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Game Live Blog, Stars at Red Wings

Pregame: FSD’s John Keating is very adamant that Joey MacDonald will be the goalie going to Grand Rapids when Jimmy Howard returns from injury, in spite of the persistent internet rumors that Kenny Holland will actually send Ty Conklin to the Griffins instead. I’d think he would know, at least as much as anyone would.

Loui Eriksson is on a 9 game point streak against the Wings.

Tomas Holmstrom was honored for his 1000th game before puck drop.

1st period:

The third line gets in a good scoring chance against Kari Lehtonen early. Drew Miller and Lehtonen appear to be chirping a bit.

12:59 MacDonald makes a good save after a goalmouth scramble. The ref helped out a little with a quick whistle– not that I’m objecting.

12:36 Penalty to Jamie Benn for goalie interference.

12: 03 GOAL Henrik Zetterberg! Takes a strong pass from Pavel Datsyuk, shoots from the side of the net, gets his own rebound and puts it past Lehtonen.

10:45 GOAL for Brad Stuart! Helm wins the faceoff in the Stars’ zone, Stuie shoots from the blue line and it goes right in.

5:47 Roughing penalty to Adam Burish.

1:01 Cory Emmerton knocks Tom Wandell right down behind the Dallas net. (Clean hit.)

Shots 20-10 for the Wings in the first.

I think they want this.

2nd period:

13:55 Joey Mac thanks his goal post after it blocks a Stephane Robidas shot.

9:17 Slashing penalty to Steve Ott.

7:02 High sticking penalty to Ott.

3:44 Holding penalty to Nik Kronwall. (He and Ott were shoving each other around in front of the Detroit net.)

1:28 Drew Miller and Vernon Fiddler both off for roughing. (Result of a big scrum.)

0:55 HUGE save by Joey Mac on the notorious Loui Eriksson!

Not as dominant in the second period, but still solid, and Joey Mac was able to cover the lapses. Shots 11-6 Detroit.

3rd period:

A lot of Dallas pressure in the first five minutes of the third.

13:33 Interference penalty to Philip Larsen. Come on, make this one count!

In spite of the Stars’ puck control early in the period, they didn’t manage a shot on goal.

4:49 GOAL for Jiri Hudler! Jumps off the bench on a line change, scurries down the right side with no Stars watching him. Valtteri Filppula gets the pass across to him and he gets a high shot past Lehtonen.

Mike Ribeiro called for a 10 minute misconduct penalty.

2:38 Hooking penalty to Helm.

The crowd at the Joe is SO LOUD with time winding down! They’re chanting “21!”

0:32.8 Goal for Adam Burish. He redirected a centering pass, ruining Joey Mac’s shutout. Oh well. Less than a minute to History Being Made.

WOW.

Do I have to say more than that?

I’ll pause to tell you that the next game for Detroit will be hosting the Nashville Predators on Friday night. And the three stars of the game were Joey MacDonald, Darren Helm, and Henrik Zetterberg. But now I’m done and going to stop typing because 21 consecutive home wins to break a record which has stood since the 1929-30 season can really speak for itself.

Game Preview, Stars at Red Wings, 7:30 PM

You know, with all the excitement about the possibility of the Wings breaking the NHL consecutive home wins record by extending the streak to 21 tonight, I haven’t actually seen much about the game itself. Let’s see what we can find…

Mike Babcock says they practiced as if it’s just an ordinary game. “We’re going to get ready like we always do and focus on the process, and if we do good things, good things usually happen.” Henrik Zetterberg, meanwhile, says that trying to extend the streak has not gotten the team lost in hype but has instead helped them focus on playing to win. “If we want to be No. 1 in our division, we have to keep winning games. I think that helps, and now definitely, too, the streak is helping. If we made it this far, we want to have a chance to take it by ourselves tonight.”

Detroit plans on going with the same lineup they used against Anaheim and Philadelphia. Joey MacDonald will be starting.

In injury news, Danny Cleary had some more fluid drained from his knee today and hopes to resume skating in practice tomorrow. Jimmy Howard will be back by Sunday’s game against San Jose, according to Babcock, and may even be back by Friday’s game against Nashville. Johan Franzen had to have some adjustments made to one of his skates to accomodate a sore ankle, but he skated in the optional skate this morning and will definitely be in tonight.

The Stars will be without their captain, left winger Brendan Morrow, who is on injured reserve with a back injury. They may also be missing defenseman Sheldon Souray (foot). Kari Lehtonen will most likely be the starting goaltender. Dallas currently sits in 11th place in the Western Conference, trailing 8th place Phoenix by 4 points. They would certainly not be considering themselves out of playoff contention at this point and will be pretty likely to fight and claw for every point they can get.

So… here we go. The stage is set. Fox Sports Detroit Plus has the game for you.

Let’s go, Red Wings! *clap clap clapclapclap*

Game Live Blog, Red Wings at Stars

Pregame: Ken and Murph pointed out that Todd Bertuzzi is +22 in the +/- stat this season. And to think The Todd is considered defensively irresponsible.

Murph also cautions to expect a tough, grinding game from the Stars. With Mike Ribeiro and Jamie Benn, who have 73 points between them, out of the lineup, the Stars are led by their hard-hitters like Steve Ott.

1st period:

14:19 GOAL for Tomas Holmstrom! After Ty Conklin makes a nice save on Radek Dvorak at the other end, the Wings get the puck down the ice. Jan Mursak makes a nice pass from behind the net and Homer taps it past Richard Bachman. It was Homer’s first even strength goal this season and Mursak’s first assist ever.

10:30 Detroit penalty to Ian White for tripping.

9:01 Dallas goal for Alex Goligoski. No one blocking the shooting lane, Brenden Morrow directly in front screening Conk, and the shot zooms through low.

4:45 Looks like Jiri Hudler’s been hurt by a hit by Mark Fistric. He’s slow to get off the ice and being tended by Piet Van Zant.

3:32 Dallas goal for Loui Eriksson– gets a rebound from Sheldon Souray’s shot which is so hard it actually shatters Eriksson’s stick.

1:03 Dallas penalty to Tom Wandell for holding on Pavel Datsyuk.

Shots 11-5 in favor of Dallas in the first. What happened to the 21 shots on net they had in the first period against Chicago the other day?

2nd period:

18:17 GOAL for Hudler! Looked like it was supposed to be a centering pass, but it bounced off Goligoski’s skate and past Bachman. I guess Hudler’s feeling better, then?

You know, one of the issues with doing a live blog is that sometimes you get an entire period with almost no action. Sigh. Dallas has kind of gone into trap mode, which seems a little ridiculous for a team that isn’t leading. Anyway, shots were 12-6 in favor of Detroit in the second, but they were mostly unscreened, one-and-done shots that weren’t all that great as scoring chances.

3rd period:

19:30 Nice solid pad save by Conk. Let’s hope it’s a sign of how the period will go!

16:12 Detroit penalty for too many men on the ice, served by The Todd.

15:56 Dallas penalty to Wandell for hooking on Datsyuk.

12:31 Dallas penalty to Fistric for interference.

11:51 Mule tries to bank a shot off Bachman, but Bachman makes the glove save.

0:10.3 Wings get an icing call in their favor, and Babs calls a timeout to make plans.

Shots 11-8 Detroit in the third.

And… overtime.

OT:

0:17.3 Dallas penalty to Stephane Robidas for tripping Franzen after a bad Dallas turnover. The Stars win the faceoff and get the puck down the ice. Which means… shootout.

SO:

This is Bachman’s first NHL shootout, by the way. And his first opponent? Pavel Datsyuk. Whoa.

1. Pavel goes in and rings one off the post.

2. Loui Eriksson hits the post!

3. Jiri Hudler scores! He pretty much copied Henrik Zetterberg’s drag and slide goal from the other night.

4. Michael Ryder goes in and Conk makes the save!

5. Todd Bertuzzi is stopped by Bachman. Not enough lift on the

6. Conk stops Trevor Daley.

WIN!!!

(I still hate the shootout.)

So now the standings have taken on their proper form: Detroit is on top of the Central Division AND the Western Conference. Ahhhhh. It’s so comforting. Granted, the leapfrogging and flipflopping is bound to continue until the last day of the season, but it’s a nice place to be for tonight.

Up next: The Wings continue on to Phoenix to face the Coyotes Thursday night at 9:00.

Game Preview, Red Wings at Stars, 8:30 PM

After a late night flight from Detroit to Dallas, the Wings are primed to take on the Stars this evening.

The team arrived in Dallas at 1:20 AM local time, meaning their bodies thought it was 2:20 AM. The Stars had a similar travel issue (although without the time zone difference), having lost a 1-0 decision to St. Louis last night.

Detroit held an optional morning skate today, and there are a few lineup changes to report. Cory Emmerton and Jakub Kindl are out, and Jan Mursak and Mike Commodore are in. Mike Babcock was quick to say it was no knock on Emmerton’s or Kindl’s play. “They played real well,” he said, explaining that he wants the team to have a little bit of a different look on back to back nights. Ty Conklin will be starting in goal, and Babs really wants him to make the most of the opportunity. “Things didn’t go the way he wanted (last game). When you’re the goalie, your job is to win the game. It’s not about goals-against, it’s about winning the game. That’s his opportunity tonight.”

Dallas will be starting rookie netminder Richard Bachman (who, as far as I know, is not actually the youthful Stephen King, although it would be a King-worthy story if a writer’s pseudonym took on a life of its own). Bachman has a 6-2-0 career NHL record and has never faced the Red Wings. The Stars will be missing centers Jamie Benn (appendectomy) and Mike Ribeiro (MCL). Right wing Thomas Vincour (knee) has been activated from injured reserve and will be in the lineup tonight.

Tonight’s going to be a battle for points. That’s the simple truth of it. The Red Wings currently sit third in the Central behind St. Louis and Dallas, fifth in the conference, but can leapfrog into first in the Central and the Western Conference with two points tonight, since the Blackhawks and Blues both have the night off. The Stars, meanwhile, currently sit in tenth, but only two points behind eighth seed Minnesota. Furthermore, the Red Wings will continue to be looking for the road success which has so mysteriously eluded them this season while home success comes seemingly just by willing it. I’m expecting a close, hard-fought game by both sides.

Let’s go, Red Wings! *clap clap clapclapclap*

Game Live Blog, Red Wings at Stars

Pregame: Ken and Mick talking up prospect goalie Petr Mrazek’s performance for the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship.

FSD is showing a rather horrifyingly green screened weather forecast with a woman apparently hovering in front of the championship banners in the Joe. I have never seen a flying weatherwoman before.

1st period:

19:45 Todd Bertuzzi called for holding. Mickey is, um, miffed.

14:53 Kari Lehtonen robs Jiri Hudler on a close range shot. Dallas miscue allowed Hudler to get the scoring chance.

11:58 GOAL for Valtteri Filppula! Good pressure by his line, White shoots from the blue line, Hudler bounces it to Fil who has a hugely wide open net and time for a patient shot.

Apparently Hudler didn’t actually touch the puck on Fil’s goal, he was just screening Lehtonen and causing minor amounts of havoc in front of the net.

Hell of a save by Lehtonen on the Mule after a quick pass from The Todd.

2:54 GOAL for Hudler! Hank’s shot deflects off his skate. They’ll review it, of course, but it definitely didn’t look like a kicking motion.

And the refs call it a goal!

2:04 Goal for Loui Eriksson. Wraparound, carries out front instead of attempting to stuff it in, shot seems to deflect off Justin Abdelkader’s stick.

1:00 ANOTHER GOAL for Hudler! Hank fakes a shot & passes to Filppula, who gets it to Hudler wide open in front and snaps the shot in.

Okay, the Fil-Hank-Jiri line has been a three-headed BEAST in the first period. Keep it up!

2nd period:

Linesman Steve Miller not back on the ice– hit his head at the end of the first. One of the refs is now serving as the second linesman.

18:56 Goal for Jamie Benn. All alone behind the net, able to bank it off Howard from behind before Howard can get over to the goalpost.

16:09 GOAL for Cory Emmerton! Gustav Nyquist makes a nifty pass behind the net and Cory makes the shot into a tiny space between Lehtonen and the goalpost. Our puppy line can bite, it seems! (The assist was Goose’s first NHL point.)

12:35 Goal for Michael Ryder. Uses Ian White as a screen and disguises the shot to fool Howard.

11:27 Pavel Datsyuk almost has an empty net to score into off a weirdly bouncing clear by Lehtonen, but he can’t quite get hold of the puck before Lehtonen gets back.

8:14 GOAL for Franzen! Datsyuk casually steals the puck from Benn and tosses it out to Mule, who buries it with a one-timer.

2:01 Dallas nearly scores. Jimmy needs to thank his posts!

3rd period:

15:56 Steve Ott is trying to pick a fight with Jiri Hudler. Think about this for a moment.

5:53 Goal for Ryder, another screen shot over Howard’s glove.

1:56 Nick Lidstrom just punched Brenden Morrow. I’m… I… my flabber is gasted.

1:16 Empty net for Dallas.

0:50 Ott hits Pasha, The Todd takes exception and throws Ott into the Wings’ bench!

And the onslaught is held off! Wings win 5-4. A sloppy win is still two points.

Next up: the Wings go to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs, Saturday at 7 PM.

Game Preview: Red Wings at Stars, 8:00 PM

Well, here I am, escaped from the Week Of Accounting Madness. (And I assure you, it is madness, not Sparta. Only a mad company would have tasks allocated so that one person has to work 12 hour shifts to get her work done while a couple of loudmouths apparently have time to spend 2 hours talking every day. I know it was 2 hours at least once because I timed it.)

But here I am, recovered and back with you to provide tonight’s game preview.

The Red Wings start off a four game road trip tonight in Dallas. Detroit currently holds a slightly alarming 9-11-0 road record. Jimmy Howard wants his team to take control of the road games the same way they do at home. “At home, we’re dictating the way the game’s played. Whether it’s match-ups on the road, we got to find a way to play our game and try to dictate the pace.” Nicklas Lidstrom has a little bit simpler explanation. “When you are on the road you have to play solid defensively, not make it too complicated,” Lidstrom said. “I don’t think we’ve done that. But we haven’t scored as many goals, and that’s really the bottom line.”

The Wings plan on going with the same lineup they used against St. Louis on New Year’s Eve. Howard is our starting goalie for the evening. The rookie line of Joakim Andersson, Cory Emmerton, and Gustav Nyquist will remain intact, and Mike Commodore is still in for Jakub Kindl (although Mike Babcock did say that Kindl will be in the lineup soon).

Chris Conner was reactivated from IR but promptly sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Tomas Holmstrom and Darren Helm remain sidelined with groin strains, although Helm hopes to be back in the lineup by this weekend.

Dallas will be going with Kari Lehtonen as their starter. Defensemen Sheldon Souray and Stephane Robidas are both still out of the lineup with an injured ankle and foot, respectively, which should make things a little easier for the Wings’ offense. The defense, however, will need to watch out, as ever, for Loui Eriksson, who has at least one point in each of his last seven games against Detroit. Of note, defenseman Jordie Benn, brother of forward Jamie Benn, will be making his NHL debut with the Stars tonight. They will be the sixth pair of brothers to play for the Stars.

You can find tonight’s game on Fox Sports Detroit if you’re in the local broadcast area or on Versus– excuse me, NBC Sports– if you’re not.

Let’s go, Red Wings! *clap clap clapclapclap*