Bertuzzi Lifts Red Wings over Ducks in OT

Todd Bertuzzi scored his second goal of the game on a Red Wings power play 1:07 into overtime Friday night, giving Detroit a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Bertuzzi took a pass from Brad Stuart down low to the left of Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere, drove to the front of the net, and roofed a shot over Giguere’s shoulder.

The goal capped a Wings rally from down 2-0 entering the third period.

Saku Koivu had opened the game’s scoring at 8:05 of the second period, finishing a tic-tac-toe passing play with a tap-in from the slot.

Rookie Dan Sexton put the Ducks up by a pair with just 56 seconds left in the period. Sexton threw a shot at Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard from the side of the net. The puck bounced off of Howard’s stick, caught on his pad, and then dropped into the net.

Tomas Holmstrom got the Red Wings on the board during their seventh power play of the night, beating Giguere from the slot off of a feed from Ville Leino 2:17 into the third period.

Bertuzzi’s first goal of the night tied the game just after the expiration of another Detroit power play. At 9:36 of the third he sent a puck from the corner to the crease, banking it off of Giguere and into the net.

Sexton’s goal and both of Bertuzzi’s markers came from nearly the same spot on the ice.

The Red Wings finished the night with two power play goals on ten chances. The Ducks were held scoreless on four power play tries.

Howard made 25 saves on 27 shots while Giguere stopped 28 of 31 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings return to the ice Saturday night in Nashville.

Detroit defensemen Brian Rafalski and Brett Lebda each missed time during the game due to injury. Rafalski took a puck to the face in the first period while Lebda appeared to injure his shoulder in the play leading up to Koivu’s goal. Both blueliners returned later in the game.

Cleary Scores Late to Lift Red Wings over Rangers

Dan Cleary scored with just 2:03 remaining in the third period on Sunday night, carrying the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers.

Cleary sent a shot from along the goal line at New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. With the puck between his pads, Lundqvist spun, inadvertantly knocking it into his own net.

Kris Draper added an empty net goal with the Red Wings on a power play to close out the game.

Despite outshooting the Rangers, Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard had to keep the Wings in the game at several points.

Howard stopped New York’s Ryan Callahan on a penalty shot in the second period while the Rangers still had a 1-0 lead. With the game tied in the third Howard made a series of important stops as Detroit killed off three consecutive penalties.

Brian Boyle opened the game’s scoring with 4:04 remaining in the first period. Boyle tipped a pass from Christopher Higgins past Howard while Justin Abdelkader and Jonathan Ericsson miscommunicated on the backcheck.

Pavel Datsyuk tied the game back up with 8:01 left in the second, putting home the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg chance just four seconds after the end of a Detroit power play.

The Red Wings finished the night 1-for-3 on the power play. The Rangers went scoreless on four tries.

Howard made 28 saves on 29 shots against while Lundqvist stopped 28 of 30 Detroit chances.

Brian Rafalski returned to the Wings lineup after missing two games with a back injury, bumping Jakub Kindl back out of the lineup. Ville Leino was the healthy scratch up front with Brad May working back in.

Red Wings Rally but Fall to Devils in Shootout

The Detroit Red Wings rallied after falling down 2-0 in the first period Saturday night but could not get past Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils in the shootout, dropping a 4-3 decision.

Brodeur stopped Henrik Zetterberg, Todd Bertuzzi and Ville Leino in the tiebreaker, only allowing a goal to Pavel Datsyuk on Detroit’s first shot.

Patrick Elias won the game for New Jersey, beating Chris Osgood in the fourth round. Zach Parise scored on the Devils’ first attempt before Osgood stopped Jamie Langenbrunner and Travis Zajac.

Langenbrunner and Johnny Oduya put the Devils on the board with goals less than two minutes apart late in the first period.

Langenbrunner opened the scoring with 4:31 left in the period, sneaking in behind the Detroit defense to take a pass from Parise and put it into a wide open net.

Oduya extended the lead 1:56 later, beating Osgood five-hole on an odd-man rush. Osgood got a piece of the shot with his stick but it wasn’t enough to keep it from slipping through.

Kris Draper scored Detroit’s first goal at 9:23 of the second period, crashing the net to bang home the rebound of a Darren Helm shot from the right wing.

The teams traded late-period goals. Rob Niedermayer knocked a loose puck in the crease past Osgood with 5:17 left in the second to restore New Jersey’s two-goal lead. With 30 seconds left in the period, Tomas Holmstrom tipped in a Brad Stuart power play shot to cut the lead back to a goal.

At 9:30 of the third, Patrick Eaves deflected a shot by Justin Abdelkader past Brodeur to tie the game.

Both teams had chances to add another goal in the third. Brad Stuart cleared a puck out of a wide open Detroit crease in the first minute of the period and Brodeur dove on a loose puck in the game’s final seconds, saving almost-sure goals.

Osgood finished the night with 23 saves on 26 shots. Brodeur stopped 28 of Detroit’s 31 chances.

Detroit went 1-for-3 on the power play for the night. New Jersey was 0-for-2.

The Red Wings return to the ice Sunday at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.

The Red Wings were without Brian Rafalski, who missed his first opportunity to play in New Jersey since leaving the Devils for Detroit in 2007. Jakub Kindl played in his place for the second consecutive game.

Rafalski Out, Kindl to Make NHL Debut

The Red Wings are down yet another player, as Brian Rafalski will miss tonight’s matchup with the Edmonton Oilers with a sore back. Jakub Kindl, called up yesterday from the Grand Rapids Griffins, will make his NHL debut.

That’s the only lineup change for Detroit.

Up front, Ville Leino and Todd Bertuzzi will switch lines as coach Mike Babcock tries to get Pavel Datsyuk going.

Jimmy Howard will get the start in net.

Game time is 7:00, moved up from the originally-scheduled time of 7:30.

Red Wings – Blue Jackets Postgame Thoughts

After a win like this, in a season like the Red Wings are having right now, you kind of just want to sit back and smile a bit and bask in the warm, fuzzy feeling it gives you. It’s easy to do that, the good heavily outweighs the bad in a game like this.

However, just like in the ridiculous 8-2 losses the Wings suffered on back-to-back Saturdays last season, the score of the game doesn’t always mean the most. Last winter those losses to Nashville and Columbus were written off as outliers, anomolies, games you just forget about and move on. As such, you have to look at a game like this in the same way.

A 9-1 win is fun but it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Wings are just back to even in the standings. Just as when the score goes the other way, there is bad to see along with the good and good to see along with the bad.

Some of the bad…

The Blue Jackets looked a lot like the Wings have looked in some games this season. If we discount the Wings’ losses when they just don’t show up to play then the wins against teams that don’t show up can’t mean as much either.

Though the score shows domination, Detroit let up for about the first half of the second period. With the Blue Jackets still not entirely out of the game the Wings started to play sloppy, making bad passes and giving up the puck. Rick Nash got Columbus on the board and even with a three-goal lead the Wings seemed on their heels. Detroit snapped out of it but it was not something you want to see.

Some of the good…

Todd Bertuzzi finally scored. He’s played an extremely solid game this season and has been robbed of goals in just about every way possible. That also happened tonight, with a chance to jam the puck home that Mason somehow stopped. The look of relief on his face after scoring says it all. The same goes for Ville Leino.

Balanced scoring. With all of the injuries, Detroit needs goals from people who aren’t expected to score. The Eurotwins did not carry the scoring tonight. Pavel Datsyuk had one goal, the rest all came from people who need to step up. Bertuzzi and Leino and Kris Draper and Dan Cleary and a pair each from Niklas Kronwall and Justin Abdelkader. By my count that’s two goals for the first line, two for the second, one for the third, two for the fourth and two more from the defense. Not bad.

Jimmy Howard looked good. His reliance on rebound control scares the hell out of me but he was on tonight. The puck was hitting him and dropping dead, falling to places where it could be cleared by his defense. If the Blue Jackets crashed the net at all it could be a problem but the Wings’ defenders were on top of things tonight, taking care of those loose pucks.

In all, it was a good night, as any win is. I just don’t think we should get caught up in the score.

Hall of Fame Class of 2009 to be Honored in Pregame Ceremony

The Red Wings head to Toronto with a three-game winning streak on the line but with the Maple Leafs having only two wins on the season it’s hard not to look at the pregame ceremony as the more important event tonight.

As part of the annual Hall of Fame Game, the Class of 2009 will be honored prior to tonight’s matchup. Three former Red Wings are included in the class, headlined by longtime captain Steve Yzerman.

Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille round out the Detroit contingent while former New York Ranger Brian Leetch and New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello will also be honored.

The ceremony will be televised by both FSD and the CBC and is expected to push the game’s start time back to 7:28.

The Wings will honor Yzerman at their first home game after Monday’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, next Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks.

In actual game news, Detroit will be without Patrick Eaves, who is nursing a sore foot. He suffered the injury while blocking a shot in Thursday’s win over San Jose.

Brad May will return to the lineup to replace Eaves. May will play on the fourth line with Justin Abdelkader and Kirk Maltby while Ville Leino moves up to the third line to take Eaves’ spot alongside Kris Draper and Darren Helm.

No other lineup changes are expected. Chris Osgood will start in goal.

Shorthanded Red Wings Blank Bruins

Missing two of their top five defensemen and returning from season-long five-game road trip, the Detroit Red Wings shutout the Boston Bruins Tuesday night with a strong performance by goalie Chris Osgood.

Osgood stopped 29 shots to earn the fiftieth shutout of his career. He is currently in second place among active goaltenders in career shutouts.

Brian Rafalski and Jonathan Ericsson missed the game with the flu. Doug Janik was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to join Derek Meetch filling in on the blueline.

All of the game’s scoring came in the first period.

Henrik Zetterberg got Detroit on the board with 5:39 left in the period, just two seconds into a power play. Pavel Datsyuk lost the faceoff but Zetterberg jumped up to snap the loose puck past Boston netminder Tim Thomas from the left faceoff circle.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Red Wings up by a pair 3:22 later. Todd Bertuzzi sent a breakout pass to Datsyuk, who cruised into the Bruins’ zone before sending a blind backhand pass to Holmstrom in the slot. Holmstrom shoveled the puck away from the Boston defense and past Thomas to make it 2-0.

Thomas finished the night with 24 saves on 26 Detroit chances.

The Bruins finished the night without a power play goal on three chances. Detroit went one-for-four with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings are back in action on Thursday when they host the San Jose Sharks.

Detroit was without Brad May, who suffered an eye injury during Saturday’s win in Calgary. Ville Leino returned to the lineup to take his place.

Datsyuk Returns Against Coyotes

The Red Wings begin their longest road trip of the season tonight in Phoenix, still looking for their first road win of the year. They are 3-0-1 at Joe Louis Arena and 0-3 elsewhere, including one “home” game played in Stockholm.

The Wings will get a boost as Pavel Datsyuk returns to the lineup. When asked if he could do everything he could do before a shoulder injury knocked him out for two games, Datsyuk joked, “Well, I didn’t score before. I hope to maybe score.”

With Datsyuk in, Brad May and Patrick Eaves will be the healthy scratches.

Datsyuk will play with Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom, Valtteri Filppula will center Ville Leino and Jason Williams, Kris Draper will center Dan Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi, and the fourth line will be Darren Helm between Justin Abdelkader and Kirk Maltby.

Zetterberg Moves to First Line in Franzen’s Absence

The Red Wings get a rare look at Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals tonight as the defending Southeast Division Champions visit Joe Louis Arena.

It will be the first match of many this season where Detroit will be without Johan Franzen, who suffered a torn ACL during Thursday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. To compensate, coach Mike Babcock has shuffled the forward lines.

Henrik Zetterberg will be moved up to the first line, at least temporarily.

“I wouldn’t count on it staying like that,” Babcock said following today’s morning skate.

Valtteri Filppula and Ville Leino will move up to the second line, joining Dan Cleary. Todd Bertuzzi shifts down to the third line along with Jason Williams and the recently-recalled Justin Abdelkader. Kris Draper continues to center the fourth line with Brad May. Kirk Maltby and Patrick Eaves will rotate in and out on that line, with Eaves getting the nod tonight for his Detroit debut.

Game time is 7:00 with television coverage by Fox Sports Detroit.

Kariya Scores Twice as Blues Rebound to Beat Red Wings

Paul Kariya scored two second period goals to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-3 comeback win against the Detroit Red Wings at Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday.

The game is the first in a neutral site home-and-home series between the two teams, to be concluded on Saturday. Friday’s game was considered a Detroit home game.

Kariya’s first goal came on a St. Louis power play with 7:29 left in the second, scored on a shot from the point to pull the Blues to 3-2.

After B.J. Crombeen tied the game by backhanding a rebound chance past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood, Kariya scored again to put the Blues in front for the rest of the game.

Kariya’s second goal came after Brian Rafalski turned the puck over to T.J. Oshie at the Detroit blue line. Oshie shoveled it on to Kariya who broke in on Osgood alone and beat him stick side.

Jay McClement had give the Blues an early lead, scoring off a feed from behind the net by Brad Winchester at 7:54 of the first period.

Jonathan Ericsson drove to the net and tapped in a rebound chance to tie the game 2:48 later and Kirk Maltby beat St. Louis netminder Chris Mason on a shorthanded breakaway with 5:59 left in the first.

Ville Leino scored on a Detroit power play at 7:17 of the second period, the Wings’ lone goal with the man advantage in five tries, including a long five-on-three.

St. Louis went one-for-four on the power play.

Osgood finished the game with 19 saves on 23 shots against. Mason made 31 saves on 34 Detroit shots.

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