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Three Questions: Wings-Blackhawks

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 36th game

Tuesday, 12.30.2008 / 10:39 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Blackhawks
Who won the game for the Red Wings?

The Red Wings posted four goals in their Winter Classic preview game against the Blackhawks, but goaltender Ty Conklin earned the game puck.  Conklin stopped 36 shots against Chicago, a team that had won nine straight games, to notch his third shutout of the season.  Conklin, who has been in net since Chris Osgood went down with an injury, has been making the most of his opportunity.  Tonight, he helped the Wings go six-for-six on the penalty kill, shutting down one of the game’s top offensive units.  Now the debate begins – who starts on New Year’s Day?  Conklin won the game for Pittsburgh in last year’s Winter Classic, and he will obviously be arriving in Chicago tomorrow feeling very confident.

How did Johan Franzen score that one?

The goal of the night was tallied by Johan Franzen, who recorded his 16th goal of the season at the seven-minute mark of the second period.  ‘The Mule’ took a fake-shot feed from defenseman Brian Rafalski at the bottom of the circle on the powerplay, and turned and roofed the puck over goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin for the man-advantage goal.  Franzen’s rifle of a wrist shot sent Khabibulin’s water bottle flying, and left the losing goaltender wondering how he snuck one past him.  I don’t blame Khabibulin; he was hugging the post the way he should, and nobody in the arena but Franzen thought there was any room to get the puck in short-side.  He showed his impressive strength on his second goal, but his first was one for the highlights.

What was scary about the game?


It was great to watch these two teams square off tonight, but there was an obvious concern for injuries with the Winter Classic just two days away.  Those concerns nearly became a reality for both teams, with both athletic trainers having some activity during the Wings’ 4-0 win.  Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom was struck in the face during the second period, caught while he was manning his usual position in front of the opposition’s crease.  He was slow to get off, but he returned.  The Blackhawk’s young star Patrick Kane also missed some time, after bending his knee awkwardly on a check from Dan Cleary during the first period.  He hobbled off the ice, but was back for the second period.  The injury focus will be back on Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who will hopefully be ready to go for the big game at Wrigley Field.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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