Red Wings fly past New Jersey
A five-day break in the schedule allowed the Red Wings a chance to regroup and focus on their porous defense.
The extra work helped pay off as Marian Hossa scored two goals to lift the Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils last night in Detroit. Kirk Maltby also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions (9-2-2) and Chris Osgood made 24 saves.
Despite having the Western Conference's second-best record, the Red Wings' defense wasn't good in the season's first 12 games, allowing 39 goals. But a scheduling quirk gave the team an opportunity to concentrate on keeping the puck out of its own net.
"We're getting back to the way we usually play. We gave it away a few times, and we have to get away from that on a regular basis," said Osgood. "It was good for us to practice for a week and get back to the basics."
Detroit had also relied on its power play, which had scored on a third of its chances coming into the game. But the Red Wings had been outscored, 23-22, during five-on-five play.
"We didn't rely on our power play tonight, which is really nice," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock.
The layoff didn't cool down Hossa, who has been held without a point in only two games this season. He leads Detroit in scoring with 17 points.
Lightning 2, Flyers 1 - Vaclav Prospal and Jussi Jokinen scored second-period goals in Philadelphia to lift Tampa Bay to victory.
Mike Smith made 34 saves for the Lightning, who ended a two-game losing streak.
Danny Briere's goal in his first game back since abdominal surgery couldn't spark the Flyers, who lost their third straight and have scored only a goal in each of their last two games.
Capitals 3, Rangers 1 - Brent Johnson had 28 saves, including a pivotal stop on a penalty shot in the third period, and host Washington beat New York to remain unbeaten at home.
Starting a third straight game in place of inconsistent regular Jose Theodore, Johnson enjoyed another solid performance. He is 3-0-2 as a starter and turned aside 102 of 107 shots during his three-game run.
Canucks 2, Wild 0 - Roberto Loungo made 29 saves for his third straight shutout, lifting Vancouver over visiting Minnesota.
Luongo, who has four shutouts in six games, has gone 201 minutes, 8 seconds without allowing a goal.
Sharks 2, Stars 1 - Patrick Marleau scored with 28.3 seconds to play when veteran goaltender Marty Turco misplayed the puck in front of his own net, and San Jose remained unbeaten in nine home games by beating Dallas.
Avalanche 1, Predators 0 - Peter Budaj posted his first shutout in more than a year, Darcy Tucker scored his 200th NHL goal, and Colorado beat Nashville in Denver to end a five-game losing streak.
Kings 5, Blues 3 - Alexander Frolov, Tom Preissing, and Drew Doughty scored power-play goals and Erik Ersberg made 24 saves in host Los Angeles's victory over St. Louis.
Blue Jackets 3, Flames 1 - Rookie goaltender Steve Mason made 22 saves to remain unbeaten in three career starts as surging Columbus beat visiting Calgary.
Penguins 4, Islanders 3 - Petr Sykora scored the only goal in the shootout to give Pittsburgh a come-from-behind victory in Uniondale, N.J.
Coyotes 4, Panthers 1 - Olle Jokinen had a goal and an assist against his former Florida teammates in host Phoenix's win.