The Detroit Red Wings held off a late push by the San Jose Sharks Sunday afternoon, picking up a 3-2 victory for their twenty-third consecutive win at Joe Louis Arena.
The win extends the team’s own NHL record for single-season wins in a row at home and sets a new record for consecutive home wins across multiple seasons, breaking the mark of twenty-two set by the 1929-30 and 1930-31 Boston Bruins.
The Red Wings twice had a two-goal lead cut in half, but the Sharks were never able to pull even, with Darren Helm‘s third-period goal standing up as the game-winner.
Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring at 6:30 of the first period. Zetterberg circled through the left faceoff circle and backhanded a shot from the high slot that went through defenseman Colin White and past goalie Antti Niemi, who was screened in front by Jiri Hudler.
On Hockey Day in America, two U.S.-born players teamed up to create Detroit’s second goal just 40 seconds past the game’s halfway point. Justin Abdelkader carried the puck from the Detroit end and into the San Jose zone and then fed it off to Drew Miller. Miller sent it back to Abdelkader in front for a chance stopped by Niemi but Miller pounced on the rebound and put it into the back of the net.
Logan Couture would be credited with the power play goal that got San Jose on the board with 5:27 left in the second period. Couture batted a fluttering puck out of mid-air and onto the top of the goal. The puck bounced forward and came back down, deflecting off Abdelkader’s stick and into the net to make it 2-1.
Helm gave the Red Wings a 3-1 lead at 7:01 of the third period. Miller stole the puck from Torrey Mitchell and gained the San Jose zone, then fed it off to Helm for a shot from the slot past Niemi for his first goal in sixteen games.
With 4:44 left in regulation, Detroit defender Ian White turned the puck over in his own end and Brent Burns put a shot on goalie Joey MacDonald. MacDonald made the initial save but Patrick Marleau was there to scoop up the rebound and put it into the net.
In a frantic final minute, Detroit couldn’t score into the empty net and the Sharks couldn’t beat MacDonald to tie things up.
MacDonald finished the contest with 31 saves on 33 shots for his sixth consecutive win. Niemi stopped 25 of 28 chances.
Detroit had three power play tries, on which they were held off the board. Couture’s goal came on one of San Jose’s four power play attempts.
Their six-game homestand wrapped up, the Red Wings will next be in action in Chicago on Tuesday.
Mike Commodore was the lone healthy scratch for the Red Wings… MacDonald got the start in place of Jimmy Howard, who was originally expected to return from injury in this game. Howard will get the nod in goal on Tuesday.