Helm Scores Twice as Red Wings Close 2014 with Win over Devils

Detroit forward Darren Helm scored two goals on Wednesday night, leading the Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.

It was Detroit’s 28th win since they began hosting games on New Year’s Eve in 1957.

After a scoreless first period, New Jersey rookie Joe Whitney opened the game’s scoring with 4:23 left in the second. Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith turned the puck over to Tim Sestito, who moved it to Whitney in the left faceoff circle for a snap past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

Helm got the Red Wings on the board 2:19 later, tucking the puck past New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider on a falling wraparound attempt.

With 5:01 left in the third period, Henrik Zetterberg deflected a Niklas Kronwall shot past Schneider to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead.

Helm rounded out the scoring just 36 seconds later, speeding around Eric Gelinas for a partial breakaway and putting a backhander past Schneider while being hooked.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, with Detroit getting four chances to New Jersey’s three.

Howard stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced. Schneider made 25 saves on 28 shots.

The Red Wings begin a six-game road trip on Saturday in Vancouver.

Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet replaced the injured Jakub Kindl in the lineup… Daniel Cleary, Joakim Andersson, and Brian Lashoff were healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Pregame: Devils @ Red Wings – 12/31

The Detroit Red Wings close out 2014 with their traditional New Year’s Eve game at Joe Louis Arena, this time hosting the New Jersey Devils.

Xavier Ouellet will return to the Detroit lineup as Jakub Kindl was injured in practice on Sunday and is now on injured reserve. Brian Lashoff, who had played in Kindl’s slot in Monday’s loss to the Boston Bruins, will be the healthy scratch on defense.

Daniel Cleary and Joakim Andersson will be healthy scratches up front.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in goal for Detroit.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings’ tradition of hosting a New Year’s Eve game began in 1957 and has been interrupted only six times. There were no games in 1994, 2004, or 2012 due to NHL lockouts, 2008 and 2013 due to Detroit’s participation in a Winter Classic the next day, and 1996 due to a Ted Nugent concert at Joe Louis Arena. This is the first time the Red Wings have missed two years in a row in that time. They are 4-0 on New Year’s Eve after missing the previous year in that span.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

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