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Game Live Blog, Wild at Red Wings

Pregame: We’ll be without Nick Lidstrom for at least a couple more games, it seems. Our Captain has a deep bone bruise in his ankle and will be re-evaluated on Monday. Kyle Quincey, at least, is back in the lineup, and the Wings reassigned Doug Janik to the (undoubtedly relieved) Grand Rapids Griffins. Jimmy Howard will be our starting goalie for the evening.

The Minnesota Wild are somewhat injury-depleted as well (understatement). They lost goalie Niklas Backstrom to injury last night against Montreal and discovered today that he’s expected to be out for 2 to 4 weeks. Expect Josh Harding to get the start tonight. The Wild are also missing Clayton Stoner, Guillaume Latendresse, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Mike Lundin, and Miikko Koivu.

That’s a lot of guys.

1st Period:

19:25 GOAL for Valtteri Filppula! Gets in alone, picks up his own rebound and backhands it past Harding while falling to the ice. This is Val’s 20th goal of the season– his very first 20 goal season!

18:52 Delay of game penalty to Cal Clutterbuck.

13:04 Penalty to Nick Johnson for slashing.

3:56 GOAL for Brendan Smith! Justin Abdelkader tries to kick it up to his own stick right in front of the net but Smith picks it up and roofs the shot. It’s his first career NHL goal. (And both of his parents are in the crowd to see it in person!)

Shots in the first were 13 to 5 in favor of Detroit. Hits were 11 to 9 in favor of Minnesota. I guess we should be relieved they didn’t get the hit counter from Columbus in for this game…

2nd period:

12:55 GOAL for Darren Helm! Tries to make a pass but the puck bounces back to him and he gets the shot through and past Harding.

9:15 Holding penalty to Jiri “Garden Gnome” Hudler.

3:25 GOAL for Filppula! Detroit controls the puck for quite some time in the Wild’s zone (1:14). Takes a nice pass from Henrik Zetterberg and rips a hard shot from the high slot.

2:18 GOAL for Ian White! Shoots from right side, and the puck bounces through and fools Harding.

Shots 12-5 for Detroit in the second.

3rd period:

19:24 High sticking penalty to Matt Cullen.

14:30 GOAL for Hank! Filppula returns the assist favor and sets up Hank for a nice shot into a mostly empty net.

Wings’ Twitter feed reporting that Todd Bertuzzi has left the game with a lower body injury and will not return this evening.

14:12 Holding penalty to Darroll Powe.

11:21 Penalty to Dany Heatley for roughing.

Drew Miller and Darren Helm are getting some power play time.

6:22 Interference penalty to Brendan Smith.

2:50 Powe thinks he spoiled Jimmy Howard’s shutout, but the refs waved it off as Powe pushed Howard into the net on the way through. Incidental contact, not a goalie interference call.

And that’s it! Howard gets his 6th shutout of the season, but isn’t even one of the three stars of the game, which should tell you how anemic Minnesota’s offense looked tonight. (They managed 19 to Detroit’s 35.) Three stars were: # 3 Brendan Smith, # 2 Henrik Zetterberg, and # 1 Valtteri Filppula.

Next up: Detroit hosts the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at 4:00.

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Game Live Blog, Red Wings at Blue Jackets

(I apologize for the lack of preview article today; it was a late day at work!)

Pregame: The Wings’ defensive corps is going to look considerably different tonight. With Mike Commodore shipped off to Tampa Bay, Jonathan Ericsson out for a month with a broken wrist, and Nick Lidstrom and Kyle Quincey day to day with a sore ankle and groin respectively, well, Mike Babcock had to make some adjustments. Jakub Kindl will be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch several game in a row, and Brendan Smith and Doug Janik were called up from Grand Rapids. Babs also shuffled the forward lines with Pavel Datsyuk still out, most notably moving Johan Franzen to the third line with Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader. Joey MacDonald gets the start in net.

Columbus shook up its roster considerably at yesterday’s trade deadline, although noted pain in the goalie’s arse Rick Nash was not traded. Let’s just say I’ll desperately need to follow along with the live box score on Yahoo! to keep track of who the newbs are! Curtis Sanford will be starting in net.

1st period:

17:58 Penalty to Derek MacKenzie for slashing.

15:52 GOAL for Johan Franzen! Kindl snaps a hard shot from the blue line and Mule stuffs the rebound past Sanford.

13:39 High sticking penalty to Todd Bertuzzi.

13:05 Goal for Nash. Maybe? He was kind of climbing over Joey Mac at the time. Goalie interference? Nope, it’s a goal.

As a point of interest, with Lidstrom and Datsyuk both out, the team needed a 3rd assistant captain. They chose Tomas Holmstrom– very deserving and I totally approve!

9:41 Penalty to Cam Atkinson for hooking.

9:12 Interference penalty to The Todd (because a guy ran into the back of him). Babs is livid and screaming at the refs.

6:16 Tripping penalty to Brett Lebda. Fortunately he’s with them, not with us.

0:10.4 Hooking penalty to Jiri Hudler.

Shots 10-5 for Detroit in the first.

2nd period:

Helm gets a nice shorthanded chance.

15:39 Slashing penalty to Ian White.

10:25 Joey Mac makes a very good pad save on a tricky slow shot by R.J. Umberger.

7:27 Tripping penalty to Hudler.

6:51 Slashing call to Atkinson.

Shots 12-6 Columbus in the second. Do not want. Hits apparently 27 to 2 for the Jackets after two periods. I’m… having trouble believing this.

3rd period:

18:04 Interference penalty to Lebda.

17:47 Shorthanded goal for MacKenzie. Breakaway past Hudler, flips the puck over Joey Mac’s blocker.

17:17 GOAL for Nik Kronwall! Backhand shot squeezes past Sanford.

14:56 Roughing penalty to James Wisniewski.

11:34 GOAL for Henrik Zetterberg! Looking like a power forward there! Gets a nice pass from Valtteri Filppula, banks it off Sanford from a tight angle.

10:45 GOAL for Jan Mursak! Homer works hard behind the net to keep the puck, Mursak gets it and does a neat little spin to put it past Sanford. (Mursak’s first goal of the season.)

6:08 GOAL for Filppula! Franzen leaves the puck for him, and Val has plenty of time in front of the net to set up a high shot.

And that puts the game away nicely. We had to “sing” “Don’t Stop Believin'” with other fans via Twitter since it’s a road game, but hey, you do what you gotta do. Final shot count 30 to 25 Columbus. I’m told the final hit count was 33-2 Columbus. I still don’t believe it.

Next up: The Wings return home to host Minnesota on Friday night.

Game Live Blog, Sharks at Red Wings

Pregame: NBC coverage starting us with Penguins at Sabres. Liam McHugh assures us we’ll be switched over to Sharks at Wings at 12:40. He’d better not be lying.

Meanwhile, FSD’s Dana Wakiji reports on Twitter that the Sharks will be starting Antti Niemi in goal, with Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, and Tommy Wingels up front and Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Joe Pavelski on defense. The Wings will be starting with Joey MacDonald in net, Nick Lidstrom and Ian White on defense, and the Pavel Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi, and Johan Franzen up front.

Oh, Liam wasn’t lying! Here’s our own game.

1st period:

13:30 GOAL for Henrik Zetterberg! Backhand shot from the slot that manages to go through the legs of Jiri Hudler and Colin White who are effectively screening Niemi.

Detroit doing a decent job of breaking up the Sharks’ attempts to cycle the puck in the offensive zone, but they need to get some more scoring chances. Shots 6-4 Sharks with 6:10 left to play.

5:12 Penalty to Brent Burns for slashing.

0:06.9 Penalty to Todd Bertuzzi for goalie interference.

Shots 8-6 Detroit. Faceoffs even at 8 each.

2nd period:

18:12 Excellent quick right pad save by Joey Mac on a hard shot.

12:56 Penalty to Logan Couture for tripping.

11:31 Penalty to Johan Franzen for hooking.

Darren Helm gets a great shorthanded chance.

9:20 GOAL for Drew Miller! Rush down ice by Justin Abdelkader after a MacDonald save, then Miller picks up Abby’s rebound.

8:43 Penalty to Mule for boarding.

Joey MacDonald is having an amazing game here.

6:12 Penalty to Jonathan Ericsson for interference.

5:27 Possible Sharks goal, knocked in by Couture. Being reviewed to see if it was a high stick.

It was a goal, apparently.

Shots 19-8 San Jose in the second. Ouch. Faceoffs surprisingly still even at 10 each.

3rd period:

19:19 Strong save by Joey Mac to start things off.

18:23 Penalty to Jason Demers for holding.

17:41 Vlasic hurt by an Ian White shot. Looks like the puck smacked him in the face, deflected off Dan Boyle’s stick.

14:58 Pavelski  blocks a Lidstrom shot with his FACE. He’s staying on the bench, though.

Colin White also hurt– he took a shot off the knee, apparently.

13:15 Niemi comes up big with a quick succession of saves against Franzen and Datsyuk.

12:59 GOAL for Helm! Miller steals and carries into the zone, makes the centering pass to Helm.

5:06 FIGHT! Abby vs Ryane Clowe. The linesmen let them go for awhile, and it ends in more or less a draw.

4:44 Goal for Patrick Marleau. Gets a rebound from Pavelski’s shot.

1:15 Empty net for San Jose.

0:03.8 Offside, stop in play. Gah! The crowd is taking the opportunity to belt out “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

And they’ve done it! 3-2 win. 23 straight home wins. Three stars of the game: #3 Helm, # 2 Miller, # 1 MacDonald.

Next up: Tuesday night at Chicago, 8:30 PM.

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 Live Blog, Oilers at Red Wings

Pregame: The longest home win streak ever to happen in the NHL is 20 games, achieved by the 75-76 Flyers and the 29-30 Bruins. The Red Wings currently sit at 17.

Ken and Mick talking about the scoring prowess of the Oilers’ Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle.

The Oilers have the worst road record in the League, having lost 14 of the last 15. Therefore, my Red Wings, DON’T LOOK PAST THEM!

1st period:

14:54 Nikolai Khabibulin looked very clumsy attempting to make that stick save. Hopefully this bodes well for Detroit’s scoring chances.

13:57 FIGHT! Justin Abdelkader takes on Ryan Jones. Jones wound up on top when they fell to the ice, but they got in an approximately equal number of punches.

Abby gets an extra two minute penalty for cross-checking. Wings shorthanded. Todd Bertuzzi serving the minor while Abby serves the fighting major.

10:12 Excellent scoring chance for The Todd from Johan Franzen, but he misses the net.

7:50 Holding the stick penalty to Eric Belanger. Let’s go, power play!

Some delay while a piece of glass is replaced.

6:42 GOAL for Mule! Deflects a shot by Ian White while screening Khabibulin.

4:33 Holding penalty to Cory Emmerton.

3:47 Boarding call to Brad Stuart. 1:14 of 5-on-3. Come on, Joey Mac!

Henrik Zetterberg, Jonathan Ericsson (!!!), and Niklas Kronwall did an excellent job on the 5-on-3; the Oilers didn’t even get a shot on net!

Okay, shots only 5-4 this period (Detroit’s favor). This is probably why Joey Mac slid out and grabbed a shot that was going wide with about 30 seconds left– he was bored!

2nd period:

17:15 GOAL for Emmerton! Abby tries to stuff the puck short side, all the Oilers go after him, and Cory streaks in and gets the rebound.

14:49 Tripping penalty to Ladislav Smid.

8:52 Goal for Gagner. Danny Cleary gets hit by Ben Eager, Ericsson lets up on the play to bring some wrath to Eager, and it lets Gagner get in alone on MacDonald.

5:43 Boarding penalty to Belanger.

4:31 Goalie interference call to (who else) Tomas Holmstrom. Gee, sure looked like Ryan Whitney shoved him in there…

1:26 Detroit penalty for too many men on the ice, served by The Todd.

Shots 15 to 5 for the Wings in the 2nd. That’s better! Now, can we protect Joey Mac for the rest of the game?

John Keating reporting in intermission report that Cleary will be missing the rest of the game with a “lower body injury.” A pox on you, Ben Eager. You hurt our Newfie.

3rd period:

15:47 Tripping penalty to Ales Hemsky.

12:29 Tripping penalty to Abby.

11:37 Possible second goal for Gagner– it bounced in and out so quickly that it’s being reviewed carefully.

And… it’s a real goal.

9:14 GOAL for Drew Miller! Hard work crash the net goal by Miller, Abby, and Darren Helm. That’s 4 goals in 4 games for Miller against Edmonton this season.

5:16 GOAL for Hank! Khabibulin had dropped low to deal with Jiri Hudler’s shot, then can’t quite scramble over in time to block Z’s rebound.

4:18 Tripping penalty to White.

1:53 Edmonton calls their timeout.

Khabibulin out of the net for an extra skater.

Shots 10-8 for Detroit in the 3rd, for a total of 30-17. There’s one way to outplay your opponent!

Next up: The Wings try to take the home winning streak to 19 games Friday night when the Anaheim Ducks come to town.

Game Live Blog, Red Wings at Coyotes

Pregame: Danny Cleary’s in for sure, as the beat reporters have tweeted that the Cleary-Helm-Miller line is starting the game. Brad Stuart is out, so Mike Commodore steps in. Ericsson has been promoted to the second pairing with Nik Kronwall, so Commie will pair with Jakub Kindl. Joey MacDonald starting, as expected.

1st period:

15:02 Hooking penalty to Ian White.

14:24 Hooking penalty to Martin Hanzal. 4 on 4 for a while.

12:38 Goal for Boyd Gordon. White and Kronwall collide and Gordon comes up with the puck, dekes around MacDonald on the breakaway.

3:52 Shots 6-6 at this point. The Wings have really done a pretty good job at blocking the puck before it gets to Joey Mac, so far.

1:31 Hooking penalty to Nick Lidstrom.

Shots stay 6-6 through the period. Blocked shots 9-1 for Detroit. I think they need to trust Joey Mac a little more, if they’re going to generate any offense.

2nd period:

15:32 Tripping penalty to Ian White. It kind of looked like Oliver Ekman-Larsson just stepped on White’s stick.

13:44 Hooking penalty to Pavel Datsyuk. Pasha and Valtteri Filppula had been forechecking hard shorthanded, and Ekman-Larsson kind of skated through where Pasha was reaching for the puck.

13:05 Goal for Hanzal– Ray Whitney’s shot deflects off Hanzal screening MacDonald.

This game is much like a desert day– dull and causing me a headache. Also I keep thinking of the line from “Treasure Buddies” that they kept showing previews of during the Puppy Bowl yesterday: “Desert? I thought you said dessert!”

Kronwall has some sort of minor injury that he’s icing down on the bench between shifts.

4:56 Tripping penalty to Michal Rozsival. Let’s see if the extra power play practice did any good.

2:46 Delay of game penalty to Rostislav Klesla (puck over glass).

2:36 GOAL for Johan Franzen! Datsyuk passes to Henrik Zetterberg behind the net, Hank flips it out front, and Mule taps it in.

Shots 14-8 Detroit in the second.

3rd period:

10 minutes in and not much to speak of. Joey Mac has looked sharp, particularly on a scoring chance generated by a BAD giveaway by (who else) Ericsson.

Datsyuk had a glorious scoring chance right by the goal line, but tried to get the shot away too quickly and just plain missed the net.

5:57 Tripping penalty to Shane Doan.

0:50 Joey Mac out of the net for an extra skater.

0:28.5 Empty net goal for Hanzal.

Meh. It wasn’t bad enough to bring Statler and Waldorf in for commentary, but it certainly was a beige game. That’s enough of that long road trip business.

Next up: the Wings return home to host the Edmonton Oilers at 7:30 on Wednesday.

Game Live Blog, Red Wings at Canadiens, Statler and Waldorf Edition (L 2-7)

Pregame: With Nick Lidstrom out of the lineup tonight (flu), his streak of 213 straight games is coming to an end. It just doesn’t seem right that Captain Nick should be susceptible to flu viruses like a normal human would be. Our starting D-pairing will be Ian White and Jonathan Ericsson. (!!!!) Although I admit I have been curious to see how Mike Commodore and Jakub Kindl will do as a pair.

1st period:

14:52 Goal for Rene Bourque. Crashing to the net, deflects a pass by Scott Gomez with his skate. Play is being reviewed to make sure it wasn’t kicked in, and it wasn’t.

14:15 Montreal penalty to Lars Eller, two minutes for tripping.

9:04 Goal for Alexei Emelin. Andrei Kostitsyn makes a pass from behind the net (while falling), and Emelin gets the wrist shot through for his first career goal.

5:56 Montreal penalty to Hal Gill, two minutes for hooking.

3:48 Detroit penalty to Kindl for hooking– trying to recover from a bad turnover at the Detroit blue line.

3:30 Montreal penalty to P.K. Subban for elbowing.

2:02 Goal for David Desharnais. He gets in on a semi-breakaway and Jimmy Howard just plain misses the save.

0:55 Goal for Tomas Plekanec.

I’m thinking we’ll probably see Ty Conklin starting the second period. This is just not a good night for James Tiberius. Shots 12-6 in favor of the Habs. Obviously not a good night for the Wings’ defense either.

I’m experiencing technical difficulties and neither my netbook nor my husband’s old laptop are working now. So I’m on my desktop trying to piece together a blog from Tweets, box scores, and the Wings’ radio broadcast. Yeesh.

2nd period:

Conk in net.

18:08 Goal for Max Pacioretty.

16:42 Power play goal for Desharnais with Ericsson in the box for tripping.

13:27 Montreal penalty to Emelin for cross checking.

I tell you guys what, I love listening to Ken Kal and Paul Woods, but it is way harder to describe a game when I can’t see what’s happening!

Babs has put the Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom line back together.

Well, the Wings outshot the Canadiens 12-5 in the second, but Ken Kal barely got excited about anything, so presumably there were very few quality scoring chances.

The gang over on Twitter seems to be mostly blaming this fiasco on Lidstrom’s absence. I disagree. It certainly doesn’t HELP to have Captain Nick out of the lineup, but I’m getting more of an impression that they’re all mentally on vacation already, going into the All-Star break after a fairly grueling stretch of schedule.

3rd period, because I may as well finish up:

19:39 GOAL for Jiri Hudler! Pass from Darren Helm and Hudler wrists a high shot right under the crossbar. It’s a start.

13:53 Hey, Hudler scored again! If Jiri Hudler brings the team back… I just cannot comprehend this. Danny Cleary was screening Carey Price.

11:49 Ericsson penalty for tripping. Ah, Ericsson. You know, my friend Michelle has suggested that when E retires from playing, he can work as the penalty timekeeper who sits in the box, because he’ll be so familiar with the setting. Maybe it’s like crate training for a dog, and E needs to go in the box when he feels insecure?

I think Statler and Waldorf must be in a suite somewhere in the Bell Centre making bad jokes about the game.

Statler: Wake up you old fool. You slept through the game.
Waldorf: Who’s a fool? You watched it.

1:23 Goal for Erik Cole. Eller makes a backhand pass and Cole taps it past Conk.

Oh good, it’s over. Final shot count 27-25 Detroit, final score 7-2 Montreal. Blargh. Let’s go have an All-Star break, shall we? Shake it off, rest up, and get ready to start the home stretch by laying some wrath on the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.

I’ll let Statler and Waldorf sum this one up.

Waldorf: Seeing a game like that always makes me nostalgic.
Statler: Oh, yeah? Nostalgic for what?
Waldorf: D.D.T.

Game Live Blog, Red Wings at Coyotes

Pregame: No! Bad TiVo! Hockey outranks all other programs so stop trying to change the channel!

The crowd shots FSD is showing of the crowd walking around on the Jobing.com Arena concourse is actually from a Phoenix vs Pittsburgh game. Just thought I would point that out.

Captain Nick is praising Jiri Hudler’s offseason conditioning and determination to re-prove himself.

Jimmy Howard and Mike Smith confirmed as our starting goalies.

1st period:

17:37 Goal for Raffi Torres. Jimmy Howard is watching to prevent a wraparound by Kyle Chipchura, and doesn’t see that Torres is in position to do the same thing.

15:59 Phoenix penalty for too many men on the ice. Served by Torres.

9:01 Phoenix penalty to Radim Vrbata for delay of game (puck over glass).

7:07 Hudler’s shot rings off the post.

6:32 Detroit penalty to Brad Stuart for slashing. Coyotes’ power play is 29th in NHL.

3:28 Another Phoenix penalty for too many men on the ice. I’m thinking the coaching staff is going to be a bit irked.

1:15 Darren Helm has a good scoring chance, but the shot rings off the post.

Not the most interesting period I’ve seen, even with plenty of shots– 13-12 Phoenix.

2nd period:

18:24 GOAL for Ian White! Shot from the right circle, Mike Smith is out of position due to Todd Bertuzzi skating around in front of the net.

13:09 Ken and Murph reporting that Daymond Langkow is out for the rest of the game with an upper body injury.

11:03 Offsetting roughing minors to Chipchura and Justin Abdelkader.

8:47 GOAL for The Todd! Nice shot from the left circle, up and over Smith. It’s Bertuzzi’s 299th career goal.

8:06 A scrum by the Wings’ net leads to a roughing penalty to Gilbert Brule.

5:52 Goal for Brule. Gets in ahead of the Wings’ defenders and dekes to put the puck low past Howard’s left leg pad.

0:01 Detroit penalty to Henrik Zetterberg for a play against Lauri Korpikoski along the boards. Phoenix will start the third period with a power play.

Shots 14-10 Detroit in the second.

3rd period:

15:27 ANOTHER too many men on the ice penalty for Phoenix, served again by Torres.  Coach Tippett looks kind of disgusted.

10:13 Looks like Mule might be hurt from blocking a Derek Morris shot. He had some trouble getting to the bench and the trainers are taking him down to the room.

5:45 And Mule is back on the ice and seems fine.

A couple of shots off the posts, but no scoring. Going to overtime.

OT:

Pavel Datsyuk has played over a minute without his stick, still getting in Coyotes’ way and kicking the puck away from them.

3:19 Detroit penalty to Datsyuk for tripping. It was actually Ian White, on replay, but Pasha gets the penalty. 4 on 3 power play.

Babs calls timeout to rest his guys before the penalty kill.

Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata have good scoring chances on the power play, but Howard comes up with the saves.

Just as the OT is ending, Valtteri Filppula gets his best shot of the game, but it wouldn’t have gotten in before the buzzer. So it seems we are going to another shootout.

SO:

1. Doan goes in but Howard stays right with him for the pad save.

2. Datsyuk makes a tricky shot and Smith falls for the deke, but somehow makes the glove save.

3. Vrbata kind of runs out of real estate and doesn’t quite get the shot away.

4. Jiri Hudler shoots into Smith’s chest.

5. Brule loses the puck before he can shoot it.

6. THE TODD with a spin and a backhand goal for the win!

The win tonight brings Detroit to .500 in their road record. A good start in improving it. Furthermore, the two points again put the Wings on top of the Western Conference, one point against St. Louis. Do I have to say that Monday’s game against the Blues might be kind of important when spring comes around?

Up next: The Red Wings will head home in the morning and get ready to host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night at 7:00. Incidentally, the Blue Jackets discovered today that defenseman Radek Martinek will be out for the rest of the season with concussion symptoms, so they signed former Wing Brett Lebda to a contract. Lebda had been playing with the Jackets’ AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons.

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 Live Blog, Sabres at Red Wings

Pregame: I apologize for the lack of a game preview today. It was kind of a stressful day.

The Wings go for their 15th straight home win tonight with the same lineup they used for their 14th on Saturday, including Jimmy Howard in net.

The Sabres, who are in an eight game road loss streak, will be starting goalie Ryan Miller. This will  be the first time in 2 seasons that brothers Ryan and Drew Miller have played against each other; in the Wings’ and Sabres’ one meeting last season, Drew was a healthy scratch, and in the game at Buffalo in December, Ryan was out with a concussion.

1st period:

Darren Helm, Danny Cleary, and Drew Miller our starting forward line.

17:27 Buffalo penalty to Marc-Andre Gragnani for holding on Henrik Zetterberg.

The Sabres had the only shot on net during the Wings’ power play.

14:40 GOAL for Hank! Buffalo turns the puck over to Jiri Hudler in their own zone, Hank picks it up and his shot deflects off a defenseman’s stick past Ryan Miller.

14:10 Detroit penalty to Niklas Kronwall for holding.

Drew Miller came *this* close to buzzing his brother in the crease! Ryan got the goalie paddle up. Their mom is going to ground them.

Pavel Datsyuk has 697 career points in 706 games.

4:40 Icing call leads to a mad scramble in front of the Wings’ net but Howard comes up with some great saves!

1:49 Goal for Johan Franzen! Datsyuk with the perfect outlet pass, and Franzen zooms into the zone and puts it right past Ryan Miller.

0:17.0 GOAL for Nick Lidstrom! Datsyuk passes to Todd Bertuzzi, and Lidstrom sneaks up all alone and puts the rebound into the empty net.

Shots tied at 11 through the first.

2nd period:

15:41 GOAL for The Todd! Sabres turn over the puck to Datsyuk behind the net, Pavel makes the pass to Bertuzzi. Ryan Miller makes the first save, but The Todd gets his own rebound, spins around, and backhands it in.

And just like that, Pavel has 700 points! No waiting around on milestones for him!

15:28 GOAL for Darren Helm! Goes in on a 2 on 3 with Drew Miller. Miller makes the pass across to Helm and Ryan Miller can’t slide across in time.

Sabres pull Ryan for Jhonas Enroth. Ryan Miller has gone down the tunnel instead of to the bench.

2:11 Buffalo penalty to Ville Leino for slashing.

Shots 8-7 Detroit in the second.

3rd period:

16:28 It’s a scrum! Looks like it was started by Paul Gaustad going after Cleary. Both get roughing penalties out of it, but Cleary gets an extra two (for retaliating). Bertuzzi in the box to serve the extra penalty.

13:32 Buffalo penalty to Matt Ellis for tripping.

Miller, Helm, and Jakub Kindl getting some power play time with such a big lead.

13:10 Detroit penalty to Kindl for interference.

11:29 Shots are 8-0 for the Sabres so far in the third, but the shots aren’t of the particularly good scoring chance variety, and Howard makes the saves look easy.

9:00 Cleary gets a semi-breakaway off a turnover by Buffalo at center ice, but Enroth makes the save.

2:40 Buffalo penalty to Leino for high-sticking.

Our 3rd and 4th liners getting some power play time. The crowd at the Joe is quite happily singing “Build Me Up, Buttercup” during a stop in play. I’m thinking “Don’t Stop Believin'” is coming up.

0:54.9 Journey cued up!

Shots in the third period 9-7 Buffalo.

So… 15 consecutive home wins for a new franchise record. Pasha’s 700th career point. Howard’s 10th career shutout (5th this season).

I’d call this a convincing win, even though the Sabres really weren’t putting in much of an effort after Ryan Miller was pulled. It’s nice to see the Wings keep steady and not get sloppy with a big lead.

Up next: The Wings leave for the airport as soon as they get cleaned up and cooled down from this game, heading for Dallas to face the Stars tomorrow night at 8:30.