After an average road trip where they finished 2-2-1, the Detroit Red Wings (38-17-2, NHL leading 78 points) have had a nice start to their six-game homestand by winning their first three contests at the Joe Louis Arena . With those victories, they now join the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and the 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers as the co-owners of the NHL record with 20 straight home wins. The Red Wings are now a sparkling 23-2-1 at the Joe.
Despite Jimmy Howard being out of the lineup with a broken finger, a goaltender who was stopping pucks for the team’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids ten days ago is the man between the pipes for now. Joey MacDonald has backstopped the Red Wings to a 3-1-1 record since Howard’s injury, and when the All-Star netminder returns it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the backup position. Does MacDonald return to the Griffins or does he bump Ty Conklin out of the backup role?
Goals: Johan Franzen-22
Assists: Pavel Datsyuk-41
Points: Pavel Datsyuk-56
Plus/Minus: Ian White-+28
Penalty Minutes: Todd Bertuzzi-52
Power Play Goals: Johan Franzen-11
Game-Winning Goals: Johan Franzen-10
Short Handed Goals: Brad Stuart/Valtteri Filppula-1
Shots on Goal: Henrik Zetterberg-175
Shooting Percentage: Jiri Hudler-22.4%
Average Ice Time Per Game: Nicklas Lidstrom-23:59
Jimmy Howard- 32-11-1; 2.03 goals against average; .924 save percentage; 5 shutouts
Joey MacDonald-3-1-1; 1.87 goals against average; .926 save percentage
Ty Conklin- 3-5-0; 3.40 goals against average; .878 save percentage, 1 shutout
Game 54: Detroit Red Wings 1 Phoenix Coyotes 3
The Red Wings ended their road trip flat as they fell to the Coyotes for the first time this season. Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith stood out by making 13 of his 30 saves in the third period. Joey MacDonald kept his team in it, despite stopping 20 of his 22 shots; and Johan Franzen was the first Red Wing player to reach the 20-goal plateau this season.
Game 55: Edmonton Oilers 2 Detroit Red Wings 4
Drew Miller struck oil again by scoring the deciding goal in the third period, leading the Red Wings past the Oilers for their first home game since January 23. It was their 18th straight home win. Johan Franzen, Cory Emmerton and Henrik Zetterberg also scored while Joey MacDonald got his first win of the season by stopping 15 shots. The only low-light for the home team was they couldn’t stop Sam Gagner, who scored both Oilers’ goals in a losing effort.
Game 56: Anaheim Ducks 1 Detroit Red Wings 2 (SO)
Todd Bertuzzi scored in the third round of the shootout as the Red Wings won their 19th straight at home. Joey MacDonald was stellar in net by making 29 saves and Justin Abdelkader scored the lone Red Wing goal in regulation. Two players reached milestones as Tomas Holmstrom became the sixth player in franchise history to play in his 1,000th game as a Red Wing, and Nicklas Lidstrom tied Hall of Famer Alex Delvecchio for second in games played wearing the winged wheel.
Game 57: Philadelphia Flyers 3 Detroit Red Wings 4
The Red Wings tied the NHL record with their 20th straight home win as Henrik Zetterberg scored a goal and added two assists while Johan Franzen scored the deciding goal early in the third period and also added an assist. The team’s power-play unit got back on track by cashing in twice out of five opportunities. Joey MacDonald recovered from a shaky spell early in the game and turned away 26 shots. The Red Wings also got goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall. Nicklas played in his 1,550th game wearing the winged wheel and now only trails Gordie Howe in that category. Congrats to the Captain.
Red Wings Three Stars of the Week
Johan Franzen-three goals, one assist
Henrik Zetterberg-two goals, three assists
Joey MacDonald-3-1-0; 1.97 goals against average, .918 save percentage
Team Transactions: None
This Week’s Games:
The Red Wings continue their homestand this week with three games. On Tuesday, NHL history could be made as the Red Wings go for their 21st straight home win against the Dallas Stars. Friday, they host the division rival Nashville Predators and close out the week with the San Jose Sharks in town on Sunday.
About the Author: Alex lives in Hockeytown, USA. He is a huge Red Wings fan going back to the 1985-86 season when they were dead last with 40 points. He has seen the transition from the 'Dead Wings' to one of the top franchises in sports. You can also follow him at twitter.com/alexmuscat73.