This past week, the Detroit Red Wings experienced four games, a trade deadline, the jersey retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and two more key players going down with injuries. The week had its ups and downs, but the Red Wings remain tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
In the first game this week, Detroit traveled to the Prudential Center to take on the New Jersey Devils. Adam Henrique opened up the scoring for the Devils within the first minute of the game, but the Red Wings responded with goals from Johan Franzen and Brendan Smith.
The game worked its way into a tie-game at 3-3, with overtime in sight. However, Devils forward Stephen Gionta redirected a shot from the point with 37 seconds left to give the Devils a 4-3 win.
Two nights later, the Red Wings returned home to play the Colorado Avalanche. Prior to the game, the Red Wings organization honored Nicklas Lidstrom as they added his jersey alongside legends such as Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman in the rafters of Joe Louis Arena.
Despite the festivities and the debut of newly acquired center David Legwand, Detroit was handed an overtime loss on a goal by Colorado’s Andre Benoit. It was assisted by rookie Nathan McKinnon, who recorded his thirteenth straight point, breaking Wayne Gretzky’s rookie point streak.
The following night, Detroit had a rematch with the Devils, but this time at Joe Louis Arena. Brendan Smith’s first period goal opened up the scoring, and a Johan Franzen goal in the second allowed the Red Wings to jump out to a two goal lead.
Shortly after, the Devils tallied three goals in less than three minutes to suddenly regain the lead. However, Detroit responded, starting with another Franzen goal, along with goals from Gustav Nyquist and Kyle Quincey to close out the second period 5-3.
In the third period, David Legwand scored his first goal as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. He had two assists earlier in the game and Detroit’s newly formed first line of Franzen, Nyquist and Legwand tallied a total of four goals and seven assists between the trio. After a Drew Miller goal, the Red Wings’ lead became insurmountable and they skated to an easy 7-4 victory.
Sunday afternoon saw the Red Wings skate against the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden. Henrik Lundqvist, goalie of the New York Rangers, was equivalent to a stone wall in net, as he stopped all 30 shots faced by the Red Wings’ attack. Meanwhile, two goals from Rangers forward Chris Kreider sparked an easy 3-0 shutout victory for the Rangers over Detroit.
Other Weekly Notes:
Darren Helm will likely be out at least another week with concussion-like symptoms which occurred February 27 in Ottawa.
Further on the injury front, Red Wings’ star forward Pavel Datsyuk will be out for at least three weeks due to a lower-body injury.
Johan Franzen has been on a hot streak since the end of the Sochi Winter Olympics, scoring five goals and assisting on six others since the NHL’s return from Sochi.
Nathaniel Bott is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.