FOX 17 Sports
January 23, 2012
DETROIT (Sports Network)
Detroit's home fans are certainly getting their money's worth this year.
Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and an assist and Jimmy Howard stopped 21 shots as the Red Wings ran their home-winning streak to 17 games with a 3-1 win over theSt. Louis Blues.
The home mark is already a franchise record and is the longest such streak in the NHL since the 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers tied the league mark with 20 straight wins at The Spectrum.
Detroit, which improved to a league-best 20-2-1 at home this season, has not lost at home since November 3 against Calgary and sits atop the NHL with 67 points.
Niklas Kronwall and Johan Franzen each had a goal as the Red Wings won their seventh straight, overall.
"We weren't able to play at the level they wanted to play at the beginning," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "It took us about 10 minutes to get things going and then I thought we played good."
Scott Nichol had the lone goal for the Blues, who had a four-game winning streak stopped. Jaroslav Halak was charged with all three goals on 28 shots in the loss.
"You can't win on the road scoring one goal and you can't win in this building scoring one goal," said St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock. "It was a playoff game out there tonight."
St. Louis got the only goal of the first period at the 9:12 mark. B.J. Crombeenhad the puck at the right point and dished it over to Chris Porter, who skated down to the right circle before leaving a drop pass for Crombeen. From there, Crombeen fired a pass to the slot, where Nichol one-timed it home.
The sparks flew, though, in the final minute of the first period.
Detroit's Brad Stuart laid a clean hit on Alex Pietrangelo as he brought the puck into the Detroit end. About 20 seconds later, St. Louis' Chris Stewart came off the bench on a change and made a beeline for Stuart along the right boards in Detroit's end.
Stewart shoved Stuart, who pushed back, and dropped the gloves, immediately throwing punches on Stuart and dropping him to the ice. Stewart was issued a game misconduct, a fighting major and an instigator minor, while Stuart received a fighting major for the altercation.
The Red Wings took advantage of the power play chance just 51 seconds into the second as Datsyuk had the puck at the left circle, skated on the backhand into the slot and snapped a strong backhander into the right corner of the net to tie the game.
At the 8:52 mark of the second, the Red Wings took a 2-1 lead on Franzen's 19th of the year. Todd Bertuzzi sent a pass from the deep boards to the high slot, where Jonathan Ericsson sent a one-timer on net. Halak made the save, but the rebound sat on the doorstep and Franzen was able to backhand it in.
Kronwall sealed the win with 3:03 to play with a power-play goal when his blast from the left point went through a screen for his 11th of the season.
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