EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — James Neal and Ethan Bear scored, Mikko Koskinen made 25 saves and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Friday night to regain sole possession of the overall NHL lead.
Darnell Nurse had two assists to help the Oilers improve to 7-1-0. Mike Green scored for Detroit. Coming off a 5-1 loss at Calgary on Thursday night, the Red Wings have lost four in a row to drop to 3-5-0.
Neal scored eight minutes into the second period when a long rebound came out to him for his NHL-leading ninth goal of the season. Neal has already surpassed the seven goals he had last season with the Calgary Flames.
Bear scored his second goal in two games, connecting on a point shot 4 minutes after Neal’s goal.
Green scored late in the second.
NOTES: Oilers general manager Ken Holland faced his longtime former team for the first time since being hired by Edmonton on May 7. … The Oilers wore their new third jerseys for the first time.
Red Wings: Host Vancouver on Tuesday night.
Oilers: At Winnipeg on Sunday.
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Sam Bennett, Derek Ryan and Mark Giordano scored in a 5:18 span of the third period to break open a close game in the Calgary Flames’ 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.
Bennett gave Calgary a 3-1 lead at 3:29, Ryan connected at 4:57 and Giordano added a power-play goal at 8:47. Andrew Mangiapane and Elias Lindholm also scored and David Rittich made 27 saves.
Darren Helm scored for Detroit. The Red Wings have lost three in a row to fall to 3-4-0.
Mangiapane scored midway through the first period and Lindholm made it 2-0 on a power play halfway through the second. Helm struck 28 seconds later for Detroit.
Jimmy Howard made 31 saves for the Red Wings.
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — Ilya Mikheyev scored in the final minute of the second period when goalie Jimmy Howard’s gamble backfired, and Toronto went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 on Saturday night, snapping a three-game losing streak.
With the game tied at 1, the Maple Leafs’ Kasperi Kapanen flipped the puck up the ice, and Mikheyev appeared to have a step on Detroit defenseman Madison Bowey as the two chased it. Howard came well out of his net, hoping to beat Mikheyev to the puck, but the rookie forward got there first, stickhandled to his left and shot into the empty net with 29.5 seconds left in the period.
Nicholas Shore, Alexander Kerfoot, Jake Muzzin and Trevor Moore also scored for the Maple Leafs. Jacob de la Rose and Darren Helm scored for Detroit.
Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Detroit’s Anthony Mantha, who entered the night with six goals apiece, were both held without a point, although Mantha had a partial breakaway stopped by goalie Frederik Andersen in the second.
Fresh off a 7-3 loss to Tampa Bay two days earlier, the Maple Leafs fell behind 1-0 when de la Rose capped a busy shift in the Toronto zone by knocking in a rebound while falling to the ice in front of the net.
Helm scored in the third, beating Andersen with a wrist shot from the slot.
MONTREAL (AP) — Claude Julien feels his Montreal Canadiens have simply not been sharp enough to start the season.
The Canadiens lost 4-2 to the Detroit Red Wings in their home opener on Thursday night, Montreal’s third defeat in a week.
“We have to find that sharpness if we’re going to win some hockey games,” Julien said. “Physically, we need a break. Mentally, we need to sharpen up. We’ll do a little bit of video tomorrow and see if we can’t sharpen the guys up a little bit.
“They (Detroit) forced errors and took advantage of them. We’re making a lot of mistakes and they’re costing us.”
Anthony Mantha scored his sixth goal of the season and Detroit snapped a nine-game losing streak against Montreal.
“Just my confidence right now,” said Mantha, trying to explain his early-season success. “My linemates are feeding me properly and right now it’s going in so I just need to keep shooting.
“Obviously they had our number,” said Mantha, who is the grandson of Canadiens great Andre Pronovost. “We came out strong and Bernier played unreal in net. We’re happy about our performance.”
Darren Helm, Tyler Bertuzzi and Luke Glendenning also scored for the Red Wings, who’ve won three of four so far.
Defenseman Danny Dekeyser had two assists and Jonathan Bernier made 33 saves on 35 shots.
Joel Armia and Max Domi scored for the Canadiens, who were playing the second game of a back-to-back following a 5-4 overtime loss in Buffalo. Carey Price stopped 30 of 33 shots.
Detroit had not won in regulation time in Montreal since 2007.
With the score tied 2-2 in the second period, Mantha scored the eventual winner on the power play at 15:38.
Helm nearly made it 4-2 with three minutes left in the game, but Price stopped him on the breakaway. Glendenning put the contest away with an empty-net goal with 58 seconds remaining.
The Canadiens struggled to clear their own end and it cost them.
Helm opened the scoring with his first goal of the season at 13:33 of the first. After Price misplayed the puck behind his net, Helm scored on a rebound to give Detroit the lead.
A faceoff win by Phillip Danault in the offensive zone led to Armia’s equalizer with 53 seconds left in the period. The Finnish winger has three goals in his last two games.
The Red Wings regained the lead 30 seconds later when Bertuzzi scored his third of the year on a nice feed from Dylan Larkin behind the red line.
By PAUL HARRIS
DETROIT (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks have ridden a hot goaltender to the franchise’s third 3-0 start.
Nick Ritchie scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, and Anaheim beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 on Tuesday night.
The Ducks also won their first three in 2006-07 and last season. So far this season, they’ve been buoyed by John Gibson, who has allowed one goal in each of the three games.
“Gibby (Gibson) kept us in the game for two periods,” Ritchie said. “We knew we had a better game in us, so we came out in the third, got a couple bounces and got the goals we needed.”
Jakob Silfverberg had a goal and an assist and Rickard Rakell also scored for the Ducks. Gibson made 31 saves.
An apparent goal by the Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin 8:06 into the third period was overturned because it was ruled the play went into the zone offside, and Ritchie scored on a rebound 1:04 later to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead. Silfverberg made it 3-1, beating Howard from the inside edge of the left circle off the rush, 47 seconds after that.
“It was a little bit of a Muhammad Ali rope-a-dope — we were against the ropes early and then we were able to come back,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said.
Filip Hronek scored for Detroit, which lost for the first time this season. Jimmy Howard stopped 26 shots.
“It’s one of those things. It’s a game of momentum and a game of inches and it just didn’t go our way tonight,” Howard said.
Rakell tied it at 1, 4:52 into the third, when Hampus Lindholm’s shot bounced off Rakell, past Howard and into the net. Rakell’s first goal followed a turnover by Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi at his own blue line.
Hronek scored with 5 seconds left in the second period after hitting the goal post twice — one from each circle — during the previous 15 seconds or so.
The defenseman finally beat Gibson with a one-time slap shot from the left circle for his first goal of the season. It came with Howard out and Detroit playing 6-on-5, because a penalty was being called on the Ducks.
Larkin also hit the goal post for the Red Wings a little less than five minutes into the middle period.
NOTES: Detroit F Andreas Athanasiou made his season debut after missing the first two games with a lower-body injury. … Anaheim C Sam Steel, who is out with a middle-body injury, skated on Tuesday morning but did not participate in line drills.
Ducks: At Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Red Wings: At Montreal on Thursday.
DETROIT (AP) — Anthony Mantha scored his career-high fourth goal with 53.3 seconds left, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday night in their home opener.
Filip Hronek set up the goal with a centering pass after Dylan Larkin won a faceoff. Mantha also scored early in the third to put Detroit ahead and Roope Hintz pulled Dallas into a 3-all tie 33 seconds later with his second goal.
Jonathan Bernier stopped 19 shots to help the Red Wings improve to 2-0.
The Red Wings had a 5-on-3 power play for 40 seconds midway through the third and failed to take advantage.
Dallas, shooting for its first win in three games, led 2-0 after the first period after Hintz and Tyler Seguin scored.
The cushion didn’t last long.
Mantha scored in the opening minute of the second period on a power play and pulled Detroit into a 2-all tie midway through the second period.
Anton Khudobin made 29 saves for the Stars, who pulled their goaltender to add an extra skater in the final minute and put pressure on Bernier to hold on for the victory. Video review was used with 1.6 seconds left to determine Alexander Radulov didn’t score when he tried to stuff the puck past Bernier.
Red Wings 5, Predators 3
At Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, Tyler Bertuzzi scored twice and had two assists to lead Detroit in its season opener.
Mantha added a goal and two assists, while Larkin had a goal and an assist and Luke Glendening scored.
Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm scored for Nashville, which is 1-1 on the young season.
Midway through the third with the game tied, Glendening scored the go-ahead goal with a wrist shot from the right circle that glanced off the mask of Nashville goaltender Juuse Saros and into the net.
Bertuzzi scored the game’s first goal at 10:29 of the opening period.
From above the left faceoff dot, Larkin sent a cross-ice pass through the slot to Bertuzzi at the right faceoff dot, where he beat Saros with a one-timer high to the glove side.
Saros finished with 23 saves.
Just 1:11 later, Mantha made it 2-0. From inside the Detroit blue line, Mantha carried the puck up ice into the Nashville zone. He fanned on his initial attempt, but then connected on a backhand shot as he was falling to the ice and beat Saros between the pads.
Arvidsson cut the Detroit lead in half at 4:40 of the second.
Matt Duchene had the puck below the goal line just to the right of the Detroit net. There, he made a blind backhand pass to Arvidsson in the low slot, where he beat Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard low to the stick side with a wrist shot. Howard made 39 saves.
An unchecked Forsberg skated from the left half boards to the left circle, where he beat Howard with a wrist shot on the short side.
By LARRY LAGE
AP Hockey Writer
DETROIT — Steve Yzerman is not making any promises about quickly being able to turn around the Detroit Red Wings.
That’s probably a good idea.
Yzerman, who earned a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame for his play in Detroit, is entering his first season as the general manager of a franchise plodding through a rebuilding project.
The Red Wings have failed to make the playoffs for three straight years, following a run of 25 straight postseasons that included four Stanley Cup titles. Detroit’s drought is expected to extend through Yzerman’s debut season in charge of the front office Ken Holland led for two-plus decades.
“It just takes time,” Yzerman said. “I can’t tell you in three years we’re going to be this. In five years, we’re going to be this.”
The Red Wings appear to have a handful of promising players, including center Dylan Larkin, but they still seem to be at least another year away from being talented enough to earn a spot in the postseason.
“This is year two or three where we’re pegged to be a bottom-five team in the NHL,” Larkin said. “To me, that stings a little bit.”
Detroit opens the season Saturday night at Nashville.
Yzerman did not attempt to make a splash in free agency, figuring a high-priced free agent wouldn’t suddenly turn the team into a contender. Yzerman did add 35-year-old center Valtteri Filppula, who he signed away from the Red Wings in 2013 when he was leading Tampa Bay after the Finn was drafted and developed in Detroit. Yzerman acquired another familiar face in August, trading a fourth-round pick next year to the Lightning for 24-year-old winger Adam Erne. Patrik Nemeth, who has 250 games of NHL experience, was also signed to bolster the blue line.
Detroit lost some depth on the backend when Niklas Kronwall decided to retire. The team chose not to bring back 35-year-old winger Thomas Vanek, creating more opportunities for younger players. Holland agreed to step down as general manager to clear the way for Yzerman’s hire before leaving to lead Edmonton’s front office.
Detroit’s top two lines have to be spectacular for this to be a surprising season. Larkin is coming off a career-high, 73-point season. He is expected to center the top line with Anthony Mantha, who had a career-high 25 goals last season, and Tyler Bertuzzi, coming off a career-high, 47-point season. Andreas Athanasiou is back at wing after the speedy player was a center last year and the team needs him to make the transition smooth.
The Red Wings are desperately hoping Mike Green, Trevor Daley and Jonathan Ericsson can stay healthy to make up for the veteran presence lost when Kronwall decided to be an adviser for Yzerman instead of playing for him. They would be pleasantly surprised if 19-year-old winger Filip Zadina, drafted No. 6 overall last year, is ready to contribute on the third line.
Detroit decided to keep a standby in net, signing Jimmy Howard to a one-year contract extension. He has 244 victories since Detroit drafted him in 2003 and he gives the team its best chance to win this season.
Red Wings fans have been clamoring for Yzerman to come back to lead the franchise. They got what they wanted, but Yzerman isn’t going to be able to make miracles happen with a team that doesn’t have much offense after its top two lines and a defense that is average at best. Coach Jeff Blashill acknowledged the organization has to be surprised by many of its players to speed up the turnaround.
Detroit seems destined to win a little more than 30 games for a fourth straight season. Yzerman retained Blashill, who was given a two-year contract last spring, but there may be a change on the bench by this time next year.
By DAVER KARNOSKY
Houghton Daily Mining Gazette
CALUMET — Three years removed from Kraft Hockeyville USA in Marquette, the NHL returned to the Upper Peninsula Thursday night as the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues took part in an NHL preseason game at the Calumet Colosseum.
When the festivities ended, the Red Wings emerged victorious, 4-1.
For the Red Wings, who served as the home team for the night, three emerging members of the new, young corps stepped up. Winger Anthony Mantha and center Michael Rasmussen each struck twice in the victory. Defenseman Dennis Cholowski chipped in with two assists.
For Mantha, who scored his third and fourth goals of the preseason, the game was another step in following up a strong showing at last spring’s World Championships.
“(My) confidence is there since last season,” he said. “Plays are just coming through right now.”
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, who grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, was pleased with the efforts of his young players, especially Mantha, Rasmussen, Cholowski and winger Taro Hirose, who added another assist in the win.
Mantha’s first of the night put the Red Wings up 1-0 late in the first period. After both teams spent most of the opening frame feeling each other out, the Red Wings found themselves on a power play late in the period thanks to a hooking minor called on Blues defenseman Vince Dunn.
After a turnover in the offensive zone, Mantha snatched up a clearing attempt and worked a give-and-go with Cholowski which ended with a slap shot from Mantha that beat Blues netminder Jordan Binnington.
Mantha’s second tally came just 22 seconds after the Blues had evened things in the second period when he stole a puck at center ice and skated in, beating Binnington cleanly again.
Blues coach Craig Berube felt that goal was a turning point in the contest.
“It’s definitely not a good situation to give up a goal right after you score one,” he said. “It kind of sets you back a little bit and it kills your momentum for sure.”
Rasmussen scored his first of the night at 13:18 of the middle frame, shortly after escaping from the penalty box. He went hard to the net and picked up a rebound off a shot from center Dylan Larkin. Rasmussen muscled the puck through Binnington, giving the Red Wings a 3-1 lead.
He struck again 2:15 late by again getting to the net and tipping a shot from Cholowski past Binnington.
“I get confidence from doing all the little things like winning my draws, finishing my checks, little stuff like that,” Rasmussen said. “It’s always good to score. It’s fun to score, so it is nice to help out the team.”
Blashill was pleased with Rasmussen’s game, feeling that the youngster is beginning to use his strength well around the net.
“I think his game’s grown as its went along,” Blashill said. “Obviously, we’ve put him at center, I want to keep them at center. I think long term, he can be a really good defensive center and then add his offense with his net front play and he’s a big guy.
“I heard somebody refer to the centers as a kind of the third defenseman and ultimately, that’s what they are and when you are 6-foot-7, with that kind of reach, it’s a real advantage to have him at that position. So we want to keep them there.”
Despite having his starting goaltender give up four goals, Berube was happy with the efforts of Binnington, but less so with the game his defenders put in.
“We weren’t very good,” Berube said. “I thought Binner (Binnington) played really well in the first…. I thought he played excellent.”
Center Ryan O’Reilly, who played in the Marquette Hockeyville game three years ago for the Buffalo Sabres, scored the lone goal for St. Louis just after a power play opportunity just 43 seconds into the second period. He redirected a pass from winger David Perron past Red Wings goaltender Calvin Pickard.
Pickard turned away 37 other shots the Blues sent his way, including all 17 they put on goal in the third period.
The Red Wings return to action tonight when they host Toronto at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The Blues also return to action tonight hosting Washington.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Dominik Simon and Sidney Crosby scored in the third period to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 preseason win over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.
Simon got the tiebreaking goal 1:56 into the third period, and Crosby capped the scoring with 3:49 left. Brandon Tanev and Bryan Rust also scored for the Penguins, and Matt Murray made 26 saves.
Ryan Kuffner and Mike Green scored tying goals for Detroit in the first two periods, and Jonathan Bernier made 28 saves.
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — Detroit Red Wings season-ticket holder Matt Larson pays about $74 for two of the cheapest seats in Little Caesars Arena. The 32-year-old fan gets a pair of high top chairs set up behind a counter, giving him plenty of space for food and drink, in a spacious area perched near the rafters behind a net.
“There’s nothing better than watching hockey in person,” Larson said recently while watching as Detroit hosted Chicago in a preseason game.
The Red Wings, and every other NHL team, hope there are a lot of people who agree with him.
Detroit is desperately trying to keep hockey fans filing into its arena, which is a little more than two years old, as the allure of the spectacular facility wears off while the team trudges through a multiyear rebuild.
The Red Wings overcame the lack of success on the ice last season to be at 98 percent of capacity on average. They ranked in the middle of the pack in a league that generally is able to draw fans to watch its high-speed, full-contact product in person. Ten teams averaged sellouts and just five of 31 franchises had an average attendance last season that didn’t fill at least 90 percent of their arenas.
While Detroit did not have trouble selling tickets last year, it wasn’t always playing in front of a packed house because some fans simply couldn’t get people to take and use their tickets. To make unoccupied seats stand out less on TV for Red Wings and Pistons games, the red material covering chairs has been replaced by black to blend in throughout Little Caesars Arena.
“It was an expensive choice,” Larson said. “I would’ve hated to foot the bill for it.”
Red Wings fan Melanie Bidwell was one of the many hooked on hockey in the Motor City for years, proudly counting herself as a season-ticket holder for more than a decade. When the team moved from Joe Louis to Little Caesars Arena two years ago, she continued to buy season tickets.
Last season, she gave up her tickets as her family got busier and doesn’t regret it.
“It’s nothing against the Red Wings, we still love them, but it’s not convenient to get to games when you’re juggling work schedules and a 9-year-old boy playing hockey,” she said.