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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.

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
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
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80