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Three Questions: Wings-Blue Jackets

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 70th game

Sunday, 03.15.2009 / 7:38 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Blue Jackets
How did the Red Wings win this one?

Looking to seek some revenge from their last outing, the Wings were flying from the opening face-off, and they jumped on the Blue Jackets early.  It looked as though the Wings were going to take a 1-0 lead just 29 seconds into the game, when a point shot from Brad Stuart found its way to the back of the net.  It was waved off, however, with the game officials citing goaltender interference because Tomas Holmstrom was hovering just inside the Columbus crease.  

The unfortunate break didn’t hurt the Wings, as Marian Hossa made a great individual effort for the game’s first goal.  Hossa beat the Columbus defense by flipping the puck past them and using his speed to slip past Rostislav Klesla for a quick shot on goal.  His initial shot didn’t beat goaltender Steve Mason, but Hossa stopped right at the goal, and he snuck a rebound shot through Mason’s legs for his 35th goal of the season.

Detroit then capitalized on a full two-minute five-on-three advantage.  The Wings drew a penalty, then drew another penalty as they poured on the pressure during the delayed call.  With Jiri Novotny and Christian Backman both serving penalties at the 7:49 mark of the first period, Niklas Kronwall fired a one-timer slapshot to the top shelf to give the Wings the 2-0 lead.  From that point on, it was all Red Wings, and they cruised to the 4-0 win.

How did Chris Osgood look on back-to-back starts?


Coach Mike Babcock changed up the goalie rotation this weekend, sending Chris Osgood out both days.  Osgood didn’t disappoint, either.  After making 30 saves in St. Louis yesterday for his 300th win as a Red Wing, Osgood turned away 23 shots for his second shutout of the season.  This win was significant as well, with his 385th win moving him into a tie for 11th place on the NHL’s all-time wins list with former teammate Mike Vernon.  He didn’t make many highlight reel saves, but he didn’t have to.  Osgood cut down all the angles, and he controlled all the rebounds – which makes his job a whole lot easier.  His next target on the all-time wins list is another former teammate; Dominik Hasek holds 10th place with 389 wins.

What was significant about tonight’s win?

With Boston losing to Pittsburgh this afternoon, the Red Wings hold the top spot in the NHL for the time being.  The San Jose Sharks still have a few games in hand, but the schedules will even up in the upcoming week.  However, tonight’s win meant a lot more than just this year’s standings.  The Red Wings broke an NHL record as they picked up the two points.  For the ninth straight year, the Wings have earned at least 100 points in a season.  They were tied with the Montreal Canadiens of the 1970’s and early ‘80’s, who also accomplished the feat eight straight times.  The record should serve as another indication of the impressive work done by general manager Ken Holland and the Wings’ organization.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89