri Hudler deflected a shot off of defenseman Sheldon Souray and into the net with 5:42 left in the second and Johan Franzen scored on a great individual effort midway through the third, outwaiting Roloson before lifting a shot from at the goal line off the goalie’s glove and into the net.

Conklin was rarely tested in what might have been Detroit’s best defensive effort of the season. His stops on back-to-back two-on-ones in the second period kept Edmonton from getting back in the game.

Roloson made 37 saves on 41 shots in net for the Oilers.

Chris Osgood will get his chance against Edmonton on Thursday when the Red Wings visit Rexall Place for a rematch against the Oilers.


The assist on Samuelsson’s goal was Lebda’s first point of the season… Darren McCarty fought Zach Stortini three minutes into the game.

Red Wings Fall to Oilers to End Streak

The Detroit Red Wings’ winning streak ended at seven games Thursday night with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Oilers the win, beating Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek stick-side.

Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Jiri Hudler failed to score for the Red Wings. Hasek stopped Sam Gagne on Edmonton’s first shot.

Detroit trailed late in the game but Henrik Zetterberg forced overtime, scoring with 2:40 left in regulation to tie the game. Zetterberg took a pass from Dan Cleary and went behind the Edmonton goal, coming out on the other side into the right circle to turn and put a shot over goaltender Dwayne Roloson‘s shoulder.

The Red Wings had gotten on the board first just 2:46 into the game, with Mark Hartigan‘s first goal as a Red Wing. Similar to Zetterberg’s tying goal, Hartigan beat Roloson on a wraparound chance.

Hemsky tied things up with 7:32 left in the period, scoring on the rebound of a Sheldon Souray shot from the blue line with the Oilers on the power play.

With 1:54 left in the first, Joni Pitkanen jumped across the Detroit blue line, taking a pass while splitting the defenders to rifle a shot past Hasek and put Edmonton in the lead.

Zetterberg evened things up with his first goal of the night, scored on the power play with 6:36 left in the second period. Brian Rafalski sent a hard pass from the top of the right circe to Zetterberg in the slot for a deflection past Roloson.

Fernando Pisani gave the Oilers the lead back 2:09 later, fighting off Brett Lebda to score from the front of the net off a pass from Gagner.

Hasek, who was seemingly injured after Shawn Horcoff slid into him, played the full game and stopped 22 of 25 shots against. Roloson made 39 saves on 42 shots.

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

Western Conference Triumphant in All-Star Game

In the National Hockey League’s first All-Star Game since 2004, the Western Conference’s veteran team outscored an Eastern Conference squad led by young stars, picking up a 12-9 win.

It was the first win by the Western Conference since 2003 and only their second in the six games that have been played in the East vs. West format.

Daniel Briere of the Buffalo Sabres was the game’s MVP, scoring a goal and adding four assists in the losing effort.

Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets scored the eventual game-winning goal, one of his two goals on the night. He also assisted twice.

Other were Yanic Perrault (Phoenix Coyotes), Teemu Selanne (Anaheim Ducks), Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lighting), Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes), Libomir Vishnovsky (Los Angeles Kings), Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks), Justin Williams (Carolina), Zdeno Chara (Boston Bruins), Martin Havlat (Chicago Blackhawks), Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals), Brian Rolston (Minnesota Wild), Dany Heatley (Ottawa Senators), Sheldon Souray (Montreal Canadiens) and Dion Phaneuf (Calgary Flames).

Marty Turco of the hometown Dallas Stars got the win in goal while Cristobal Huet of Montreal took the loss, despite having the best save percentage of any of the Eastern Conference goalies.

Earlier in the day, the NHL announced that the Montreal Canadiens will host the 2009 All-Star Game as part of the celebration of the Canadiens’ 100th season. The Atlanta Thrashers will host in 2008, after originally having been selected to host the cancelled 2005 game.