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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.22.2015 / 10:12 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

DETROIT – The Red Wings were stunned by the New Jersey Devils when the two Eastern Conference teams met earlier this month for the first time this season.

The Devils erased a two-goal deficit in the third period to hand the Red Wings their second overtime road loss of the season, 3-2, at the Prudential Center on Dec. 11.

Damon Severson and Sergey Kalinin scored goals to force overtime, and Kyle Palmieri potted the game-winner with just 40 seconds remaining in the extra session,, while goalie Cory Schneider made 27 saves to earn his second career win against Detroit.

“First of all I know they’re a real good team,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “They played us real good shorthanded. They were missing some guys there. I know they’re very well coached but I knew that going in. I’m a big fan of (coach) John Hynes. He does a real good job. I think it’s like every game in this league. It’s extremely hard, it’s extremely close and it’s who makes the big plays at the big moments.”

Both teams were shorthanded Tuesday. The Devils were without Patrik Elias (knee) for the second straight game. Meanwhile, the Wings were without defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (upper-body), who was also missing his second consecutive game.

This definitely wasn’t one of the Red Wings’ better periods.

New Jersey scored three goals in little more than two minutes to build a three-goal lead and send goalie Jimmy Howard out of the game early.

The Red Wings had the first power play chance when native Detroiter Andy Greene was whistled for delay of game when his clearing attempt went over the glass. But the power play was short lived when Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg picked up a minor penalty for holding Adam Larsson.

And things didn’t go well from there as the Devils scored on three consecutive shots by Palmieri, Jordin Tootoo, and David Schlemko.

Howard was lifted with 5:43 left in the period after surrendering three goals on six total shots. It was the first time this season that a Wings’ goaltender has been lifted from a game for poor performance.

The Wings got one back on a late power play. Rookie sensation Dylan Larkin scored his first period on the man advantage, rocketing a shot passed Schneider that cut Detroit’s deficit to 3-1 before the end of the period.

The first period was also highlighted by a pretty big collision when Alexey Marchenko was rocked by Devils center Tyler Kennedy in the neutral zone. Marchenko was trying to settle a bouncing puck when Kennedy lowered a shoulder into the side of the defenseman’s face.

Joakim Andersson, who scored his first goal of the season last Friday, had a great opportunity to give the Red Wings an early lead, but his chance from in close was thwarted by Schneider’s blocker save.


SCORING: 1. NJD, Palmieri PPG (Merrill), 12:05; 2. NJD, Tootoo (Greene), 12:47; 3. NJD, Schlemko (Palmieri), 14:17; 4. DET, Larkin PPG (Zetterberg, Kronwall), 18:32.

PENALTIES: 1. NJD, Greene (delay of game), 10:00; 2. DET, Zetterberg (holding), 10:37; 3. NJD, Severson (tripping), 18:02.

SHOTS: Detroit 13, New Jersey 7.

The period took a definite chippy tone as three separate skirmishes played out when the Devils focused much of their physicality toward Larkin, including defensemen John Moore and Damon Severson, and forward Lee Stempniak. All three Devils took liberty with the Wings’ rookie, including Severson, who appeared to intentionally slash Larkin across the arm at one point.

The Wings picked up the defensive tempo in the middle frame, which, quite honestly was a difficult thing to do considering the poor first period.  Detroit held the Devils to just six shots.

Detroit chipped away at the Devils’ lead getting a goal back on the power play. Mike Green picked up his second goal as a Red Wing, scoring at 12:31 to trim the deficit to 3-2.

It’s the fifth time this season that the Wings have scored multiple power-play goals, and the second time against the Devils.

Petr Mrazek looked good in the period, making saves on all six shots he faced.


SCORING: 1. DET, Green PPG (Richards, Datsyuk), 12:31.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, Abdelkader (slashing), 0:49; 2. NJD, Henrique (roughing), 0:49; 3. DET, Nyquist (too many men), 3:12; 4. NJD, Greene (holding the stick), 6:03; 5. DET, DeKeyser (roughing), 8:35; 6. NJD, Cammalleri (roughing), 8:35; 7. NJD, Gionta (tripping), 12:02; 8. Severson (roughing), 17:14; 9. DET, Abdelkader (double-roughing), 17:14.

SHOTS: Detroit 5 (18), New Jersey 6 (13).

New Jersey’s a pretty stingy team when it comes to blowing third-period leads. In fact, the Devils entered Tuesday’s game with a 9-0-1 record this season when taking a lead into the final 20 minutes of regulation.

So it was already an uphill battle for the Wings, but the climb got steeper when the Devils capitalized on Detroit miscue in the defensive zone to grab an insurance goal early in the period.

Mrazek stopped a shot and paddled the puck to Jakub Kindl, who chose to play the puck into the middle of the ice instead of trying to rim it around the net. Kindl’s attempt was swapped out of the air by Kennedy. Moments later Sergey Kalinin had his fifth goal of the season and the Devils had a two-goal edge at 2:24.

As they often do, the Wings made it interesting late, when Riley Sheahan’s fourth goal of the season at 14:23 made it a one-goal game again. Detroit took advantage of a neutral zone turnover, and Sheahan sniped a from the left faceoff circle that beat Schneider low to the glove side. The goal snapped a 16-game goal drought for Sheahan, who last scored on Nov. 16 at Ottawa.

The Wings pulled Mrazek for an extra attacker with 1:40 left. But the comeback effort ended when Niklas Kronwall was called for interference when he took down Stephen Gionta with 57 seconds left.

The Red Wings are now off for the next three days to observe the Christmas holiday. The Wings will return to action on Saturday in Nashville.


SCORING: 1. NJD Kalinin (Josefson) 2:24; 2. DET, Sheahan (Jurco) 14:23.

PENALTIES: 1. NJD, Merrill (tripping), 7:46; 2. DET, Abdelkader (cross-checking), 10:23; 3. DET, Kronwall (interference), 19:02.

SHOTS: Detroit 10 (28), New Jersey 4 (17).

POSTED ON Monday, 12.14.2015 / 10:10 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

DETROIT – If the Red Wings are to extend their current point streak to 14-straight games against the Buffalo Sabres tonight they’ll want to cut down on miscues that have prevented them from winning two games in regulation last week.

“Our turnovers have crept up over the five-game segments compared to the three previous to that,” coach Jeff Blashill said Monday after the Red Wings’ morning skate. “We had too many turnovers the other night in the third period as well.”

Last week, turnovers and penalties led to Washington and New Jersey overcoming third-period deficits en route to an eventual shootout (Capitals) and overtime (Devils).

“The best teams are the ones that are great defensively and offensively,” Blashill said. “To get to that level, we’re starting to slide too much on the spectrum towards real good offense but not good enough defensively.”

The Wings would also like to limit the opposition’s scoring opportunities.

“We’ve given up 20 chances against two of the last three games. We need to limit those. The two areas we can do that is manage our risk and limit our turnovers.”

Tonight is the second of five meetings between the Atlantic Division rivals this season. It’s also the second of three games at Joe Louis Arena. The Sabres will return to Detroit on March 28. The Red Wings will travel to Buffalo twice next month with games at HSBC Arena on Jan. 2 and Jan. 22.

The Wings’ next home win will be the franchise’s 800th at The Joe since the team moved to the downtown riverfront arena on Dec. 27, 1979.

Detroit has compiled a 799-407-119-67 (W-L-T-OTL) mark at JLA, which is the league’s best home record in that span.

For Blashill, the Wings’ home is a definite advantage for his team, which is 10-5-3 at The Joe this season.

“I think momentum is a big factor in games and as we gain momentum in this building you can really ride the momentum because of how loud the building can be,” Blashill said. “It’s obviously a real big building but it feels like (fans) are on top of you at times. So obviously it’s been a good building. We’ve had lots of good teams over the teams for certain, but I think momentum would be the No. 1 thing.”

A fairly physical period ended with the Red Wings and Sabres delivering more hits than shots on goal.

Collectively, the Atlantic Division rivals dished out a total of 27 hits and 15 shots through the opening 20 minutes of action Monday night.

As he’s been for the past several weeks, Darren Helm brought plenty of energy in the period, delivering three of the Wings 14 hits. Detroit had 11 different skaters with at least one hit, including Mike green, who had two.

The Wings had one power play opportunity in the period, but the Sabres penalty killers managed to keep the home team on the perimeter without a single shot on goalie Chad Johnson. Though Green, playing in his 600th game as an NHL defenseman, came the closest to delivering the puck to the net. His shot from inside the left face-off circle hit the post behind Johnson.
In the final 90 seconds of the period, Tomas Jurco was slightly injured when he took a puck to the face. The Red Wings’ forward, who needed five stitches to close a cut lip last Tuesday in the third period at Washington, was struck again in the face when a pass deflected off Zach Bogosian’s stick in the Sabres’ end of the ice.

The best scoring chance might have been in the last second of the period. That’s when Brendan Smith picked up a high-sticking penalty at 19:59. On the ensuing face-off, to the left of Petr Mrazek, Buffalo rookie Jack Eichel beat Luke Glendening on the draw, snapping a quick shot at the drop of the puck at the Wings’ net.

Fortunately for the Wings, Mrazek was alert on the stop as the horn sounded.



1. DET, Zetterberg (hooking) 3:30; 2. BUF, Gorges (hooking) 8:44; 3. DET, Smith (high-sticking) 19:59.

Detroit 6, Buffalo 9.

It seems each game this month has been highlighted by a Helm breakaway. The speedy forward created another such chance in the first minute of the period, but failed to score.

Pavel Datsyuk’s creativity and vision led to the first goal of the game. Like magnets to steel, four Sabres – Bogosian, Sam Reinhart, Jake McCabe and Ryan O’Reilly – followed the Wing’ magic man as he moved methodically toward the slot. As the Sabres collapsed around Datsyuk he slipped a pass into the left circle where Brad Richards fired a one-timer passed Johson.

The goal at 4:01 was Richards’ second of the season. Helm also picked up an assist, his eighth point in 28 games since returning from a shoulder injury sustain on Day 1 of training camp in Traverse City.

Detroit had a chance to go up by two goals when Jurco was awarded a penalty shot with 5:04 left in the middle frame. In an attempt to catch up to Jurco who was speeding in a lone on goal, Sabres defenseman Mike Weber slashed the Wings forward from behind. As Jurco lost an edge and crashed into the near post, referee Graham Skilliter instantly pointed to center ice, signaling a penalty shot.

The opportunity was the first at Joe Louis Arena for the Wings since Cory Emmerton’s attempt against Buffalo on Oct. 2, 2013. Unfortunately,  Jurco’s shot from the bottom of the slot was gloved by Johnson keeping it a one-goal game heading into the second intermission.


SCORING: 1. DET, Richards (Datsyuk, Helm) 4:01.

PENALTIES: 1. BUF, Weber PS (slashing) 14:56; 2. DET, Tatar (holding) 18:29.

Detroit 13 (19), Buffalo 9 (18).

The Wings have given up third-period leads at an alarming rate this season.

In the last 14 games, Detroit has forfeited eight leads late and 11 already this season.

Trailing by one, the Sabres didn’t quit, scoring twice in a 61-second span to go from one down to one up to extinguish the Wings’ point streak at 13-straight games.
Off a face off deep in the Wings’ zone, the Sabres kept possession where Reinhart’s shot from tipped by O’Reilly for his team-leading 11th goal. A minute later the Sabres had their first lead when Johan Larsson fired a shot from the slot that beat Mrazek. It was Larsson’s first goal of the season.

Earlier in the period, Smith prevented Larsson from getting a shot off into an empty net. The Sabres’ forward was camped to the left of Mrazek and with the Wings’ goalie unable to get into position to make a save following a rebound, Smith used his stick to tie up Larsson.

Detroit had their chances to extend their lead. Once again, Helm’s speed caused problems for the Sabres early in the third. Fighting through a check as he crossed the near blue line, he was slashed by O’Reilly drawing a two-minute minor and giving Detroit just its second power play of the night.

However, the Wings did not capitalize on their chance opening the door for the Sabres’ comeback.

The Wings pulled Mazrek with 2:05 left in the period. Gustav Nyquist had a great chance to extended their point streak, but Johnson made an outstanding diving save on the Wings’ forward keeping the puck out of the net with less than half a minutes in regulation.


SCORING: 1. BUF, O’Reilly (Reinhart, Ristalainen), 15:46; 2. BUF, Larsson (Weber) 16:47.

PENALTIES: 1. BUF, O’Reilly (slashing) 6:24.

Detroit 13 (32), Buffalo 12 (30).

POSTED ON Saturday, 12.5.2015 / 10:22 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

DETROIT – Unfortunately, Drew Miller’s team ironman streak of 190 straight games played comes to an end tonight.

The Red Wings’ fourth-line forward suffered a cracked jaw during a first-period collision with Arizona forward Klas Dahlbeck in Thursday’s 5-1 win at Joe Louis Arena.

Miller underwent surgery this morning so doctors could insert plates to speed the healing process.

With Miller expected to miss up to the next six weeks, the Wings have a new ironman, Gustav Nyquist, who has played in 152 consecutive games since his rookie season.

Miller’s absence will be felt on the penalty kill. A fourth-line grinding type himself, Joakim Andersson returns to the lineup. He’s faceoff skills will be particularly useful in the defensive zone.

Andersson has drawn into the lineup three times this season, only to exit the lineup in favor of other teammates.

“He hasn’t got much opportunity and sometimes it gets misconstrued when a guy comes out of the lineup that he hasn’t played well,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “It might just mean we think that other guys are ahead of him, but it doesn’t mean that he’s not a very good hockey player. I think Andy is a very good hockey player. I think he’s a winner. I think he’s a very good penalty killer. I think he’s very accountable defensively and he can win faceoffs. I think one of the underrated things about Andy is that he’s actually a really good passer of the puck. He can really make tight area passes. That’s something he did for me in the American League and that’s something I’ve seen him do in the National Hockey League. We hope Andy can come in and be really good. I think teams have to rely on their depth through the year and this is where we’d like an opportunity to rely on our depth and have him pop in and be real good.”

The 26-year-old Andersson is one of three Wings’ forwards seeking his first goal of the season. Brad Richards and Tomas Jurco are the others.

November’s rookie of the month, Dylan Larkin, has points in seven of the past nine games. He leads the Red Wings with 10 goals.

His 19 points in his first 26 NHL games is tied for 69th in franchise rookie scoring with Bert Marshall (1965-66), Jody Gage (1981-82) and Joe Murphy (1987-88).

Larkin’s next goal will tie him for 41st on the club’s all-time rookie goals list. Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Tim Taylor, Daniel Shank and Dennis Polonich all registered 11 goals in their freshman seasons.

It took nearly two months, but Brad Richards finally scored his first goal as a Red Wing.

As unconventional as it was – his shot from the slot was saved by Pekka Rinne, but caromed into the net off of Shea Weber’s right skate – Richards has to be relieved to finally get No. 289 of his career.

Prior to Rchards’ goal in the final minute of the period, it certainly looked like the players would head to their dressing rooms with a scoreless tie.

While the Red Wings peppered Buffalo and Arizona for a combined 90 shots on goal this week, the Predators’ defense was doing what they do best. Ranked second in the league for fewest shots allowed (26.5), the Predators held Arizona and Florida to 15 and 16 shots, respectively, this week.

With a minute remaining in the period, the Wings were being outshot 13-5 with only Larkin, Richards, Niklas Kronwall, Luke Glendening and Brendan Smith getting shots through to all-star goalie Pekka Rinne.

The Wings had a very good scoring chance early on.  Tied for the team lead with 10 shots over the last two games, Darren Helm, who had a pair of breakaway chances Thursday night, had a glorious opportunity but lifted a shot wide of the net.

Racing toward the net, Helm made a move that pulled Pekka Rinne out of position, but the backhander by the Wings’ forward sailed wide of the open net.

Making his 16th start of the season, goalie Petr Mrazek was solid making 13 saves, including one that he denied from close range by Filip Forsberg.


SCORING: 1. DET, Richards (Tatar, Larkin) 19:21.

PENALTIES: 1. NSH, Jones (slashing) 2:37;  2. DET, DeKeyser (hooking) 9:50; 3. NSH, Jones (slashing) 17:16; 4. DET, Jurco (roughing) 19:51.

SHOTS: Detroit 6, Nashville 13

The Predators defensemen went on the offensive in the middle frame.

Weber scored two power-play goals and Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi added assists as Nashville took a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of action.

It didn’t take long for the Predators to erase a one-goal deficit and take the lead under three minutes into the period.

Weber, who helped the Wings to a 1-0 lead when a rebound inadvertently ricocheted off his skate, got one back for the Predators with his team-leading sixth power-play goal of the season. The Preds’ veteran trails only Carolina’s Justin Faulk (8), who leads all NHL defensemen.

Less than two minutes later, former Red Wings draft pick Calle Jarnkrok won an offensive zone face-off, which led to the Preds taking a 2-1 lead. Stationed in front of Mrazek, forward Viktor Arvidsson knocked Ellis’s point shot out of midair and into the net.

Weber’s second power-play goal of the game gave the Predators a two-goal cushion late in the period. The goal came just six seconds after Helm went to the penalty box for roughing Ellis. Originally, the on-ice officials missed the goal, as it appeared that Danny DeKeyser swept the puck out of the crease before it crossed the goal line. On the next stoppage, the referees consulted with the NHL’s situation room in Toronto where it was determined that the goal had crossed.

The Wings scored their own power-play goal, trimming the deficit to 3-2 when Tomas Tatar scored his 10th of the season, re-directing Mike Green’s blast passed Rinne. Tatar is now tied for the team lead in goals with Larkin.


SCORING: 1. NSH, Weber PPG (Josi, Fordberg) 1:03; 2. NSH, Arvidsson (Ellis, Jarnkrok) 2:53; 3. NSH, Weber PPG (unassisted) 15:28; 4. DET, Tatar PPG (Green, Datsyuk) 17:04.

PENALTIES: 1. NSH, Ekholm (cross-check, roughing) 7:08; 2. DET, Abdelkader (roughing) 7:08; 3. DET, Helm (roughing) 15:22; 4. NSH, Smith (slashing) 15:51.

SHOTS: Detroit 17 (23), Nashville 12 (25).

Weber’s third power-play goal of the game gave Nashville a 4-2 lead. The veteran is just the fifth player in franchise history – and the first defenseman – to register a hat trick.

However, the Wings didn’t show any quit, scoring twice to equal the score 4-4.

Larkin’s 11th of the season, pulling Detroit to within one goal.

The goal was Larkin’s second career multi-point game. He drew a secondary assist on Richards’ first-period goal that gave Detroit a 1-0 lead.

Larkin now has 21 points on the season tying him for 55th on the all-time rookie franchise points list with Johnny Sheppard (1926-27), Steve Black (1949-50), Pit Martin (1963-64), Thommie Bergman (1972-73), Perry Miller (1977-78), Chris Cichocki (1985-86), Bob Probert (1985-86), Mike Sillinger (1992-93) and Anders Eriksson (1997-98).
With 2:39 left in regulation, the Wings got the break that they needed when Ellis went to the box for boarding Helm.

From there, Justin Abdelkader scored on a deflection from Gustav Nyquist’s shot.


SCORING: 1. NSH, Weber PPG (Josi, Forsberg) 8:03; 2. DET, Larkin (Ericsson) 9:19; 3. DET, Abdelkader PPG (Nyquist, Zetterberg) 17:37.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, Andersson (slashing) 7:02; 2. NSH, Ellis (boarding) 17:21.

SHOTS: Detroit 11 (34), Nashville 5 (31).

It was a fast and furious period that ended with Nyquist picking a spot and firing a shot under Rinne’s right arm for the win.

The Red Wings finished a six-game homestand – their longest of the season – and now have produced points in the last 10 games (7-0-3).

The Wings are off until next Tuesday when they travel to Washington to face Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals.


SCORING: 1. DET, Nyquist (Kronwall) 1:41.


SHOTS: Detroit 2 (36), Nashville 1 (32)

POSTED ON Thursday, 12.3.2015 / 10:16 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

DETROIT – The Red Wings have points in eight straight games, going 5-0-3 in that span, their longest such streak since going 12-0-2 late in the 2009-10 season. Seven of the eight games went past regulation.

Jimmy Howard gets the start tonight against the Arizona Coyotes, his 12th of the season and career start No. 342. He has a 6-4-1 record in his previous 11 assignments this season.

In 14 career games against the Arizona franchise, the 31-year-old Howard has an 8-3-3 record with a 2.50 goals-against average and a .920 winning percentage.

It was an action-packed first period at The Joe staring with a disallowed goal for the visitors and ending with an entertaining fight between Brendan Smith and Arizona center Kyle Chipchura.

In between, the Red Wings built their largest first-period lead of the season, getting even-strength goals by Justin Abdelkader, Nikas Kronwall and Gustav Nyquist.

Like the Florida Panthers last Sunday, the Coyotes appeared to grab a quick 1-0 lead when Klas Dahlbeck fired a shot from the top of the face-off circle that fooled Howard.

But, also like the game against the Panthers, Wings coach Jeff Blashill challenged the play’s validity. The goal was eventually overturned when video replay determined that defenseman Connor Murphy was off-sides ahead of the play.

Replay clearly showed Murphy cutting across the blue line before forward Mikkel Boedker carrying the puck into the attacking zone.

The following explanation was provided by the NHL’s Situation Room blog:

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Arizona's Connor Murphy was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Arizona Coyotes.

The clock is re-set to show 18:44 (1:16 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.

Since the Coach’s Challenge resulted in the original call being overturned, the Detroit Red Wings retain their time-out.

While the play worked out for the Wings, they were dealt two big blows when they lost Teemu Pulkkinen and Drew Miller for the rest of the game.

Pulkkinen suffered an upper-body injury when he fell awkwardly into the end boards. Coyotes center Martin Hanzal received a two-minute minor for boarding at 6:19 of the period.

Nearly six minutes later, and after Abdelkader’s eighth goal of the season gave the Wings a 1-0 lead, Miller was rocked by Dahlbeck’s thunderous check in front of the Coyotes’ bench. It appeared that the Wings’ forward never saw the hit – Dahlbeck’s shoulder into Miller’s chin.

Miller got to his feet pretty quickly, but was in obvious distress as he needed to be helped to the Wings by a linesman. Miller is the Wings current ironman, having played in 190 straight regular-season games.

The Wings struck twice in the final minute of the period when Kronwall, playing in his 700th career game, scored his second of the season on a pretty give and go by Tomas Tatar.

Just 18 seconds later, Nyquist caught Coyotes goalie Mike Smith napping when he flipped the puck about 75 feet front center ice with 25 seconds left in the period.


SCORING: 1. DET, Abdelkader (Larkin), 12:30; 2. DET, Kronwall (Tatar, Datsyuk), 19:18; 3. DET, Nyquist (Helm, Green, 19:36.

PENALTIES: 1. ARI, Hanzal (boarding), 6:19; 2. ARI, Hanzal (goaltender interference), 13:38; 3. DET, Smith (slashing, fighting), 19:54; 4. Chipchura (fighting), 19:54.

SHOTS: Detroit 16, Arizona 9.

The Coyotes began the period with a new goalie in the crease, but the move didn’t stop the bleeding for the visitors.

Smith was pulled after allowing three goals on 16 shots in the first period.

Enter Anders Lindback, the 27-year-old journey man, who has also played for Buffalo, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Nashville.

From the opening face-off Lindback found himself besieged as the Red Wings skaters fired shot after shot on net. The Coyotes goalie turned aside the first eight shots, but the ninth one resulted in Danny DeKeyser scoring his second goal of the season.

With 5:07 left in the period, Howard preserved the three-goal lead by thwarting Tobias Rieder’s quasi breakaway with a sliding pad save.


SCORING: 1. ARI, Martinook (Downie, Ekman-Larsson), 5:52; 2. DET, DeKeyser (Ericsson, Datsyuk), 7:18.

PENALTIES: 1. ARI, Boedker (goaltender interference), 10:40.

SHOTS: Detroit 14 (30), Arizona 9 (18).

The Wings equaled their single-game offensive output for the season when Darren Helm received an early Christmas present.

Lindback moved behind the net to play the puck. As the Coyotes’ goalie tried to avoid Luke Glendening who was charging from the left, Lindback attempted to shot the puck off the far wall. Unfortunately for the Coyotes, the puck landed on Helm’s stick.

The Wings’ forward settled the puck before firing a shot into the net over center Boyd Gordon, who had raced back in an attempt to defend the goal.

It’s Helm’s first goal in 23 regular-season games. His last goal came at Montreal in the second from last game of the 2014-15 season on April 9.

For the second straight game the Wings finished with 40-plus shots on goal. They had 46 shots in Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout win over Buffalo.

They had 44 shots on Thursday.

The last time Detroit had back-to-back 40-plus shot outings was early in the 2013 lockout shortened season against at Columbus (42 SOG) and against Dallas (40 SOG)  on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, respectively.


SCORING: 1. DET, Helm (unassisted), 4:28.

PENALTIES: 1. ARI, Vermette (high-sticking), 12:01.

SHOTS: Detroit 14 (44), Arizona 9 (27).



POSTED ON Friday, 11.27.2015 / 6:12 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

DETROIT Jimmy Howard gets the start against the Edmonton Oilers, a team that he’s had very good success against throughout his NHL career.

Howard enters Friday’s home game at Joe Louis Arena with a 12-1-2 all-time record against the Oilers, winning the last 12 by a combined 41-18 score.

Despite getting points in five straight games (3-0-2) and firing more shots on net recently, third-period lapses is something the Wings would like to eliminate.

Coach Jeff Blashill addressed the topic with the team before today’s morning skate at Joe Louis Arena.

“We lost a lead late in St. Louis, we lost a lead late in Ottawa just recently and obviously (Wednesday) night,” Blashill said. “We talked about is there anything you could do different? I think that’s the thing you look at as a coach, not for the blame game but more for the correction process moving forward. I didn’t think we took our foot off the gas really in St. Louis. I didn’t think we did last game. I didn’t really think we did against Ottawa either. The biggest thing for us I think is we’ve got to get that next goal. We’ve got to make those games two-goal games. If we would have scored on some of our opportunities the other night I think the game would have been over. We’ve got to find a way to have that killer instinct when we do get in those situations. When you leave it a one-goal game, you leave it up to chance.”

The Wings have played five overtime games this month. In four of them they had the lead heading into the third period. Besides the loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, the Wings won three of the OT games – at St. Louis (4-3), at Ottawa (4-3) and at Toronto (2-1).

The other OT loss was against Washington (Nov. 18) when the teams entered the third period in a 1-1 tie. The Capitals won, 2-1.

Henrik Zetterberg’s next goal will move the Wings’ captain into a sixth-place tie with Ulf Dahlen among Swedish-born NHL players.

Niklas Kronwall isn’t a big man. But the Red Wings defenseman has earned a living of delivering big hits throughout his career.

The first period Friday was his latest.

Kronwall tattooed Oilers center Mark Letestu bring the sold-out Joe Louis Arena to its feet at the 7-minute mark of the opening period. Kronwall’s hit send Letestu to the dressing room for observation and Matt Hendricks to the penalty box.

Kronwall does an outstanding job of anticipating chances to level bone-crushing body checks on unsuspecting opponents. Last April, in Game 6 of the playoff series against Tampa Bay, Kronwall hit Nikita Kucherov in a similar fashion earning the defenseman a suspension for Game 7.

Friday, Kronwall caught Letestu with his head down as the veteran center skated the puck out of the Oilers’ zone. With Letestu in a heap along the boards, Hendricks tried his hand at hockey justice, earning a two-minute roughing penalty.

The Red Wings’ power play ended early when Dylan Larkin was called for hooking at 8:35.



PENALTIES: 1. EDM, Hendricks (roughing), 7:00; 2. DET, Larkin (hooking), 8:35; 3. EDM, Eberle (holding), 19:12.

SHOTS: Detroit 9, Edmonton 4.

The Red Wings went after Mike Green in the off-season for his offensive acumen. The veteran defenseman flashed his offensive abilities early in the period, which led to the Red Wings’ 1-0 lead.

With a head of steam, Green entered the zone, took a centering pass from Tomas Tatar and cruised straight toward the net where Gustav Nyquist was rewarded with his eighth goal of the campaign from a pile up in front of Oilers goalie Cam Talbot.

For Nyquist it was just his fourth even-strength goal of the season.

Detroit nearly had a two-goal edge with 10:06 left in the period. That’s when Jonathan Ericsson made a bid for his second goal of the season. Pavel Datsyuk won an o-zone draw to Ericsson, who unleashed a hard, rising shot from the blue line that clanked off the crossbar and into the stands.

The Wings did get their 2-0 lead when they caught the Oilers on a bad line change. It was Tatar and Nyquist combining again on the second goal of the period. Nyquist sent a cross-ice pass to  Tatar, who whipped a wrist shot from the top of the left face-off circle.

The Oilers erased their deficit with a pair of goals by Iiro Pakarinen and Andrej Sekera just over three minutes apart.

Pakarinen’s goal was the Oilers’ second goal in three games. He was set up by Anton Lander – who was stationed near the goal line to the left of Howard – spotting the Finnish forward sliding into the low slot for the one-timer that beat the Wings goaltender.

Edmonton got the equalizer on Sekera’s power-play goal. The goal was made possible when the Red Wings’ penalty killers got trapped behind the net. Letestu exited a scrum with the puck and dished Sekera in the high slot for the shot.

Detroit regained the lead when Dylan Larkin scored his fifth goal in six games. Henrik Zetterberg spotted the rookie streaking down the left wing. Larkin then beat an Oilers’ defender to the net before slipping a backhand shot past Talbot for the 3-2 lead.


SCORING: 1. DET. Nyquist (Green, Tatar), 5:11; 2. DET, Tatar (Nyquist, Ericsson), 12:07; 3. EDM, Pakarinen (Lander, Purcell), 15:17; 4. EDM, Sekera PPG (Letestu, Pouliot), 18:44; 5. DET, Larkin (Zetterberg), 19:24.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, Glendening (interference), 16:46.

SHOTS: Detroit 16 (25), Edmonton 11 (15).

Third-period woes continued for the Red Wings when the Oilers pulled even on the scoreboard after Pakarinen stole the puck in the o-zone and fired a quick shot from the left face-off circle that glanced off the bottom of Howard’s catching glove.

It looked like Tatar had the go-ahead goal late when he tipped Nyquist’s shot from the point. But the puck skipped to left of the near post.

Detroit has gone to overtime six times this month. Friday was the fifth time they went into the third period with the lead and lost it.


SCORING: Pakarinen (unassisted), 8:45.


SHOTS: Detroit 6 (31), Edmonton 9 (24).

Kronwall gave the Wings a lift with a big first-period hit and finished by icing a win in overtime with his first goal of the season.

The Red Wings are now 5-3 in overtime while earning points in six straight games (4-0-2) since Nov. 16.


SCORING: 1. DET, Kronwall (Larkin, Zetterberg), 0:26


SHOTS: Detroit 1 (32), Edmonton 0 (24).

POSTED ON Wednesday, 11.18.2015 / 11:07 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal
Petr Mrazek goes through his pre-game routine before facing the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin on Wednesday night's nationally televised game at Joe Louis Arena, (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT – For the second time in more than a week, Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin will try to break a tie with former Washington teammate and Red Wings great Sergei Fedorov for most NHL goals by a Russian-born player.

The 30-year-old Ovechkin has gone three games without a goal since tying Fedorov with No. 483 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 7. The last time Ovechkin experienced a four-game goal drought? Last December.

For the second time, goalie Petr Mrazek draws the Capitals and the daunting task of trying to prevent Ovechkin from passing Fedorov.

“Nobody wants to let that goal in,” Mrazek said. “I will do my best. He tried it three games ago and tonight he’s going to try him again.”

Last Tuesday's game, a 1-0 win for the Red Wings, Ovechkin tied a personal best with 15 shots on goal. According to the NHL, he is the first player in the to register that many shots without scoring a goal since the league began tracking shots in the 1967-68 season.

Mrazek did everything he could to stop Ovechkin, who fired four shots at the Red Wings’ net in the opening five minutes – including three on the Capitals first power play chance – of the game.

With Luke Glendening in the penalty box for hooking, the Wings kept the Capitals off the board.

Moments later, Dylan Larkin gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead when he beat goalie Braden Holtby with a low wrist shot from the top of the left face-off circle. Larkin’s sixth of the season ties him with Chicago’s Artemi Panarin, Buffalo’s Jack Eichel and Vancouver’s Jared McCann for fourth on the league’s rookie scoring list.

Pavel Datsyuk, playing in his fourth game since returning from off-season ankle surgery, picked up the lone assist – his first point of the season.

The Red Wings had a very good chance to build a two-goal lead on their first power play opportunity of the night. With Larkin in the penalty box, Darren Helm created his own great scoring chance, jumping the passing route to intercept Nicklas Backstrom’s pass into the slot. The Wings’ speedy forward cruised in a on shorthanded breakaway but Holtby transitioned across the crease to his left to make the save.

The Capitals did get the equalizer on the same power play. Standing all alone to the left on Mrazek, forward Justin Williams redirected Matt Niskanen’s hard pass from the blue line behind the Wings’ netminder.

Ovechkin finished the period with five of his team’s 10 shots on goal. Justin Abdelkader had a team-high three shots for the Red Wings in that period.


SCORING: 1. DET, Larkin (Datsyuk), 2:48; 2. WSH, Williams PPG (Niskanen, Backstrom), 10:54.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, Glendening (hooking), 3:29; 2. WSH, Schmidt (hooking), 7:20; 3. DET, Larkin (hooking), 9:20; 3. DET, Tatar (tripping), 11:40; 4. DET, DeKeyser (interference), 16:15.

SHOTS: Detroit 7, Washington 10.

Mrazek wasn’t tested all that much in the second. However, he made a nice kick save on Nate Schmidt when the Caps defenseman cruised down the right wing, beating Danny DeKeyser into the Wings’ zone before snapping a blast late in the period.

Scoring chances were definitely limited in the period, though Datsyuk had a sneaky one late. The Wings’ center got a stick on Jonathan Ericsson’s low liner from the point, but Holtby made an alert save on the deflection.

The Red Wings caught the Caps’ defense napping on a late line change. As Detroit headed out of its own end, Henrik Zetterberg spotted Teemu Pulkkinen jumping over the boards behind the two Washington defenders. The captain fired a stretch pass that send Pulkkinen in alone on Holtby, who made the save to score even.

With under a minute to goal, Pulkkinen and Helm teamed up on an excellent chance, but Holtby made a spectacular paddle save. Pulkkinen fired a Howitzer from the left face-off circle that bounced off Holtby and right to Helm who was stationed in front of the crease. It appeared that Wings had regained their one-goal lead when Helm poked the puck toward the goal line. But Holtby reached back and swatted the puck out of harm’s way with his paddle.

It was Helm’s second good scoring chance of the game. He and seven other Red Wings’ regulars – Datsyuk, Glendening, Joakim Andersson, Drew Miller, Mike Green, Alexey Marchenko and Niklas Kronwall – are looking for their first goals of the season.

Ovheckin had one shot in the period. He has six for the game.



PENALTIES: 1. WSH, Alzner (holding), 1:33.

Detroit 13 (20), Washington 8 (18).

Coach Jeff Blashill made a slight adjustment in the second period, switching up his first and third lines, putting Pulkkinen with Zetterberg and Abdelkader. Meanwhile, Gustav Nyquist moved to the third line with center Andreas Athanasiou and Miller.

The Red Wings coach stuck with that alignment in the third.

The Capitals’ power play, which ranks sixth in the league this season with 11 goals already, got tuned up early in the period. But the Wings’ penalty killers were up to the task when DeKeyser went to the box for delay of game.

For the first – and only time – Wednesday, the Caps’ power play did not register a shot on goal as the Wings cleared the puck down the ice three times.

With 6:25left in regulation, Mrazek was momentarily shaken up when he was drilled in the face by a John Carlson shot from point-blank range. At the same time, Niklas Kronwall suffered a cut above the left eye when he got tangled up with Marchenko and T.J. Oshie before falling head first into the boards.

After the TV timeout, Schmidt’s shot from the blue line rang off the crossbar behind Mrazek.

The Wings picked up another bad penalty late when they had too many men on the ice. Larkin served the two-minute minute. Fortunately for the Wings, the hustle of the penalty killers prevented any collateral damage.



PENALTIES: 1. DET, DeKeyser (delay of game), 6:39; 2. DET, Larkin (too many men), 17:08

SHOTS: Detroit 6 (26), Washington 8 (26).


Datsyuk fell down in the opening minute of OT, allowing the Capitals to transition to the offensive where Kuznetsov collected his second game-winning goal of the season just 45 seconds into the extra session.

The Caps’ leading scorer – he has six goals and 18 points – coasted down the left wing before launching a wrist shot that squeezed under Mrazek’s right arm.

The Red Wings are now 3-2 in overtime. Detroit’s only other OT loss came at Calgary on Oct. 23. The Capitals are 3-1.


1. WSH, Kuznetsov (Niskanen, Alzner), 0:45


SHOTS: Detroit 0 (26), Washington 1 (27).

POSTED ON Monday, 11.16.2015 / 10:13 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal
Dylan Larkin reacts to his first-period goal that gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead over the Senators. (Photo by Getty Images)

KANATA, Ontario – The Red Wings are in Ottawa to wrap up a two-game road trip by the Senators in what will be Detroit’s third game in four nights.

The Wings are coming off a 3-1 loss Saturday at Boston, where they had 23 shots, but missed the net another 18 times. In total, the Wings had 57 attempts against the Bruins, but only managed to get a season-low 40.4 percent through on Tuukka Rask.

On more than one occasion since Saturday’s loss, coach Jeff Blashill has blasted the team’s offensive shortfall, including the fact that they own the league-low for shots on goal with 25.3 per game.

“If you only have 23 shots you don’t get as many chances to get seconds,” Blashill said. “It’s not from a lack of opportunity to be in the zone. It’s not from not shooting the puck. For the most part we didn’t have too many times where we were too cute. I didn’t see a whole lot of those on tape. I saw a lot of missed nets. We got to do a better job of hitting the net, making the goalie make saves.”

The Red Wings get Teemu Pulkkinen back in the lineup tonight. The sniper missed Saturday’s game with a sore neck. He will replace Joakim Andersson on the third line with Andreas Athanasiou and Drew Miller.

Jimmy Howard gets his ninth start of the season and his second against the Senators. He suffered a 3-1 loss to Ottawa at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 30.

Here are the line combinations and defensive pairings for tonight:










For the first time this month, the Red Wings built a 2-0 lead, courtesy of Dylan Larkin and Gustav Nyquist.

The newly formed line of Tatar, Datysuk and Larkin struck first converting a neutral-zone turnover into a 1-0 lead at 9:12 of the period. Defenseman Danny DeKeyser intercepted a pass and shuttled the puck to Larkin, who had to first dodge a hip check by Senators captain Erik Karlsson en route to the net. From there it appeared Larkin diped below the goal line before banking a shot off Sens goalie Craig Anderson.

A few moments later, defenseman Mike Green joined the rush, drawing an assist in his second consecutive game for the first time as a Red Wing as Nyquist recorded his team-leading seventh goal of the season.

The two goals were a pleasure to see for the Red Wings, who have struggled to score five on five. The two goals give them 18 five-on-five goals in 15-plus games.

The Senators, however, cut their deficit when Mike Hoffman scored with Larkin in the penalty box serving an interference minor.

Ottawa nearly tied the game late in the period, but Matt Puempel sent a rebound behind Jimmy Howard and out the other side of the crease.


SCORING: 1. DET, Larkin (DeKeyser), 9:12; 2. DET, Nyquist (Abdelkader, Green), 11:01; 3. OTT, Hoffman PPG (Karlsson, Stone), 16:10.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, Larkin (interference), 14:13.

Detroit 8, Ottawa 8.

It’s been a very long time, but what the Red Wings call the fourth line finally registered a goal. Detroit switched up his lines before Monday’s game, deploying the trio of Darren Helm, Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan as its grind line against the Senators.

The threesome kept pressure in the zone late in the period where Glendening managed to tie up a Senators’ defenseman for Helm and Sheahan, who simultaneously reached for the loose puck in the crease to the right of Anderson.

Sheahan got to the puck first, scoring his second goal in the past 14 games.

It was one of the greasy goals, the second- or third-chance goals that the Wings haven’t been getting recently.

Through two periods the Red Wings have gotten 52.5 percent of their shot attempts through to the Senators net.


1. DET, Sheahan (Glendening, Green), 16:24.

PENALTIES: 1, DET, Glendening (hooking), 0:25; 2. OTT, Hoffman (slashing), 2:22.

SHOTS: Detroit 13 (21), Ottawa 7 (15).

It wasn’t the kind of start to the third that the Red Wings wanted when the Senators took advantage of a defensive collapse in the attacking zone.

The Red Wings couldn’t get the puck out of their own zone and the Sens made them pay the consequences. Glendening broke his stick and tried clearing the puck with is gloved hand. But his attempt hit a leg and ricocheted to Sens defenseman Chris Wideman, who rifled a shot from the high slot that beat Howard at 3:13.

The pace definitely picked up once the Senators got within a goal of the Red Wings’ lead.

Ottawa had a few chances to pull even, but Howard made a couple nice saves and the defense did a nice job in transitioning the puck out of their own zone. On the other end, Athanasiou used his speed to break in on Anderson, but the Senators goalie glided to his left to stop a backhand shot and prevent the Wings from regaining a two-goal lead.

Detroit had the only power play opportunity in the final period. Alex Chiasson slashed Jonathan Ericsson and 14:25. However, the Red Wings failed to convert on their chance, which came back to bite Detroit when Bobby Ryan scored the equalizer moments later.

Ryan sliced his way through Glendening and Green before cutting in front of the net and slipping a backhand shot behind Howard.


SCORING: 1. OTT, Wideman (unassisted), 3:13; 2. OTT, Ryan (Hoffman, Ceci), 17:12.

PENALTIES: 1. OTT, Chiasson (slashing), 14:25.

SHOTS: Detroit 15 (36), Ottawa 10 (25).

Having had a two-goal lead it’s certainly not the finish they expected, but the Wings got the win when Tomas Tatar cruised into the Senators end and fired a shot that beat Anderson. It was Tatar’s fifth goal of the season and came on the only shot in overtime.

The Red Wings (9-8-1) return home where they will host the Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. Game time is 8 p.m. EDT.

Ovheckin is one goal away from setting a new NHL record for Russian-born goal scorers. The Capitals’ captain is currently tied with Hockey Hall of Famer and Red Wings’ great Sergei Fedorov with 483 career goals.


SCORING: 1. DET, Tatar (Nyquist), 2:04.


SHOTS: Detroit 1 (37), Ottawa 0 (25).

POSTED ON Saturday, 11.14.2015 / 9:35 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

Jeff Blashill began tinkering with his forward lines in the second period of Friday’s home game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Red Wings’ coach didn’t stop Saturday.

Detroit opened with a new set of lines that featured Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Andreas Athanasiou and Luke Glendening up the middle.

The Wings started the games with the following lines:


While the Wings tried figuring out line chemistry, they struggled in the defensive end of the ice as sort-out problems continue to plague this team early in the season. Fortunately, that’s where Petr Mrazek – who was making his 10th start of the season – came up big again, stopping all 12 shots he faced in the opening 20 minutes.

Offensively, the Wings had trouble sustaining any type of zone time. In fact, they went nearly seven minutes before getting their first shot on Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. It was with 13:02 showing on the clock, that Athanasiou cut in from the right wing and slipped a soft backhander toward Rask for the team’s first SOG.

Moments later, Dylan Larkin hit the post after the midway point of the period.

But though it all, the Wings managed to head to the first intermission without any damage done. They perhaps had the best scoring chance late in the period when Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader cruised in on a 2 on 1. But Rask made a magnificent sliding save on Abdelkader’s redirection from a centering pass by the Wings’ captain.




SHOTS: Detroit 5, Boston 12.

Getting shots to the net continued to be problematic for the Wings as they went the first seven minutes of the period without getting anything on Rask.

The Bruins got the first power play chance when Darren Helm picked up a hooking minor at 2:12. Boston managed to keep pressure on for nearly the entire two-minute man advantage. But Detroit’s defense did a fine job of cutting down the shooting lanes, particularly Alexy Marchenko, who had two blocks during the sequence.

Patrice Bergeron gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 7:18. The Bruins’ center zipped across the blue line before whistling a high shot that struck Mrazek in the right shoulder. The puck fluttered high over the goalie before landing in the blue paint behind him, where Bergeron, who out-raced Tomas Tatar to the net, tapped the puck into the open net.

Four minutes later, the Bruins had a two-goal lead when David Krejci scored his team-leading eight goal of the season at 11:10. Loui Eriksson sent Krejci on his way with a beautiful cross-ice pass from the far blue line. From there, Krejci turned defenseman Jakub Kindl inside out before unleashing a low wrist shot that beat Mrazek.

The Wings’ power play finally got a crack at the 30th ranked penalty kill in the league when Dennis Seidenberg was called for tripping the speedy Athanasiou at 14:38. But Detroit only got one shot (Zetterberg) as Boston’s penalty killers cleared the zone three times.

Torey Krug, the Livonia, Mich., native who played for Blashill in the USHL, scored a highlight-reel goal to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead. The goal was made possible by Brad Marchand, who weaved through two broken sticks as he coasted in alone down the right wing. Without much of an angle to shoot, he dropped a pass back to Krug who was trailing the play and used Mike Green as a screen.


SCORING: 1. BOS. Bergeron (Beleskey, Chara), 7:18; 2. BOS, Krejci (ErikssonTrotman), 11:10; 3. Krug (Marchand, Miller), 17:00.

PENALTIES: DET, Helm (hooking), 2:12; 2. BOS, Seidenberg (tripping), 14:38.

SHOTS: Detroit 8 (13), Boston 12 (24).

The lack of offense is obviously disturbing. Following Saturday’s loss, the Red Wings have just 15 five-on-five goals in the past 15 games. They scored seven even-strength goals in the first two games of the season in wins over Toronto and at Carolina.

Detroit prevented the shutout early in the period. The power play struck pay dirt for the first time in nine opportunities when Abdelkader scored for the first time since signing a new seven-year extension earlier in this week. The power-play goal ended a personal 14-game scoring drought for the Muskegon native.

The Wings’ power play had another chance late in the period, but even when they lifted Mrazek for a 6-on-4 advantage in the final three minutes of regulation, they couldn’t get enough pressure in the Boston zone.

The Wings have lost five straight to Boston and haven’t won a regular-season game at TD Garden since Oct. 14, 2013.


SCORING: 1. DET, Abdelkader, PPG (Kronwall, Green), 6:37;

PENALTIES: 1. BOS, Rinaldo (tripping), 6:09; 2. BOS, McQuaid (boarding), 16:18.

SHOTS: Detroit 10 (23), Boston 7 (31).

POSTED ON Sunday, 11.8.2015 / 4:37 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal
Andreas Athanasiou

DETROIT – The Red Wings are adding more speed to the lineup Sunday afternoon with the call up of Andreas Athanasiou from the club’s minor-league affiliate in Grand Rapids.

The speedy Athanasiou, who was the Red Wings fourth-round pick in the 2012 NHL draft, has produced 18 goals and 37 points in 64 games in the American Hockey League.

Athanasiou had a very impressive preseason, leading the club with four goals and three assists in five exhibition contests. He also finished tied with Dylan Larkin for the team lead in shots on goal with 15.

Through eight games with the Griffins this season, Athanasiou has been held to a goal and an assist with a minus-5 rating.

He is the second prospect to make his NHL debut with the Red Wings this season.

Athanasiou took his first NHL shift centering a line with Jokaim Andersson and Teemu Pulkkinen, and immediately put a body check on Jordie Benn in the Stars’ end.

Athanasiou won his first NHL face-off, beating the Stars’ Vernon Fiddler in the neutral zone at 7:59. The Wings’ rookie certainly added energy in the first, finishing the period with two hits, a blocked shot and winning 2-of-3 draws.

Meanwhile, the Stars built a 2-0 lead on goals by Patrick Sharp and Valeri Nichushkin.

Sharp’s goal came on the power play as Dallas capitalized on the first penalty of the game when Larkin headed to the box for interfering with Cody Eakin at 7:04. Just 18 seconds later the Stars grabbed a 1-0 lead when Sharp popped the puck behind Jimmy Howard, who was making his seventh start of the season.

Nichushkin, the Stars’ first-round draft pick in 2013, scored his first of the season by beating Brendan Smith to a rebound to the right of Howard at 15:19.

The Red Wings trimmed their deficit when Gustav Nyquist scored a power-play goal in the period’s final minute. The goal, Nyquist’s team-leading sixth of the season, came on a redirection from Niklas Kronwall’s hard pass from the blue line. The goal was also Nyquist’s team-best fourth power-play goal.


SCORING: 1. DAL, Sharp PPG (Klingberg, Seguin), 7:22; 2. DAL, Nichushkin (Jo. Benn, Jokipakka), 15:19; 3. DET, Nyquist PPG (Kronwall, Green), 19:33.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, Larkin (interference), 7:04; 2. DAL, Oduya (hooking), 18:13.

SHOTS: Detroit 8, Dallas 15.

It wasn’t a very good period for the Red Wings, though they still managed to trial by just one goal after 40 minutes.

Detroit had the first power play of the period, but failed to register a shot during the two-minute advantage. Not only didn’t the Wings get a shot on goal, the Stars’ Johnny Oduya managed to snap off a 35-footer, which was knocked aside by Howard.

The second power play chance of the period, the Red Wings managed to keep the puck in the attacking zone for all but the last two second of the man-advantage. But only one shot – that by Niklas Kronwall from the blue line – got through to Kari Lehtonen, who calming deflected the shot with his blocker into the stands.

Athanasiou had a few good chances to pull the Red Wings even late in the period. But with less than four minutes to go in the second he fired one shot high and wide, and the other was stopped by Lehtonen.

This is the second consecutive game that the Red Wings have been held to just three shots in the middle frame. Detroit had three second-period shots in their 2-1 overtime win at Toronto on Saturday.



PENALTIES: 1. DAL, Faksa (tripping), 2:57; 2. DAL, Seguin (too many men), 10:53;.

SHOTS: Detroit 3 (11), Dallas 3 (18).

The Red Wings had another power play chance early in the period, this time when Tyler Seguin was caught high-sticking Luke Glendening along the boards.

However, they got just one shot through on Lehtonen when Pulkkinen cut in on the right struggled more in the third.

Howard had to exit the game after he was accidently kneed in the side of the head by Jason Spezza. The injury occurred as the Stars’ center crashed the net on a 2-on-1 rush. Howard remained face-first on the ice for a bit as the play was allowed to continue before trainer Piet Van Zant attended to the Wings’ goalie.

So with 12:51 left in regulation, Howard, who made 20 saves, was lifted for backup Petr Mrazek.

The Red Wings were irate late in this one after it looked like Alec Hemsky left his skates to barrel into Jonathan Ericsson behind the Red Wings’ net. The hit sent Ericsson face first into the board, resulting a sizable cut next to the defenseman’s right eye.

The 6-foot Hemsky wasn’t penalized for the hit. But Ericsson, who is listed at 6-foot-4, retaliated with a punch to the head, received a roughing penalty.

With 2:08 left, the Wings pulled Mrazek for an extra attacker. The tactic didn’t work as the Stars got a pair of empty-net goals from Seguin and Cody Eakin.


SCORING: 1. DAL, Seguin EN (Sharp), 18:52; 2. DAL, Eakin EN (Ja. Benn), 19:41.

PENALTIES: 1. DAL, Seguin (high-sticking), 3:40; 2. DET, Green (hooking), 8:09; 3. DET, Ericsson (roughing), 12:05

SHOTS: Detroit 11 (22), Dallas 8 (26).

POSTED ON Friday, 11.6.2015 / 9:58 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal

TORONTO – The Red Wings are looking for their second win of the season over the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. Detroit posted a 4-0 win over the Leafs, and former coach Mike Babcock, on opening night at Joe Louis Arena.

Scoring first has been paramount for the Red Wings who are 5-1-1 when they score first. Meanwhile, drawing first blood has escaped the Leafs, who have scored first just twice in 12 games.

The Atlantic Division rivals will meet two more times this season – March 13 in Detroit and April 2 at Air Canada Centre.

It was a sluggish start for the Red Wings, who spend most of the first 10 minutes trying to dig the puck out of their own end.

Fortunately, the Leafs didn’t apply an exuberant amount of pressure on Wings goalie Petr Mrazek, who was making his seventh start of the season.

The Red Wings took a 1-0 lead when Henrik Zetterberg scored his first goal in three games on a fluky play. The Wings’ captain fired a shot just inside the blue line that Toronto goalie James Reimer misplayed. As Reimer came out to cut the angle, the shot appeared to go off his blocker and rolled into the open net.

The goal was No. 300 of Zetterberg’s 13-season career. He is now the fifth player in franchise history to register 300 goals, 500 assists and 800 points. The others are Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov.

Pavel Datsyuk (ankle) is two goals short of joining the Red Wings’ elite group.

Rookie Landon Ferraro was injured early in the period. Shortly after he collided with Leafs defenseman Scott Harrington in the attacking zone, Ferraro left the game with a lower-body injury. He will not return tonight.


SCORING: 1. DET, Zetterberg (Larkin, Abdelkader), 16:41.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, Smith (hooking), 18:29.

SHOTS: Detroit 9, Toronto 12.

The middle frame was more of what occurred in the first 20 minutes as the Wings spent much of the period in their own end.

Face-offs were a problem for Detroit, limiting puck possession and holding the Wings to three shots on goal in the period by Jakub Kindl, Joakim Andersson and Dylan Larkin.

Larkin provided a little spark with his undeniable speed midway through the period, but nothing that gave the Wings a real scoring chance.

Appearing in his 13th game this season, Larkin is the first 19-year-old to play in more than a dozen games with the Red Wings since Jiri Fischer did it in 1999-2000. Jiri Hudler is the last Red Wing to appear in 12 games as a 19-year-old rookie. He did so in 2003-04.

Once again, Mrazek was stellar, coming up with a couple big saves late in the period, stopping Brad Boyes’ one-timer from the right face-off dot, followed by Nick Spaling in close.



PENALTIES: 1. DET, Ericsson (high-sticking), 0:16; 2. DET, Nyquist (holding), 15:33.

SHOTS: Detroit 3 (12), Toronto 8 (20).

The Red Wings’ play power got its first opportunity early in the first, six-seconds into the frame to be exact.
But it was the Maple Leafs that had the first good scoring chance when former Wings’ draft pick Shawm Mattias moved and alone but whistled a shot wide of the net.

Moments later, Mrazek thwarted Joffrey Lupul, who didn’t get a good shot off from in close.

The Red Wings committed their fourth penalty of the night, the third drawn by Nazem Kadri, when Alexey Marchenko went to the box for tripping at 15:53. Fortunately for the Wings, the Leafs’ power play lacked any sustained pressure, and didn’t get a shot through to Mrazek.

However, the Leafs took advantage of an unlucky situation for the Wings when Marchenko couldn’t clear the zone after his stick broke while battling Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau along the boards near the blue line.

The Leafs managed to get the puck deep where Dion Phaneuf scored from a scramble, flipping the puck off the butt end of Mrazek’s stick handle.


SCORING: 1. TOR, Phaneuf (Bozak, Parenteau), 18:58.

PENALTIES: 1. TOR, Spaling (high-sticking), 0:06; 2. TOR, Bozak (high-sticking), 5:04; 3. TOR, Winnick (high-sticking), 13:02; 4. DET, Marchenko (tripping), 15:53.

SHOTS: Detroit 9 (21), Toronto 13 (33)

Gustav Nyquist had a shot to end the overtime, but Reimer, who appeared down and out of the play, managed to get back to his feet to stop Nyquist’s wrap-around chance.

Moments later, Jakub Kindl, who led the Red Wings with four shots on goal, scored the game winner as he joined the rush and snapped a shot into the top of the net behind Reimer.


: 1. DET, Kindl (Pulkkinen, Tatar), 2:17


SHOTS: Detroit 3 (24), Toronto 0 (33)






1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47


D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89