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Three Questions: Wings-Avalanche

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 35th game

Saturday, 12.27.2008 / 11:53 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Avalanche
What was the main storyline?

Detroit’s offensive firepower was on full display Saturday night, as a 3-0 deficit was erased in only four minutes.  The Red Wings fell into penalty trouble in the first period, allowing the Avalanche to build up an early lead.  Then, in the second period, everything changed.  On the Wings’ first power play of the contest (which came three minutes into the second period), multiple shots clanked off the posts of the Colorado goal.  Then, ten minutes later, the Wings got another man-advantage opportunity, and they made it count.  Pavel Datsyuk scored his 14th goal of the season by firing his own rebound past a confused goaltender in Peter Budaj, who was looking for the puck on the other side of the ice.  Only 1:22 later, the Wings were back on the power play, and this time it was Tomas Holmstrom, recording his 11th goal of the year on a great backhanded tip from a Mikael Samuelsson slapshot.  To cap off the second period flurry, Johan Franzen buried his 15th goal, firing home a pass from Brian Rafalski from just below the circle.  The Red Wings showed the resiliency and determination that made them Stanley Cup champions last spring in an impressive comeback against a lead that seemed insurmountable.  They didn’t come away with the victory, but coming away with a point is never a bad thing.  

What happened without the captain?


With captain Nicklas Lidstrom being day-to-day with an ankle injury suffered in Nashville, coach Mike Babcock was forced to alter his defensive pairings for tonight’s game.  Chris Chelios, who is still recovering from a broken leg suffered in the preseason, dressed for the first time in six games, and partnered with Brett Lebda.  Andreas Lilja moved up to play alongside Brian Rafalski, and Brad Stuart and Niklas Kronwall remained together.

Kronwall led the defensive corps in ice time, skating for 29:25, and Brian Rafalski came in second with 27:39.  Lebda saw some power play time, manning the points with Rafalski throughout the contest.  Babcock and his staff monitored Chelios’ time on the ice, limiting him to 9:15. 

What other changes did Babcock make?

After shuffling up the ‘D’ pairings, Babcock did the same to the forward lines, rearranging the first three lines.  The trio of Datsyuk, Franzen, and Holmstrom started the game.  They were followed by a line of Henrik Zetterberg between Dan Cleary and Marian Hossa.  Samuelsson, Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula completed the third unit, and Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby and Tomas Kopecky rounded out the Wings’ offense.  Holmstrom lead the way on the scoresheet, tallying a goal and two assists, while Zetterberg (22:08) and Hossa (20:59) saw the most ice time.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89