Tatar Scores Twice to Lead Red Wings over Hurricanes

Detroit forward Tomas Tatar notched two goals Sunday evening, leading the Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh.

With the win, the Red Wings move into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Pavel Datsyuk opened the game’s scoring with 3:24 left in the first period. Datsyuk protected the puck along the right wing boards and dropped it off to Jonathan Ericsson, who took a shot on net and followed it, gathering the rebound, curling around the end board, and back up the opposite wing before sending it back across to Datsyuk. Datsyuk stepped in from the point to the faceoff dot and whipped a shot between the legs of defenseman Andrej Sekera and past goalie Cam Ward.

Just two minutes later, Tatar’s first made it 2-0. Ericsson shot the puck around the boards and it came to Justin Faulk on the left wing. Faulk misplayed it and both Datsyuk and Tatar got to it, with Tatar throwing a shot at Ward. Ward kicked it aside but it deflected off Sekera and back into the net.

With 7:46 left in the second period, Tatar scored a more traditional goal for his second of the night. Cutting up the slot, Tatar took a feed from Datsyuk and snapped a shot past Ward for a three-goal lead.

Jay McClement would score Carolina’s only goal of the game with 2:49 left in the middle period, tipping a Tim Gleason shot from the point past Detroit netminder Petr Mrazek.

Mrazek finished the night with 34 saves on 35 shots. Ward stopped 19 of 22 chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had three tries with the extra attacker while Carolina had four.

The Red Wings are now off until they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.


With Detroit playing on consecutive nights, Daniel Cleary and Brian Lashoff replaced Joakim Andersson and Jakub Kindl in the lineup. Justin Abdelkader remained out with a shoulder injury.

Red Wings Hold Off Hurricanes for 3-1 Win

The Detroit Red Wings took a 2-0 lead into the third period Thursday night and came out 3-1 winners over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard stopped 13 shots in the final period as the Hurricanes tried to even the score. He finished the night with 37 saves on 38 shots.

Nicklas Lidstrom broke a 43-game scoring drought with 8:30 left in the first period, getting the Red Wings on the board with a power play goal on a blast from the blue line.

Drew Miller – who assisted on Lidstrom’s goal after being promoted to the second power play unit – added another goal with the extra attacker 1:34 into the second period. Valtteri Filppula sent the puck to the front of the net from the corner but it got caught up in Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason‘s skates, bouncing right to Miller to swat it past netminder Cam Ward.

Tom Kostopoulos beat Howard on a rebound chance at 7:17 of the third period but Henrik Zetterberg restored the two-goal lead with 5:20 left, scoring on a tap-in off a cross-ice feed from Todd Bertuzzi.

Ward finished the night with 32 saves on 35 Detroit shots.

The Wings made good on two of their five chances with the extra attacker. The Hurricanes were scoreless on two power plays.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday afternoon as they visit the Dallas Stars.


Jonathan Ericsson returned to the Detroit lineup after missing time with a bone bruise.

Stanley Cup Finals Thoughts, Game One Pregame

It’s been quiet around here since the Red Wings finished off the Blackhawks and for good reason. Like the Wings themselves, I’ve needed some time off. Much like my hiatus at the end of the regular season it hasn’t been for any bad things, just very busy right now.

Detroit finished off Chicago in five games an as a reward got all of two days rest. Their injuries at the end of the Western Conference Finals have partially healed but they’re still hurting. Nicklas Lidstrom and Jonathan Ericsson are scheduled to return to the lineup tonight but it’s looking like the Red Wings will begin the Stanley Cup Finals without Pavel Datsyuk or Kris Draper.

It looks like this puts Chris Chelios and Derek Meech back in the press box while Justin Abdelkader and Ville Leino make their first-ever Finals appearances.

A lot has been made of what the Pittsburgh Penguins learned during last year’s Finals loss to the Red Wings and that Pittsburgh is a better team than last season. While I won’t deny they’re playing extremely well, I have a hard time taking them seriously.

Their team has gotten better but last year they had Marian Hossa and this year they don’t. That’s a huge loss, one that the addition of Bill Guerin doesn’t make up for. While the Penguins individual players have gotten better I don’t see them as being as talented of a team as a whole without Hossa.

It’s not like the Red Wings haven’t gotten better, too. Assuming Datsyuk and Draper will make an appearance in this series, the only players they’ve lost from last year’s team are Dallas Drake and Andreas Lilja. Lilja has been more than capably replaced by Jonathan Ericsson. Drake’s spot in the lineup has been taken by the aforementioned Hossa, who defected to the Red Wings over the summer.

Hossa is the key to this series, to me. The Penguins couldn’t beat the Red Wings last year when they had Hossa but now they’re expected to when not only do they not have him but Detroit does? On paper, the Penguins are toast.

Of course, the games aren’t played on paper. Cliche but true.

Detroit’s defense will be the other key. Ericsson plays on the Wings’ third defense pairing and could fight for a spot on the top pair of any of the teams the Penguins have eliminated thus far. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have torn it up against Kimmo Timonen and Mike Green and Tim Gleason but will that continue against Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski and Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall?

The Wings and Penguins split the regular season series this season, one game a defensive collapse by Detroit leading to a 7-6 Pittsburgh win, the other being a dominating defensive performance by the Red Wings in a 3-1 win.

That stresses to me the importance of defense in this series. If the Wings shut things down like they’ve done all but one game of these playoffs, they have the series. If it becomes a run-and-gun game then they lose their advantage and the Penguins have a chance.

Lang Scores Overtime Winner to Beat Kings

Manny Legace‘s return from a knee injury turned out to be an exciting game, with the Wings letting a two goal lead slip away late in the third period. But thanks to Robert Lang‘s overtime winner, Legace’s stellar performance was not lost.

Lang’s goal came 1:39 into the extra session after Andreas Lilja found Nicklas Lidstrom‘s shot from the point along the boards behind the net. Lilja brought it back around and passed it into the slot where Lang put it past Los Angeles Kings’ goalie Jason Labarbera.

The Kings started the scoring 3:31 into the game while on the power play for a Mathieu Schneider hooking call. Michael Cammalleri took a shot from the left circle while Legace was screened.

Legace then came up big only moments later on a Sean Avery shot. Taking advantage of not going down 2-0, the Wings tied the game with a goal from Steve Yzerman at 8:18. The goal was set up by Daniel Cleary passing the puck around the left boards to the circle where Schneider fed Yzerman who had come in just left of the crease.

Legace and Labarbera traded great saves halfway through the second period to keep the game tied until Johan Franzen scored short handed at 12:34. Franzen was breaking for the slot and took a pass from Cleary.

Sixteen seconds into the third period Tomas Holmstrom scored when he pounced on a loose puck in front of the Kings’ net after Labarbera and Tim Gleason both mishandled the puck.

The Kings score four minutes later as Jeremy Roenick fired a shot from the left point to bring them within one goal again.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings up by two again with his second goal of the night from the slot after a nice give-and-go with Pavel Datsyuk on his left at 13:19.

Only 25 seconds later the Kings were within one goal again after Craig Conroy hopped on a rebound in the slot off a Pavol Demitra shot from the right circle. Then at 16:12 the Kings tied the game after Alexander Frolov tipped a Jiri Fischer pass just inside the Wings blue line. As Frolov was getting a handle on the puck, Legace came out to poke check, but Frolov moved around and slid the puck into the open net.

Both goalies faced a high number of shots, with Labarbera turning aside 34 of the Wings’ 39 shots, while Legace stopped 37 of the Kings’ 41 shots.

The Kings’ went one for six on the power play, while the Red Wings who were ranked first in the NHL going into the game, came up empty handed on their four chances with the man advantage.

The Wings next face the Minnesota Wild at home on Friday night.

Wings Defeat Kings as Yzerman, Woolley Return

Steve Yzerman and Jason Woolley each played their first game of the season Thursday night as the visiting Detroit Red Wings picked up a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Both players were held without a point on the night.

Johan Franzen‘s first career NHL goal ended up being the game-winner for the Red Wings. With 4:52 remaining in regulation and just 53 seconds after the Kings had tied the game, Franzen took a pass from Mikael Samuelsson that was tipped by Dan Cleary and wristed a shot past the left side of Los Angeles goalie Mathieu Garon, making the score 3-2.

The goal deflated the Kings, who had been buzzing after Jeremy Roenick tied the game at two with 5:45 remaining. Dustin Brown drove the net with the puck and was stopped by Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace. The puck bounced out to Roenick at the top of the crease and deflected off his skate and into the net.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring late in the first period. With 2:15 remaining, Jason Williams broken into the LA zone with Brendan Shanahan and Robert Lang. Williams fired a pass past Lang to Shanahan on the far side of the ice. Shanahan deflected the puck into the top of the net for his first even strength goal of the season.

The Kings tied the game 3:04 into the second, when Tim Gleason sent a long pass to Derek Armstrong at the Detroit blueline. Armstrong gained the zone and passed cross-ice to former Red Wing Sean Avery, who stepped into the slot alone and rifled a shot past Legace.

The Red Wings regained the lead momentarily in the third on a shorthanded goal by Kirk Maltby 5:29 in. Kris Draper chased Joe Corvo from behind the Kings’ net and forced him to make a bad outlet pass at his own blueline. Maltby jumped up from center ice and picked it off, skating in alone on Garon and beating him for his first of the season.

After the Red Wings killed off a late penalty, Henrik Zetterberg added an empty net goal to increase the Detroit lead. Avery started some pushing and shoving that ended with a Los Angeles power play, so the Kings pulled Garon again but Jiri Fischer closed the game’s scoring with a second empty net goal for Detroit.

Legace finished the game with 26 saves on 28 shots, while Garon stopped 16 of the 19 shots he faced. Neither team scored on the power play, Detroit having three chances and Los Angeles having seven.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday night from Phoenix, where they will meet former Wings Brett Hull and Boyd Devereaux, longtime Detroit associate coach Barry Smith will be behind the bench, and former Detroit goalie Curtis Joseph could be between the pipes.