The Detroit Red Wings returned home from their four-game West Coast road trip Wednesday night and continued their winning ways, picking up a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
The win was Detroit’s fourth in the last five games and their first against Vancouver at Joe Louis Arena since January 26, 2006.
Rookie Matt Ellis extended his scoring streak to four games with his second career goal to get Detroit on the board with 2:26 remaining in the first period.
A shot on net was knocked down at the top of the crease. Ellis battled a Vancouver defender to get to it while Tomas Kopecky crashed the net behind him. Canucks’ goalie Roberto Luongo was pulled out of position just as Ellis whacked the loose puck into the open net.
Tomas Holmstrom put the Red Wings up by a pair with a power play goal at 2:23 of the second period, tipping a blue line blast by Brian Rafalski past Luongo.
The Canucks got on the board on a delayed penalty just 3:10 later. A long shot wide of the net bounced off the back boards and back out into the slot, where Matt Cooke jumped up to put put a shot on net. The puck deflected off the skate of Kris Draper and past Dominik Hasek to cut Detroit’s lead to a goal.
Holmstrom’s second of the night re-extended Detroit’s lead with 4:20 left in the middle frame. Two Canucks collided with Pavel Datsyuk and the puck came to Henrik Zetterberg at the bottom of the left circle. He threw a cross-crease pass to Holmstrom for a tip-in from the open far side of the net.
The assist extended Zetterberg’s career-high point-scoring streak to ten games and moved him into sole position of first place in the NHL’s scoring race.
The Canucks would push back in the third but their one goal would not be enough.
Daniel Sedin scored a power play goal just 1:47 into the period, getting to a rebound in front of the Detroit net and lifting a backhander over the screened Hasek’s shoulder.
Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had four chances with the advantage while Vancouver had five.
Hasek stopped 13 of Vancouver’s 15 shots on the night. Luongo made 36 saves on 39 shots against.
The Red Wings return to the ice on Friday when they host the San Jose Sharks.
Detroit was without Dallas Drake, expected out for two games with a hairline fracture in his cheekbone.