Red Wings Hold off Sharks for 23rd Consecutive Home Win

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.

Postgame: Sharks @ Red Wings – 2/19

Quick notes because it’s an afternoon game and I say everytime that I hate afternoon games ’cause I have things to do in the afternoon…

For those saying that getting to twenty-three consecutive home wins means that the asterisk so many people want to put on this streak should be wiped out, remember that if you say the wins needed to be in regulation, the streak ended at twelve. Personally, I think it’s better to just ignore the people arguing that this streak is invalid. As I mentioned last week, you can always find a reason to apply an asterisk when you compare records across eras.

The Sharks played the Wings tough today. To a certain extent, it was a lot like Friday’s game against Nashville in that the visitors dictated the style of play for much of the game. This was probably a bit more physical than Detroit would have liked but they stepped up to the challenge and won anyway.

Notes on some specific plays…

San Jose shouldn’t have been on the power play for their first goal. While fluky as hell, the goal itself was good. The situation that caused it never should have happened, though. Brad Winchester had the puck when Jonathan Ericsson engaged him, that’s not interference. Call it holding if you want, I’d argue that less, I just really don’t like the call.

I won’t nit-pick other calls, but you know I want to. Especially the goalie interference call on Bertuzzi.

I didn’t like the Justin AbdelkaderRyane Clowe fight in the third. Abdelkader put a clean hit on Clowe there and there was no reason to have to fight over it. The fight only served to give the Sharks energy, and they scored shortly after it. Replay didn’t show whether or not Abdelkader tried to decline the fight, I think he should have and if he tried but couldn’t get out of it, I think that’s a play that needs the instigator penalty.

Never like to see people get hurt but it was interesting in that stretch where so many Sharks went down after blocking shots. I’ve noticed for awhile that it seems like the Red Wings would lose players to injury from blocking shots but their opponents never did, and kind of wondered about that. Again, don’t want to see it but the tables turning seemed like something that, statistically, should have happened awhile ago.

The big question after this one will be which goalie stays in Detroit when Jimmy Howard comes back on Tuesday. That’ll be answered tomorrow. Joey MacDonald has earned the backup role but the Red Wings organization is loyal and Ty Conklin wasn’t signed to play in Grand Rapids. We’ll see what happens.