Sunday, January 01, 2006

Wings 5, Blue Jackets 2

The Wings ended 2005 on a high note, beating the Blue Jackets 5-2 on the traditional New Year's Eve game in Joe Louis Arena. It extended their win streak to five games. Chris Osgood got the start for the Wings, and only faced 15 shots total on the night. The Wings started slow in the first 20 minutes, falling to 2-0 deficit before an offensive surge in the second period. Sergei Fedorov had an awful game for the Blue Jackets, in the penalty box for two of the Wings' goals and on the ice for two others. Even though he ended the night -2, I think it should be -4 to reflect his actual performance. Literally hurting his own team, he hooked Johan Franzen into Jackets goaltender Leclaire, who left the game with a neck injury early in the second period on that play. He even redirected a shot into his own net on the Schneider goal that made it 2-2. Fedorov was booed every time he touched the puck, and just didn't have that Sergei step. Only recognizable because he wore his trademark "91." The Wings started out the first period sluggish. With three nights off, and the Jackets coming off a game last night, it was somewhat understandable. It didn't help with Draper getting a hooking call a minute into the game, either. The Blue Jackets scored at 9:27 on a 4-on-4, with a goal from Nash, assist to former Wing Jamie Pushor. On the play, Shanahan failed to clear the puck along the near boards, and Pushor passed from the blue line to Nash in front of Ozzie for a quick tip-in. 1-0 Blue Jackets. The Jackets continued to pressure, with a great chance from Zherdev a few minutes later. Even though shots were 13-7 Wings in the first, the story was scoring chances even at 5-5 and the Wings gliding around. Says Lidstrom:

"We came out flat. We weren't really skating at all. They played last night and seemed to carry that momentum over."

Even after what I'm sure was an animated Mike Babcock during intermission, the Jackets continued their momentum into the second period, scoring just 36 seconds in. Chimera at 0:36, assists to Letowski and Hulse. On the play, Ledba got beat along the left wing on a breaking Chimera, whose reach on the puck was too long for a sprawling Lebda to disrupt the play. Chimera broke in alone and beat Ozzie. 2-0 Blue Jackets. The Wings' luck turned at 1:53 when the Blue Jackets' goalie Pascal Leclaire left with a neck injury after getting ran over by Franzen. Marc Denis, who has been played a lot recently and was meant to be given the night off, came in to replace his backup. He ended up giving up the next five goals in the game. Fedorov was called for hooking on the play which sent Franzen into Leclaire. At 3:07, the Wings capitalized on the power play on a blue line shot from Nicklas Lidstrom, with Holmstrom and Zetterberg screening Denis in front. Assists to Datsyuk and Holmstrom - but extra credit to Tomas for holding the puck in the zone twenty seconds earlier to keep the pressure building in the Jackets zone. 2-1 Blue Jackets. The Wings got the equalizer with another defenseman blast. At 7:57, Mathieu Schneider scored an even-strength goal, assists to Franzen and Lilja. On the play, Franzen did good work along the near boards in the Jackets zone, and fed the puck to a streaking Schneider up the middle. Mathieu must have blasted that puck 90+ mph, and it didn't help Denis that it deflected off a sprawling Fedorov, who tried to block it. 2-2 Wings. The Wings snuck in a third goal at 19:07 from Samuelsson, assists to Lang and Zetterberg. On the play, Lang threw the puck at the net from the near boards along the goal line, hitting defenseman Mike Rupp. Denis fell down searching for the puck, and Samuelsson was Johnny-on-the-spot to punch it in. 3-2 Wings. The only goal Fedorov wasn't on the ice or in the penalty box for. Shots in the period were 16-5 Wings. The third period was a good continuation of the majority of the second for the Wings - domination of the Blue Jackets on the backcheck, limiting them to only 3 shots in the final 20 minutes. The Wings scored at 4:19 on a goal from Lidstrom, his 2nd of the night, assists to Lang and Draper. On the play, the Jackets got caught down low, and Lidstrom blasted it in from the left wing. It knuckle-balled by Denis, beating him on the short side. Fedorov was on the ice. 4-2 Wings. At 14:26, the Wings scored a power play goal from Samuelsson, also his 2nd of the night, assists to Lang and Woolley. On the play, a Fedorov hooking call gave the Wings a power play chance, and they scored in the final four seconds of the man advantage. Samuelsson scored down low on the left side, threading the puck in a tiny open space above Denis' shoulder. 5-2 Wings. Shots in the period were 14-3 Wings, for a final 43-15 advantage. Says Fedorov:
"It was great to have a 2-0 lead. Then we made some mistakes and they capitalized on them. We had a few chances. Not as many as they, but we didn't score. It was a tough break. I don't think we played as well in the second as the first."
The Wings, though they started out slow, came through in the final 40 minutes and really dominated the Blue Jackets defensively. I can barely remember Osgood getting tested at all during the second or third period. Some positives on the night include Lang adding three assists, Franzen getting his first NHL assist on Schneider's goal, and Lidstrom scoring two goals to add to his always stellar defensive play. The Wings are now 4-0 against Columbus this season; 11-1-0 against the Central. Samuelsson's goals made for 26 points total this season, the most in his career. The Wings have now won their last five New Year's Eve games, and lead Nashville in the Central 55-51 . Lines Datsyuk-Shanahan-Lang Shanahan-Lang-Samuelsson Mowers-Zetterberg-Cleary Holmstrom-Zetterberg-Williams Zetterberg-Samuelsson-Lang Franzen-Draper-Maltby Datsyuk-Shanahan-Williams Mowers-Holmstrom-Cleary Draper-Zetterberg Maltby-Zetterberg D-parings Schneider - Chelios Chelios-Lidstrom Woolley-Schneider Lilja-Lidstrom Schneider-Lilja Chelios-Lebda Schneider-Lebda


At 1/01/2006 03:40:00 AM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

Saw the Griffins game tonight. Was very impressed with Jiri Hudler and Jimmy Howard. But especially with Tomas Kopecky, who had a very strong game!

Was extremely disappointed that Manny Legace didn't play... hopefully not an indication of a problem!

At 1/01/2006 08:07:00 PM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

Fedorov deserved his bad game. Ozzie should play until he loses or plays bad.
The first period was very boring, but other than that period it was a very exciting game.
So much for traditon; the wings shouldn't have had to play the Blue Jackets, they shoud've played Toronto.


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