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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.14.2016 / 11:45 PM ET
By Bill Roose - / The Wheel Deal

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Red Wings have been out-shot in six straight.

It’s kind of a misleading statistic, considering Detroit won four of those six games.

The Wings wrap up a six-game road trip – their longest of the season – tonight against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena.

In the past six games, Detroit’s skaters are averaging 25.8 shots for, while at the other end of the ice they are allowing an average of 32 shots against.

It’s a trend that the Wings’ players would like to change.

“I think we have to spend some more time in the offensive zone,” said Justin Abdelkader, who has 11 shots in the past six games. “We got caught the last handful of games of kind of playing up-and-down hockey, not spending quality time in the offensive zone. We got to do a better job cycling, obviously shooting pucks. The teams we’ve played have done a good job blocking shots. Just got to find ways to get pucks through and on net.”

The Wings average 28.4 shots per game, which ranks No. 24 in the league. Still, they have posted a 13-8-0 record when they’ve been out-shot this season.

Coach Jeff Blashill agreed with Abdelkader’s assertion that more o-zone time is necessary to create more shots and scoring chances.

“More o-zone time, that’s number one thing,” Blashill said. “We haven’t had many stretches of real o-zone time like we did from the 15-games ago mark to the 10-game we had some real o-zone time. … We have to spend more time in the other team’s zone. If you think back … we haven’t had those real long stretches and when you do that you tend to accumulate more shots.”

The Wings had one other stretch this season when they were out-shot in six straight games. That occurred in late October/early November. But like this current stretch, the Wings were 4-2-0 then as well.

Zone time has been a concern and the Red Wings seemed to do little to address that in the first period, as the Coyotes controlled much of the pace. Arizona had a 12-5 edge in shots on goal in the period.

The Coyotes had a good scoring chance taken away by Brendan Smith who started a rush with a terrific breakout pass to Pavel Datsyuk in the neutral zone. Datsyuk coasted through the middle of the ice to the top of the slot where he tried to use Connor Murphy as a screen. But the Coyotes’ defenseman dropped to a knee and blocked Datsyuk’s shot in the low slot in front of rookie goaltender Louis Domingue.

With roughly nine minutes left in the first period, Datsyuk had another good scoring chance created by a neutral-zone turnover. With one move to side step a defender at the blue line, Datsyuk was in with Nicklas Grossman back. The Russian’s shot got through this time, but Domingue made a nice stand-up save.

Petr Mrazek, who was playing in his 29th game of the season – equally his total from last season – had to make several heady saves in the opening frame.

He made two big saves on Mikkel Boedker from close range. Boedker set up a third chance – this one by Tobias Rieder – with less than six-minutes to go. Boedker’s pass from the corner changed direction off of Mrazek’s right leg pad and into the high slot to Rieder who fired a one-time that the Wings’ goalie blocked and covered up for a whistle.

The Wings had another solid scoring chance when Dylan Larkin retrieved the luck along the half wall to the right of Domingue before spotting Riley Sheahan in the middle of the faceoff circle. Domingue had to be quick to react as Sheahan waste no time in pulling the trigger on a one-timer.



PENALTIES: 1. DET, Jurco (high-sticking) 18:36.

Detroit 5, Arizona 12.

The Red Wings started the period by having to kill off 36 seconds of Tomas Jurco’s high-sticking penalty. They managed to kill it off, but the Coyotes took the lead anyway when Oliver Ekman-Larsson collected his 13th goal of the season.

In a scramble in front of the Wings’ crease, Brad Richardson sent a puck into traffic. The shot pinballed off a few legs then bounced to Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who cranked a shot that beat Mrazek to his stick side.
The Wings had a nice opportunity to get an equalizing goal. But Brad Richards’s shot, which was created by a pretty give and go with Tomas Tatar t the blue line, was smothered by Domingue.

The Coyotes built a two-goal lead when Shane Doan scored on a deflection with 1:10 left in the period. The power-play goal was his team-leading 16th of the season.


SCORING: 1. ARI, Ekman-Larsson (Martinook, Richardson) 4:51; 2. ARI, Doan PPG (Rieder, Boedker) 18:50.

1. ARI, Vermette (roughing) 8:46; 2. DET, Larkin (interference)10:25; 3. ARI, Rieder (embellishment) 10:25; 4. DET, Abdelkader (tripping) 14:09.

SHOTS: Detroit 11 (16), Arizona 8 (20).

Never out of any game, the Red Wings fought back in the third with power-play goals by Datsyuk and Gustav Nyquist. Though the second goal was originally credited to Henrik Zetterberg.

The Red Wings finally got on the board when Datsyuk sniped a shot from the top of the slot on the team’s third power-play chance of the night. Domingue never had a chance as he was screened by Justin Abdelkader and Coyotes defenseman Klas Dahlbeck.

Just 1:15 later, the Wings returned to the power play and got the equalizing tally when Gustav Nyquist snapped his 10-game scoring drought. Nyquist followed up his initial shot by diving toward the net and poking the puck over the paddle of Doningue’s out-reached stick.

The Coyotes challenged the goal, saying that Domingue was interfered with my Abdelkader who crashed the crease from the opposite side of Nyquist. The situation room in Toronto reviewed the scoring play but the goal was upheld.


SCORING: 1, DET, Datsyuk PPG (Green, Nyquist) 11:50; 2. DET, Nyquist (Datsyuk, Green) 14:20.

PENALTIES: 1, ARI, Vermette (hooking) 10:51; 2. ARI, Duclair (hooking) 13:05.

SHOTS: Detroit 8 (24), Arizona 7 (27).

The pace was incredible and Larkin made things happen, leading to Danny DeKeyser’s shot that went top shelf over Domingue at 2:08.

Several players had chances to end this game early.

Abdelkader hit the post and then on the other end of the ice, Rieder hit the post behind Mrazek with a backhand shot. Moments later, Max Domi set up Martin Hanzal who fired a shot from in close that smacked Mrazek in the winged wheel.

But then came Larkin who entered the offensive zone with speed to burn. He later said that he tought about getting a backhand shot off, but made a pass instead, finding DeKeyser in the left circle, and the Wings’ defenseman didn’t miss on his opportunity correcting on his first game-winner of the season..

The Wings finish their six-game road trip with a 5-1-0 record. They head back to Detroit where they will face the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday night at 7:30 p.m.


SCORING: 1. DET, DeKeyser (Larkin, Datsyuk) 2:08.


SHOTS: Detroit 1 (25), Arizona 2 (29).

POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.12.2016 / 1:04 AM ET
By Bill Roose - / The Wheel Deal

LOS ANGELES – More than 10 years ago, a 21-year-old Jimmy Howard made his Red Wings debut and recorded his first NHL win in the City of Angels.

Howard was called up Nov. 28, 2005, filling in for Manny Legace when he went down with a knee injury.

That night, Howard stopped 22 shots in his first game, including a breakaway by Eric Belanger, to guide the Red Wings to a 5-2 win over the Kings.

Coming off a two-week long break, Howard now seeks a triumphant return to the lineup.

Howard last played Dec. 29 at Winnipeg. He was lifted after surrendering four goals on the first 14 shots. It was the second straight game that he was pulled for a poor performance.

The Wings look to remain perfect on their current six-game road trip. Despite being out-shot in each of the first four games of the trip, the Wings have been victorious in each, defeating Buffalo (4-3), New Jersey (1-0), San Jose (2-1) and Anaheim (2-1).

Howard, 31, has posted a 7-5-4 record with a 2.66 goals-against average and .9910 save percentage.

Tonight is the second and final time the Wings and Kings will face this season. Detroit claimed a 3-2 victory when Petr Mrazek made 35 saves on Nov. 20 at Joe Louis Arena.

Tomas Tatar, Mike Green and Dylan Larkin scored for the Wings.

The night couldn’t have started any worse for Howard.

Desperately needing a solid comeback effort, the Wings’ goalie was victimized on the Kings’ first shot of the game. It was the eighth goal that Howard has let up on the last 21 shots faced.

The Kings, on the heels of killing an opening-minute minor penalty, broke out of their zone where Anze Kopitar and Tyler Toffoli sprinted out to an odd-man rush with Wings defenseman Mike Green back.

As Green dropped to the ice in an attempt to cut off the passing lane, Kopitar waited for the Wings’ defenseman to slide by before making a pass to Toffoli on the far side of Howard, who was focused on Kopitar. Toffoli just had to redirect the puck with the blade of his stick into the open side of the net.

With Kyle Quincey back in the lineup, the Wings’ coaches chose to go with seven defensemen and 11 forwards. Part of the reason was likely because of the recent play of Alexey Marchenko and Brendan Smith has been so good that it was difficult not to have them in the lineup tonight.

The Wings bounced back in the second half of period, getting goals from Tomas Tatar and Marchenko.

For the second straight night, Tatar scored. His equalizing goal Monday was a tip in front of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. Pavel Datsyuk set up the scoring play, skating across the blue line before making a spinning pass to Darren Helm on the opposite point. It was Helm’s shot that Tatar redirected.

Less than three minutes later, Marchenko, who is playing in his 50 career NHL game, finally scored his first goal of the season. Again, Helm and Datsyuk set up the goal.


SCORING: 1. LAK, Toffoli (Kopitar, Lucic) 2:59; 2. Tatar (Helm, Datsyuk)  15:49; 3. DET, Marchenko (Datsyuk, Helm) 18:16.

PENALTIES: 1. LAK, Kopitar (tripping) 0:29; 2. LAK, Ehrhoff (holding) 9:33; 3. DET, Tatar (tripping) 10:33.

SHOTS: Detroit 10, Los Angeles 12.

The Wings almost seemed compelled to allow the Kings to bring the attack to them in the second period.

Los Angeles came in waves at Howard, out-shooting the Wings, 10-4, in a period that saw the Kings tie the score on a Kopitar power-play goal.

Howard figured in the Kings’ second goal of the night when he was called for tripping Jeff Carter at 16:21. Howard’s penalty was served by Brad Richards.

But just seven seconds later, Kopitar had his 12th goal of the season, and the Kings and Wings were tied at 2-2.

From the top of the left circle, Kopitar rifled a rising shot that Howard likely never saw behind a screen in front of his crease.

For the 12th time this season, the Wings head to the second intermission tied. They have posted a 7-3-1 record when tied after two periods.


SCORING: 1. LAK, Kopitar PPG (Muzzin, Lucic) 16:28.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, Howard (tripping, severed by Richards) 16:21; 1. DET, Ericsson (hooking) 19:56.

SHOTS: Detroit 4 (14), Los Angeles 10 (22).

With Jonathan Ericsson serving the remaining time on his hooking penalty near the end of the second period, the Kings picked up their second power-play of the night when Detroit-area native Alec Martinez ripped a shot from the right circle that gave the Kings a 3-2 lead at 1:28.

Riley Sheahan attempted to block Martinez’s shot, but may have set more of a screen in front of Howard.

The Wings’ pulled Howard for an extra attacked with 1:26 remaining. But Dwight King out-raced Niklas Kronwall to a loose puck in the neutral zone to score an empty-net goal with 52 seconds left.

Kopitar picked up his third assist on the empty netter. It was his fourth point of the game.

It was just the first time at home this season that the Kings have scored more than one PP goal in a game.

The loss is the Wings’ first of 2016.

Detroit will conclude their six-game road trip later this week when they meet the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena in Glendale on Thursday.


SCORING: 1. LAK, Martinez PPG (Doughty, Kopitar) 1:28; 2. King (Kopitar, Doughty) 19:07.


SHOTS: Detroit 12 (26), Los Angeles 9 (31).

POSTED ON Sunday, 01.10.2016 / 10:35 PM ET
By Bill Roose - / The Wheel Deal

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Red Wings have been on the right side of more one-goal games than any NHL team this season.

Detroit has participated in 26 games decided by one goal, and leads the league with 16 one-goal wins. Minnesota, Carolina and Vancouver have also played in 26 one-goal games, but only the Wild (12 wins) comes close to the success Detroit (16-3-7) has had.

Coach Jeff Blashill thinks it’s been his team’s ability to build leads and hang on late in what has grown to become a tight league with very little time in space every night.

“I think when you’ve had the lead it’s a better chance by percentages that you’re gonna come out on top,” Blashill said Sunday afternoon. “We’ve found a way in a lot of them, I mean, it’s the way the game’s gone. I think we’ve had some opportunities to maybe make some of those two- and three-goal leads. We haven’t, so as a result (they) have been one goal (outcomes).

“We’re comfortable in that because we’ve been in that spot so much. For me it doesn’t matter, we’ve got to score one more than they score at the end of the night, and we’ve got to find a way to win.”

Winning is something the Red Wings haven’t done in nearly three years against Anaheim. Since posting consecutive wins on back-to-back nights in Anaheim during the lockout-shortened 2013 season, the Wings are 0-3-1 against the Ducks.

The Wings are seeking their first four-game winning streak in regulation since late in the 2013-14 season. Despite being out-shot and out-chanced in four straight games, the Wings have managed to string together three straight to start their current six-game road trip with wins at Buffalo, New Jersey and San Jose.

“We don’t necessarily trust the shooting chart and I don’t know if that always tells the story,” Blashill said. “We keep our own chances. The other night for example in San Jose we actually came out of top on chances. So I think, again, every game is tight, it’s real close. We’ve got to find a way to create as many positive chances and limit the other team’s chances the best that we can.”

Brendan Smith
Defense  - DET
Goals: 3 | Assists: 7 | Pts: 10
Shots: 36 | +/-: 5
 WING TO WATCH: Since returning from a five-game absence with an illness in late November, Brendan Smith has benefited from the coaches’ new confidence in the defenseman’s 200-foot game.

Considered an offensive defenseman, Smith has made a commitment to play a complete game at both ends of the ice.

“I think he’s managed the game the best he has,” Blashill said. “I think his decision making has been the best it’s been on a consistent level. He’s taken what’s given, he’s not trying to force stuff that’s not there. I think when you’re a talented person like him you have a tendency at times to force things. He’s learned, I think, over the last month and a half, two months, to really taken what’s given. It’s a big part of winning hockey at this level.”

In 33 games, Smith has 10 points. Two years ago, he established a single-season career high with 19 points in 71 games.

The Red Wings have done extremely well when scoring first this season. They are 19-4-4 when striking first. But Sunday, they scored fast … real fast.

Tomas Tatar’s 13 goal of the season just 16 second into the game was the fastest goal to start a contest this season. Justin Abdelkader’s goal at 1:15 on opening night had been the fastest until Sunday at Honda Center.

Tatar was credited with an unassisted goal; however, Pavel Datsyuk made a play to get the puck to Tatar at the bottom of the right circle to the left of Ducks goalie John Gibson. It appeared that Tatar tried to make a pass out in front of the crease, but the puck ricocheted off the Hampus Lindholm’s stick blade and between Gibson’s legs.

Datsyuk should have received an assist, but the way it’s been explained in the press box is because Lindholm accidently scored on his own net while making a stabbing motion with his stick, the assist is removed. Plus, Tatar isn’t given a shot on goal.
The Red Wings had two chances to go up two goals when Detroit-area native Ryan Kesler and Sami Vatanen earned high-sticking and tripping penalties, respectively, about four-minutes apart.

Kesler went to the penalty box for using his stick to whack Henrik Zetterberg in the throat behind the Ducks’ net at 3:28 of the period. Detroit managed to get two shots on net during their two-minute chance, but Gibson turned both aside.

Vatanen was called for tripping Tatar. Detroit got another shot on goal on the power play, but the Ducks definitely had the better scoring chance.

The Ducks’ penalty kill has now allowed a goal in 28 straight chances, dating back to a 4-2 win over Philadelphia on Dec. 27.

The Ducks’ PK had a glorious chance to pull even on the scoreboard when Kevin Bieksa intercepted a pass before sending a stretch pass, splitting Brad Richards and Tatar, and sending Nate Thompson in a lone on Petr Mrazek. The Ducks center beat the Wings goalie high over his left catching glove, but the puck glanced off the crossbar and into the messing behind the net.

Corey Perry eventually pulled the Ducks even with his team-leading 16th goal of the season. The Peterborough, Ontario, native fought off Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser to get a backhand off that beat Mrazek over his right shoulder. It was just the Ducks second shot of the period.

At one point the Wings had a 6-1 edge in shots. But the Ducks up their pressure in the final half of the period with six unanswered shots on Mrazek.


1. DET, Tatar (unassisted) 0:16; 2. ANA, Perry (Getzlaf, Rakell) 13:35.

PENALTIES: 1. ANA, Kesler (high-sticking) 3:28; 2. ANA, Vatanen (tripping) 7:09; 3. DET, Smith (hooking) 17:05.

SHOTS: Detroit 6, Anaheim 7.

Wave after wave, the Ducks buzzed the Wings’ zone to start the middle frame. Fortunately for the Red Wings, Mrazek, who’s been sharp all game, got some help from a goal post.

Perry was just one of three Ducks who had clear shooting lanes on the Wings’ net. Perry’s shot from the left circle beat Mrazek, but the puck rocketed off the near post.

The Ducks picked up their first power play chance of the night when Glendening was called on a questionable tripping call on Getzlaf as he rushed the puck toward the Wings’ blue line.

Mrazek had to be sharp again later in the period on Getzlaf. With about three minutes left in the period, the Ducks captain cruised into the zone and unleashed a wicked wrist shot from the high slot that Mazrek had to make a kick save on with his right leg pad.

The Red Wings’ best chance in the period occurred when Zetterberg send Nyquist into the zone on a nice pass through the neutral zone. Gibson was forced to make a pad save, but the rebound went out in front to Abdelkader, who was then tripped by Josh Manson. The Ducks’ defenseman was sent to the box with 1:03 left in the period.



PENALTIES: 1. DET, Glendening (tripping) 11:54; 2. ANA, Manson (holding) 18:57.

SHOTS: Detroit 9 (15), Anaheim 11 (18).

The Red Wings began the period with 57 seconds of a power play remaining as Manson finished serving his two-minute minor. However, nothing in way of a scoring chance developed for the Wings.

Tatar had a chance to regain the lead for the Red Wings when he made a great play, swiping the puck away from Vatanen at the Wings’ blue line. From there, the Wings’ forward outraced the 24-year-old defenseman through the neutral zone to get an 18-foot shot off on Gibson, who made the stop with his body.

At one point in the period, Riley Sheahan ended up in Ducks’ bench as he tried to play a stretch pass from Alexey Marchenko. The Wings’ third-line center went head-first over the board when he was drilled in the back by Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner.

The Wings did get the lead back when roommates Sheahan and Dylan Larkin combined on a pretty goal. The rookie spoted Sheahan slicing through the slot, made a centering pass and Sheahan, fighting off a check, shoveled a shot in behind Gibson.

Exactly 50 percent of the Red Wings’ games last season were decided by one goal. Already this season, 27 games – or 64.3 percent – have been won or lost by one goal.


SCORING: 1. DET, Sheahan (Larkin) 16:16.


SHOTS: Detroit 11 (25), Anaheim 13 (31).

POSTED ON Friday, 01.8.2016 / 1:04 AM ET
By Bill Roose - / The Wheel Deal

SAN JOSE, Calif. – It’s been an agonizing five weeks – in more ways than one – for Drew Miller.

Miller returns to the lineup tonight after having his lower jaw fractured in a game against the Arizona Coyotes last month. He had surgery on Dec. 5 to insert two metal plates.

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the lineup,” said Miller, following Thursday’s morning skate at SAP Center. “Definitely not the funniest thing to watch the team play and not be a part of it. You want to be out there competing and playing with your team. I’m looking forward to it.”

Miller, who missed 14 games, draws back in the lineup against the San Jose Sharks, who have won just five times at home this season.

The Red Wings’ penalty kill heavily depends on Miller, who is a tenacious shot blocker and a solid positional player on special teams. Detroit’s PK struggled in Miller’s absence, surrendering 13 goals (.711) in that stretch. Prior to Miller’s injury, the PK was humming along with an. 837 efficiency rating, killing off 72 of 86 shorthanded opportunities.

“I think when I watched our penalty kill when I was out I thought the guys did a great job,” Miller said. “Sometimes the puck just goes in the net. So there’s nothing like I’m going to step in and be like ‘oh that guy did a bad job’ and I’m the one who’s going to come in and change the whole percentage and get it better. I just want to play my role and do what I do, bring what I bring to the team. I think I can help on the penalty kill.”

For at least a few games, Miller is required to wear a full protective face shield, which is similar to the one he wore last season after he was accidently cut beneath the eye.

“I’ve been skating, so it’s not like I’ve been off. I have good conditioning so I feel ready to go from that standpoint. Mentally you’ve got to get out there and give a few hits, take a few hits, make some plays. Kind of feel your way back in but make it quick.”

Danny DeKeyser’s role isn’t to score much. In fact, his first-period goal Thursday was just the ninth of his career, in 193 NHL games.

But the goal that gave the Red Wings an early lead was far and away the prettiest in his time since joining the Red Wings in 2013.

As captain Henrik Zetterberg wheeled through the neutral zone, DeKeyser joined the rush getting himself open on the left wing. Once over the blue line, Zetterberg slid a pass to DeKeyser who got behind a Sharks defender and whistled a shot that beat goalie Martin Jones high to the glove side.

Dylan Larkin picked up a secondary assist on the scoring play, giving him 28 points in 40 games this season. He is now tied for 24th on the Wings’ all-time rookie points list with Henry Boucha (1972-73) and Bill Lochead (1974-75).

But the lead didn’t last very long as the Sharks evened the score 1:31 later on Joel Ward’s tip that Petr Mrazek likely never saw. The scoring play was set up by a Sharks’ faceoff win to the left of Mrazek. San Jose cycled the puck up to the blue line where defenseman Brent Burns fired a shot from the point. Ward, who was battling with Alexey Marchenko in front of the crease, managed to get his stick on the puck, deflecting it into the top of the net.

The Sharks had two power play chances when Luke Glendening went to the penalty box twice in a 3 ½ minute span. But San Jose failed to convert on either opportunity as the Wings’ penalty killers held the home team to just one shot.

It certainly was a wide open period with the teams combining on 28 shots through the first 20 minutes.


SCORING: 1. DET, DeKeyser (Zetterberg, Larkin) 9:16; 2. SJS, Ward (Burns, Vlasic) 10:57.

1. DET, Glendening (high sticking) 14:28; 2. DET, Glendening (holding) 18:09.

SHOTS: Detroit 12, San Jose 16.

With the exception of a few offensive burst, the second period was far different than the first 20 minutes as both teams did a better job of locking down in the neutral zone.

The Wings were held to six shots in the period, including two from Pavel Datsyuk. The other shots came from Larkin, Justin Abdelkader, Tomas Tatar and Mike Green.
The best scoring chance for the Red Wings came late in the period when Tatar threw a pass out from the wall to Datsyuk who was all alone at the top of the slot. The Russian sniper had time in space to get off a quality shot but the puck hit Jones in the crest.

Moments later, the Wings went on their first power play of the game when Dainius Zubrus was called for holding Marchenko with 1:14 left before the second intermission. Detroit had one shot in the close seconds, a 64-footer by Green, which Jones easily handled.

There’s still 46 seconds remaining in Zubrus’s minor, which carries over to the start of the third period.



PENALTIES: 1. DET, Larkin (tripping) 3:02; 2. DET, Smith (roughing) 14:47; 3. SJS, Hertl (slashing) 14:47; 3. SJS, Zubrus (holding) 18:46.

SHOTS: Detroit 6 (18), San Jose 10 (26).

The Sharks managed to kill off the remaining 46 seconds of Zubrus’s penalty.

Larkin seemed to find another gear early in the third when he used Paul Martin as a screen before firing a shot between the defenseman’s legs that nearly fooled Jones.

With under 13 minutes to go, Mrazek was tested when Matt Nieto sent a knuckleball of a shot from the right point that the goalie adjusted on late and had to make a blocker save.

About seven minutes later the Red Wings got the big break they needed when Mrazek made a monumental save on one end that then transpired into a game-winning goal at the other.

From a scrum in front of the Wings’ crease, Mrazek batted the puck out of the air with his stick paddle denying Ward a second goal of the night that would have given the Sharks their first lead of the night.

As the play moved up ice, Abdelkader raced to the top of the slot where he took a perfect pass from Datsyuk and wired a shot under Jones’s right arm, giving the Wings a 2-1 lead at 13:08.

The Sharks called a timeout with 32.4 seconds remaining, but they couldn’t muster an answer for the job that Mrazek did on them in their own building.

Mrazek was simply spectacular at times tonight, making 35 saves, his fourth highest save totals of the season for his 14th win. His won 16 games as a rookie last season.

The victory was also the Wings’ 25th one-goal win of the season (16-3-7). They won 41 one-goal games last season.


SCORING: 1. DET, Abdelkader (Datsyuk, Ericsson) 13:08.

1. SJS, Pavelski (interference) 17:07; 2. SJS, Thornton (roughing) 20:00; 3. SJS, Thornton (10-minute misconduct) 20:00.

SHOTS: Detroit 7 (25), San Jose 10 (36).


POSTED ON Monday, 01.4.2016 / 9:27 PM ET
By Bill Roose - / The Wheel Deal

NEWARK, N.J. – The last time the Red Wings and New Jersey Devils faced – prior to the Christmas holiday break – Dylan Larkin received plenty of unwanted attention.

The Devils’ John Moore, Damon Severson and Lee Stempniak managed to get away with a few indiscretions at Larkin’s expense, which eventually cost the rookie a game played when he sat out with an upper-body injury when the Wings traveled to Nashville on Dec. 26.

Following the Red Wings’ 4-3 loss to New Jersey, coach Jeff Blashill wasn’t pleased with the treatment of his young star

“I think we’re going to have to continue to do a good job of defending him,” Blashill said. “And I think referees throughout the league have to know that young stars in the league, when they get targeted, they’ve got to make sure they do a good job of calling penalties, even if they’re close, because we don’t want our young stars in the league getting targeted and we don’t want lots of fighting anymore, so we better make sure we look after them a little bit that way.”

Though the Devils weren’t penalized for targeting Larkin, several others have been this season have been, including Buffalo’s Cody Franson, who was called for roughing on Saturday. Calgary’s Sean Monahan and Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos also received minors for roughing Larkin this season, while Nashville defenseman Seth Jones and Ottawa center Zack Smith were accessed slashing minors, and Calgary center Joe Colborne for cross-checking.

Blashill said Larkin must continue to play through a lot of the physical stuff.

“It’s just part of being a young player, it’s part of being a good player in this league,” Blashill said. “It’s the reality of it. I think he understands that. I’m sure there’s moments where he’ll be frustrated. But there’s lots of moments where he’s fought through that frustration and been real successful. He’ll have to win that battle on a nightly basis.”

Petr Mrazek will make his eighth straight appearance tonight, which includes six starts.

The Czech goalie replaced Jimmy Howard on Dec. 22 when the Devils touched the veteran for three goals on the first six shots of the game. It was the first time this season that a Wings’ goaltender has been lifted from a game for poor performance.

Howard was also lifted on Dec. 29 at Winnipeg.

Blashill has said all along that the Wings’ have an ideal goaltender situation with very little separation between Mrazek and Howard this season.

But when a reporter asked Blashill before Monday’s game about Howard’s possible next start, the coach was guarded.

“We’re going to play tonight’s game and we felt like this was the right move for tonight and then we’ll re-evaluate after the game,” Blashill said. “I never want to get too far ahead of myself. Certainly we have thoughts in place, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. We’ll keep kind of going day by day. It’s a day-by-day business.”

The Devils defeated the Red Wings twice last month, 3-2 in overtime at Prudential Center (Dec. 11) and 4-3 at Joe Louis Arena 11 days later. The Devils haven't won three straight against the Red Wings since their four-game sweep in the 1995 Stanley Cup finals.

The way the period started out it appeared the Devils would continue to target Larkin, especially after the whistle. A case in point was forward Bobby Farnham, who made use Larkin knew he wasn’t welcome around the Devils’ crease following an early stoppage.

But Larkin countered the only way he knows how.

The rookie took a perfect stretch pass from blue line to blue line, and set in alone on goalie Cory Schneider. After receiving Brad Richards’ pass, Larkin got Schneider to bite on the forehand, pulling the goalie out of position and unable to recover to make a save on Larkin’s backhand.

The first-period goal was No. 14 for Larkin, who regained the league’s rookie goal-scoring lead. He also pulled into a tie with Los Angeles Kings’ Tyler Toffoli atop of the league’s plus-minus rating at plus-22.

Larkin is No. 25 all-time on the franchise’s rookie scoring list with 27 points in 39 games. He’s tied for 18th all-time in goals with Carl Liscombe (1937-38), Len Lunde (1958-59) and Henry Boucha (1972-73).


1. DET, Larkin (Richards, Sheahan) 9:20.


SHOTS: Detroit 8, New Jersey 12.

Early in the period, Schneider managed to keep it a one-goal deficit for the Devils when he made a fine sliding stop on Joakim Andersson with 13:55 left. The play was set up by Luke Glendening, who moved the puck to the bottom of the right circle from the near corner. Glendening spotted Andersson, who crashed the net while fighting off a check by Jon Merrill, but the shot appeared to strike the goalie in the chest.

The Devils received the game’s first power play when Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar was called for goaltender interference at 9:06. But the Wings’ penalty killers were relentless, not allowing a shot to reach Mrazek.

In fact, the Wings blocked seven Devils’ shots in the period, including two each by defensemen Alexey Marchenko and Jonathan Ericsson. Three others – Larkin, Glendening and Mike Green – had one block each.

Mrazek face just five shots in the period.



1. DET, Tatar (goaltender interference) 9:06.

SHOTS: Detroit 6 (15), New Jersey 5 (17).

For the second straight period, the Wings’ defense was stellar, holding the Devils to enough shots that could be counted on one hand.

The Devils, who were held to five shots in the second period, only managed five in the final 20 minutes as the Red Wings posted a 1-0 win at the Prudential Center.

However, midway through the period, Kyle Palmieri had perhaps the Devils best chance to tie the score. He skated around Niklas Kronwall, but as the Devils’ forward cut right to left on front of Mrazek he lost control of the puck as it skipped into the corner.

It’s Mrazek’s seventh career shutout, his second this season. He made 38 saves in blanking the Washington Capitals, 1-0, at Joe Louis Arena on Nov. 10.

The Red Wings have provided nail-biting finishes all season, playing 25 of their first 40 games to one-goal decisions this season (62.5 percent). Monday’s win is Detroit’s league-leading 15 one-goal victory of the season.

The Wings are heading home tonight. They will begin a four-game trip to the West Coast later this week with games in San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Arizona.



1. NJD, Tlusty (boarding) 10:44; 2. DET, Abdelkader (kneeing) 13:03.

SHOTS: Detroit 6 (21), New Jersey 5 (22).

POSTED ON Saturday, 01.2.2016 / 3:38 PM ET
By Bill Roose - / The Wheel Deal
Entering Saturday's matinee, Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg has five goals and 14 points in 18 career games against the Sabres. (Photo by Getty Images)

BUFFALO – The Red Wings and Sabres have something in common, though neither team is very happy about it.

The Wings and the host Sabres bring three-game losing streaks into this afternoon’s game at First Niagara Center.

For Detroit, a higher work ethic and fewer turnovers will be needed to prevent the Wings from establish a new season-long losing streak.

Coach Jeff Blashill said the outcome of today’s matinee is “gonna be different if our compete level is better and if our turnover ratio is better. If we limit our turnovers and we compete at a higher level we’ll give ourselves a way better chance to win. You’ve got to play great in this league to give yourself a chance to win. Certainly doesn’t guarantee victory, but it gives yourself the best chance.”

During their recent streak, scoring is down. The Wings have a combined four goals – two by Pavel Datsyuk – in their regulation losses to Minnesota, Winnipeg and Pittsburgh.

Buffalo hasn’t been much better. Only three teams – Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Anaheim – have scored less than the 88 goals the Sabres’ offense has produced.

“The teams are so close, I don’t want this to sound like our guys aren’t out there caring and not out there trying, because that’s not true,” Blashill said. “We need an increased compete level. You’ve gotta dig deep and be a little above and beyond where we’re at. I don’t want to disrespect any of our other opponents, the other teams are trying real hard too, and they’re real good too, so the difference is so miniscule every little puck matters, every little play matters, and we just gotta heighten it and be a little bit better.”

As the season reaches the midway point, every game, every point is extremely important, especially against conference rivals, as is the case today against the Sabres, who trail the Red Wings by nine points in the Atlantic Division.

“I think every game is crucial,” Blashill said. “I think regardless of where we sit that’s over, and now we’ve got to continue to move forward, try to win as many games as possible and certainly tonight’s game is a huge game.”

Petr Mrazek will play in his seventh straight game – he replaced Jimmy Howard in two of those appearances – which is the longest such game-played streak for a Wings’ goalie since Mrazek appeared in 13 straight (Jan. 7 to Feb. 11) last season.

In an effort to jumpstart the offense, Blashill revealed new line combinations during pre-game warmups. The Wings will roll out the following lines:


Good things come to the Red Wings when they score first. Detroit is 16-4-4 this season when scoring first in games, and 7-1-1 when taking a lead into the first intermission.

The Red Wings did both Saturday afternoon when Brad Richards registered his fourth goal of the season at 12:59 of the period. 

Until then, Evander Kane had perhaps the best chance to score during the period when he converted a turnover at the far blue line into an odd-man rush. But his wrist shot from the top of the left circle was stopped by Mrazek’s right pad save around the six-minute mark.

The first power play of the game went to the Sabres when Darren Helm was called for hooking Nicolas Deslauriers at the nine-minute mark. But the Red Wings’ penalty killers did a terrific job of clamping down on the Sabres, limiting them to no shots on goal while clearing the zone on three separate occasions to eat up much of the special teams time.

As so often happens, a great save on one end of the ice precedes a momentum-gaining goal at the opposite end of the rink. A case in point was Mrazek’s heady save after a Jonathan Ericsson turnover deep in the Wings’ end resulted in a glorious chance for Jamie McCann. Fortunately for the Wings, Mrazek was alert and covered up drawing a faceoff.

After beating Ryan O’Reilly in the faceoff circle to the right of Mrazek, Riley Sheahan led a rush up the ice before making a nifty centering pass to Richards, who pulled the trigger from the slot beating Sabres goalie Chad Johnson.


SCORING: 1. DET, Richards (Sheahan, Larkin) 12:59.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, Helm (hooking) 9:00; 2. DET, Nosek (high-sticking) 14:08.

SHOTS: Detroit 7, Buffalo 11.

Before the game, Blashill was asked about the team’s power play that has been up and down lately. “You can talk about the timeliness of it, but the reality is power plays at 20-25 percent is a great power play,” the coach said.

Well, the power play gave the Red Wings a two-goal lead in the second, and has been operating 31.6 percent (6-of-19) over the past six-plus road games.

Sheahan, who set up Richards’ goal in the first, tipped in Mike Green’s shot from the point with two-seconds left in Cody Franson’s roughing penalty.

But the period did not end on a high note for the Red Wings, as Sabres rookie Jack Eichel scored a pair of goals – one on the power play – to pull Buffalo even at 2-2.


SCORING: 1. DET, Sheahan PPG (Green, Tatar) 7:59; 2. BUF, Eichel PPG (Ristolainen) 14:26; 3. BUF, Eichel (Girgensons, Gionta) 17:27.

PENALTIES: 1. BUF, Weber (hooking) 1:36; 2. BUF, Franson (roughing) 6:01; 3. DET, Ericsson (holding) 12:45.

Detroit 8 (15), Buffalo 13 (24).

The Wings regained their one-goal lead on a nice effort by Gustav Nyquist, who raced through the neutral zone and fired a wrist shot through traffic from the top of the slot.

Johnson made the initial save, but kicked it out in front where captain Henrik Zetterberg was waiting to pounce.  Brendan Smith picked up a secondary assist on the go-ahead goal. It was the defenseman’s seventh point in the past eight games.

Unfortunately, the Sabres weren’t done. They evened the score again on the power play, getting a fortuitous bounce in front of the Wings’ net. As Danny DeKeyser tried clearing the puck from the crease his effort went off Tomas Nosek’s stick in the low slot and into the open net. Sam Reinhardt was credit with an unassisted goal at 8:58.

With three minutes left in regulation, Kane moved in on the left side before firing a rocket behind Mrazek, but the shot went off the near goal post. However, Detroit countered and Tomas Tatar cruised into the slot before lifting a shot that went high far side on Johnson for the eventual game-winner with 2:50 left.

Mrazek had to come up with one more huge save though. With 1:25 left, he prevented Zach Bogosian from getting another equalizer. Bogosian broke free into the Wings’ zone when he moved across the blue line alone, courtesy of Eichel’s stretch pass. But the Wings’ goalie made perhaps the biggest stop of the game to preserve the win.


SCORING: 1. DET, Zetterberg (Nyquist, Smith) 2:27; 2. BUF, Reinhardt PPG (unassisted) 8:58; 3. DET, Tatar (unassisted) 17:10.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, Green (hooking) 5:25; 2. DET, Green (cross-checking) 7:36.

SHOTS: Detroit 8 (23), Buffalo 11 (35).

POSTED ON Thursday, 12.31.2015 / 8:47 PM ET
By Bill Roose - / The Wheel Deal

DETROIT – The Red Wings need a win in the worst way.

The Wings are trying to avoid a three-game losing streak, but they’d like to dodge equaling a low for wins in a calendar year.

In the eight years following the 2004-05 lockout – when the league went to the shootout format – the Red Wings have posted 56, 55, 49, 47, 48, 47, 42 and 41 wins between January and December.

Heading into Thursday’s 2015 finale against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Wings are 41-28-12.

Detroit is hosting the Penguins for the fourth time on New Year’s Eve, since dropping a 5-4 decision in 1978. The Wings posted a 3-1 win in 1980 and settled for a 4-4 tie in 1984.

The Red Wings rarely lack offensive firepower on the final day of the year, scoring four-plus on 34 occasions.

Danny DeKeyser's shot goes wide of the net early in the first period against the Penguins. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

Limited to a single goal in each of the past two games – losses at Minnesota and Winnipeg this week – the Wings’ offense struck twice against Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff in the first period.

The speed of Dylan Larkin helped set up the Wings’ first goal. The rookie’s wrap-around attempt ended up on the tape of Justin Abdelkader’s stick in front of an open net. Abdelkader buried his chance for his 12th goal of the season, at 6:47.

The Red Wings could have had a lead earlier but Danny DeKeyser misfired on a wide-open net from a beautiful centering pass by Pavel Datsyuk. The Wings’ defenseman slipped into the low slot where he took the pass and tried to direct a one-timer into the open side of the net behind Zatkoff. But DeKeyser’s shot went between the Penguins’ goalie and the far post.

Defenseman Brendan Smith was rewarded for his hustle when he scored from almost the identical spot as Abdelkader, though Smith’s wrist shot made its way through traffic, squeezing through Zatkoff’s pads at 12:15. It was Smith’s sixth point in seven games.


SCORING: 1. DET, Abdelkader (Larkin, Kronwall) 6:47; 2. DET, Smith (Nyquist, Marchenko) 12:15.

PENALTIES: 1. PIT, Letang (roughing) 10:15; 2. DET, Glendening (slashing) 10:15.

SHOTS: Detroit 10, Pittsburgh 11.

Tomas Tatar had two shots on goal during seven second-period shifts for the Red Wings. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

The Penguins bounced back in the middle period, tying the score on a pair of power-play goals by Patric Hornqvist and Kris Letang. It was the first time this season the Penguins scored more than one power-play goal on the road.

Both Pens’ goals were scored with DeKeyser serving minor penalties, first for hooking David Perron then interfering with Sidney Crosby.

The Penguins trimmed their deficit on Hornqvist’s goal, but not before Wings coach Jeff Blashill challenged the validity of it, claiming goaltender interference on Hornqvist just 46 seconds into period. Moments later, referee Jean Hebert conferred with the league’s situation room in Toronto where the goal was upheld.

Replay showed that Petr Mrazek inadvertently kicked the puck into the net with his right skate.

Letang lost his cool several time through the first 40 minutes, serving separate minors for roughing, slashing and cross-checking. But the nine-year veteran settled down in time to scoring the tying goal at 11:44.

Tomas Jurco, who logged 4:09 of ice time on five first-period shifts, did not come out for the second period. It was later announced that the Wings’ forward would not return to the game because of an upper-body injury.

The Pens may have lost Nick Bonino late in the period. He rushed off the ice favoring his upper right arm when it appeared that DeKeyser may have accidently stepped on the Pens’ center. 


SCORING: 1. PIT, Hornqvist PPG (Malkin, Letang) 0:46; 2. PIT, Letang PPG (Malkin, Hornqvist) 11:44.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, DeKeyser (hooking) 0:15; 2. PIT, Letang (slashing) 2:35; 3. PIT, Letang (cross checking) 8:28; 4. DET, DeKeyser (interference) 11:14; 5. DET, Richards (too many men) 18:17; 6. DET, Glendening (roughing) 19:55; 7. PIT, Perron (cross-checking) 19:55.

SHOTS: Detroit 13 (23), Pittsburgh 16 (28).

Combined, the Red Wings and Penguins have skated to one-goal decisions 59 percent of the time, so entering the third knotted at 2-2, it was conceivable that Thursday’s game would end the same way.

Unfortunately for the Wings, the Penguins wanted nothing to do with a one-goal game, scoring two even-strength goals just 34 seconds apart and turning what had been a two-goal deficit into a two-goal cushion.

Crosby’s goal was definitely a lift for the visitors. Perron’s centering pass from below the goal line found Crosby in the middle of the left circle. From there, the Pens’ captain, while on one knee, whiffed on his first shot, but recoiled in time to lift a shot through traffic and over Mrazek.

Less than a minute later, the Pens’ leading goal scorer, Evgeni Malkin added his 18th of the season from the left circle.

Mrazek made a fine sprawling save to his right on Eric Fehr’s breakaway, keeping the Wings in reach.

The Wings pulled Mrazek for an extra attacker at 15:43.

With 3:27 left and the Red Wings pressing, Abdelkader and Chris Kunitz engaged in a roughing skirmish behind the Pens’ net. Both received minors, however, Abdelkader went to the Wings’ dressing room with what appeared to be a cut to his nose. Tomas Nosek served Abdelkader’s penalty.

The loss extends the Wings’ losing streak to three straight, tying a season long when they dropped three consecutive games in regulation to Carolina, Montreal and Edmonton, in October.

The Wings are now off to a six-game road trip over the next two weeks that will take them to Buffalo, New Jersey, San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Arizona.


SCORING: 1. PIT, Crosby (Perron) 7:48; 2. PIT, Malkin (Kessel, Hornqvist) 8:22; 3. PIT, Letang EN (Bonino) 18:20.

PENALTIES: 1. PIT, Kessel (slashing) 5:13; 2. Abdelkader (roughing) 16:33; 3. PIT, Kunitz (roughing) 16:33.

SHOTS: Detroit 12 (35), Pittsburgh 9 (37).

POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.22.2015 / 10:12 PM ET
By Bill Roose - / 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 Sunday, 12.20.2015 / 9:38 PM ET
By Dana Wakiji - Editor | / The Wheel Deal
Defenseman Jakub Kindl played for the second time in the past 14 games for the Red Wings. His in the lineup with Jonathan Ericsson nursing an upper-body injury. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT – After the morning skate, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said that captain Henrik Zetterberg would play but defenseman Jonathan Ericsson would be a game-time decision.

Ericsson did not take part in pre-game warm-ups so Jakub Kindl returned to the lineup after sitting for eight games as a healthy scratch.

The change meant a shift for the defense pairs except for the Niklas Kronwall-Mike Green one.

"We looked at Smith being in that spot and leaving the Kronwall pairing alone and then going Kindl-(Alexey) Marchenko," Blashill said. "We feel comfortable with that. Smitty is someone I think has played very well here lately. He has a skill set to go against the other team’s best players. He can skate, he's strong, he can move the puck, so that’s something we’ve looked at."

With Zetterberg being available, that meant call-up Tomas Nosek would not have to play his third game in as many nights as the Grand Rapids Griffins played Friday and Saturday night.

"We made a decision on Friday night that we were going to go with the same lineup," Blashill said. "I thought our line of (Luke) Glendening, (Tomas) Jurco and (Joakim) Andersson was our best line. I thought they had a great night so we were going to go with some guys today but obviously we have another game and they (Griffins) are going on break, so we couldn’t allow us to not have guys here in case we needed somebody Tuesday night."

Nosek, 23, has two goals and seven assists in 25 games with the Griffins.

Wings general manager Ken Holland was at the Griffins' game Saturday and told Nosek after the game.

"I still can’t believe it, that I’m here and obviously I’m very excited," Nosek said.

Although Nosek might not play during his call-up, that doesn't mean he doesn't have an NHL future.

"I think his first step into the NHL would be in a role where he’s a penalty killer, where he’s a real good accountable player, he’s extremely smart," Blashill said. Does he add offense from there? That’s the stuff you can’t predict until they get here. He’s somebody like a lot of guys, given the opportunity he could come in and do a good job in the NHL. That’s not to say he doesn’t have offensive tools, because he does but you can’t predict what type of offense they have until they get here."

Defenseman Xavier Ouellet was the other player the Wings recalled.

"It’s good to know that they’re still looking, that they’re still paying attention to everything I do there," Ouellet said. "I’ve been performing, I’ve been playing pretty good. I feel good about myself. Obviously I was hoping to get an opportunity here."

Ouellet has two goals and 10 assists in 25 games.

He didn't mind missing out on the AHL's holiday break.

"We ended up having a long break this year in the AHL, a good 5-6 days so I was planning to go back home but it was a good little surprise last night knowing I was coming here," Ouellet said. "Hopefully I can get my family to come here. It might work out."

The Calgary Flames were playing the second of a back-to-back set after losing a 3-2 decision Saturday night at the St. Louis Blues.

The loss snapped the Flames' seven-game win streak.

The Wings and Flames got their first shots of the game out of the way quickly.

Calgary goaltender Karri Ramo stopped Darren Helm's shot from the left circle 17 seconds into the game.

At the other end, Petr Mrazek made the save on Micheal Ferland at :31.

The Wings were fortunate early on in the first. Mike Green was trying to shoot the puck into the offensive zone but hit Dylan Larkin in the left hand.

Larkin shook his hand a few times but never missed a shift.

The Wings got the game's first power play at 4:11 when Mikael Backlund was called for interference with Gustav Nyquist. But the Wings failed to record a shot on goal.

The Wings had another power play at 12:32 when Matt Stajan was called for hooking Alexey Marchenko but the Wings did not score.

The Flames had their turn with the man-advantage when Luke Glendening was called for slashing Johnny Gaudreau at 16:17.

Dennis Wideman hit the left post with five seconds left in the power play and Mrazek covered up the rebound.



PENALTIES: 1. VAN, minor, Mikael Backlund, interference, 4:11. 2. VAN, minor, Matt Stajan, hooking, 12:32. 3. DET, minor, Luke Glendening, slashing, 16:17.

SHOTS: Detroit 13, Calgary 15

Dylan Larkin was called for hooking Ferland at 1:23 of the second.

The Wings came into the game tied for 11th on the penalty kill and the Flames had the worst power play but that did not seem to matter.

Calgary snapped an 0-for-23 skid on the power play as Wideman hit the net instead of the post at 1:56.

Previously, the Flames were 1-for-37 and 2-for-54 with the man-advantage.

Larkin made up for his infraction at 7:46 when he went to the net and was there to clean up the rebound of Brendan Smith's shot. Zetterberg also assisted.

Just 45 seconds later, Brad Richards gave the Wings a 2-1 lead as he shot the puck into the top left corner of the net, avoiding an attempted block.

Blashill decided to switch up defense pairs in the second, returning Smith to Marchenko. Kronwall and DeKeyser were together and Kindl moved to be with Green.

The Wings ended the period on a high note as Gustav Nyquist's shot appeared to be deflected by Riley Sheahan at 17:31. Insted, Nyquist was credited with his 14th of the season and DeKeyser and Sheahan got assists.

It was Sheahan's first goal in 15 games, the last coming Nov. 16 at Ottawa.


SCORING: 1. CGY, PPG, Dennis Wideman (1), TJ Brodie, Johnny Gaudreau, 1:56. 2. DET, Dylan Larkin (12), Brendan Smith, Henrik Zetterberg, 7:46. 3. DET, Brad Richards (unassisted), 8:31. 4. DET, Gustav Nyquist (14), Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan, 17:31.

1. DET, minor, Dylan Larkin, hooking, 1:23.

SHOTS: Detroit 14 (27), Calgary 5 (20)

With the scoring changes, Nyquist ended up with the Wings' third goal, denying Sheahan.

Nyquist, now tied with Larkin for the team lead in goals with 12, tried to help Sheahan out at 2:02 of the third but Ramo made the stop.

The Flames got another chance on the power play at 4:01 when Darren Helm was called foe tripping Ferland.

But the Flames managed just one shot.

The Wings had their opportunity with the man-advantage at 6:42 when Sean Monahan was called for roughing Larkin but the Flames ended up with the better chance.

The Flames got a shorthanded 2-on-1 chance with Markus Granlund and Brodie against Kronwall, but Mrazek made the save on Granlund's shot.

The Flames got to within one goal when they pulled the goaltender during 4-on-4 play and Dougie Hamilton scored.

The Wings ended it with 30 seconds left with Justin Abdelkader scored into the empty net.

It marked the Wings' 800th win at Joe Louis Arena.


SCORING: 1. CGY (extra attacker), Dougie Hamilton (5), Jiri Hudler, Mark Giordano, 17:01. 2. DET, ENG, Justin Abdelkader (11), Danny DeKeyser, 19:30.

1. DET, minor, Darren Helm, tripping, 4:01. 2. CGY, minor, Sean Monahan, roughing, 6:42. 3. CGY, minor, Kris Russell, minor, slashing, 15:48. 4. DET, minor, Justin Abdelkader, cross-checking, 15:48.

SHOTS: Detroit 8 (35), Calgary 8 (28)

POSTED ON Friday, 12.18.2015 / 10:13 PM ET
By Dana Wakiji - Editor | / The Wheel Deal

DETROIT -- The Red Wings are welcoming in what should be a tired Vancouver Canucks team.

The Canucks, who were shut out 2-0 in Philadelphia Thursday night, are playing their third game in four nights.

They're also without captain Henrik Sedin, who left the game against the Flyers with a lower-body injury.

Sedin's consecutive-games played streak ends at 126 games.

Henrik Sedin is second to twin brother Daniel on the Canucks with 31 points in 33 games to Daniel's 34 in 33.

Henrik Sedin also has 10 goals and 36 assists in 52 games against the Wings while Daniel has 19 goals and 28 assists in 50 games.

This is the sixth time the Canucks are playing on no rest. They come into the game 2-1-2 in those games.

The Canucks called up Linden Vey from the Utica Comets.

In other brother news, Vancouver goaltender Ryan Miller gets the start but won't face his brother, Drew, who is out with a broken lower jaw.

Ryan Miller is 3-10-3 with a 3.23 goals-against average and .899 save percentage in 16 games against the Wings.

The game is also a matchup of two coaches who have won AHL championships.

Jeff Blashill won with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2013 and Canucks coach Willie Desjardins won with the Texas Stars in 2014.

Despite the fact that the Canucks were in the second of back-to-back games and their third game in four nights, they were the ones who came out firing.

The Canucks had six shots on goaltender Jimmy Howard before the Wings got their first on Miller at 4:29, a wraparound attempt by Tomas Jurco.

The Wings did not get their second shot until 8:49, when Danny DeKeyser's shot from the point was saved by Miller.

Howard was at his best at 7:44 when he stopped Vey on a shot from the slot and then Alexandre Burrows' rebound on the right doorstep.

Brendan Smith was trying to defend Derek Dorsett at 12:21 when he got tangled up with referee Tim Peel and both Smith and Peel ended up on the ice nearly on top of Howard.

No one was injured on the play.

Vancouver had another excellent chance when Bo Horvat (video above) followed up his first shot with a wraparound try that Howard had to dive with his stick to keep out at 16:24.

The Canucks finally capitalized at 18:57 when Jannik Hansen's shot took a bad bounce off the boards right to Jared McCann, who beat Howard stick-side.


SCORING: 1. VAN, McCann (Hansen), 18:57.


SHOTS: Detroit 5, Vancouver 17

The Canucks picked up right where they left off, attacking from the drop of the puck.

Meanwhile, the Wings failed to sustain much time in the offensive zone, mustering one shot when they got the game's first power play at 13:42 when Burrows was called for tripping Tomas Tatar.

The Canucks made it 2-0 at 17:08 when Bo Horvat found Sven Baertschi in the left circle for a one-timer. Radim Vrbata also assisted on the goal.

The Wings finally beat Miller at 18:53 when Joakim Andersson got his first goal of the season. It was Andersson's first goal since last April 11 at Carolina.

Danny DeKeyser and Luke Glendening picked up the assists.


SCORING: 1. VAN, Baertschi (Horvat, Vrbata), 17:08; 2. DET, Andersson (DeKeyser, Glendening), 18:53.

PENALTIES: 1. VAN, Burrows (tripping), 13:42; 2. VAN, Prust (roughing) 20:00.

SHOTS: Detroit 5 (10), Vancouver 10 (27)

The Wings started the period on the power play as Brandon Prust was called for roughing at the 20-minute mark of the second.

But the Wings could not record a shot during the power play.

However, Brendan Smith made a beautiful pass to Pavel Datsyuk at 3:29 and Datsyuk scored into the open right side of the net for his first goal in 10 games, his third goal of the season.

Alexey Marchenko also assisted on the goal.

But the celebration for Wings fans was short-lived as Vrbata got his 10th goal of the season on a backhand rebound at 5:33. Christopher Tanev and Baertschi assisted.

The Wings got into penalty trouble later in the period.

After off-setting penalties to Alex Biega and Glendening for roughing at 12:43, Niklas Kronwall was called for interference at 13:06. Then Brendan Smith was called for slashing at 13:34.

The Wings managed to kill off the two-man advantage while the Canucks got five shots, but it cost the Wings time.

Howard left the net and the Wings called timeout at 18:48 of the 3rd.

Just five seconds lated, Henrik Zetterberg put the puck top shelf to tie the game. Datsyuk got the lone assist.


SCORING: 1. DET, Datsyuk (Smith, Marchenko), 3:29; 2. VAN, Vrbara (Tanev, Baertschi), 5:33; 3. DET, Zetterberg (Datsyuk), 18:53.

PENALTIES: 1. VAN, McCann (hooking), 9:22; 2. Van, Biega (roughing), 12:43; 3. DET, Glendening (roughing), 12:43; 4. DET, Kronwall (interference), 13:06; 5. DET, Smith (slashing) 14:34.

SHOTS: 1. Detroit 14 (24), Vancouver 12 (39).

Zetterberg had a shot at 1:20 that Miller stopped.

The Wings had four shots to the Canucks' one in overtime and carried much of the play but could not beat Miller.




SHOTS: Detroit 4 (28), Vancouver 1 (40).





1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80