Sun, Oct 23, 2011 - Page 19 News List

NHL: Red Wings maintain their perfect start

UNEVEN MATCHUP:The Red Wings overpowered the Blue Jackets, who are the only winless team in the league, as Detroit’s Johan Franzen scored twice in the first period

Reuters and AP, DETROIT, MICHIGAN

The Detroit Red Wings extended their perfect start to the NHL season to five games by overwhelming the winless Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 at the Joe Louis Arena on Friday.

The Red Wings and the Capitals (6-0-0) are the only undefeated teams in the NHL and were set to face each other yesterday in Washington.

“It was a good win for our team and it sets up a good matchup for Saturday,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

The Red Wings scored three goals on five power-play opportunities, including two by Johan Franzen in the first period that opened up a 2-0 lead.

Derek Brassard narrowed the Red Wings’ advantage with a goal late in the first period, but Pavel Datsyuk restored Detroit’s two-goal cushion with the only score of the second.

Columbus’ Aaron Johnson and Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom exchanged power-play goals in the third period before Valterri Filppula capped a four-point night by scoring into an empty net on a pass from Franzen.

Filppula tried to set up Franzen for his hat-trick on the final goal, but the Swede Franzen returned the puck to his teammate for the easy score.

“He tried to get it to me, but the [defender] went down to try and block the shot and took my legs with him,” Franzen said.

“I figured I had a 90 percent chance of scoring and a 100 percent chance to make the pass, so I went for the pass,” he said.

The Blue Jackets fell to 0-6-1 and are the only winless team in the league.

“We can’t use excuses and we try to stay positive all the time, but we’ve played some good games and we came out short in a couple of them,” Brassard said.

SHARKS 4, DEVILS 3, SO

In Newark, New Jersey, Michal Handzus and Ryane Clowe scored shootout goals as the San Jose Sharks celebrated captain Joe Thornton’s 1,000th NHL game with a victory over New Jersey.

Thornton scored and set up Joe Pavelski’s tying goal with 32.4 seconds left in regulation time to help the Sharks end a three-game losing streak and end the Devils’ three-game winning streak.

Clowe also scored in regulation for San Jose.

Zach Parise scored on a second-period penalty shot, and Patrik Elias and David Clarkson had the other goals for New Jersey, which got a 38-save performance from Johan Hedberg.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored on New Jersey’s first attempt in the shootout, but Parise and Elias failed on the next two.

BLUES 3, HURRICANES 2, OT

In St Louis, Matt D’Agostini scored in the fourth minute of overtime to lift St Louis past Carolina.

Jason Arnott and David Backes scored in the second period to help the Blues overcome a 2-0 deficit, and Brian Elliott made 27 saves.

In overtime after the Blues stopped a penalty, Vladimir Sobotka won a faceoff, got the puck back from Pietrangelo and fed D’Agostini to deflect it past goalie Cam Ward.

Brandon Sutter had a goal and an assist for Carolina, while Jay Harrison also scored and Ward stopped 40 shots.

The Blues won for the first time in three matches, while the Hurricanes’ win streak stops at three.

STARS 3, DUCKS 1

In Anaheim, California, Loui Eriksson scored 13 seconds after the opening faceoff and scored again early in the third period, leading Dallas to their fifth straight victory.

Mike Ribeiro also scored for the Stars, 6-1-0 after missing the playoffs in each of the previous three seasons.

It’s their best start since 2006-07, when they won eight of their first nine and finished 50-25-7 before losing in the first round of the playoffs. The only other time they started 6-1 was 1996-97.

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