The Detroit Red Wings recorded their fourth straight win (3-0) last night at Joe Louis Arena against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Rookie netminder Jimmy Howard earned his first career NHL shutout in the victory, stopping all 30 shots that he faced. Former Spartan Drew Miller scored the first marker of the game in Bobby Orr-like fashion at the 11:36 mark in the opening frame. Forward Todd Bertuzzi made it a 2-0 game 6:48 into the final frame with his fifth goal in four games. Patrick Eaves would hand Detroit a three-goal lead with 9:50 remaining for his fourth goal of the year and 100th career point. Defenseman Brian Rafalski notched two helpers in the contest. Head coach Mike Babcock posted his 300th career win in the outing.
Star forward Henrik Zetterberg left the game late in the first period after getting laid out. His status is unknown, but On the Wings says it’s an upper body injury and it doesn’t appear to be good news. MLive.com reports that it’s a shoulder injury and that Zetterberg drove himself to the hospital last night to get an MRI.
With nine players out (including Zetterberg and Andreas Lilja) with an injury right now, a lot of the talk revolves around how those guys are healing and when they might return. Despite the injury bug, MLive.com notes that the Wings have a playoff spot and were only six points behind the Western Conference leader heading into Thursday’s game against Tampa.
- Rookie forward Darren Helm did not play Thursday night as he is still troubled by a sprained wrist tendon. Kris Newbury filled in for Helm on Monday evening, playing in his fourth game in as many nights.
- The Detroit News reports that three injured players — Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, and Valtteri Filppula — got some ice time on Wednesday.
- Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson left Monday’s game early with a knee injury. Tests did not reveal a ligament tear according to the Detroit Free Press, but he does have a bone bruise that will keep him out for at least two weeks.
- With Ericsson out, the Wings called up Doug Janik from Grand Rapids. Since he is their go-to player for penalty kills, he was Holland’s best option to replace Ericsson. The Detroit Free Press reports that he will likely be in the Winged Wheel for the next two weeks.
- Detroit Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg believes that the Wings will be able to overcome all of these injuries.
In Other News
- Forwards Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller — both of whom are MSU alum — recall their ugly sweater days for the Detroit Free Press.
- The Detroit News’ columnist Bob Wojnowski discusses how Wings’ coach Mike Babcock relishes a challenge and he faces two big ones this year.
- Wings’ prospect Dick Axelsson left the Griffins to return to Sweden, much to the surprise of the staff.
- Red Wings Central notes that prospect Adam Almqvist may be on the outside looking in with Team Sweden for the World Junior Championship.
- Check out Motown Wings for an entertaining look at Survivor: Hockeytown.
- Red Wings’ prospect Tomas Tatar has left the Griffins to get ready to represent his country, Slovakia, in the World Junior Championships.
- Abel to Yzerman blogs about the widespread love for the Wings across the globe.
- The Grand Rapids Press reports that the Grand Rapids Griffins, who are Detroit’s AHL affiliate, are handing out 1,000 free tickets to unemployed workers and their families for the Dec. 27 game.
- DRW.com notes that Tampa Bay forward Vinny Lecavalier admired Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov.
- Snipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle interviews Guilherme, who is the blogger behind Red Wings Brasil.
- The Scrappy Octopus notes the do’s and don’ts of what to wear to hockey games.
- The Production Line fondly remembers Chris Chelios and his playing days with the Wings.