Datsyuk Scores Twice in Return, Red Wings Down Flyers 5-2

Pavel Datsyuk returned to the Detroit lineup on Wednesday night after missing four games with an aggravated groin injury, scoring twice to help the Red Wings over the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-2.

Datsyuk’s first – the eventual game-winning goal – came with 8:13 left in the second period as he snapped a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle past Philadelphia goalie Steve Mason through traffic to make it 3-1 on a Detroit power play.

Mason was pulled in favor of backup Ray Emery after the goal.

With 1:21 left in the period, Datsyuk scored his second of the night to put the Wings up by three. Darren Helm‘s shot bounced off the post to the left of Emery and out the other side, where Datsyuk knocked it out of mid-air and into the net.

Jakub Voracek pulled the Flyers back to within a pair with 7:35 left in the third period, snapping a shot from the left circle past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard on a power play, off a feed from the opposite side of the net by Wayne Simmonds.

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg added an empty net goal in the game’s closing minutes to round out the scoring.

Stephen Weiss scored his third goal in two games since returning from a groin injury of his own to open the game’s scoring at 10:12 of the first period, tipping a Helm shot past Mason.

Claude Giroux tied things up at 2:31 of the second. Picking off a pass by Danny DeKeyser in the netutral zone, Giroux skated into the Detroit zone and snapped a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle off the skate of defenseman Kyle Quincey and past Howard.

Tomas Jurco would restore Detroit’s lead at 10:18 of the period, swatting the rebound of a DeKeyser shot past Mason from the right circle.

Mason finished the night with 11 saves on 14 shots before giving way to Emery, who stopped nine of ten shots. Howard made 22 saves on 24 shots.

Each team had a single power play goal. Philadelphia had four tries with the extra attacker to Detroit’s three.

The Red Wings are back in action on Friday when they visit the New Jersey Devils.


Kyle Quincey and Sean Couturier fought late in the second period… Daniel Cleary, Joakim Andersson, and Brian Lashoff were healthy scratches for Detroit.

TGTW: Red Wings Atop Central After Week Three

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

The Detroit Red Wings rode a three-game winning streak into the third week of the NHL schedule and extended it on Monday with a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Livonia-native Ryan Kesler opened the game’s scoring at 3:42 of the first period but a pair of goals just 1:38 apart were enough for the Red Wings to get the win.  Pavel Datsyuk‘s first of the season came with 6:45 left in the opening period and Johan Franzen‘s first of the year came with 5:07 remaining.

Jimmy Howard made 26 saves on 27 shots in the effort, while Vancouver’s Cory Schneider stopped 25 of 27 chances.

The Red Wings’ winning streak came to an end the next night in Columbus.  The Blue Jackets’ win briefly pulled them into first place in the Central Division.

Jack Johnson opened the scoring with 11 seconds left in the first period and Justin Abdelkader replied at 3:11 of the second.  Nick Foligno‘s shorthanded marker and 6:27 of the third put the Jackets back out in front and Derrick Brassard added another at 9:46.  Steve Mason shut the door on the Wings, stopping 23 of 24 shots while Howard made 22 saves on 25 Columbus chances.

Howard rebounded on Friday with a 22-save shutout of the San Jose Sharks as the Red Wings picked up a 2-0 win.  Mikael Samuelsson scored the game’s opening goal at 4:38 of the second period, with former Red Wing Brad Stuart in the penalty box.  Pavel Datsyuk added an insurance marker at 1:02 of the third.

To close out the week on Saturday, the Red Wings picked up a 4-2 win in their first visit back to Winnipeg since the Atlanta Thrashers relocated there.

Abdelkader opened the scoring at 3:48 of the first period, Kyle Quincey had a pair of goals, and team leading scorer Valtteri Filppula also scored.  Evander Kane and Alexei Ponikarovski scored for the Jets.  Howard stopped 23 of 25 while Ondrej Pavelec made 14 saves on 18 shots against.

After three weeks, Detroit sits atop the Central Division, three points up on the Blue Jackets, who have two games in hand.  Howard’s 1.64 goals-against average is second in the league, just 0.02 back of Buffalo’s Ryan Miller.  His two shutouts are tied for the league lead.

Red Wings Rout Blue Jackets to Clinch Playoff Spot

The Detroit Red Wings clinched a playoff spot for the 21st consecutive season on Monday night with a 7-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The streak is the longest active in professional sports. The NHL’s all-time record is 29 consecutive seasons, set by the Boston Bruins.

Four goals in the first ten minutes of the game propelled the Red Wings to the win, including two power play tallies by Tomas Holmstrom.

Holmstrom opened the game’s scoring just 1:06 in with Columbus’ Cam Atkinson off for tripping. Niklas Kronwall sent a pass from the blue line to Henrik Zetterberg at the side of the Blue Jackets’ net. Goaltender Steve Mason overcommited towards him and he sent a pass across the crease to Holmstrom to bang home.

Gustav Nyquist made it 2-0 at 5:35 with his first career NHL goal. In the slot, Pavel Datsyuk spun to send a pass to Nyquist all alone at the edge of the crease, where he roofed a shot past the diving Mason.

Holmstrom’s second came at 8:55, when Kronwall sent a hard pass from the point to Zetterberg in the slot, who turned and sent it backwards through his legs to Holmstrom for a shot past Mason from the left faceoff circle – another power play goal.

Jiri Hudler rounded out the period’s scoring 56 seconds later. After Mason stopped his initial shot, Hudler wrapped around the goal while Valtteri Filppula gathered in the rebound. Filppula sent a pass to Hudler to knock home from the side of the net to make it 4-0.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 5-0 at 6:17 of the second period, sliding a shot from the right faceoff dot under Mason’s pad after almost whiffing on the chance.

Brad Stuart ended Mason’s night 2:17 later, jumping into the play to take a feed from Todd Bertuzzi and beat Mason from the inside edge of the right circle.

Datsyuk capped off Detroit’s scoring at 1:25 of the third period. Zetterberg spun in the right circle before sending a pass across to the left side for Datsyuk to knock past backup goalie Allen York.

The Blue Jackets would finally get on the board just 19 seconds later, with Mark Letestu splitting the Detroit defense to break in alone on Ty Conklin and snap a shot past him.

Rick Nash made it 7-2 with 9:28 remaining, blasting a shot from the top of the right circle off the post and in behind Conklin.

Conklin finished the night with 24 saves on 26 shots against, half of those chances coming in the third period. Mason made 22 saves on 28 shots in 28:34 while York stopped 10 of 11 in 31:26 of play.

Holmstrom’s goals were the only power play tallies on the night, though Lidstrom’s goal came on a delayed call. The Red Wings finished the night 2-for-6 on the power play while the Blue Jackets went 0-for-4.

The two teams will meet again on Wednesday in Columbus for the second game of the home-and-home series.


Detroit was without goaltenders Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald, defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, and forwards Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves.

Red Wings Drop Second-Straight with 4-1 Loss to Blue Jackets

After opening the season 5-0, the Detroit Red Wings dropped their second consecutive game Tuesday night, a 4-1 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The win was the first for Columbus in nine tries. They had been the last winless team in the NHL.

The Blue Jackets opened the game’s scoring just 21 seconds in when R.J. Umberger knocked the rebound of an Antoine Vermette chance through Detroit goalie Ty Conklin.

Darren Helm got the Red Wings on the board at 4:54 of the first, backhanding a fluttering shot past Columbus netminder Steve Mason from the side of the net.

Ryan Johansen made it 2-1 at 8:56 of the period with a power play goal, the first of his career. After a Grant Clitsome shot, Johansen gathered up the loose puck to Conklin’s left and banked a shot off the netminder’s skate.

Columbus took a 3-1 lead on John Moore’s first career goal with 5:44 remaining in the second. Moore’s shot from the left point deflected off of Drew Miller and past Conklin.

Derek MacKenzie added an empty net goal to round out the scoring.

Conklin finished the night with 28 saves on 31 shots while Mason stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced. Allan York faced no shots in 2:33 played for Columbus while Mason was injured after Helm’s goal.

The Blue Jackets scored once on seven power play chances and added a shorthanded goal into the empty net. Detroit was scoreless on three power plays.

The Red Wings are next in action on Friday when they host the San Jose Sharks.


Goaltender Jimmy Howard did not make the trip to Columbus, staying in Detroit with his wife and newborn son… Former Blue Jacket Mike Commodore remains on injured reserve for the Red Wings, recovering from a knee injury… Fabian Brunnstrom and Cory Emmerton were healthy scratches for Detroit.

Red Wings Remain Unbeaten with 5-2 Win over Columbus

The Detroit Red Wings improved to 5-0-0 on the young NHL season Friday night, defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-2, to get off to their best start in nearly 40 years, when they started the 1972-73 season 6-0-0.

The Red Wings also turned their power play around, scoring three goals with the man advantage after scoring only once on their first nineteen power play chances to start the season.

Johan Franzen opened the game’s scoring with one of those power play goals. Franzen sent the puck to the bottom of the right faceoff circle for Valtteri Filppula, who poked it back up for Franzen. From the faceoff dot, Franzen snapped a shot over Steve Mason‘s glove, past a screen by Danny Cleary at 9:03 of the first period.

With 5:39 remaining in the period, Franzen knocked a shot in from the side of the net. The puck bouced off defenseman Aaron Johnson to sneak past Mason, making it 2-0.

Derick Brassard made it 2-1 just 57 seconds later, left alone at the side of the net to lift the rebound of a Johnson shot over Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

Only 27 seconds into the second period, Pavel Datsyuk restored the two-goal lead. Ian White fired a long shot on net that Mason knocked aside, then Henrik Zetterberg couldn’t score from the side of the net. Tomas Holmstrom swatted at the loose puck at the edge of the crease but it came back out to Datsyuk in the slot to fire past the scrambling Mason.

Johnson got the Blue Jackets back into it at 1:42 of the third period, left wide open in the slot to slap the puck past a screened Howard for a power play goal.

Nicklas Lidstrom scored just seconds after the expiration of a five-on-three to make it 4-2. Lidstrom’s blast from the high slot deflected on its way through to get past Mason at 7:46 of the third.

Filppula added an empty net goal when he tapped in a chance from Franzen that was going wide.

Detroit’s three power play markers came on five chances with the man advantage, including their one long five-on-three. Columbus’ power play goal came on four tries with the extra man.

Howard made 32 saves on 34 shots against on the night. Mason stopped 28 of the 32 shots he faced.

The Red Wings meet the Washington Capitals in a battle of undefeated teams on Saturday night.


Patrick Eaves and Fabian Brunnstrom were the healthy scratches up front for Detroit… Brendan Smith was not called back to the Red Wings roster to serve another game of his NHL suspension. He remains with the Grand Rapids Griffins now that his AHL suspension is over.

MacDonald Blanks Blue Jackets as Red Wings Win, 2-0

On a night when he wasn’t even supposed to be on the roster, Detroit goaltender Joey MacDonald led the Red Wings to a 2-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

MacDonald stopped all 37 shots he faced on Thursday, a game that Chris Osgood was scheduled to start. Osgood was unable to return from his groin injury as expected on Wednesday and MacDonald was brought back from the Grand Rapids Griffins, getting the nod in his place.

Drew Miller and Valtteri Filppula scored for the Red Wings, who extended their winning streak to four games.

Miller – who had been a healthy scratch for the two previous games – opened the game’s scoring just 33 seconds in. Darren Helm‘s shot from the right faceoff circle was kicked aside by goalie Steve Mason but Miller picked the puck up in the slot and knocked it into the back of the net.

Filppula’s goal came on a Detroit power play with 8:37 left in the period. Johan Franzen carried the puck at the side of the goal for what looked like a wraparound attempt but instead passed it out to Filppula in the left faceoff circle for a wrister into the open side of the net.

The goal gave Detroit one on four power play tries. Columbus had six chances with the extra attacker, including 43 seconds of five-on-three in the third period.

Mason finished the night with 25 saves on 27 Red Wings shots.

Detroit lost both Pavel Datsyuk and Brian Rafalski to injury in the final frame. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock later said that Rafalski would be fine but that Datsyuk had suffered a lower body injury.

Red Wings Blanked by Blue Jackets

On the heels of a game in which they scored seven goals against the Ottawa Senators, the Detroit Red Wings came up empty against the Columbus Blue Jackets, dropping a 3-0 decision Friday night.

Columbus netminder Steve Mason made 34 saves in earning the shutout. It was the third time in his career that he held the Red Wings without a goal.

Antoine Vermette opened the game’s scoring with 7:31 left in the first period. Vermette came over the boards on a line change while the Blue Jackets had possession deep in the Detroit end. He raced over the blue line to take a pass from Matt Calvert before the Red Wings knew he was there and blasted a shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Jared Boll made it 2-0 with 6:49 left in the second. Andrew Murray sent a pass from behind the net to Boll in the slot, where he put it back past Howard.

Murray added an empty-net goal with 1:12 left to play to finish the scoring.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. The Blue Jackets had three tries with the extra attacker while the Red Wings had six power plays, including a second-period five-on-three.

Howard finished the night with 21 saves on the 23 shots he faced.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday when they visit the Nashville Predators.


Detroit was once again without forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom. They are day-to-day, both hoping to return on Saturday in Nashville.

Franzen Lifts Red Wings over Blue Jackets in OT

Johan Franzen scored 45 seconds into overtime Saturday night, carrying the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-5 win over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.

The win came a night after Detroit dropped a 3-2 shootout decision in Columbus, losing two players in the process. The Red Wings were without goalie Jimmy Howard and forward Tomas Holmstrom for the rematch, bringing their total injured players to seven.

Franzen’s game-winner came when he jumped in from the right point to the top of the faceoff circle and took a pass from Henrik Zetterberg, snapping a shot past Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason. The puck bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net, giving the Red Wings the win.

Columbus seemed to be in control with an early 2-0 lead when Derick Brassard and Grant Clitsome scored in the first 4:12 of the game.

The Red Wings rallied with two quick goals of their own late in the period. Valtteri Filppula snapped a shot past Mason with 2:26 left and Drew Miller tied things up with 40 seconds remaining on an attempted pass from behind the goal line that deflected multiple times to get into the net.

Matt Calvert beat Detroit netminder Joey MacDonald on a breakaway just 2:57 into the second but Jonathan Ericsson‘s backhander one minute later snuck past Mason on the short side to tie things back up.

A shot from the high slot by Brian Rafalski slipped past Mason at 8:02 to give the Red Wings their first lead. Rafalski’s initial shot was knocked down at the top of the crease but it had enough momentum to continue on into the net.

RJ Umberger re-tied the game at 1:10 of the third period, banging the rebound of a Fedor Tyutin shot past MacDonald on a Columbus power play.

Kris Draper poked home a rebound 2:22 later to make it 5-4.

With 1:04 left in regulation and Mason on the bench for an extra attacker, Rick Nash snapped a shot from the high slot through traffic and past MacDonald to force overtime.

Umberger’s goal was the only power play goal of the night. Columbus had two tries on the power play and Detroit had one.

MacDonald stopped 25 of 30 shots in earning the win, his first since a 6-3 win against the Blue Jackets while playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2009. Mason made 28 saves on 34 shots against.

The Red Wings are back in action on Tuesday when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Filppula Scores Second Consecutive GWG as Red Wings Defeat Blue Jackets

Valtteri Filppula scored his second game-winning goal in as many games, once again leading the Detroit Red Wings to a victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Filppula scored Detroit’s second goal in their 2-1 win in Columbus on Friday and followed it up with their third goal in a 4-2 win on Sunday night.

Sunday’s goal came on a three-on-two rush just 52 seconds into the third period. Todd Bertuzzi sent the puck to Johan Franzen for a redirection on Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason from right in front. Mason knocked it aside but Filppula was left all alone to jump in and lift a shot off the bottom of the crossbar and in, giving the Red Wings a 3-1 lead.

R.J. Umberger pulled Columbus to within a goal with 1:31 left in the third, tipping an Antoine Vermette shot past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard while skating six-on-four.

Danny Cleary scored into the empty net to wrap up the game’s scoring.

Derick Brassard had opened the scoring with 43 seconds left in the first period, tipping a shot from Anton Stralman past Howard to give the Jackets the lead.

Niklas Kronwall tied things up at 10:12 of the second, pushing up to carry the puck to the net from the corner and bang in his own rebound chance.

Just 14 seconds later, Darren Helm lifted a shot from the right faceoff circle over Mason’s shoulder to give the Wings the lead.

Umberger’s goal was Columbus’ only tally on seven power play tries, including a full two minute two-man advantage in the middle of a four-minute power play. Detroit was held scoreless on all five of their chances with the extra attacker.

Howard made 27 saves on 29 Columbus chances while Mason stopped 38 of the 41 shots he faced.

The Red Wings now head west for a three-game trip through California, facing the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday to kick things off.


The Red Wings were without Mike Modano for the first game this season. He underwent surgery for a severed tendon in his arm on Saturday and is out indefinitely.

Howard Stops 34, Leads Red Wings to 2-1 Win over Blue Jackets

Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard stopped 34 of 35 shots faced Friday night, holding off the Columbus Blue Jackets and leading the Red Wings to a 2-1 win.

Howard kept Columbus off the scoreboard through the first two periods, over which time the Red Wings were outshot 25-20 and the Blue Jackets had five power plays. He also stopped Jared Boll on a penalty shot at 8:53 of the second period.

The Red Wings opened the scoring on an odd-man rush at 7:04 of the second period. Todd Bertuzzi carried the puck down the right wing boards as Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen joined him on a three-on-one. Bertuzzi sent a pass through defenseman Anton Stralman to Franzen for a quick snap shot into the open side of the net.

Valtteri Filppula made it 2-0 at 8:06 of the third, beating Columbus goaltender Steve Mason from down low off pass from Brad Stuart on the power play.

Antoine Vermette beat Howard on a backhand rebound chance 59 seconds later to pull the Jackets to back within a goal but Columbus couldn’t even it up.

Mason finished the night with 30 saves on 32 Detroit shots.

The Red Wings were one-for-three on the power play for the night. Columbus went scoreless in five tries with the man-advantage.

The two teams will meet again on Sunday in Detroit.


Mike Modano left the game in the third period with a cut on his arm. His status for Sunday’s rematch was not immediately known.