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Three Questions: Wings-Sabres

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' final preseason game

Sunday, 10.5.2008 / 7:44 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Sabres

Who were the top performers for the Red Wings in the preseason?

Veteran – Center Henrik Zetterberg.  Hank led the way for the Red Wings this pre-season, taking over right where he left off from last May.  The Conn Smythe winner had four goals and four assists in four pre-season games, leading the Wings in all three categories.  And, in typical Zetterberg fashion, he dominated at both ends of the ice, killing penalties and finishing behind only Johan Franzen for the team lead in plus/minus.

Newcomer – Left wing Ville Leino.  The 24-year-old rookie out of Finland was turning heads from his first game on North American ice.  In seven games, Leino had three goals and three assists for six points.  His third goal, which he scored in tonight’s pre-season finale, was a demonstration of his offensive skills.  After a great pass from Captain Nick Lidstrom, Leino broke in on the Buffalo net, froze both the Sabres’ defenseman and goaltender Ryan Miller with a fake slap shot, then beat Miller five-hole while he was sprawling out of position.  On a side note, this decision wasn’t easy, and it was a little easier when I decided that center Darren Helm didn’t make the ‘newcomer’ list, since he played in the playoffs last year.

What was the best goal/save of the preseason?

Goal – Franzen’s backhand in the October 3 match-up against Toronto.  At the 15:15 mark of the first period, Franzen grabbed a puck in the midst of chaos in front of goaltender Vesa Toskala’s net, and from the slot ‘Mule’ blasted a laser from the backhand to roof the puck over the Toronto netminder’s shoulder.

Save – I have to pick against the Red Wings and give this one to Montreal goaltender Carey Price.  If it wasn’t the pre-season, Price’s save in the September 30 game in Montreal would already hold the label of ‘save of the year’.  Defenseman Brian Rafalski took a shot from the point, and after a weird bounce, the puck ended up floating up over Price’s head.  With a spin and a flail of his goal stick, Price swatted the puck away from a wide-open net and Franzen, who certainly wouldn’t have missed the empty net.

What was the turning point of Sunday finale?


The Red Wings owe their 3-0 win Sunday night to their penalty kill specialists, who stared down a four-minute penalty to Mikael Samuelsson with eight minutes left in the second period, and didn’t flinch. Instead, the Red Wings generated the majority of the scoring chances in the four minute span, and then drew a Buffalo penalty right afterwards. The momentum carried over to the third, where the Red Wings tallied goals from Franzen and Leino in the first five minutes, and never looked back.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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