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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 - 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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59