Blackhawks Strong At Home

In spite of valiant play in the second and third periods, the Red Wings’ six-game road unbeaten streak was snapped Sunday by the Chicago Blackhawks, who won the game 5-4.

Chicago opened the scoring on the power play. While Sergei Fedorov was serving a penalty for slashing, Chicago’s Eric Daze fired on Dominek Hasek. Hasek blocked the shot, but Kyle Calder picked up the rebound and shot it into the net.

The Blackhawks scored again with just under three minutes left in the period. Daze shot the puck from behind the net and banked it off the skate of Michael Nylander, and between Hasek’s legs. As if adding insult to injury, the Blackhawks added another goal barely a minute later. On a two-on-one rush, Igor Korolev was able to get the puck past Nicklas Lidstrom and over Hasek to make the score 3-0.

Chicago’s penalty killing unit, ranked 27th in the NHL, had to go into action early in the second, when Daze was sent to the box for tripping. They were no match for Detroit’s power play. Igor Larionov passed from behind the net to Steve Yzerman, who fired the puck, and Luc Robitaille was on hand to sweep it in behind goalie Jocelyn Thibault.

Despite the energy generated by Robitaille’s goal, Chicago got the next two goals. Steve Thomas scored with a bouncing puck just ten seconds after the end of a Detroit penalty to Hasek (served by Brent Gilchrist) for delay of game by firing the puck over the glass. The next was scored by Aaron Downey with 8:46 left in the second period, and was the first goal of his NHL career.

Down by four goals, the Detroit bench pulled Hasek out of the game and sent in Manny Legace to take his place. Hasek, still recovering from stomach flu, had let in five goals on fifteen shots.

The Red Wings got a 5-on-3 opportunity late in the period. Jaroslav Spacek was given two minutes for delay of game for laying on the puck with 4:02 left to play. Just over a minute later, Tony Amonte was sent to the box for slashing. Larionov scored by shooting the puck from behind the net and banking it off the skate of Alexander Karpotsvev and into the net.

They continued with a 5-on-4 power play, since Amonte’s penalty had not yet ended. This time, Larionov passed to Robitaille behind the net. Robitaille got it out front to Brett Hull, who fired hard and beat Thibault for the goal.

Detroit held Chicago to only three shots against Legace in the third period, but was only able to score once more. With 8:22 left to play, Larionov won an offensive zone faceoff. The puck bounced free to Robitaille, who shot it past Thibault to score his 599th career goal.

The Red Wings controlled the puck for most of the remainder of the game. Even when they pulled Legace to send in the sixth skater, however, they were not able to beat Thibault again.

Chicago, with new coach Brian Sutter, has not lost a home game yet this season. Shots on goal were 29-18 in the Red Wings’ favor.

Detroit will continue their road trip with a game against the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday night.

Wings Down ‘Canes in a Whirlwind

Red Wings netminder Manny Legace bounced back from a neck injury suffered Saturday night against Nashville to lead Detroit to a 5-2 win over the Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes.

Legace stopped twenty-six of twenty-eight shots in a game he didn’t expect to even dress for. With Dominik Hasek sick, Legace became the starter and shut down the Hurricanes.

Detroit jumped out to an early lead when Mathieu Dandenault scored on the rebound from a Pavel Datsyuk shot just 1:22 into the first period. Datsyuk scored his first NHL goal exactly five minutes later, flipping a backhand shot past Carolina goaltender Tom Barrasso.

We got two goals out of the young line,” Detroit coach Scotty Bowman said. “Mathieu Dandenault scored one and Pavel Datsyuk scored his first NHL goal. They give us a lot of energy out there.”

Brendan Shanahan added his ninth goal of the season just over two minutes later and the Wings carried a three goal lead into the first intermission.

The Hurricanes bounced back during the second period. Sami Kapanen took a pass from Sandis Ozolinsh to get a breakaway and score with 6:35 remaining in the period. Former Red Wing Aaron Ward also assisted on the goal.

Ron Francis deflected a shot past Legace 2:09 later to bring the ‘Canes within one. Carolina kept the pressure on for the rest of the period but Legace came up strong and kept the Wings in the lead.

Steve Yzerman put the Red Wings back in control, beating Barrasso at 4:10 of the third. The Hurricanes were never able to get back in the game, and Kris Draper ended it with an empty net goal with 1:19 remaining in the game.

The Red Wings complete their three game road trip tonight against the Stars as Brett Hull makes his first trip back to Dallas since signing with Detroit. Faceoff is at 8:30 PM.

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.

Fifty-nine Minutes Not Enough for Flyers

Sergei Fedorov, Luc Robitaille, and Brendan Shanahan all kept their point streaks going strong, as the Red Wings gained a dramatic come-from-behind victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers, who have not won a game at Joe Louis Arena since November of 1988, led through much of the game. Jeremy Roenick opened the scoring three minutes in, tipping Justin Williams’ shot past goalie Dominek Hasek.

Detroit had a power play opportunity with 12:16 remaining in the first, but Philadelphia’s penalty-killing unit was able to intercept many of Detroit’s passes and keep the Wings from scoring.

The Flyers’ turn on the power play came a little while later, when Jiri Fischer was called for cross-checking. The Red Wings’ penalty-killing unit was in good form, however, and the Flyers were unable to score.

The Flyers defense was able to shut down the Red Wings offense through most of the first period, allowing only eight shots on goaltender Brian Boucher, as compared to Philadelphia’s twelve shots against Hasek.

Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull tied up the game 5:20 into the second period, on a two-on-one rush. Hull carried the puck, lured the defenseman and the goalie towards him, and passed to Robitaille, who flipped the puck over the flopping Boucher.

Detroit wound up in penalty trouble towards the end of the period. Boucher received a delay-of-game penalty for the Flyers with 7:43 remaining, but the Wings had only twenty seconds on the power play before Robitaille was penalized for tripping.

The situation deteriorated to four-on-three when Nicklas Lidstrom was given a penalty for high-sticking, even though the replay clearly showed that the hit was made by Sergei Fedorov, not by Lidstrom. The Flyers Marty Murray was able to score just ten seconds before Lidstrom’s penalty would have ended. This was Murray’s first NHL goal in nearly six years; his last was scored on October 19, 1995.

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.

The third period stayed scoreless until near its very end. The Red Wings, seeking overtime, pulled Hasek from the net with just over a minute left to play. Finally, forty-one seceonds before the final buzzer, Fedorov picked up a pass from Brendan Shanahan, and sent the puck flying past Boucher.

The fans and players appeared to be settling in for overtime, but the Red Wings would have none of that. Only eighteen seconds before the third period’s end, Steve Yzerman picked off an errant Philadelphia pass and sent the puck across to Hull, who fired it past Boucher to score his 652nd career goal and bring the Wings’ record to 6-1-0.

Hull’s game-winning goal brought him into sixth place on the list of all-time leading goal scorers, tied with Mark Messier. The two share first place on the list of still-active goal scorers.

Luc Robitaille will face down his former teammates and the Red Wings will seek to avenge last year’s playoff defeat, when they play host to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

Invading the Island

The Red Wings headed to Long Island last night to face former Wing netminder Chris Osgood in his new team’s home opener. The Islanders were looking to continue a banner four game unbeaten streak as the Wings were looking to add to their win Friday night against Buffalo.

Oleg Kvasha opened the scoring only thirty-six seconds into the game, scoring off the rebound from a shot by Alexei Yashin.

Claude Lapointe was penalized for boarding just over two minutes into the period and the ensuing power play did not disappoint. Steve Yzerman passed the puck to Sergei Fedorov, who blasted it past Osgood. Brendan Shanahan also received an assist on the goal, extending his scoring streak to five games, reaffirming his place as the NHL’s current top scorer.

The score remained tied for the rest of the first period, with the Islanders outshooting Detroit fourteen to seven.

Early in the second period, Darren McCarty and Oleg Kvasha accidentally knocked ankles. Kvasha was taken immediately to the dressing room, but did return later in the game. McCarty tried to shake off the pain back on the bench, but headed to the locker room shortly thereafter. It was later announced that McCarty’s injury was an ankle sprain.

With Igor Larionov off for slashing, Yashin scored on Legace. The goal stood up to review and the Islanders took a two to one lead.

Brett Hull scored the answering goal with only 3:04 left in the period. Lapointe was off for cross-checking Lidstrom. Hull got the puck from Chris Chelios and shot it into the net, past a rolling block attempt by Osgood.

Early in the third period, Yashin scored again, this time on a screened shot. The Wings were able to reply on a delayed penalty. With Legace on the bench, Yzerman picked up a rebound and stuffed it into the net.

Early in the third period, Yashin scored again, this time on a screened shot. The Wings were able to reply on a delayed penalty. With Legace on the bench, Yzerman picked up a rebound and stuffed it into the net.

With Legace on the bench for the extra attacker, Luc Robitaille came to the rescue. Lucky Luc slid the puck behind Osgood with only ten seconds remaining, sending the game to overtime.

Both goaltenders made big stops in the overtime period but it was a save by Legace that led to the winning goal. Yzerman picked up Legace’s rebound and sent it to Draper. Draper and Hull had a breakaway and Yzerman trailed. Only one Islander was back to defend and Draper passed the puck to Hull, who sent it back to Yzerman. Yzerman did what he does best, and the puck soared over Osgood and into the net.

The win lifted the Wings’ record to 4-1-0-0 and dropped the Islanders’ to 4-0-0-1. Detroit is off until Tuesday, when they begin their longest homestand of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

First Loss of Season Close to Home

The Red Wings took a 4-2 loss to the Flames in their home season opener, despite goals from Kris Draper and Brendan Shanahan, ending the 19 regular season game home unbeaten streak carried over from last season.

The game story was one of penalties, fights, and stoppages in play. Calgary’s Marc Savard got the penalty parade off to its slow start just 1:49 into the game, being sent off for elbowing. The game took on a deceptive flow for a few minutes after that, with both teams taking shots, but neither able to score.

4:20 into the game, Jarome Iginla started a fight with Darren McCarty, after seeing McCarty attempt to hit Savard. Both combatants got 5 minute fighting penalties. Iginla also received a 2 minute instigator call and a 10 minute misconduct. And yet, Detroit’s power play was unable to score.

Kris Draper opened the scoring with 7:17 left in the period. He came off the bench, flew down the ice with all his typical speed, received a bouncing pass from Igor Larionov, and flipped it past goaltender Roman Turek.

The remainder of the period was relatively quiet. Calgary’s Rob Niedermayer received an interference penalty with 5:49 remaining, and Maxim Kuznetsov was called for high sticking with 3:05 remaining, but neither power play unit was able to score.

The second period began with a deceptive calm. 6:11 into the play, Brendan Shanahan and Bob Boughner fought over a rough hit Boughner had landed on Shanahan. Both were sent to the box for five minutes.

With 11:44 left in the period, Mathieu Dandenault was called for elbowing. Detroit’s problems were compounded just 22 seconds later, when Steve Yzerman was given a penalty for high-sticking. The Flames’ Dean McAmmond was able to capitalize on the 5-on-3 opportunity, getting the puck past Dominek Hasek.

Calgary got another 5-on-3 opportunity just moments later. With 6:29 left in the period, Kuznetsov was called for cross-checking. Yzerman made a beautiful breakaway attempt in the short-lived 5-on-4 situation, but Turek was able to deflect the puck. Brett Hull received a tripping penalty at 5:56, and Calgary’s Scott Nichol was able to score on Hasek.

Calgary got another 5-on-3 opportunity just moments later. With 6:29 left in the period, Kuznetsov was called for cross-checking. Yzerman made a beautiful breakaway attempt in the short-lived 5-on-4 situation, but Turek was able to deflect the puck. Brett Hull received a tripping penalty at 5:56, and Calgary’s Scott Nichol was able to score on Hasek.

Darren McCarty, just back from a shoulder injury, elbowed Ron Petrovicky, most likely because Petrovicky had speared the back of his leg with the stick. The referees didn’t see that part, however, and McCarty was given a 5 minute major penalty and a game misconduct, and sent off to the locker room. The resulting Calgary power play was partially cancelled when Craig Conroy took a 2 minute hooking penalty.

The Flames were able to score an even strength goal 3:50 into the third period, with Igor Kravchuk picking up the rebound and sneaking it in behind Hasek, despite Frederick Olausson’s attempt to block the shot.

Kravchuk then took a cross-checking penalty 6:08 into the period, and Detroit’s power play unit kicked into action. Shanahan picked up the puck from where it had slipped away from Turek’s glove, waited for an opportunity, and fired it home.

The game could have changed for the Wings after that, but it was not to be. Shanahan was given a boarding penalty with 7:05 left in the game. Yzerman and Hull attempted to score short-handed, but Iginla picked up the puck and got it past Hasek on a rebound.

Shanahan now leads the NHL in goals, with 5 goals in 3 games. Hasek stopped 29 of 33 shots, most of which came when Detroit was in penalty-killing mode.

Would the game have gone in Detroit’s favor had the penalties not fallen so hard and so fast? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Even a team starring nine future Hall-of-Famers is still going to lose some of the games. Even the Red Wings have to be human once in awhile.

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.

Fedorov Arrested for DUI

Red Wings superstar forward Sergei Fedorov was arrested in Royal Oak early Sunday morning for driving under the influence.

Fedorov, 31, posted bail shortly after being detained at approximately 2:30 AM.

Fedorov scored 32 goals and added 37 assists in 75 games for the Red Wings last season. He was criticized for not providing enough leadership when Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan were injured in the playoffs.

Shutouts, Olympics, Etc.

I’m just gonna do a quick run-down of what happened over the weekend while I was gone… Of course, there was the 6-0 win over the Rangers on Saturday. From what I saw, it looks like everyone played a pretty strong game, which is very good to see with the playoffs six games away. No Red Wings were named to the roster for the 2002 US Olympic team, but Steve Yzerman will again be a member of the Canadian Olympic team. Stevie still got ripped off though, he would have been the captain if Mario wasn’t making his extremely marketable comeback.