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>>caption: NEW DEAL FRANZEN &
THE WINGS LOST TO THE HAWKS<<
@ JOE LOUIS ARENA:
After announcing an 11-year
(est. $43.5-million) contract
extension with L-Wing Johan
Franzen, the Red Wings took a 2-1 lead in their Saturday matinee regular
season home finale vs Chicago.
Wearing the same Detroit Cougars throwback jerseys from their New Year's
Day NHL Winter Classic win over Chicago in the outdoor game at Wrigley Field,
the Red Wings had less than a classic finish to this date's contest.
The Blackhawks scored three unanswered third period goals to defeat
Detroit 4-2 at The Joe.
After Ben Eager (#11) had tied the game 2-all for Chicago on a high slot shot
at 8:53/3, Dustin Byfuglien (#15) got the game winner on a penalty shot with
just 27.6-sec left in regulation.
Byfuglien had skated in on Wings goalie Ty Conklin and when Detroit DEF
Niklas Kronwall slightly lifted Byfuglien's stick Kronwall cas called for a ticky-
tack hooking infraction and a penalty shot was awarded. Byfuglien then took
his solo rush and flicked the disc over Conklin's blocker to the upper left corner
of the net.
Detroit pulled Conklin to try to re-tie and Dan Cleary was robbed on his
one-timer by a right toe save from B'Hawks netminder Cristobal Huet with
16-sec left. Quickly counter-attacking Chicago then clinched it with an
empty-net goal from center ice by Andrew Ladd (#14) at 19:49/3.
The Blackhawks had taken a 1-0 lead just 16-sec into the game on a long
slapshot by rookie Niklas Hjalmarsson for his first career NHL goal.
Detroit deadlocked the game 1-1 on Valtteri Filppula's (#12) down low shot
for a power play goal at 10:59/1. It stayed that way until Henrik Zetterberg
(#31) was the late man up the slot to convert a Cleary feed for a wrister between
the top of the circles at 18:58/2 when four Chicago defenders backed down too low.
Hank's goal made it 2-1 Detroit.
Conklin made 22-SV and Huet 21.
Detroit was 1-for-2 and Chicago 0-for-4 on the power play.
It was the first Blackhawks win over the Red Wings in five meetings this
R-WINGS L-WING JOHAN FRANZEN: "It's good to get it (the contract) done before
the playoffs start...It took a while to get it done...I started my career here. They
drafted me. I had some good times here, four good years, playing with great players
and leaders. I really wanted to stay here."
R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK: "We got scored on the first shift. It took us a
little while to get goin'...We took over the game. I thought we had our opportunities.
Our penalty kill was good. In the end, they were able to get one more than us on that
R-WINGS DEF/CAPT NICKLAS LIDSTROM: "We played a patient game and so did they...
(Then) that call happened...(but) we played a solid game out there...We know we have
to play better, especially in the third period...Playoff hockey's gonna be very important
in the third period and we have to bear down and play more solid defensively."
R-WINGS DEF NIKLAS KRONWALL: "I didn’t think I touched him that much. But,
obviously, the referee was right there and he made the call."
B-HAWKS Rt-WING DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN: "I got hit, but I couldn’t tell how hard with
everything that was going on. We got the break (on the penalty shot call).”
Sources say Franzen's $43.5-mil deal will pay him between $5.5 and $5-mil for
the first seven seasons of the 11-year pact. The contract length is second in
team history to the 12-year deal the Wings completed with Henrik Zetterberg in
Detroit L-Wing Marian Hossa (groin) and CEN Kris Draper (upper body injury)
were both scratched Saturday while 47-year old DEF Chris Chelios played up
front on Rt-Wing. The last time Cheli played forward was during the 1998-99
season when he was still a Blackhawk.
Chicago Rt-Wing Patrick Sharp sat out his fourth consecutive contest
with an undisclosed lower body injury.
With playoff seedings already locked in the Red Wings visit the Black Hawks
Sunday afternoon to complete both the home-&-home series and the regular
Chicago will face Calgary in the opening playoff round. Second-seeded
Detroit had three different possible foes entering Saturday evening's NHL
activity, but Nashville was eliminated. The Wings will face #7 seeded Anaheim
unless #8 seed St. Louis can leap-frog the idle Ducks (whose season is completed).
The Blues visit Colorado on Sunday. A St. Louis win would push the Ducks down to
#8 seed and send Detroit against the Columbus Blue Jackets because the Blues would
earn the 6th seed on a tiebreaker.
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