Red Wings 3 Coyotes 2 (SO)
The Red Wings beat the Coyotes in a shootout last night – just their second shootout of the year – to extend their home winning streak to 13 games. The game also saw a few members of the Red Wings hit career milestones along the way.
Danny Cleary drew the secondary assist on Johan Franzen’s game-tying goal late in the third period. It was his 10th assist of the season, and the 200th of his career. Cleary has very quietly and very consistently been a valuable 20-20-40 type of player for the Wings in his seven years here. Cleary was playing in place of Todd Bertuzzi, who is day-to-day with lower body/back issues.
The primary assist went to the Magic Man Pavel Datsyuk, an absolute beauty of a cross-ice feed after a good cycle by the Wings. All Franzen had to do was redirect the puck in from the backdoor.
No ill effects noticeable after Datsyuk missed the stinkfest against the Islanders with a groin injury suffered against Chicago. He played 20:20 and had four shots on goal, and was his usual dazzling self. He also scored Detroit’s first goal of the shootout, as he is wont to do.
Jan Mursak played his first NHL game of the season after a 6 game conditioning stint in Grand Rapids. Mursak broke his ankle in the preseason against Chicago. He skated on a line with Darren Helm and Drew Miller (taking the usual place of Cleary, who was filling in on the top line for Bertuzzi). He played 10:34, which was more than both Cory Emmerton( (6:29) and Justin Abdelkader (8:59), and just less than Tomas Holmstrom (10:45). Very encouraging to see, and he should only gain ice time from there as he gains more confidence.
The win was the 400th in the coaching career of Mike Babcock, and also the 100th of Jimmy Howard’s career. Howard’s 99 wins in the last three seasons are more than any other NHL goaltender.
Howard was also named yesterday as one of the 6 goaltenders taking part in the All Star Game, a true testament to his dominance this year since he was left off of the ballot.
The Wings are off today before a matinee affair with the hated Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow.
The Off Wing View’s Three Stars
3. Mike Smith
2. Henrik Zetterberg
1. Pavel Datsyuk