NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Detroit
(Wednesday, December 27th)
Final Score: Detroit 3, Minnesota 1
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Johan Franzen tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Detroit Red Wings past the Minnesota Wild, 3-1, at Joe Louis Arena.
Dominik Hasek made 31 saves while Kirk Maltby and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for the Red Wings, who have won three of their last four games.
"They can skate, they've got good players and they have good goaltending so you know it's going to be tough," Detroit head coach Mike Babcock said. "There's no separation in the league now. Every night is tough."
Pavol Demitra scored the lone goal for the Wild, who have lost three of their last four. Niklas Backstrom allowed three goals on 33 shots for Minnesota, which also dropped its 10th straight game on the road.
The Red Wings drew first blood early after Maltby tallied a goal just 16 seconds after the opening faceoff. Franzen fired a wrister from the right circle that Backstrom stopped. Maltby though was camped out in front and banged home the rebound for his second goal of the season.
Detroit went up 2-0 at the 4:03 mark of the second stanza. Pavel Datsyuk controlled the puck behind the Minnesota net and flipped a pass out in front to Zetterberg, who quickly fired the disc past Backstrom.
The Red Wings increased their lead to 3-0 after Franzen tallied his fourth goal of the campaign at 6:47 of the second. Franzen has picked up a point in three straight games for Detroit.
With 2:46 remaining in the middle session, the Wild got on the board to make it 3-1. After a scrum in front, Pavol Demitra pounced on a loose puck and lifted the disc over a sprawled out Hasek and into the net.
"I think we played really well for 35 minutes," said Hasek. "After the third goal, we got a little sloppy defensively. Overall, we played good hockey for 35 minutes and it was good enough to win."
Hasek had to make just three saves in the first 10 minutes of the final frame as the Detroit defense bottled up Minnesota's offensive attack.
Minnesota finished the third period with 10 shots on goal, but never generated a quality scoring chance.
Demitra's goal was his 250th career tally in the NHL...The Red Wings went 0- for-6 on the power play while the Wild did not score in three chances with the man advantage.
12/27 23:00:45 ET