The Detroit Red Wings (13-2-1) extended their incredible winning streak to nine games, a tying a franchise record, after winning last night's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Wings have only won nine straight games a total of seven times in the entire history of the franchise. The game initially started off as a closely contested game, but quickly turned into an easy 4-1 victory.
Henrik Zetterberg also extended his offensive point streak to 16 games after scoring a goal with 1:28 remaining in the game. Brian Rafalski and Kirk Maltby were given the assists. Zetterberg now has 13 goals and 13 assists this season.
"It was kind of late this time," Zetterberg said. "We won the game, and that's the important thing." ...
"Of course, I didn't expect to start the season like this, but when you play with good players good things can happen," Zetterberg said. "I'm just going to try to keep it going."
Thirteen minutes into the first period, Dan Cleary got the Wings on the board first with assists by Brett Lebda and Mikael Samuelsson. Cleary had quite a night with a second goal in the first half of the third period.
"I think Clears has been excellent for us," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "The thing I liked about his (second) goal was he went to the net, he stayed at the net. He didn't fly by. Lots of guys fly by and wonder why they don't score a goal. That's how you score. That's how (Tomas Holmstrom) scores and that's how (Cleary) scores. Lots of us can take a lesson from that."
In between his two goals, Cleary was hit in the face (just above the right eye) by a puck with a little under six minutes remaining in the second period. He went to the locker room and returned to start the third period with a visor on his helmet. Cleary's injury resulted in 20 stitches along his eyebrow.
"I'm just lucky enough that it wasn't a little bit lower," he said, referring to a shot by Rick Nash. "It could have been a lot worse."
Niklas Kronwall returned to the lineup last night after missing four games from a groin injury and played a solid game. He was named the third star of the game. The big moment that stuck out for me was his big open ice hit on Sergei Fedorov that got the crowd cheering in the first period.
Dave at Gorilla Crouch believes Detroit fans are divided on their opinion towards the physical Swedish defenseman.
My guess is Kronner gained some new fans in last night’s game when he smoked Sergei Fedorov as the former Wing crossed the Columbus blueline with the puck. Shortly after that play Feds took a hooking penalty which resulted in Cleary’s first goal. Kronwall was asked about the hit during the first intermission and he replied that he "enjoys that part of the game". Fans love guys who dish out the types of highlight reel hits #55 lays out in open-ice. The fact he layed out a guy Detroit fans obviously hate isn’t going to hurt his popularity at all.
As much as his rate of turnover frequency can be quite alarming at times, I'm a Kronner fan. Part of it has to do with his injury issues and the fact that I've had 9 knee surgeries and can relate. Part of it is that I like his physical nature of the game and at times (and only at times), I see a little Vladimir Konstantinov in him and I like what I see. Yes, his rate of injuries is incredibly frustrating, but I hope that he'll get a chance to prove himself this year (meaning no more injuries please!).
In goaltender Dominik Hasek's first game since suffering from an irritated hip, he stopped 16 shots and earned a win. Head coach Mike Babcock will be rotating goaltenders this week so Hasek will not start Sunday's game, but he will on Tuesday.
The Wings will take on the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday in their third of eight games between the two clubs this season. Chicago won both games against the Wings so far this season.