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Three Questions: Wings-Blue Jackets's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 70th game

Sunday, 03.15.2009 / 7:38 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Blue Jackets
How did the Red Wings win this one?

Looking to seek some revenge from their last outing, the Wings were flying from the opening face-off, and they jumped on the Blue Jackets early.  It looked as though the Wings were going to take a 1-0 lead just 29 seconds into the game, when a point shot from Brad Stuart found its way to the back of the net.  It was waved off, however, with the game officials citing goaltender interference because Tomas Holmstrom was hovering just inside the Columbus crease.  

The unfortunate break didn’t hurt the Wings, as Marian Hossa made a great individual effort for the game’s first goal.  Hossa beat the Columbus defense by flipping the puck past them and using his speed to slip past Rostislav Klesla for a quick shot on goal.  His initial shot didn’t beat goaltender Steve Mason, but Hossa stopped right at the goal, and he snuck a rebound shot through Mason’s legs for his 35th goal of the season.

Detroit then capitalized on a full two-minute five-on-three advantage.  The Wings drew a penalty, then drew another penalty as they poured on the pressure during the delayed call.  With Jiri Novotny and Christian Backman both serving penalties at the 7:49 mark of the first period, Niklas Kronwall fired a one-timer slapshot to the top shelf to give the Wings the 2-0 lead.  From that point on, it was all Red Wings, and they cruised to the 4-0 win.

How did Chris Osgood look on back-to-back starts?

Coach Mike Babcock changed up the goalie rotation this weekend, sending Chris Osgood out both days.  Osgood didn’t disappoint, either.  After making 30 saves in St. Louis yesterday for his 300th win as a Red Wing, Osgood turned away 23 shots for his second shutout of the season.  This win was significant as well, with his 385th win moving him into a tie for 11th place on the NHL’s all-time wins list with former teammate Mike Vernon.  He didn’t make many highlight reel saves, but he didn’t have to.  Osgood cut down all the angles, and he controlled all the rebounds – which makes his job a whole lot easier.  His next target on the all-time wins list is another former teammate; Dominik Hasek holds 10th place with 389 wins.

What was significant about tonight’s win?

With Boston losing to Pittsburgh this afternoon, the Red Wings hold the top spot in the NHL for the time being.  The San Jose Sharks still have a few games in hand, but the schedules will even up in the upcoming week.  However, tonight’s win meant a lot more than just this year’s standings.  The Red Wings broke an NHL record as they picked up the two points.  For the ninth straight year, the Wings have earned at least 100 points in a season.  They were tied with the Montreal Canadiens of the 1970’s and early ‘80’s, who also accomplished the feat eight straight times.  The record should serve as another indication of the impressive work done by general manager Ken Holland and the Wings’ organization.


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
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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