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BREAKDOWN: Wild vs. Red Wings

An in-depth look at Sunday's 4-2 win over Minnestoa

Wednesday, April 3, 2011 / 8:40 PM
By Bill Roose, Michael Caples and Jeff Sanford | DetroitRedWings.com

One day after clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 20th consecutuve season, the Red Wings added Central Division champs to their 2010-11 resume with a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday night. The Wings have been crowned division champions in nine of the last 10 seasons.

The Red Wings grabbed a 2-0 lead on even-strength goals by Darren Helm and Nicklas Lidstrom. In the second, the Wild scored to trim their deficit in half. With a scramble of players in front of Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, Wild forward Brad Staubitz finally pushed the puck past Howard, who was face-first on the ice.

Power forwards Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen added goals in the second and third periods, respectively, for the Red Wings, who improved their record to 46-23-10.


The Wings were able to take control of the game early, courtesy of a goal by forward Darren Helm. Less than three minutes into the contest, Helm took a pass from Patrick Eaves in between the circles of the Minnesota end. Helm was able to fire a quick shot that beat goalie Jose Theodore, giving Detroit the lead that they never relinquished.

10 With a power-play goal that gave the Wings a 3-1 lead in the second period, Tomas Holmstrom now has 10 PPGs this season. It's the sixth time that the Swede has reached double-digit PPGs in his 14 NHL seasons.
8 Both Tomas Holmstrom and Nicklas Lidstrom scored their 16th goals of the season, giving the Red Wings eight players who have scored at least as many.
12 Darren Helm got things started for the Red Wings with a goal at 2:46 of the opening period. The even-strength tally gives the speedy forward 12 goals on the season, which is a career-best for Helm. 
20 The Wild factor worked for Johan Franzen on Sunday. His third-period goal gives the power forward 20 points in 20 career games vs. Minnesota.

Tomas Holmstrom
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 E 4

Darren Helm
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 E 1

Brad Staubitz
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +1 5

Jose Theodore
34 30 4 58:49 .882

Jimmy Howard
29 27 2 59:56 .931

Brent Burns - D

27:13 - T0I, E rating

Jonathan Ericsson - D

21:37 - T0I, +1 rating


At the 12:38 mark of the second period, Tomas Holmstrom (right) and Brian Rafalski teamed up for the goal of the night. Rafalski collected the puck inside the Wild's blue line, and waited to make a pass. Holmstrom used the extra time to escape coverage, and raced to the slot. Rafalski’s pass landed on Holmstrom’s stick, and the big forward faked out defenseman Brent Burns and fired a wrist shot into the net. The goal gave the Wings another two-goal lead.


Jimmy Howard played his second game in as many days, getting the start after playing in Nashville Saturday afternoon. The Wings’ goaltender didn’t show any signs of fatigue, stopping 27 shots to pick up his second win of the weekend. Howard stopped 11 in the opening period, and 11 more in the second period. He did a great job of keeping the Wings in the game as they built up a solid lead.


Before Sunday, Johan Franzen had one goal since his five-goal outburst in Ottawa on Feb. 2. But he was able to record the Wings’ fourth goal tonight, his first since March 5. Franzen took a pass from Henrik Zetterberg in front of the Wild goal, and beat Jose Theodore on his second try. It was an ugly, hard-nosed goal, but it may have Franzen moving in the right direction as the playoffs near.


With 10:48 left in the second period, Brad Stuart collided with Minnesota’s Clayton Stoner along the boards in the Wings’ zone. Stuart hit Stoner with such force that a pane of glass was dislodged from the boards. Play was stopped so the Red Wings’ maintenance crew could come out and repair the boards.


The Red Wings were outshot 11-10 in the first period, and 12-10 in the second. But they dominated the SOG count in the third period, recording 14 to Minnesota’s six. Keeping the shots away from goalie Jimmy Howard and creating pressure in the Wild end helped Detroit preserve its lead, which led to the Wings clinching the Central Division on Sunday.


"We got embarrassed last home game we played in here. So we definitely wanted to play a lot more solid game and I thought we carried most of the game tonight. We played the way we can play. And I think we’d proven that to ourselves, that we just got to bear down and play our system and pay attention to details and we can win games. "

- Nicklas Lidstrom on the bitter feeling of the Red Wings last home game, a 10-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues last Wednesday