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>>caption: †BRODEUR (#30) STOPPED
FRANZEN (#93) ON THIS 3rd-PER SHOT,
BUT THE MULE BEAT BRODEUR LATER<<
@ JOE LOUIS ARENA:
† † The Red Wings scored twice in
the 3rd-Per to snap a 1-all tie and
entered the NHL All-Star break with
a 3-1 win over New Jersey Wednesday night.
† † Nice passes set up both Valtteri Filppula (#12) and Johan Franzen (#21)
for the deciding goals.
† † The Devils, who have corrected a horrid start under new/old coach
Jacques Lemaire (brought back in December), lost in regulation for the first
time in eight games.
† † The Red Wings in general and goalie Jimmy Howard in particular tightened
† † Howard made 23-SV to record a victory in his first ever match-up vs Jersey.
It marked the first time in his last five games Howie allowed a lone goal, just
the second time in that span he'd yielded fewer than three and was only the
second time in his last 10 appearances (since DEC 26TH ) Howard gave up but
one tally. † †
† † Darren Helm (#6) stole the puck in the neutral zone from NJD DEF Mark Fraser,
outskated two Devils up ice and flicked a shot to the top righthand corner off
of Devils netminder Martin Brodeur just 1:43 into the game.
† † Flint, MICH native Brian Rolston (#6) tied it 1-all for New Jersey by poking the
puck into the net on a goal-mouth scramble at 6:35/1. †
† † After a scoreless middle period, Filppula (#12) broke the tie at 5:32/3. A tic-
tac-toe play saw Ruslan Salei slide the disc from the left point to the right circle
where Jiri Hudler touch-passed to an open Filppula for a wrister from the left
circle faceoff dot.
† † The Devils eventually pulled Brodeur for an extra attacker, but before they
could, Detroit caught New Jersey bunched by their own bench and worked the
puck into the attack zone. Henrik Zetterberg set up Franzen (#21) in the slot
and the Mule maneuvered between four different Devils to shoot underneath
Brodeur with 43.6-sec left in regulation.
† † The Devils thought they'd tied the game 2-all with 2:28 to play on a goal by
Ilya Kovalchuk. However, referee Dave Jackson ruled the puck, underneath
Howard, entered the net when Howard was pushed across the goalline.
† † An 11-7 advantage in the 3rd-Per contributed to a 29-24 Detroit margin in
shots on goal.
† † The Wings swept the season series from New Jersey 2-0 (including a 4-1 win
at NJ on DEC 11TH).
R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK: † "Obviously, we're going to be a better team
after the break with getting our [injured] guys back. We're better this year.
Last year we didn't have the depth that we do this year."
R-WINGS DEF/CAPT NICKLAS LIDSTROM: † "It helps finishing on a good note and
winning the last game before the break. It a makes a better break for the boys." †
R-WINGS CEN DARREN HELM: † "I think Iím just starting to find my step, not
necessarily speed, but confidence. Seeing the ice a little better than I have been,
getting a lot more ice time and opportunities. When you get that itís a lot easier
to get into a game, get focused."
R-WINGS CEN VALTTERI FILPPULA: † "[Helm's] been playing really well. Obviously,
today, really nice goal and had a lot of energy and a lot of jump. He's definitely a
really important guy for us."
R-WINGS GOALIE JIMMY HOWARD: † "I just wanted to go into the break on the right
foot. I didnít want to go off with a sour taste in my mouth. I wanted to be able to
relax this weekend...When you look at all the injuries that we've had, the way we've
been able to stay in the standings says a lot about our character and our team and
our management and coaching staff."
DEVILS H-COACH JACQUES LEMAIRE: † "We did fine. Our kids made a few mistakes on
defense. Hey, what can you do...Iíve seen a lot of goals like that [non-goal by Kovalchuk]
in my career that werenít [voided]."
† † Franzen's goal was his 200th NHL career point.
† † The Devils killed-off a 4-min double minor to Rolston including a full 2-min 5-on-3
(with Mark Fayne also off for Delay-of-Game) in the 3rd-Per. Rolston accidentally
high-sticked Detroit's Patrick Eaves in the face. Assisted to the locker room, Eaves
was pronounced OK afterward.
† † New Jersey lost its 9th in a row at The Joe, a losing skid that dates back almost
15 years to 11/6/1996.
† † High-paid Devils L-Wing Kovalchuk had nothing to show for his game-high
27:50 of PT. Kovalchuk had a team-high and co-game-high 5-SOG with his no-goal,
no scoring points, 4-PIM and was a minus-2.
† † The only Red Wing who will play in this weekend's NHL All-Star Game at Raleigh, NC
is Detroit DEF Nicklas Lidstrom, Captain of the visiting "Team Lidstrom."
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