Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard allowed only one goal for the second consecutive night on Thursday, giving the Red Wings the defensive support needed to earn a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Howard stopped all fifteen shots he faced in a first period that saw the Red Wings outshot by ten and made 31 saves on 32 shots overall.
Dispite the margin in scoring chances, it was Detroit with the lone goal of the first period, scored when Tomas Holmstrom put a shot just under the crossbar from in close on a power play with 2:29 remaining.
The Canucks tied the game on a power play of their own at 6:38 of the second period. Kevin Bieksa fired a shot from the blue line that was headed wide until it hit the skate of Mason Raymond and deflected into the net.
Henrik Zetterberg put Detroit back out in front at the eight-minute mark of the third period. Zetterberg took a long pass from Brad Stuart and broke into the Vancouver zone down the right wing. He roofed a backhander over Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo’s shoulder to break the tie.
Niklas Kronwall added an empty net goal to secure the victory.
Luongo finished the night with 26 saves on 28 shots against.
Holmstrom’s goal was Detroit’s only power play goal on two chances with the extra attacker. Vancouver’s lone goal put them at one-for-five on the power play, including a short five-on-three.
Howard got the start because scheduled starter Chris Osgood was ill. Daniel Larsson was called up from Grand Rapids to serve as Howard’s backup… Drew Miller made his first appearance as a Red Wing, taking one shot in 11:33 of ice time.