Red Wings clinch Presidents' Trophy
4/3/2008 11:31:54 PM
DETROIT - Although it was almost inevitable, the Detroit Red Wings wanted to get it done.
Henrik Zetterberg wrapped up the Presidents' Trophy for Detroit, scoring with 11 seconds left to rally the Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
With 113 points, the Red Wings took the Presidents' Trophy as the regular-season points leaders and earned home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"It was nice to get that out of the way and get home ice advantage all the way in the playoffs," said Zetterberg. "That was big for us. We had a great regular season, have one game to finish it off and then ready to go for the playoffs."
Mark Hartigan and Johan Franzen also scored for Detroit, and Dominik Hasek made 20 saves.
Franzen's power-play goal with 3:27 left tied it 2-2. He put in the rebound of Nicklas Lidstrom's shot for his 27th goal, giving him 15 goals and four assists in his last 15 games.
"It felt good to get this game and get the Presidents. We didn't want to lose this game," Franzen said. "Their goalie was playing great but we got a power-play, Nick took a shot that was perfect for a rebound and beat my guy and I had an open net. In front, that's the right place to be."
The goal came only 13 seconds after the Blue Jackets' Michael Peca took a delay of game penalty when he accidentally shot the puck over the glass in his own zone as he was falling in front of the net.
"You're falling and all of a sudden your momentum is going a different way than it was and the puck comes off your stick at a different angle," he said.
Zetterberg got the winner by banking the puck off goalie Pascal Leclaire from behind the net for his 43rd goal.
"The puck was just laying outside the line he couldn't play (it)," said Zetterberg. "So he had trouble getting back and I just tried to hit him and it hit his behind and went in."
Leclaire, who stopped 36 shots, had been spectacular throughout the game.
"Some of the saves he made, especially in the third, were phenomenal," said Peca. "He gave us a chance to win it and we let him down in the end."
Ron Hainsey and Aaron Rome had the Blue Jackets' goals.
"We had a chance to win the game and we didn't," Rome said. "It was disappointing."
Rome gave Columbus a 2-1 lead 4:05 into the second period. His shot from the right point went through Hasek's pads for his first career goal.
Hainsey got the game's first goal, 7:13 into the second period, on the power play. He beat Hasek with a slap shot from the slot area for his eighth of the season.
Hartigan tied it just 2:35 later when he put one in from a goal-mouth scramble.
Notes: Detroit signed LW Justin Abdelkader to a professional tryout. He's played at Michigan State the last three seasons and was the Red Wings second-round pick (42nd overall) in the 2005 NHL Draft. The Muskegon, MI., native made his NHL debut Thursday night. .. Hainsey returned after missing a game with a head injury. . The Red Wings were without LW Kirk Maltby (hamstring), D Brad Stuart (broken finger), C Kris Draper (groin), RW Mikael Samuelsson (groin) and RW Tomas Holmstrom (lower abdominal). .. RW David Vyborny (flu) and C Jiri Novotny (thigh) sat out for the Blue Jackets. .. Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland dropped the puck for a ceremonial face-off before the game. .. Detroit C Tomas Kopecky limped off the ice 6:48 into the second period after having his legs taken out from under him in a collision with Columbus' Manny Malhotra. Kopecky went to the hospital for tests.