Friday, October 14, 2005

Wings 5, Kings 2

The Wings beat the Kings 5-2 in the Staples Center, in the first of four games between the clubs this season. It was the Wings' seventh straight win over the Kings, including their season sweep of LA last season. Manny Legace got the start for the Wings and made 26 saves on 28 shots, improving his season statistics to 4-1, .900 save percentage, with a 2.41 GAA. Steve Yzerman played in his first game since April 23, 2004, after recovering from a preseason groin injury. Jason Woolley also made his debut, fresh off of getting signed to replace the injured Kronwall. Ex-Wing Pat Verbeek was in for Mickey Redmond as color commentator, due to Redmond's limited travel because of celiac disease. Ist Period The Wings got an early powerplay 46 seconds in, after Mathieu Garon was caught with a delay-of-game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass. The Wings managed just one shot on net during the man advantage, on a point shot from Jason Williams. Just as Avery got out of the box, after serving Garon's penalty, the Wings had a good stand in the LA zone. Andreas Lilja, Daniel Cleary, and Nicklas Lidstrom all took shots wide of the net, but the Wings showed good skating and persistence. Cleary in particular. At 13:53 remaining, Kirk Maltby prevented an Alexander Frolov breakaway with good backchecking. Frolov was dangerous all night, getting a number of near-breakaways and keeping the Wings defense on their heels. At 12:30, the Kings got a 2-on-1 with Luc Robitaille and Mike Cammalleri, with Luc taking a snap shot from the right side and Legace making the save. At 11:41, Frolov, had a chance on a break on a long pass up center, but shot wide. For all the chances Frolov got tonight, he only notched one shot on goal. I'd definitely be worried about this kid if he gets an accurate shot. The Wings got another try on the PP off a Norstrom interference call at 7:51, and the Wings put up a good power play with decent passing in the Kings' zone. As the power play expired, Zetterberg made a bad crossing pass, and the puck was cleared after the few minutes of sustained pressure by the Wings. At 4:56, Jiri Fischer was caught on an interference call, after roughing up a King with a check to the head away from the puck, a definite no-no in the new NHL. The Wings had a good penalty kill, and kept the Kings shotless on the man advantage. At 2:15 remaining, Brendan Shanahan scored his third goal of the season on a tip-in off a pretty cross ice pass from Jason Williams (6th assist of the season). Robert Lang was also charging the net, and was able to distract the Kings defense enough to keep Shanny open. 1-0 Wings. Shots in the period were 6-5 Kings, which is low because 19 shots were blocked/missed by both clubs. It was a wide open period, with 3 power plays and a lot of good skating and cross ice passing. Yzerman was the 1st intermission guest on FSN, and expressed his concern that if too many power plays were called in the new NHL, it would slow the game down against the league's best wishes. He also said his knees feels better than they have in three years, with only some slight discomfort. 2nd Period Just under a minute into the 2nd, Fischer was caught after moving in on offense, and the Kings got a 2-on-1, to no result. The Kings controlled the pace early. At 16:56 remaining, the Sean Avery scored on a breakaway off a long, 3-line pass from Derek Armstrong. 1-1 tie. The Lang/Shanahan/Williams line played well, creating a number of chances and keeping the Wings in the game as the Kings kept their pressure. At the midpoint of the period, it was like a LA power play, with Cammalleri nearly scoring off a wrist shot. A few minutes later, it was again like a LA power play, with sustained pressure in the Wings' zone. Pavel Datsyuk did some good work in the corner, digging the puck out between the skates of a King and clearing the zone. At 6:26, Yzerman was called for hooking, but the Kings' PP woes continued as they failed to get a shot on net. At 4:03, Lang made a good pass to a breaking Yzerman, who was pulled down as he shot wide of Garon. At 2:42, Conroy was caught on a high-sticking call along the boards, but the Wings were unable to generate any pressure and the period ended at 1-1, shots in the period 11-8 Kings. Third Period At 15:01, Fischer was called for holding on a pin along the boards, another interference call that Jiri should learn is going to be called every time in the new NHL. At 14:31, Maltby scored his 20th career short handed goal, stealing an errant Kings pass in the neutral zone. Maltby broke in alone on Garon, and made a pretty shot, beating Garon high on the blocker side to make it 2-1 Wings. At 14:44, Draper was called for hooking on Visnovsky. It was a cheap call, as Visnovsky just lost his own footing with Draper in pursuit. This gave the Kings 43 seconds of a 5-on-3. Zetterberg, Lidstrom, and Chelios were solid on the 5-on-3, and limited the Kings to just two shots. At 10:45, Maltby was called for a high stick, but Zetterberg and Draper did a good job on the penalty kill, as the Kings pushed to tie the game up. At 5:45, Roenick scored when Dustin Brown shot the puck on a sprawling Legace, and the puck glanced off of Legace's pads and redirected off of JR's skate into the net. 2-2 tie. But, just a minute later, Johan Franzen scored his first career NHL goal off a left circle shot over Garon's glove. Assisted by Clearly and Samuelsson. 3-2 Wings. With three minutes left, Schneider was called for interference as he crushed Dustin Brown with a check. It was a retaliation play, and showed a lack of discipline on Schneider's part. On the back end of the LA power play, Garon was pulled to make it a 6-on-4 advantage. With 48 seconds remaining, Zetterberg scored an empty net goal to put the Wings up 4-2. The Kings would pull Garon again, only to have Jiri Fischer score another empty netter and make it 5-2 Wings. Final. Shots in the period were 11-8 Kings, 28-21 total for the Kings in the game. Trivia This season marks Yzerman's 22nd season, but 23rd officially, as the NHL is counting the missed season from the lockout in players' season totals...Robert Lang was drafted by the Kings and played for them 1992-1996...Mike Leggo was one of the refs tonight, and has a bad history with the Wings...King Jeremy Roenick suffered his 10th concussion during the preseason...Chelios played in his 1,400th career game...Samuelsson ended his four-game goal scoring streak, but still has a streak of six straight games with a point (he assisted on the Franzen game winner)...Jason Williams has six assists this season...the Wings haven't lost to the Kings in LA since October 12, 2002... UPDATE (Matt): These are from just the first period and so may be incomplete. However, Babcock seems to keep his lines pretty consistent, unlike Bowman, so these are pretty much it. Forward units Maltby-Draper-Yzerman Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom Cleary-Franzen-Samuelsson Williams-Lang-Shanahan Shanahan-Lang-Zetterberg Defensive pairings Lidstrom-Chelios Lidstrom-Lilja Chelios-Woolley Schneider-Fischer Lilja-Woolley PP Units Shanahan-Lang-Samuelsson-Lidstrom-Schneider Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom-Lidstrom-Schneider Maltby-Draper-Yzerman-Williams-Woolley Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom-Williams-Woolley PK Units Chelios-Lang-Zetterberg-Lidstrom Samuelsson-Chelios-Lidstrom-Zetterberg Maltby-Lilja-Cleary-Chelios Lidstrom-Cleary-Franzen-Chelios Franzen-Williams-Shanahan-Lidstrom


At 10/14/2005 04:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shanahan lined up on the right side as did Samuelsson. Datsyuk was at center on his line, with Zetterberg on the left wing. Draper centered Maltby on the left and Yzerman on the right.


At 10/14/2005 05:14:00 PM, Blogger Christy Hammond said...

I don't know why I can't remember the player's name for the life of me. But he totally nailed Lidstrom. Did you see that? I think it was Ken Daniels who said "I don't think Lidstrom has ever been hit that hard." The camera was following the puck up the ice when it happened but I saw Lidstrom getting checked hard in the corner and was just like wow. Haha.

At 10/14/2005 05:23:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

I did see that hit, Christy. I was hoping they'd show a replay of it but I don't think they did.

It was Dustin Brown, #23. A 20-year-old. I definitely have never seen Lidstrom hit like that. You don't see many hits like that in general, not in hockey anyway. He got leveled.

At 10/14/2005 06:30:00 PM, Blogger hick narcissus said...

Good to see the Super Swede pop right up again and finish off a decent game.

Anyway, first time visitor. GREAT site!

Go Wings!!!

Beat the Yotes!!!


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