Three Red Wings to Start All-Star Game

Three Detroit Red Wings will be on the ice at the start of the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, the league announced today.

Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, and Nicklas Lidstrom were voted as starters to the Western Conference squad, to be coached by Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.

Lidstrom led all Western Conference players in votes with 477,787. Zetterberg and Datsyuk led all forwards with 326,244 and 303,309, respectively.

It marks the tenth All-Star appearance for Lidstrom, who has played in every All-Star Game since 1998. Zetterberg and Datsyuk were selected for the second time, though Zetterberg opted out of his prior opportunity with a back injury.

Calgary’s Jarome Iginla will be the other forward starter with teammate Dion Phaneuf joining Lidstrom on the blue line. Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo will get the start in net.

The Eastern Conference forward starters are Sidney Crosby, Vincent Lecavalier, and Daniel Alfresson. Zdeno Chara and Andrei Markov start on defense with Martin Brodeur in goal.

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.

Detroit Power Play On A Roll

It’s been a hockey fact for the past several years: if you give the Red Wings a power play chance, you are very likely going to go down by a goal. The Ottawa Senators tested this theory on Saturday night, and it proved true once again. Detroit had a 37.5% power play success rate, leading to a 3-2 overtime win over the Senators.

Both teams had a strong first period. Ottawa had the edge in shots on goal, with nine to Detroit’s five, but few of those nine were high quality scoring chances, and Dominik Hasek was able to control most of them without any problems. Hasek had a lot of help from Derian Hatcher and Jiri Fischer. The two big defensemen did a very good job of pushing away any Ottawa players who got too close to the goal crease.

The Senators took a bench minor penalty for having too many men on the ice late in the first period, and the Red Wings were able to set up the first goal of the game. Nicklas Lidstrom passed the puck from the left side to Mathieu Schneider at the point. Schneider’s shot bounced off goaltender Patrick Lalime. Tomas Holmstrom, tenaciously standing his ground in front of the net, was able to get the rebound and stuff it past Lalime.

The Red Wings played more offensively in the second period, slipping through the Senator’s trapping style of play and generating more shots on net. The power play got another chance to shine when Marian Hossa was sent to the penalty box for holding the stick 4:51 into the period. Brendan Shanahan took a hard shot from the right faceoff circle. Holmstrom was screening Lalime once again, and the puck bounced off Holmstrom and fell into the goal crease. Steve Yzerman sped towards the net and slammed the puck in for the goal.

The Senators answered just over a minute later. Schneider attempted to clear the puck away from behind Hasek’s net. Instead of sending it up one of the sides of the ice, he sent it up the middle. Jason Spezza was right there in the slot to intercept the pass, and he lifted it over Hasek and into the net.

Ottawa was able to tie the game midway through the third period when they got a five-on-three power play chance. Fischer had been sent to the box for tripping. That penalty was down to 23 seconds remaining when Ray Whitney was sent out for tripping Daniel Alfredsson. The Wings attempted to argue that Alfredsson had simply fallen over Hasek’s skate in the crease, but the referee was unmoved and the Senators took advantage of their golden opportunity. Radek Bonk took a pass from Hossa and placed it past Hasek.

Both teams tried to win the game before the end of the third period, but defense prevailed and the game went into overtime. Zdeno Chara took a foolish penalty 55 seconds into the extra period. He knocked down Kris Draper far behind the play, and the referee was right behind them. The Senators did a good job clearing the puck out of their zone for most of the two-minute minor, until only three seconds remained. The Red Wings had finally managed to get set up in Ottawa’s zone. Henrik Zetterberg sent the puck across to Brett Hull, who dropped it back to Lidstrom. Lidstrom moved to his right down the blue line and let fire a laser of a shot which went right past Lalime and into the net.

The shot totals favored Ottawa, 23-18. The Red Wings’ next opponent will be the hard-hitting Vancouver Canucks, Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.


Yzerman has already tied his goal total of last season. He had two goals in the 16 regular-season games he played after his recovery from knee surgery. Okay, it doesn’t mean much to say so after only two games, but the Captain is the team’s current goal-scoring leader. It’s all about leading by example.