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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 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