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Grigorenko, Kopecky lift Wings in shootout win

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – A Red Wings’ game was decided by a shootout for the first time in the preseason.

Tomas Kopecky and Igor Grigorenko scored shootout goals, giving the Red Wings a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday night.

The Red Wings outscored Tampa Bay, 2-1, in the shootout. Veteran Jan Hlavac scored the Lightning’s lone shootout tally.

Igor Grigorenko beats Lightning goalie Marc Denis to give the Red Wings a 3-2 win in a preseason shootout on Thursday.
Participating in his first NHL training camp, Grigorenko's effort in the shootout was quite impressive. He deked Tampa Bay goalie Marc Denis, pulling the puck to his backhand before shifting to the forehand, and finishing with a wrist shot into the back of the net.

"Certainly there, it showed the offensive flare that he has, no doubt," said center Kris Draper of Grigorenko. "It's a little tough; there's a language barrier. It's his first time over here and his first NHL training camp. So, I think overall, he's done well. He's tried to learn. He's tried to fit in playing soccer with the guys and having fun with teammates in practice. But he's trying his best."

Kopecky got a bit of redemption with his shootout goal. He had an opportunity to end the game in overtime, but he ran out of room on the short side against Denis, who stymied the Wings’ forward. A few moments later, Denis came up big again when he deflected Brian Rafalski’s shot from the slot.

Chris Osgood stopped Michel Ouellet and Vaclav Prospal in the shootout. Osgood, who played the entire game, made 19 saves on 21 shots.

For the first time this preseason, many of the players who will make up the Red Wings’ regular-season roster – and those few still battling for a roster spot -- shared in must of the ice time Thursday night.

The Wings’ new defensive tandem of captain Nicklas Lidstrom and Rafalski also received plenty of ice together on Thursday. Both defensemen assisted on each of the Wings' goals in regulation.

Detroit scored a pair of power-play goals to take a 2-1 lead early in the second period. The Red Wings got the lone goal of the first period when forward Mattias Ritola scored his second goal of the preseason.

Ritola left the game when he was hit in the right side of the head with a puck shot by Lightning forward Mathieu Darche in the first period.

After Tampa Bay tied the game, Valtteri Filppula put the Red Wings up again when he re-directed a Lidstrom point-shot past Lightning goalie Johan Holmqvist at 5:28.

Trailing a couple of times, the Lightning rebounded to tie the score twice in the second period. Tampa Bay tied the game the first time when defenseman Matt Smaby at 2:58 of the period.

Following Filppula’s power-play goal, the Lightning knotted the score at 2-2 when left wing Michel Ouellet blasted a one-timer from the slot past Osgood with 1:16 left in the period.

The Red Wings dodged a scare when Rafalski left the game with seven-minutes left in regulation. The new Wings’ defenseman caught a rut with his left skate behind the Tampa Bay net. He skated off under his own power, and after being attended to by athletic trainer Piet Van Zant in the hallway outside of the team’s locker room, Rafalski returned to the bench.

Coach Mike Babcock indicated that the Wings will deploy three NHL forward lines in the final two tune-up games this weekend in a home-and-home series with Toronto.

"It's good. He's trying to get his four lines together and when you're playing three games in three nights it's a bit tough to do," Draper said. "I think those games will be a little bit more fun. Anytime Original Six teams get together they're more fun, so the next two nights should be a little more tense with a little more emotion."

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