Red Wings continue to roll
The only real good news – other than the finally announced auto bailout – in Detroit is the fact that the defending Stanley Cup Champions appear to be back in top form after an uneven start.
The Red Wings won for the eighth time in the last ten games despite missing starting goalie Chris Osgood who went 12-2-4 to start the season but has been inactive due to a sore groin. Back up Ty Conklin has filled in just fine, going 10-4 and surrendering only 2.64 goals per game with a .905 save percent.
He played great again Tuesday night as the Red Wings won their third straight, 4-1 over the helpless St. Louis Blues. Conklin made a season high 33 stops to secure the win. It was the sixth straight game he’s made 20+ saves and a good rebound from a poor effort in Saturday’s win over the Kings, in which he surrendered 4 goals.
The Red Wings out shot the Blues 41-34 and made the most of the power play, going 2/7 while the Blues went 0/6.
Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom both scored power play goals in the first to give Detroit a 2-0 lead. Tomas Holmstrom made it 3-0 in the second and Datsyuk added a short hander to make it 4-0 at the close of the second period. Datsyuk also had an assist to lead all scorers with 3 points.
Patrik Berglund scored the loan goal for the Blues, unassisted, a little over a minute into the third period.
There is no definitive answer on how long Osgood will be out but the Detroit News reports: “Osgood likely will go on the long-term injured list and sit out a minimum of 10 more games.”
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Osgood wasn’t placed on injured reserve right away because he didn’t think the injury was serious and expected to play within a few days. "It's just strained, but if you get to the point where it's torn, it's not going to go away by the end of the season or by the playoffs when I want to feel 100 percent. You don't want to hurt it worse and be out a long, long time." Osgood said.
Forward Darren McCarty has also been out with a groin injury since late November. He isn’t expected to return anytime soon.
Even without Osgood, the Red Wings are finding ways to win with improved defense, good offensive production, and a back up who has surrendered 24 fewer goals in just 4 fewer games than the starter he plays behind, in Conklin.
ProHockey-fans.com Detroit Red Wings Correspondent