By Christy Hammond
The Detroit Red Wings (37-11-7) defeated the Minnesota Wild (28-23-3) Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena 4-2 for their sixth straight win. What makes this winning streak so impressive is that the Wings were without Tomas Holmstrom, Johan Franzen, Brad Stuart and then Brett Lebda halfway through the game due to injuries.
Mikael Samuelsson scored the first goal of the game at 9:26 in the first period. Sammy popped in a rebound from a Lebda shot to earn his 15th goal of the season. Minnesota evened the game up at one goal apiece with 4:29 left in the period thanks to a power-play goal from Brent Burns.
Marian Hossa assisted on two Red Wings’ goals in the second period spanning just 50 seconds apart. As he skated up the slot surrounded by two defensemen, Hossa made a beautiful feed to Hudler who one-timed the puck past goaltender Josh Hardig. Less than a minute later, Hossa carried the puck behind the Minnesota net before sending a cross ice pass to Kris Draper above the left faceoff dot. Draper fired a laser and beat Hardig to register fourth goal this season.
Wings forward Ville Leino is certainly taking advantage of his time here in Detroit with his third goal in six games. Tonight’s tally was a great effort as he knocked the puck down to his stick behind Minnesota’s net and then wrapped it around and into the net before Hardig could get his left skate all the way to the goalpost. It was great to see Leino just quickly jam it in there like a pro.
At 10:25 in the final frame, Minnesota’s Mikko Koivu posted a shorthanded goal to bring the game within two, but it was not enough to mount a comeback bid for a win.
After coming down with laryngitis, Wings radio play-by-play announcer Ken Kal was unable to call the game. His usual analyst Paul Woods called the game and Wings forward Darren McCarty stepped in as the color commentator. I only heard No. 25’s comments here and there, but he did a great job from what I could tell. I don’t think anything is set in stone, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see McCarty act as analyst for the game against Columbus on Friday evening.
The Wings head to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets Friday evening before returning home for Sunday’s game against Colorado.