Archive for March, 2010

Edmonton at Detroit (3/30/10)

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

The woefully bad Edmonton Oilers were in town tonight to face the Wings. As bad as the Oilers have been this year, they seem to have had Detroit’s number so it was important for the Wings to start on time and not underestimate their opponent. The goalies were Jimmy Howard and Jeff Deslauriers. There were a few milestones in this game. Datsyuk was playing in his 600th and Zetterberg was in his 500th. Congrats to those guys!

The Oilers seemed to have a bit of confidence in the first few minutes of the game but the Red Wings stepped it up and had several scoring chances early. Then Filppula fired from the point with Bertuzzi and Lilja (of all people) going to the net. It looked like the puck hit Lilja right on the winged wheel and went in the net. It was a rare offensive move by Lilja and it worked out great for the Red Wings. They were up one to nothing. The goal was credited to Filppula but Lilja seemed to think it was his.

A little bit later Franzen was maneuvering with the puck and got it back to Kronwall who was standing all alone in the slot. He one timed it and beat the Deslauriers for the goal making it two to nothing Red Wings.

Nearly at the end of the period there was a delayed penalty coming to the Oilers. Miller chipped it into the corner and Williams dug it out. He threw it back to Miller in the slot and he fired it on net and scored making it three to nothing at the end of the first period.

During the first intermission they changed the first goal from Filppula to Lilja. It was also announced the Penner, who had left the bench after being hit in the face with a puck, would not return.

As bad as the Oilers were playing it could have been a lot worse. Deslauriers made several incredible saves.

Towards the end of the second period the Red Wings were on another power play. Holmstrom had the puck behind the net and centered it to Franzen who was left wide open. He ripped it and scored to give the Wings the four to nothing lead.

A few seconds later Filppula was called for interference. The faceoff was won back to Gilbert with a bunch of traffic in front. Gilbert ripped it and Howard wasn’t able to pick it up in time and they scored. That made it four to one with about three minutes left in the period.

Less than a minute after that goal Comrie received a pass entering the zone. He faked a shot and then put it between Howard’s legs for another quick goal. Just like that the Oilers were right back in it.

Early in the third period the Oilers shot and Howard dove out of position. Stortini got the puck and tried the wrap around. He banked it off Howard and into the net. Suddenly the Oilers were one shot away from tying the game.

Just past the halfway point of the third period Rafalski got knocked down in the corner and Cogliano came away with the puck and took it behind the net. He passed it to Gilbert in the slot who one timed before Howard could stop it. That tied the game with the Oilers’ fourth unanswered goal.

It seemed like the Wings had lost their will to win this game. Jimmy Howard was forced to make some great saves just to keep it tied. They obviously experience a letdown after getting such a comfortable lead but the Oilers refused to go away.

The Wings got their jump back and were pressuring but Deslauriers was playing great. With 1:07 left Detroit finally broke the tie. Datsyuk shot the puck and Stuart tipped it down. Deslauriers was jumping and the puck went down and under him into the net. It was nearly a high stick by Stuart so it was reviewed extensively but the call on the ice was upheld. The Wings had the lead back again.

The Oilers pulled their goalie. Lidstrom was called for holding but by the time the Wings touched the puck there was only 10 seconds left in the game. The faceoff went to the corner and the Red Wings tied it up until time ran out.

They were very lucky to get two points tonight. They got too far ahead too early in this game and then became a little bit complacent. But hey, it’s a win and it’s two points were are crucial as the Wings are now battling Nashville for the fifth playoff spot.

This 4-5 win brings us to:
93 points

Detroit at Nashville (3/27/10)

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Tonight was arguably the most important game of the season to date for the Red Wings. They were in Nashville to play the Predators, trailing them by two points in the standings. A win would tie them in points but the Wings would be ahead because they would have played one fewer game than the Predators. If the Wings could win in regulation and Colorado and Los Angeles both lose, then Detroit would be all alone in 5th place. A loss would put the Wings four points behind the Predators and drop them all the way down to 9th place. That’s quite a lot riding on this game.

The goalies tonight were Jimmy Howard and Pekka Rinne. Cleary was out tonight because the groin injury that he re-injured in Friday night’s game. Meech was in the lineup to take his place.

Before the game Mike Babcock had said that there were two games tonight. A 10 minute game and a 50 minute game and you have to start on time. Well in the first 8 minutes of the game the Red Wings didn’t have a shot on goal. That stat was a bit misleading however because they did have some good chances and they were playing pretty well but their shots were missing the net and getting blocked.

The first period ended with no score. The Red Wings were being slightly outshot but they had to kill off a few penalties and didn’t have any power play time. The period ended with the Predators on the power play so the Wings had to kill off over a minute of penalty time to start the second period.

In the second period the Wings finally had a few power plays of their own and took over offensively. They outshot the Predators but still weren’t able to score. Neither were the Predators however so the goose eggs carried over into the third period.

Throughout the third period the chess match continued and neither team scored. Jimmy Howard was superb. He made several highlight reel stops and his rebound control was perfect. Unfortunately, at the other end Rinne was playing just as well.

Regulation time ended with no score so each team got one point. Detroit outshot Nashville 37 to 32 in regulation.

Nobody scored in the overtime either although the Red Wings had more chances than the Predators. Both teams were playing pretty defensively throughout the entire game.

It was time for the shootout to determine a winner. Datsyuk was up first. He did some stick work and fired but Rinne stopped his shot with the blocker. O’Reilly did pretty much the same thing as Datsyuk and Howard stopped him as well. Williams was next. He made a heck of a move but Rinne made great save to stop his shot. Erat came up, faked and Howard stopped him nicely. Then it was Zetterberg’s turn. He faked but ran out of room before he had the angle he wanted and Rinne never gave up the post. Legwand tried to go five hole and Howard stopped him. Franzen came up next and missed high. Goc was next and Howard stopped him, too. Bertuzzi was up next. He took his time skating around, got in really close and put it over Rinne’s glove for the score. Sullivan came up for Nashville, faked left and Howard went down. He went back to the right and squeaked it in to tie it up. Filppula came up and was stopped by Rinne. Franson went next and Howard caught it in his glove. Miller got it past Rinne but it bounced off the goal post. Hornqvist fired over the net. Holmstrom made some moves but was stopped by Rinne with the pad. Dumont came up and Howard made a great stop. Eaves faked and stumbled before he could get a shot off. Boyd had the puck poke checked away by Howard. Draper fired and missed. Wilson was stopped by Howard. Kronwall came in fast and beat Rinne through the five hole for the score. Bouillon went next and Howard stopped him for the win. Whew!

What a battle! Jimmy Howard got the well deserved win after a shutout through regulation and overtime. He only allowed one puck in the net on 11 shots in the shootout. This wasn’t the most exciting game in the world but it was really impressive to see the goaltenders duel like that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a long shoot and I can’t say enough about how great Jimmy Howard was. Truly top notch!

So the Red Wings are still one point behind Nashville in the standings but their position will be determined by the outcome of the Colorado and Los Angeles games later tonight.

This 1-0 win brings us to:
91 points

Minnesota at Detroit (3/26/10)

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The Minnesota Wild came to Detroit tonight to play the Red Wings. The only lineup change for the Wings was the return of Patrick Eaves after missing three games. That’s good news for him but not so good for Meech who had to sit. Josh Harding was in net for the Wild and Jimmy Howard was the man for the Wings. Tonight was also Jimmy Howard’s 26th birthday so happy birthday to him!

The Red Wings got off to a great start with a really strong first shift that drew an early penalty. The Wild killed it off but the Wings had some sustained pressure.

Shortly afterwards at the Red Wings’ end the puck slid right across the goal line and the referee called it a goal. It did not completely cross the line though so after a review it was disallowed.

The first period ended pretty uneventfully. The Red Wings were outshooting the Wild 13 to 9 but they weren’t able to get one by Josh Harding. The Red Wings had three power plays but were thwarted each time.

Early in the second period Franzen got the puck after a faceoff win. He made a nice move and put the puck around Harding and into the net to give the Wings the one to nothing lead.

A few minutes later the Red Wings were on the power play. Lidstrom fired from the point intentionally wide of the net to set up Holmstrom. He tipped it perfectly and scored the 100th power play goal of his career. That’s quite a milestone! That goal made it two to nothing Detroit.

Later in the second period the Wings were on the penalty kill and were called for too many men on the ice. That gave the Wild a 5 on 3 power play. Detroit killed off the first penalty and then started pressuring offensively even though they were still a man short. Lidstrom fired the puck from the blue line. Ericsson was in front the net and swatted at the puck as it went by. Ericsson tipped it and it got by Harding. It was a shorthanded goal and it made it three to nothing Wings.

Then the Red Wings really caught fire. It was just 1:20 after the Ericsson goal when Datsyuk threw the puck to the front of the net from the corner. It hit the skate of a Minnesota player and bounced right in. The puck luck was certainly with the Wings tonight!

With a little over three minutes left in the period the Wild had a power play. Zidlicky shot down the slot from the blue line with a bunch of traffic in front of the net. Howard couldn’t see the puck. He got a piece of it but it dropped down behind him and Brunette whacked it into the net making it four to one.

Dan Cleary left the game in the second period after apparently re-aggravating a groin injury. That’s not good news. Hopefully, it won’t be long term.

Backstrom came in to start the third period in relief of Josh Harding. It looked like Harding just wasn’t feeling it tonight but they later announced that he had left the game injured.

Early in the third period Nolan shot the puck at the Red Wings’ net. It was a bouncing puck. Howard was trying to direct it away but instead it bounced right over his stick and went in the net bringing the Wild to within two.

Then the Red Wings had another power play when Schultz was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. On the power play Holmstrom passed it from behind the net to Franzen in front. It hit Franzen in the skate and bounced into the net. Franzen had his second goal of the night and the Wings had the three goal lead back.

Then, right off a face off win, Miller took the puck into the Wild’s zone and shot from about the faceoff dot. It hit Zidlicky in front and went in the net making it six to two.

From then on the Red Wings just coasted to the win. They had a few good scoring chances especially during a 5 on 3 power play in the final two minutes, but no additional goals were scored.

The Wings look like a team that’s really come together. They’re all playing well and seem to have a real sense of urgency. The best thing is the consistency. They’re playing solid hockey from start to finish night after night.

Next they face the Predators in Nashville tomorrow night. Let’s hope they can keep this roll going and pull ahead of the Predators for fifth place.

This 2-6 win brings us to:
89 points

St. Louis at Detroit (3/24/10)

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

The St. Louis Blues were in Detroit tonight to play the Red Wings. The goalie for the Blues was ex-Wing Ty Conklin and for the Detroit it was Jimmy Howard. Cleary was back in the lineup tonight but Eaves was out for the third straight game since getting hit in the head.

The Blues got the first goal of the game after they double teamed Filppula and took the puck away. Paul Kariya got it at about center ice, split the defense and went to the net. Nobody could catch him. He shot quickly and got the puck in through the five hole.

That was the only goal of the first period.

Just 26 seconds into the second period Zetterberg just tossed the puck at the net. It looked like Conklin should have had it but somehow it squirted through his pads and trickled over the goal line. That tied the game with nearly two full periods to go.

After the goal the Red Wings seemed energized. They kept pressuring and generating good chances. Then Zetterberg threw the puck at the net with Bertuzzi battling in front. The puck hit Bertuzzi’s leg and then hit a Blues player and went into the net. The Red Wings had the lead two to one. It was Bertuzzi’s goal since he was the last Red Wing to touch it.

Early in the third period McClement entered the zone with the puck and moved towards the slot. He shot it between Stuart’s legs. Jimmy Howard didn’t spot it in time and missed it. That goal tied it up at two.

Later in the period Jason Williams flipped the puck up and into the zone right on net. Conklin stopped it and it looked like an easy one but the rebound bounced about three feet away from him. Filppula was charging up the slot. He pulled the puck in, stepped around Conklin and buried it for the go ahead goal. It was a tough break and a bad goal for Conklin but it put the Red Wings up three to two.

As time was winding down Filppula bagged the empty netter to put this one away.

This was a really exciting game. It had a playoff intensity that’s becoming the norm as the number of remaining games dwindles. There was a lot on the line for both teams tonight. St. Louis was trying to catch Detroit in the standings and now they have very little hope of doing so. Tonight’s victory also gave Jimmy Howard his 30th win of the season. That’s the most wins by a rookie goaltender since Steve Mason’s rookie season in Columbus. Congratulations to Jimmy Howard!

This 2-4 win brings us to:
87 points

Pittsburgh at Detroit (3/22/10)

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Tonight it was the Red Wings and the Penguins in a rematch of the last two Stanley Cup finals. Jimmy Howard was the goalie for the Wings and Fleury was in net for the Penguins. Malkin was out of the lineup tonight. Eaves and Cleary were still out as well.

Late in the first period Filppula brought the puck into the Penguins’ end after receiving a nice pass through the neutral zone from Bertuzzi. Filppula did a neat little toe drag and shot a wrister between Gonchar’s legs. Fleury couldn’t see it in time because he was screened by Gonchar. The shot beat Fleury and gave the Wings the one to nothing lead.

The first period was a good one for the Red Wings. They had a lot of great scoring chances especially during the power plays.

The Red Wings continued playing well in the second period. They created a few good scoring chances in a row and you could feel that they were really buzzing. Lidstrom got the puck to Zetterberg who took it across the ice in front of the crease with Bertuzzi in front. Zetterberg let go a backhander that was stopped and came right back to him. He moved over a little and let it go again finding the top corner of the net to make it two to nothing Red Wings.

Later in the second period the Penguins dumped the puck in and chased it down. Kunitz and Dupuis battled for the puck and between the two of them they got it to the crease. The puck bounced around and got into the net to bring the Penguins within one. The goal was originally given to Kunitz but was later changed to Dupuis.

Early in the third period the Wings were on the move and Filppula passed it to Zetterberg at center ice. Zetterberg took it into the zone, made a few moves and fired. Fleury got a piece of it but it made it through him and into the net. That was Zetterberg’s second goal of the net and it made it three to one Wings.

The Wings continued to play really well for the rest of the third period. Not only could the Penguins not come back and score, but it was all they could do to stop the Red Wings from scoring again. Detroit played very aggressively and pressured hard right up until the end. The Red Wings won the game three to one and they looked dangerous doing it.

There was a little bit of mayhem after the final whistle. Zetterberg and Crosby did some pushing and shoving and then Jimmy Howard stepped up and grabbed Crosby. It was great to see Howard sticking up for himself and for Zetterberg.

This was a fantastic game. The Wings looked like a team on a roll. They might be getting hot at the perfect time.

This 1-3 win brings us to:
85 points

Detroit at Vancouver (3/20/10)

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

The Red Wings were in Vancouver tonight to play the second of back to back road games. Detroit’s goalie was Jimmy Howard and for the Canucks it was the gold medal winning Roberto Luongo. Eaves was out after being hit in the head last night. Cleary was also out with a lower body injury. Meech and Lebda were in the lineup to fill in for them.

The Wings got off to a much better looking start tonight than they did last night. They had a lot of energy and were battling hard right from the opening faceoff. They had an early power play that was pretty eventful but they weren’t able to score. They did get a lot of shots though and kept the play in Vancouver’s end for most of the two minutes.

Shortly after the power play expired Vancouver was working the puck in Detroit’s end. They passed from one point to the other. Ehrhoff received and it from O’Brien and fired with a ton of traffic in front of Howard. The shot hit Wellwood in front and redirected into the net while Howard was battling for space. He was bumped by Daniel Sedin but it was outside the crease and it didn’t look like Sedin really initiated it.

Later in the first period the exact same thing happened again. This time the shot came from O’Brien at the other point but again there was a ton of traffic in front of Howard and somehow the puck found its way through everybody and into the net. I don’t think Howard ever saw it. That made it two to nothing.

It was a good first period for the Wings in terms of effort. They weren’t able to score but they had more than twice as many shots on goal as Vancouver did.

In the second period the Red Wings continued to battle and pressure the Canucks. About halfway through the period Stuart shot from the point and it ricocheted off the back boards. Filppula tried to bank it in off Luongo and it dropped down right in front with Luongo out of position. Bieksa was standing directly over the puck and couldn’t see it. He did a complete 360 looking for it and it was between his skates the whole time. Finally, Bertuzzi was able to get to it and chip it into the net to put the Red Wings on the board. It was a funny play, but any way you can score a goal is a good one.

Right off the next faceoff, just five seconds later, Datsyuk got the puck. He stepped into the Canucks’ zone and ripped one beating Luongo with the long shot. Just like that the game was tied at two.

Late in the second period Lidstrom was called for holding. It wasn’t the best call I’ve ever seen. During the penalty kill Filppula stole the puck as the Canucks were trying to hold it in the zone. He jumped on it and took off on a breakaway. He made a nice move and beat Luongo high on the glove side. It was a beautiful shorthanded goal for Filppula on his 26th birthday. Happy birthday to him!

The Red Wings killed off the penalty and the rest of the period. They went into the second intermission up three to two. They had played really well through two periods. Detroit was outshooting the Canucks 30 to 21 and had 16 scoring chances to Vancouver’s 10.

At the start of the third period it was all Vancouver. Detroit continually succumbed to their fore check, turned the puck over and gave up scoring chances to the Canucks. About five minutes into the period the puck was chipped into the air. Daniel Sedin caught it right at the top of the crease. He threw it down towards the net and touched it with his stick just before it crossed the goal line. That tied the game at three.

After that goal the Red Wings stepped it up and started taking the play to Vancouver. Detroit owned the puck and had tons of shots and scoring chances for the next several minutes. Finally, Datsyuk drew a penalty and the Wings went on the power play. Detroit generated a lot of chances but didn’t score on the power play.

The Wings continued to pressure and at one point came so close to scoring that the play was reviewed to see if the puck crossed the line. Williams had put the puck between Luongo’s legs and it was headed across the goal line but Edler swept it out of there at the last second.

Regulation time ended in a tie so the Wings went to overtime for the second night in a row.

During the overtime the Wings continued playing well. It was some really exciting hockey that had near playoff intensity. Near the end of the overtime Detroit had the puck in Vancouver’s end. Filppula sent it back for Zetterberg near the wall with about three seconds left. Zetterberg moved towards the slot and shot a backhander that connected with the back of the net with only 0.3 seconds left (again!).

That gave the Wings the overtime win and the extra point that they so desperately needed. It’s amazing that they had buzzer beaters two nights in a row and that they both happened with 0.3 seconds left. That was just crazy!

This was a great and well-deserved win for the Wings. They played well the entire game and really earned the two points. They were in the hole early even though they were playing great hockey but they didn’t get discouraged. They battled back and won the game. Great job!

So the Red Wings got five out of six points on this their final west coast road trip of the season. I’d call that a very successful trip. That puts Detroit back up by two over Calgary for eighth place in the West. Let’s keep it going!

This 4-3 win brings us to:
83 points

Detroit at Edmonton (3/19/10)

Friday, March 19th, 2010

After a relatively long break, the Red Wings were on the road tonight to play the abysmal Edmonton Oilers. They’re the worst team in the league. Of course that opened up the possibility that the Red Wings could underestimate them. Jimmy Howard was in net for the Wings and for the Oilers it was Devan Dubnyk.

Less than a minute into the game the Oilers scored. It was a dump in that Penner received behind the Red Wings net. He passed it out front where Brule caught it and sent it to Cogliano at the other side of the net. He one timed it and scored giving the Oilers the early lead one to nothing.

After the goal the Oilers continued to pile it on. The Red Wings looked flat and seemed overwhelmed by the Oilers offense. Jimmy Howard was peppered with one shot after another. He was making some great stops but there was no way it could last long. Ryan Whitney took the puck to the slot and was left all alone. Brule was in front of the net blocking Howard’s view. Whitney shot the puck and beat Howard and just like that the Oilers were up two to nothing.

Babcock took his timeout after that but didn’t say a word to the team.

The Wings looked pretty bad in the first period. The Oilers had all the jump and Red Wings looked tired. Detroit had only 9 shots on goal to Edmonton’s 16.

In the second period the Wings put together a few good shifts in a row and built some momentum. Helm dumped the puck in and Draper chased it down behind the net. Helm continued through the slot to the front of the net. Eaves moved up to about the faceoff dot and Draper passed it back to him. Eaves one-timed a bullet and beat Dubnyk to put the Wings on the board.

The second period was much better than the first for the Red Wings. There weren’t many shots on goal in the second but at least the Wings had more than the Oilers, 5 to 4.

In the third period it was announced that Eaves had left the game with an upper body injury. He had been hit hard early in the second period but he stayed in the game and even scored the Wings’ first goal so it seemed like he was alright. Apparently something was wrong though and he didn’t finish the game.

The Red Wings continued to pressure well during the third period. They were really outshooting the Oilers and controlling the game but not scoring. It got towards the end and they pulled their goalie. As time was winding down the puck was trapped in the corner. Edmonton was just trying to sit on it to kill off the time and Zetterberg was battling for it. The puck squirted out and Datsyuk grabbed it. He passed it to Rafalski who was right on the doorstep. Rafalski buried it with 0.3 seconds left in the game. It was incredibly close. It was really unbelievable. So the Wings tied it up and guaranteed themselves a point.

After the perfunctory faceoff to finish off the final fraction of a second the game went to overtime. Nothing much happened in the OT. It ended with no winner so the game headed to a shootout.

The first shooter was Potulny for the Oilers. He made some nice fakes, waited until the last moment and got the puck up and over Howard’s pads and in. Datsyuk was up first for the Wings. He made a nice move, too, but his shot hit the goalpost. Brule was up next. He fired one over the glove and in before Howard could react. Williams came up next, faked and scored on Dubnyk with nice shot to keep hope alive. Nilsson came up for the Oilers and Howard stopped him with the glove. It was up Filppula to tie it up for the Wings. He made a few moves and shot but Dubnyk stopped him.

The Red Wings had to settle for a single point tonight but really they were lucky to get that. After essentially taking the first period off they still managed to come back and get a point. They played pretty well in the second and third periods but that’s not enough to deserve a win. It’s a good thing they got the point though because Nashville and Calgary just keep winning. That point will keep the Flames from pulling ahead of the Wings. Their points are tied now but the Wings are still in eighth because they have a game in hand.

This 2-3 overtime loss brings us to:
81 points

Detroit at Calgary (3/15/10)

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Tonight’s Red Wings game was on the road against the Calgary Flames. It was a head to head matchup between two teams that are directly battling each other for the eighth playoff spot. Detroit had something to prove tonight since they gave up three unanswered goals in the third period against Calgary last Tuesday to lose the game. The goalies tonight were Jimmy Howard and Miikka Kiprusoff. The Flames were one point behind the Wings coming into this game so it was a must win for the Red Wings. If they lost, the Flames would go up by one but if they won they’d be three points ahead of the Flames.

Early in the first period the Red Wings turned the puck over. They were trying to get out of their own zone and Conroy jumped on an errant pass. He went to the net and shot the puck. Howard stopped it but Conroy came back and got another whack at it. He didn’t miss the second time and the Red Wings were in the hole early.

Although they were outscored one to nothing, the Red Wings played really well in the first period. Drew Miller was especially effective. The shots on goal were even but the Wings had three times as many scoring chances as the Flames. Unfortunately, Kiprusoff stopped them all so the period ended with Detroit trailing by one.

In the second period the Red Wings seemed to turn it up even more. They were getting chance after chance and pressuring hard. The game had a great pace to it. The Red Wings were moving the puck at will and creating lots of opportunities.

Towards the end of the second period the Wings finally got a power play, their first of the game. During the power play Glencross had a shorthanded chance and was hooked with by Zetterberg. He was awarded a penalty shot. Howard came out to challenge and stopped him cold. The Red Wings power play continued. Rafalski got the puck to Datsyuk with Holmstrom screening in front. Datsyuk took the puck towards the net, made a few moves and fired. It was a perfect shot placed where Kiprusoff could hardly see it until the last second. It found the top, far corner and tied the game at one.

In the third period Rafalski was called for high sticking. It was unintentional but it drew blood so it was an automatic double minor. The Red Wings went to work on the penalty kill and shut down the Flames. For four minutes the Flames tried unsuccessfully to put together some offense. The Red Wings killed it off nicely and kept the game tied.

The Wings continued to pressure hard for the rest of the third period but the score was holding fast. Then, with less than a minute and a half to go, Stuart made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone. Franzen picked it up and circled back to the point to get some room. He fired with Holmstrom in front. The puck was actually a pass. It was headed well wide and Holmstrom redirected it into the net for the go ahead goal. It was an amazing deflection off the shaft of the stick.

With 1:12 left Flames called a timeout and pulled the goalie. With 14 seconds left the Red Wings took their timeout to set up for a faceoff in their own zone. They lost that draw but the puck was deflected out of play. They lost the next draw, too but the Wings got control and cleared it as time ran out.

What a great win this was for the Wings. They really needed this one and they came together and played a very good, complete game. Now they stay in eighth place and are three points up on Calgary. Great job, guys!

This 2-1 win brings us to:
80 points

Buffalo at Detroit (3/13/10)

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

The Red Wings were at home again tonight for the last time before they head out west. Their opponent was the Buffalo Sabres who beat them badly when they met earlier this season. This game featured an interesting matchup between brothers Ryan and Drew Miller. They had about 30 family and friends in attendance at the game since it was the first time they’ve played each other in their home state of Michigan. The goalies for tonight’s game were Jimmy Howard and Ryan Miller. If the Red Wings could win this game they would jump a point ahead of Calgary and be just one point behind Nashville, neither of whom was playing tonight.

The game started with a great pace. The Red Wings were pressuring hard at Buffalo’s end and were rewarded with a goal just two minutes in. Stuart had fired the puck hard off the back board and it came right to Datsyuk on the goal line. Datsyuk shot from a bad angle. The puck went behind Miller, hit the inside of the far goalpost and banked into the net. It was a beautiful play and it got the Red Wings off to a great start in this game.

Just a few minutes later the Red Wings scored again. Eaves brought the puck into the zone and as he was heading toward the net he was tripped up with a stick between the legs. As he was falling down he poked the puck towards Miller who wasn’t expecting it. His poke sent the puck over Miller’s stick just as he was about to play it. The puck went up into the net giving the Red Wings an early two to nothing lead.

Then Buffalo entered the Red Wings zone and shot from the point. Howard stopped it with his stick and tried to push the rebound out to Rafalski. Hecht was moving up though and positioned himself between Rafalski and Howard. Hecht poked at it and got it by Jimmy Howard and into the net. That put the Sabres back in the game making it two to one.

The Red Wings had a great first period. They doubled the Sabres in shots on goal and more than doubled them in chances even though they had only half the penalty minutes.

In the second period the Sabres had another shot on goal that Howard saved but didn’t deal well with the rebound. After the save he sent the puck right to slot with Pominville charging in. Pominville took the puck but didn’t shoot it. He dropped it off for Hecht who did shoot it and beat Howard for his and the Sabres second goal of the night. That tied it up at two each.

The tie held through the end of the second period. Although the Sabres outscored the Red Wings in the second, the Wings were still outshooting and out chancing them by a wide margin.

The Wings continued to play hard throughout the third period but weren’t able to score. With 1:13 left Buffalo was called for delay of game when Myers chipped the puck out of play from his own end. The Red Wings had several great scoring chances but weren’t able to score before time ran out.

The power play continued into overtime which gave the Red Wings 47 seconds of 4 on 3 play. Early in the overtime Lidstrom got the puck across to Rafalski with Cleary in front of Miller. Rafalski stepped up and blasted one that found a tiny opening into the net for the game winning goal.

This was a huge win for the Wings. They played great against a really good team and they got the two points they needed. Well done! Now they head out on a west coast trip that will have a major effect on the standings. First stop, Calgary.

This 2-3 win brings us to:
78 points

Minnesota at Detroit (3/11/10)

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

The Minnesota Wild faced off tonight against the Red Wings in Joe Louis Arena. This was another hugely important game as they all will be from here on out. Babcock moved Filppula onto Zetterberg’s line to hopefully help Zetterberg score more. He’s been in a bit of a slump lately. Josh Harding was the Wild’s goalie and Jimmy Howard was in net for the Wings. Calgary plays later tonight so if the Wings can win and the Flames lose, Detroit will jump ahead of them into the 8th spot in the standings.

The Red Wings started this game with a lot of jump. Early in the first period they were pressuring hard. Franzen shot from the point with Holmstrom in front of the net and Datsyuk in the middle. Franzen’s shot was so hard that even though Harding got a piece of it with his glove it just powered right on through and dropped down just across that goal line. That gave the Wings the early one to nothing lead.

Later in the first period the Wings entered the offensive zone on a power play and Zetterberg passed it from one point to Holmstrom at the other point. Holmstrom fired the puck and it hit a Wild player and changed direction. Then it hit the knob of the goalie stick. It changed direction again and went into the net making it two to nothing.

Just a few seconds later Eaves passed it from behind the net to Zetterberg right on the doorstep. Zetterberg shot it immediately and burned Harding for another quick goal. The Wings were up three to nothing at the point on only eight shots.

Nearing the end of the period the Wild brought the puck into the Red Wings’ end and threw it towards the net. It hit Brad Stuart’s skate and went in with just 11 seconds left. It was three to one Red Wings.

In the second period the Wild went on a power play after Rafalski accidentally chopped Latendresse in the back of the head with a high stick. While the Wings were shorthanded Filppula and Miller started up the ice after a takeaway. Filppula went to the net and went all the way down past the goal line. He stopped and threw it back toward the crease. It hit Miller in the chest and went in the net making it three to one Red Wings.

With time winding down in the third period Franzen took the puck to the net. He made a nice deke around his defender and put the puck by Harding making it five to one.

That was the final score of the game as the Red Wings won it five to one. The Wings played a very good, complete game tonight. Zetterberg got back on track and the team as a whole played great 60 minute game. This is just what we needed to see from the Wings tonight. Now, if they can just stay consistent…

That put the Wings back into 8th place, at least until we find out how Calgary finishes later tonight.

This 1-5 win brings us to:
76 points