Detroit falls to Penguins in shootout
The Detroit Red Wings were edged out, 2-1, by the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in the shootout at Mellon Arena in a matinee game on Sunday in front of a national audience on NBC. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby put Pittsburgh up first with a marker at the 16:46 mark in the second period. Forward Dan Cleary tipped in a blast from defenseman Brad Stuart at the right point to even the game up at 1-1 with 8:50 left in the game. The game headed into a shootout when neither team could score on their two shots on goal in overtime. Rookie netminder Jimmy Howard faced 47 shots through 65 minutes of play, while his Pittsburgh counterpart Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 23 shots before the shootout. Crosby backhanded the puck into the top of the cage and Evgeni Malkin patiently out-waited Howard to seal the victory for Pittsburgh in the shootout.
Wings beat Predators
Detroit bested Nashville 4-2 at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night. Rookie goaltender Jimmy Howard made an impressive 46 saves in a critical game against a fellow Central Division opponent. In his first game back after missing 38 games due to a broken leg, forward Jason Williams recorded his third tally of the season to get Detroit on the scoreboard first. Captain Nick Lidstrom also added a power-play goal in the contest in a sniper-like play, scoring his third goal in as many games. Forwards Drew Miller and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for Detroit. The Red Wings hung on to their third-period lead to grab two important points in the standings.
The DRW bloggers reacted to the win: Babcock’s Death Stare, DetroitHockey.net, Gorilla Crouch, Motown Wings, On the Wings, Red Wings Blog, Snipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle, The Production Line, The Triple Deke, Unconnected Red Wings Blog, and Winging It In Motown.
In Other News
- The Detroit News columnist Bob Wojnowski wrote a lengthy piece on Detroit’s goalie situation, particularly with how veteran Chris Osgood has mentored rookie Jimmy Howard.
- After a strong performance in last year’s playoffs, defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is struggling in his first full NHL season writes The Detroit News.
- Defenseman Andreas Lilja appears ready to play in a hockey game for the first time in 11 months after being headache free for over 15 days. The Red Wings are working on sending the Swede to Grand Rapids for a three-game, six-day conditioning stint with the team’s AHL affiliate. Lilja would remain on the long-term injured-reserved list until he was ready to join the Wings after his time with the Griffins.
- Detroit re-assigned Justin Abdelkader to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room under the salary cap with the expected return of Tomas Holmstrom to the lineup. Abdelkader was understandably disappointed, but mentor Kris Draper reminded him of the value of getting to log 20 minutes every game in GR. If the Wings are able to stay healthy, Abdelakder would return to the Wings in the playoffs when teams can expand their rosters without salary cap concerns.
- Tomas Holmstrom thought he’d be able to play in Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh after Saturday’s practice, but the team decided Homer needed a few more days to heal up and improve his skating.
- Fellow Swedish forward Johan Franzen has been cleared by doctors, but still needs a couple weeks to regain his game conditioning according to The Windsor Star.
- With the impending trade deadline on March 3, Babcock’s Death Stare addresses trade rumors that involve the Wings.
- Former Wings captain Steve Yzerman was recognized by the Academy of the Sacred Heart, a private school where his three daughters attend, with the school’s annual Leaders of Conscience Award according to the Detroit Free Press.
- The Windsor Star notes that Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Dave King talked to Wings’ head coach Mike Babcock over the summer about coaching Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics as the two have cabins in close proximity in Saskatchewan.
- Abel to Yzerman linked to a review of Joe Louis Arena, which emphasized the fans and tradition of the arena.
- Matt of On the Wings discusses a variety of scenarios that GM Ken Holland may take to get his team under the salary cap maximum once all of his players return from injury.
- Winging It In Motown interviewed Detroit prospect Landon Ferraro, who talked about getting drafted by the Wings with their first pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and how his play has developed.
- The NHL trade deadline isn’t until March 3, but the trades have begun with two big movements over the weekend including a seven-player deal per TSN. The Calgary Flames sent defenseman Dion Phanuef, forward Fredrik Sjostrom, and prospect defenseman Keith Aulie to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forwards Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers and defenseman Ian White. With Anaheim inking goaltender Jonas Hiller to a four-year contract extension, the Ducks wanted to trade away netminder J.S. Giguere, who had an expensive $7 million salary cap hit for a backup goalie. TSN reports that Toronto also acquired Giguere by sending their goalie Vesa Toskala and veteran forward Jason Blake to Anaheim.