|DET||2||1||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|VAN||1||1||0||(0 - 0)||2|
A few more nights like Sunday and they'll know about the second line, too.
Jiri Hudler scored a highlight-reel goal in the final minute of the second period, and linemates Mikael Samuelsson and Valtteri Filppula combined on another tally late in the first, lifting Detroit to a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
"Hud's is a really talented kid," coach Mike Babcock said. "Him and Filppula and Samuelsson give us a line no one ever talks about, but pretty dynamic players. You can't rely on one line, especially on the road, to do all your scoring."
The Red Wings got a goal from Holmstrom - and an NHL-best 21st point from Zetterberg - to beat Vancouver for the second time in four nights. They win their fifth straight overall, giving them a league-leading 19 points (9-2-1).
But it was Hudler's winner that had everyone talking.
With the game tied at 2, he skated around defenseman Alexander Edler down the right wing before pulling the puck quickly to his forehand and roofing a shot over the left shoulder and glove of goalie Roberto Luongo from close range.
"I was by myself and I had a lot of speed and just tried to make a move and I was close to Luongo so I just tried to get it up," Hudler said. "I was (surprised). He's a great goalie, but I saw him going down and I just tried to get it up."
Hudler's goal stood up through a wild final minute in which the Canucks thought they netted the tying tally. Taylor Pyatt's hard whack against the pads of Chris Osgood knocked the puck and the goalie into the net, but the goal was immediately waved off because a quick whistle had already sounded.
"It doesn't matter, he can't push me with the puck into the net, so I knew right away," Osgood said. "So it wasn't as big a deal as they made it out to be."
Osgood got his second straight start in place of Dominik Hasek, who aggravated a hip injury in a victory against the Canucks on Wednesday. He made 27 saves, including a handful of great stops in the first period, to improve to 5-0 this season.
"He's really stepped it up and shows he can easily be a Number One, too," Samuelsson said.
Osgood didn't get much work in the third period as Vancouver managed only four shots, two that came from outside the blue line.
"The first two periods we were a little looser than we usually are in our own end but we played a real good third and buckled down," Osgood said.
The Canucks' best chance came after Osgood gave the puck away with a bad pass right to Brendan Morrison with 28 seconds left. Osgood stopped Morrison's sharp-angle shot, but Pyatt smacked Osgood. The goal didn't count, and Vancouver lost for the fifth time in six home games.
"There's no excuse for it," Luongo, who made 29 saves, said of the team's home record. "When you play in front of your home crowd, there's no excuse for losing games. We had a good effort but that's not good enough. The worst thing you can do, and I've been in this situation in the past, is be happy with the effort."
Matt Cooke and Markus Naslund scored for the Canucks, who have two wins in seven games - both on the road.
Cooke opened the scoring 5:48 in by driving the net and slamming in a rebound, but the Red Wings tied it 12 seconds later when Holmstrom went hard to the net to convert a far-side rebound of Pavel Datsyuk's shot.
Samuelsson gave Detroit the lead with 17 seconds left in the first period after a bad Canucks turnover in the Red Wings end led to a long 2-on-1 with Filppula. Samuelsson gave the puck up, but got it back quickly and, with Luongo already committed to Filppula, scored into an empty net.
Luongo kept it close with a fully extended glove stop on Zetterberg's short-handed breakaway midway through the second period, and Naslund tied it with five minutes left, knocking in his own rebound after Osgood made a diving save. But the Wings responded again when Hudler scored with 59.6 seconds left in the period.
"When they scored, we scored right after," said Samuelsson, who assisted on Hudler's goal. "That was the key. We bounced back right away and they couldn't get any momentum going."
Notes: Datsyuk extended his point streak to seven games (2 goals, 7 assists). ... Detroit D Niklas Kronwall missed his first game of the season because of a sore groin. Derek Meech played in his fifth NHL game as his replacement. ... Vancouver D Lukas Krajicek missed a second game after hurting his ankle when he slipped on a sidewalk on Thursday. He is scheduled for an MRI on Monday. ... Canucks LW Jeff Cowan missed his seventh game with a hip flexor injury but is expected back Thursday against Nashville.
|Matt Cooke (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Trevor Linden (1), Brendan Morrison (4)|
1 - 0 VAN
|Tomas Holmstrom (8) Wrist shot - ASST: Pavel Datsyuk (11), Henrik Zetterberg (12)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Mikael Samuelsson (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Valtteri Filppula (2), Nicklas Lidstrom (8)|
2 - 1 DET
|Markus Naslund (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Taylor Pyatt (1), Ryan Kesler (6)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Jiri Hudler (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Mikael Samuelsson (6), Kris Draper (2)|
3 - 2 DET
|Kris Draper Holding against Kevin Bieksa|
|Nicklas Lidstrom Hooking against Taylor Pyatt|
|Byron Ritchie Tripping against Valtteri Filppula|
|Brett Lebda Slashing against Daniel Sedin|
|Henrik Sedin Tripping against Matt Ellis|
|Kirk Maltby Boarding against Daniel Sedin|
|Kris Draper Interference against Ryan Kesler|