The mere fact that it was Todd Bertuzzi’s 1,000th game made this afternoon’s contest against the Minnesota Wild special enough. Yet Bertuzzi was able to script a great ending to his milestone, as the surging power forward scored a nice backhand goal to cap a 2-1 shootout win for the Detroit Red Wings.
The divisive power forward received boos when he touched the puck (unless it was actually one of those “Boo-urns”-style chants that sounded like boos?), but he made some nice plays in a well-played if offensively limited contest.
Detroit 2, Minnesota 1 (SO)
Bertuzzi might be the headliner for this game, but Niklas Backstrom was probably the best player on the ice. The Finnish goalie stopped 38 shots in regulation, only allowing a Nicklas Lidstrom goal early in the third period. Martin Havlat scored Minnesota’s only goal on a breakaway a little under five minutes into the final frame.
Pavel Datsyuk scored an absolute beauty to open up the scoring in the shootout while Bertuzzi clinched the Red Wings’ win. Jimmy Howard turned aside both Wild shooters and made 25 out of 26 saves during the actual game to win his 30th game of the season.
The Red Wings now have 80 points on the season, leaving them five points behind the Vancouver Canucks for the top spot in the West. Minnesota would have loved to win this game, but they’ll take the charity point. That moves them to 68 points so far this season, placing them in a five-team tie for sixth in the West. At this moment, wins and games played tiebreakers technically place them in eighth.
If the Mikko Koivu misses a significant amount of time, players such as Backstrom and Havlat must carry the Wild. They did so this afternoon, even if they came up a little bit short against the Red Wings.
Update: here is video footage of Bertuzzi discussing his 1,000th game.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
One of the more unique blueliners in recent memory is hanging up his skates.
Douglas Murray, the big-bodied Swedish rearguard that appeared in over 500 NHL contests, has decided to retire.
“Thirty general managers do not want me,” Murray told Alftonbladet (translation per Yahoo). “I know that I can still play, but it’s over now.”
Murray, 36, is best remembered for his time in San Jose, where he used his 6-foot-3, 245-pound frame to become one of the hardest hitters in the league.
His best years came between 2009-11, when he helped the Sharks advance to a pair of Western Conference Finals, and represented Sweden at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Murray also spent time with Pittsburgh and Montreal, before joining German League side Kolner Haie in ’14-15. He also had a brief stint with the Calgary Flames, though things never progressed beyond the professional tryout stage.
As mentioned above, Murray was a pretty interesting guy. A late bloomer, he was 25 upon making his NHL debut but quickly endeared himself to Shark fans.
Ivy-league educated, Murray and friends also created a beer dispensing system called the UberTap while at Cornell University.
A few years ago, Murray was rumored to be dating Elin Nordegren, the ex-wife of Tiger Woods. Murray later shot down the reports, saying he and Nordegren were just friends.
Pressure’s on, Louis Domingue.
Domingue, now Arizona’s No. 1 goalie with Mike Smith (lower body) shelved indefinitely, will get another chance to prove himself when the Coyotes visit the Isles at Barclays on Friday night.
Things haven’t gone great for Domingue thus far.
Since coming on in relief of Smith in Ottawa, the 24-year-old has allowed seven goals on 30 shots in just over 36 minutes of action — leaving him with a ghastly .767 save percentage and 11.35 GAA.
(Not a typo. Eleven. Point. Three. Five.)
“He’s gotta play better,” coach Dave Tippett said, per the Arizona Republic. “He’s gotta play better than these two games he’s played. We’ll give him another opportunity, and hopefully he responds.”
The Coyotes haven’t provided a health update on Smith, who was flown back to Arizona earlier this week to be examined by team doctors. Justin Peters was recalled from the minors to serve as Domingue’s backup and looked sharp in relief of Domingue last night in Montreal, stopping 23 of 24 shots faced.
As such, Domingue has plenty on the line tonight. Peters is a 30-year-old veteran with over 80 games of NHL experience, so the Coyotes could turn to him if Domingue struggle yet again.
For the Isles, Jaroslav Halak gets the call in goal.
— Corey Crawford starts yet again for the Blackhawks, who are in Columbus to face the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky will be in the opposing goal.
— Pekka Rinne, sporting a 2.04 GAA and .934 save percentage thus far, gets the nod as the Preds head to Detroit. Petr Mrazek will be in goal for the Red Wings, after Jimmy Howard played well in a Wednesday win over the Rangers.
It seems Brian Campbell won’t be a healthy scratch, after all. According to the Chicago Tribune, the veteran Blackhawks defenseman is likely to be in the lineup tonight in Columbus.
It had previously been reported that Campbell would sit against the Blue Jackets, making way for the return of Trevor van Riemdsyk. Instead, the Tribune believes van Riemsdyk will replace either Michal Kempny or Gustav Forsling, though it’s also possible the ‘Hawks could dress seven defensemen.
As for winger Marian Hossa, he will definitely not play tonight due to a lower-body injury suffered Tuesday against the Flyers, the same game in which he scored his 500th career goal. Hossa is also questionable for Saturday’s home game against Toronto.
At this morning’s skate, Jonathan Toews was centering Tyler Motte and Richard Panik, with Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov, and Patrick Kane sticking together on the second line.
Here’s Coach Q’s scrum from yesterday:
With his 20-game suspension finally set to end, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jarred Tinordi has reportedly been placed on waivers.
Tinordi, 24, was suspended late last season for violating terms of the NHL’s performance-enhancing substances agreement. He said he “did not knowingly take a banned substance,” but accepted the ban and vowed to “work hard towards my return to the ice.” After he misses tonight’s game in Brooklyn, he’ll have served 20 games.
A former first-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens, Tinordi has spent most of his pro career in the AHL, though he does have 54 games of NHL experience. The big blue-liner was traded to Arizona in January, part of a controversial three-team swap that saw John Scott, the All-Star, sent to the Habs.
Tinordi played seven unremarkable games for the Coyotes before he was suspended. He’ll presumably be assigned to their AHL affiliate in Tucson should he clear waivers.
Related: NHL has ‘no reason to believe…the Canadiens acted inappropriately’ in Tinordi trade