DETROIT – If Friday was any indication, the Red Wings’ power play will be a handful for the opposition this season, especially with newcomer Daniel Alfredsson now patrolling the right point.
Alfredsson, who signed a one-year contract in the off-season, made his home debut in a Detroit uniform Friday night and didn’t disappoint the Joe Louis Arena crowd scoring his first goal of the preseason on the power play.
The longtime NHL star collected two points, including an assist, as the Red Wings used their man-advantage to throttle the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second half of the game, collecting three goals on four 5-on-4 opportunities.
Alfredsson was among five Detroit forwards to score in a 5-2 victory over the Leafs in the final exhibition game at The Joe.
“It looked pretty good today,” said Alfredsson, referring to the Wings’ power play. “Entering the zone was good, puck movement and obviously some skilled plays by some players. It was nice to get a couple.”
Alfredsson’s goal at 5:57 of the third period was the second of three straight power-play goals by the Wings. Henrik Zetterberg (two points) and Johan Franzen (two points) scored the other power-play goals for Detroit.
Alfredsson missed the last four preseason games with a sore groin, but Friday everything seemed to click for him and his linemates Franzen and Stephen Weiss.
“It was good,” Alfredsson said. “I thought we got better and better as the game went on and created some chances. I had some very good looks where I didn’t bury it, but it feels good when you have the puck and you’re playing on the offensive side more. It gives you more energy and I thought we had fun out there.”
Weiss, who was playing in his fifth preseason game, suffered an undisclosed injury late in the second period. He did not come out for the third, but the veteran center said he’ll be ready for Wednesday’s season-opener when the Buffalo Sabres come to town.
“I know what happened,” Weiss said of his injury. “We’ll keep that quiet though.”
A lively crowd helped produce an entertaining game, especially in the first period, which couldn’t have been played more evenly with each team registering eight shots on goal and one goal apiece.
For a preseason game, the energy was incredible with thousands of Leafs’ fans in attendance helping to create an awesome atmosphere, though it didn’t make coach Mike Babcock very happy.
“I couldn’t tell you about atmosphere,” the Wings’ coach said. “I was watching the game. But I can tell you that during the national anthems, I noticed there were a bunch of blue sweaters in our building.”
The Red Wings scored first when Andersson got his first goal of the preseason at 5:18 of the opening period. The Swedish center blasted a shot from the right point that was deflected by a Maple Leafs’ defender parked in front of goalie Jonathan Bernier.
Three minutes later, the Leafs got the equalizer when Nazem Kadri scored a power-play goal.
The Original Six clubs exchanged goals midway through the second on goals by the Wings’ Glendening and Toronto forward Joffrey Lupul, before Zetterberg put the Red Wings up for good, scoring with 42-seconds left in the period.
The Red Wings took a 2-1 lead early in the second when Glendening, the Michigan native and former University of Michigan captain, scored on a rebound at 6:23 of the second period. The play was started by defenseman Kyle Quincey, who slid down from the point and fired a shot toward Bernier. The puck ricocheted to Glendening who collected his first NHL preseason goal.
After the game, the Wings announced that they are recalling forwards Mitch Callahan, Calle Jarnkrok, Teemu Pulkkinen and Riley Sheahan, defenseman Ryan Sproul and goalie Jared Coreau from the club’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. Additionally, the Wings signed forward Jeff Hoggan and defenseman Nathan Paetsch to professional tryouts.
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