Detroit at Vancouver

Special-teams play carries Red Wings past Canucks


VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Detroit Red Wings spent their day off in Vancouver practicing their penalty kill. The power play didn't need any work.

Mikael Samuelsson, Brian Rafalski and Henrik Zetterberg all scored power-play goals, and Detroit killed off all seven Vancouver man advantages to wrap up a five-game road trip with a 3-2 victory against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.

"If you're plus in the special teams you have a real good chance of winning, and we were tonight," Rafalski said. "The power play has given us an opportunity to be in all the games and you put together a night like tonight where we kill all the penalties and we're in a pretty good situation."

Chris Osgood made 25 saves, and Jiri Hudler added two assists as the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings improved to 8-2-2 to start this season.

"Obviously we've got a good thing going right now and it's been good for us all year," said Rafalski of a Red Wings power play that went 3-for-5, wasting little time improving on an already league-best 30.4 percent efficiency rating.

Vancouver came in with the NHL's only perfect penalty killing on home ice, but was no match for a Detroit power play that featured Samuelsson scoring on its first shot, ending the Canucks' streak of 12 consecutive kills at home this season.

After defenseman Sami Salo whiffed on a great chance to clear the zone, Samuelsson completed a pretty three-way passing play with a perfect one-timer high to the glove side that caught Roberto Luongo moving to his right 13:30 into the first.

Rafalski doubled the lead with the second shot of Detroit's second power play, a shot from the point that deflected past Luongo 6:29 into the second period.

"Obviously we have some high-end players," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.

Zetterberg showed why he might be the best of the bunch late in the second. After Henrik Sedin closed the gap, Zetterberg restored Detroit's two-goal cushion during a 5-on-3 with 68 seconds left in the period, driving the net and somehow sifting a sharp-angle backhand shot through Luongo from barely above the goal line.

"I had Hudler on the back door and (Dan) Cleary in the slot, so I just tried to go in one-on-one with Luongo and was lucky to get it through his arm," said Zetterberg, who also hit the post before the second Canucks penalty expired.

Kyle Wellwood also scored for the Canucks, who were playing their third game in four nights after back-to-back victories in Los Angeles and Anaheim on Thursday and Friday.

"They have a great power play, that's for sure," said Luongo, who finished with 20 saves. "We didn't take that many penalties but when we did, they made us pay."

At the other end, Vancouver managed only seven shots on its first six power plays as the Red Wings tightened up their penalty killing, which uncharacteristically came in having given up 10 goals the previous six games and ranked 23rd in the NHL.

"We saw a few things we had to work on -- mostly communication and putting more pressure on," Rafalski said of the extra penalty-kill practice. "We were sitting back on our heels and watching and not being as aggressive as we'd like."

Wellwood made it 3-2 with 12:40 left, scoring seconds after the sixth Canucks power play expired. But Vancouver managed only one shot on their seventh advantage after Daniel Cleary was whistled for goaltender interference with 7:14 left, and Osgood robbed Ryan Kesler on a one-timer from 15 feet seconds after it expired.

"This might have been his best effort," Babcock said of Osgood. "Our penalty kill has always been outstanding, and this year we got off to a real slow start. Once you start killing the way you should you get a little confidence."

Zetterberg and Samuelsson each also had an assist, but Detroit sniper Marian Hossa saw his point streak ended at nine games with six goals and eight assists.


  • Vancouver RW Jannik Hansen, who is fourth among NHL rookies with seven points, missed the game and is listed as day-to-day after pulling his groin late Friday in a 7-6 shootout victory in Anaheim.
  • It was Detroit's first victory in regulation on the five-game trip (3-1-1) after winning the first two in shootouts.
  • The Wings went 8-for-21 on the power play on this road trip.
  • After playing eight of the first 11 on the road, Vancouver was starting a six-game home stand.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Henrik Zetterberg sees his shot elude Roberto Luongo, and Detroit's lead increase to 3-1.  (Getty Images)
Henrik Zetterberg sees his shot elude Roberto Luongo, and Detroit's lead increase to 3-1. (Getty Images)
Detroit  (8-2-2) «1203
Vancouver (6-6-0)0112
Three Stars
H. Zetterberg

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
K. Wellwood

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
M. Samuelsson

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
13:30Power Play - Mikael Samuelsson (2), Snap Shot. Assist: Zetterberg, Hudler
06:29Power Play - Brian Rafalski (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Datsyuk, Lidstrom
10:19Henrik Sedin (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Sedin, Ohlund
18:52Power Play - Henrik Zetterberg (8), Backhand Shot. Assist: Samuelsson, Hudler
07:20Kyle Wellwood (4), Snap Shot. Assist: Salo, Raymond
Penalty Summary
04:19McCarty, 5 min, Fighting
04:19Brown, 5 min, Fighting
12:20Bieksa, 2 min, Roughing
15:48Kopecky, 2 min, Boarding
19:43Samuelsson, 2 min, Interference
06:05Burrows, 2 min, Interference
12:31Maltby, 2 min, Boarding
14:46Stuart, 2 min, Holding
17:15Salo, 2 min, Cross-Checking
17:40Mitchell, 2 min, Cross-Checking
19:50Kronwall, 2 min, Holding
05:17Meech, 2 min, Cross-Checking
12:46Cleary, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
17:48Raymond, 2 min, Holding
Shots On Goal
Chris Osgood60:00252
Roberto Luongo58:31203
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 18630
Referees - Rob Shick, Kyle Rehman
Linesmen - Lonnie Cameron, Mark Wheler
Other Games
Tor 4 Final
Car 6
SJ 5 Final
Colo 3
Edm 5 Final
Phi 4
Cal 2 Final
Ana 3
Fla 3 Final
Atl 5