Detroit's Last Three Games:
2/4/09 - Detroit Red Wings 5, Phoenix Coyotes 4
PP: 2-4 PK: 2-4 SOG: 33 SA: 27 Three Stars: 1) Marian Hossa-DET 2) Pavel Datsyuk-DET 3) Nicklas Lidstrom-DET
DETROIT (AP) -It wasn't exactly how the Detroit Red Wings diagram a win. Nicklas Lidstrom's power-play goal with 39 seconds left lifted Detroit to a 5-4 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night to thwart Phoenix's third-period comeback from a two-goal deficit. "It's not the way we want to win but we're still able to win games," Lidstrom said. "We're still working at details in our game that could be better." Lidstrom's shot from the point went in off Coyotes defenseman Ken Klee's stick. "It hit something," Lidstrom said. "We'll take the win tonight." The goal came only 7 seconds after the Coyotes' Joel Perrault was called for hooking. "It was a penalty, I wasn't debating that," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "But there were three hooks on our guys before that." Ed Jovanovski agreed. "It was a joke, an absolute joke. Forty five seconds left in the game," he said. "The guys are battling for the puck. There were two penalties missed before that in the corner. He calls that, it's embarrassing. We're fighting for our lives here. That's a big point for us." Marian Hossa scored two goals for the second consecutive game and Henrik Zetterberg and Mikael Samuelsson also scored for Detroit. Chris Osgood made 22 saves. Jovanovski and Joakim Lindstrom each had a goal and an assist and Todd Fedoruk and Perrault also scored for Phoenix, which lost its fifth straight. Ilya Bryzgalov made 28 saves. "It was tough" said Coyotes captain Shane Doan. "It's disappointing; got to find a way to win." Lindstrom's power-play goal tied the game at 4 with 5:05 left. He beat Osgood with a one-timer from the right circle for his eighth goal. Perrault had made it 4-3 with his second goal of the season when he slipped a shot between Osgood's pad and the near goal post. "We're up two goals and then they got kind of a funny one at the end," said Zetterberg, who returned after missing three games with lower back spasms. Osgood has struggled for much of the season. "I have to get myself where I want to be the next two months," he said. "I'm getting some horrible bounces right now. You work your way through it." Detroit led 3-2 after two. Samuelsson scored on the power-play 5:44 into the third period with a one-time shot from the bottom of the left circle to make it 4-2. It was Samuelsson's 13th goal. Zetterberg put the Red Wings ahead in the second period with his 18th goal. He beat Bryzgalov from the inside edge of the right circle. Fedoruk tied it at 2 with a one-timer from the left circle for his fifth goal. Hossa had given Detroit a 2-1 lead early in the second with his second of the game and 28th of the season. His shot from the left circle trickled in off the goal post. Hossa opened the scoring in the first period when his shot from the high slot bounced in off Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko. But Jovanovski's power-play goal tied it at 1. Keith Yandle's pass sprung Jovanovski for a breakaway from the Red Wings' blue line and he beat Osgood between the pads. It was Jovanovski's fourth goal. Notes: It was Zetterberg's first game after signing a 12-year, $73 million contract. ... Phoenix D Derek Morris missed his fourth game with an upper body injury and Coyotes C Steven Reinprecht missed his third game with an upper body injury. ... Red Wings RW Tomas Holmstrom missed his third game with a sore groin. ... Phoenix recalled C Kevin Porter and RW Jeff Hoggan from its American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio. The Coyotes also reassigned LW Steven Goertzen and C Alexander Nikulin to San Antonio and LW Viktor Tikhonov was activated from the injured list and assigned to the same team. ... Detroit recalled C Darren Helm from its AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. ... Lidstrom played in his 1,300th game.
2/2/09 - Detroit Red Wings 4, St. Louis Blues 3 (SO)
PP: 0-3 PK: 4-7 SOG: 21 SA: 33 Three Stars: 1) Marian Hossa-DET 2) Keith Tkahuck-STL 3) Chris Osgood-DET
DETROIT (AP) -Marian Hossa's talent made up for another lackluster game from the defending Stanley Cup champions. Hossa had the game-winner in a shootout after scoring twice in regulation, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues that ended a season-high five-game skid. Detroit failed to keep three leads in regulation, but made up for it in the shootout when Jiri Hudler and Hossa scored and Chris Osgood turned away David Perron's final attempt for the Blues. "It doesn't matter how ugly or pretty it was," Hossa said. "We finally ended the losing streak and now we can build on something." Hossa signed a one-year deal worth $7.45 million last summer, turning down a longer contract to stay in Pittsburgh, to chase a championship with the Red Wings. He already has 26 goals this season, three fewer than he had last season for the runner-up Penguins and Atlanta Thrashers. The 29 goals were the fewest he scored since having the same total during the 1999-2000 season with Ottawa. "Obviously, he's a superstar, but we knew he was," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "What we didn't know was how good of a person he is, letting him fit in real well in our dressing room, or how tough he was defensively, backchecking really hard every night." The Red Wings still don't know, though, if they can keep Hossa and fellow forward Johan Franzen because both are eligible for free agency after the season. Detroit's chances improved last week when Henrik Zetterberg accepted a salary-cap friendly deal, signing a 12-year contract worth $73 million instead of asking for the $8-plus million he could've made annually on the open market. It's unclear if both Hossa and Franzen would also re-sign at a discount. "It's possible, but it would be difficult even though I think both would like to stay," Holland said. "I'd like to get one of them signed before the playoffs, then get to the end of June when we know what the salary cap is." The Blues, who seem stuck in a rebuilding plan, have a Western Conference-low 44 points and trail the Central Division-leading Red Wings by 27 points. But they gave the Red Wings all they could handle in their latest matchup. Barret Jackman scored midway through the third period to extend the game after rookies T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund scored tying goals in the second for the Blues. All three scored on the power play. St. Louis' Chris Mason had to stop just 13 shots in regulation and overtime after replacing Manny Legace early in the second period. "Guys played great and I'm the reason that we lost," Legace said. "I was the worst guy in the NHL tonight." Legace gave up three goals on just eight shots, playing against his former team. "I feel bad for Manny," Blues coach Andy Murray said, "because there's been a lot of nights, since I've been coaching the Blues, that he's been the best guy in the NHL. The Blues took advantage of being on a power play for 5 minutes midway through the third period after Detroit defenseman Andreas Lilja was called for a game misconduct and boarding after hitting David Backes from behind, slamming his face into the glass. With 22 seconds left in the power play, Jackman scored on a shot from the top of the right circle that got past Osgood in part because he was shielded by St. Louis' Keith Tkachuk in front of the net. Detroit's Kirk Maltby scored early in the second and Hossa had two goals later in the period, less than 5 minutes apart. "He almost single-handedly won them the game tonight," Mason said. Notes: Zetterberg (back) missed his third straight game, but hopes to play Wednesday night at home against Phoenix. ... The Blues drafted Berglund 25th overall in 2006 and Oshie 24th overall in 2005. ... The teams combined to take just five shots in the first 20 minutes to tie an NHL low for a first period this season. The Los Angeles Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets had five shots in the first period on Dec. 6, 2008, according to STATS. ... Detroit's Kris Draper received a standing ovation during the first period when it was announced he was playing in his 1,000th NHL game.
1/31/09 - Washington Capitals 4, Detroit Red Wings 2
PP: 1-7 PK: 2-3 SOG: 29 SA: 27 Three Stars: 1) Alex Ovechkin-WSH 2) Viktor Kozlov-WSH 3) Tomas Fleischmann-WSH
WASHINGTON (AP) -After exchanging counter-punches with the defending Stanley Cup champions, Alex Ovechkin delivered a decisive knockout combination he hopes will establish the Washington Capitals as a legitimate contender. Ovechkin broke a third-period tie with another highlight-reel goal and added a power-play tally less than two minutes later in the Capitals' 4-2 victory over Detroit on Saturday that extended the Red Wings' losing streak to a season-high five games. "It's a huge victory for us," Ovechkin said. "It gives us a lot of confidence. They were missing a couple of players, but it's very important to play an experienced team and this game meant a lot to us." It proves the Capitals have the mettle to succeed against the NHL's elite. Before Saturday, they were 1-9 with a tie in their last 11 home games against Detroit. "It's a good measuring stick to see how you match up to the Stanley Cup champs," Washington defenseman Tom Poti said. "A lot of guys had this game circled on the calendar. It's a game we were ... obviously jacked up for." But until the third-period scoring flurry, the game could have swung either way. With a sellout crowd gasping on every rush up the ice, Ovechkin, held in check for much of the game, took control. He looked to have overskated a feed from Viktor Kozlov along the left wing, but reached behind himself, sneaked the puck through his own legs and used defenseman Brian Rafalski as a shield before pushing a low shot past Ty Conklin with 7:08 remaining. "It just happens. It's just a moment. I tell Conklin, 'It's coming, it's coming - and it's coming in the third period.' " Ovechkin said, dissecting another sparkling individual effort. Detroit's Kirk Maltby was penalized for cross-checking with 5:58 left, and, six seconds later, Ovechkin popped in Nicklas Backstrom's rebound from the left post for his team-high 33rd goal, drawing chants of "MVP! MVP!" from the red-clad throng. "When you think of dominating a game, I don't think Ovie did that tonight. They pay him to score - and that's what he did at the end," Red Wing coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought we did a good job on their top line for the first two periods, but he's a sniper," Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said. "(Ovechkin) doesn't need much to score goals." Washington is 31-1-1 when he scores. "Alex is one of those big-game guys," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You keep throwing him out there and throwing (him) out there and eventually good things will happen." Mike Green and Kozlov also tallied for Washington, which halted a two-game losing streak. Ville Leino and Johan Franzen had Detroit's goals. The Red Wings, who had won three straight against Washington, lost to the Capitals for the first time since Nov. 24, 2003. "Any time you're not winning on a regular basis, there are things you've got to do better," Babcock said. "All in all, from goaltending to playing better defense to penalty kills to more offense, we've got to do better." An end-to-end first period characterized by prolonged rushes and near misses culminated in the teams trading goals during a 57-second span. Leino, making his NHL debut, put the Red Wings ahead 1-0 with a 1:54 left. He took a pass from Pavel Datsyuk down the left wing, spun around and backed toward the goal, then slipped a backhander past Jose Theodore when neither Theodore nor Alexander Semin delivered a check. Less than a minute later, Kozlov tipped in Milan Jurcina's one-timer from the right point past Conklin. A similar scenario unfolded late in the second period, with Green and Franzen swapping scores 1:51 apart. Washington had killed off two penalties before Green scored from between the circles, converting Backstrom's falling-down feed from the left circle at 17:19. But with Semin off for hooking, Franzen scored from the right post for a 2-2 tie, one of only four Detroit shots in the stanza. Three Capitals penalties in the final 1:38 and the Red Wings' decision to pull Conklin for an extra skater late meant Detroit skated the final 1:07 with a three-man advantage. But Washington's defense collapsed around Theodore, who finished with 25 saves, to preserve the lead. Notes: Detroit LW Henrik Zetterberg sat out his second straight game with back spasms and has not played since signing a 12-year, $73 million contract Wednesday. The Red Wings also scratched LW Tomas Holmstrom (groin). ... Washington hosts Ottawa on Sunday afternoon, the Capitals' first consecutive home matinees since Dec. 31, 2005-Jan. 1, 2006. ... The Capitals finished better than .500 in each of the first four months of the season for the first time in franchise history. Washington is 31-15-4 record through 50 games is the second-best in club history to a 31-12-7 start in 1984-85. ... The Red Wings' losing streak is their longest since dropping losing six straight Feb. 7-17, 2008.