Detroit at Atlanta (3/20/09)

Detroit headed into Atlanta tonight to face the Thrashers. We had Osgood starting for us again tonight. He’s been playing pretty well lately. Filppula returned from injury in this game and it was also his 25th birthday. Holmstrom was still out. He didn’t go on the road trip so he’ll be out for at least the next two games as well. Hopefully, that time off will help him get back to 100% before the playoffs. Lehtonen was the starting goaltender for the Thrashers.

Detroit had some good scoring chances early in the game. It seemed like they had a lot of jump. You got the sense that it would be only a matter of time until they cracked Lehtonen. Atlanta had a power play early on. Osgood made several key saves to keep them off the board.

Later in the first Detroit got a power play because Atlanta had too many men on the ice. The Wings did great on the power play. They kept the puck in the Atlanta end for a long time and cycled it well. Just after the power play ended the puck came to Rafalski and he snapped it home for the first goal of the game. Technically it wasn’t a power play goal but Detroit still had a man advantage at the time because the Atlanta player hadn’t rejoined the play yet.

Atlanta had another power play close to the end of the first period. Osgood made an incredible save during the kill. The Atlanta crowd, which was apparently loaded with Red Wings fans, started the Ozzie chant. I don’t think I remember ever hearing that in a road game before. It happened again in the second period after another particularly awesome save. The crowd was also doing the let’s go Red Wings chant. That must REALLY annoy the home team.

In the second period there was some 4 on 4 play. Kronwall passed to Franzen who dished it to Datsyuk at the top of the circle on the rush. He fired a laser beam that beat Lehtonen making it two to nothing Detroit.

A few minutes later Detroit was really jumping. First Stuart laid a big hit in neutral ice along the boards, then Lebda sprung Hudler with a breakaway pass. Hudler split the D, and charged the net all alone. He took the shot and burned the goalie for Detroit’s third goal.

In the third period the Red Wings scored on the power play. Lidstrom took the shot and Lehtonen stopped it. The rebound dropped in front and Franzen poked it between Lehtonen’s legs. It trickled towards the goal line and probably wouldn’t have crossed but Franzen stayed with it and poked it again to get their fourth goal of the night.

Later in the third Atlanta scored a power play breaking the shutout. They had the puck down low and got it to Little in the slot. Stuart was guarding him and also apparently trying to prevent a shot from the guy on the goal line. Little backed away from the net and Stuart gave him the separation. That was enough room for him and he one timed it into the net.

A few minutes later Zetterberg entered the zone with the puck and passed it to the crossing Hossa. He skated in and shot one that beat Lehtonen making it five to one Red Wings.

Just a few seconds later the Thrashers scored on the power play. Kozlov ripped the shot over Osgood’s shoulder before he had a chance to react. I think the crowd cheered much more loudly when the Red Wings scored than when the Thrashers did.

With about three and a half minutes left in the third period Zetterberg got the puck to Cleary in the slot. Cleary shot it quickly and scored to make it six to two Wings.

A short time later Samuelsson started pushing and shoving with Oystrick. It quickly escalated into a fight and Samuelsson got the crap beat out of him. Oystrick got him in a headlock right away and hit him several times in the face and then in the head after pulling off his helmet. I don’t think Samuelsson even landed a punch. It was a bit of a bummer but at least he tried. He should have some nice shiners to show for it.

Just to screw up his numbers, Osgood gave up another goal with about 30 seconds left in the game. He ended up way over to the left side of the net and the puck came out to the other side. It was an easy goal for Stuart who had a mostly wide open net.

This was a great road win for the Wings. Osgood played very well although his numbers probably won’t show it because of the late goals that weren’t really his fault.

This 6-3 win brings us to:
105 points

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