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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 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89