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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.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
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

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80