|DET||1||2||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|VAN||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -The Detroit Red Wings spent their day off in Vancouver practicing their penalty kill. The power play didn't need any work.
Mikael Samuelsson, Brian Rafalski and Henrik Zetterberg all scored power-play goals, and Detroit killed off all seven Vancouver man advantages to wrap up a five-game road trip with a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
"If you're plus in the special teams you have a real good chance of winning and we were tonight," said Rafalski. "The power play has given us an opportunity to be in all the games and you put together a night like tonight where we kill all the penalties and we're in a pretty good situation."
Chris Osgood made 25 saves, and Jiri Hudler added two assist as the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings improved to 8-2-2 to start this season.
"Obviously we've got a good thing going right now and it's been good for us all year," said Rafalski of a Red Wings power play that went 3-for-5, wasting little time improving on an already league-best 30.4 percent efficiency rating.
Vancouver came in with the NHL's only perfect penalty killing on home ice, but was no match for a Detroit power play that featured Samuelsson scoring on its first shot, ending the Canucks' streak of 12-straight kills at home this season.
After defenseman Sami Salo whiffed on a great chance to clear the zone, Samuelsson completed a pretty three-way passing play with a perfect one-timer high to the glove side that caught Roberto Luongo moving to his right 13:30 into the first.
Rafalski doubled the lead with the second shot of Detroit's second power play, a shot from the point that deflected past Luongo 6:29 into the second period.
"Obviously we have some high-end players," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock.
Zetterberg showed why he might be the best of the bunch late in the second. After Henrik Sedin closed the gap, Zetterberg restored Detroit s two-goal cushion during a 5-on-3 with 68 seconds left in the period, driving the net and somehow sifting a sharp-angle backhand shot through Luongo from just above the goal line.
"I had Hudler on the back door and (Dan) Cleary in the slot so I just tried to go in one-on-one with Luongo and was lucky to get it through his arm," said Zetterberg, who also hit the post before the second Canucks penalty expired.
Kyle Wellwood also scored for the Canucks, playing their third game in four nights after consecutive wins in Los Angeles and Anaheim on Thursday and Friday.
"They have a great power play, that s for sure," said Luongo, who finished with 20 saves. "We didn't take that many penalties but when we did they made us pay."
At the other end, Vancouver managed just seven shots on its first six power plays as the Red Wings tightened up their penalty killing, which uncharacteristically came in having given up 10 goals the previous six games and ranked 23rd in the NHL.
"We saw a few things we had to work on, mostly communication and putting more pressure on," Rafalski said of Saturday's extra penalty kill practice. "We were sitting back on our heels and watching and not being as aggressive as we'd like."
Wellwood made it 3-2 with 12:40 left, scoring seconds after the sixth Canucks power play expired. But Vancouver only managed one shot on their seventh advantage after Daniel Cleary was whistled for goaltender interference with 7:14 left, and Osgood robbed Ryan Kesler on a one-timer from 15 feet seconds after it expired.
"This might have been his best effort, Babcock said of Osgood. "Our penalty kill has always been outstanding and this year we got off to a real slow start. Once you start killing the way you should you get a little confidence. Zetterberg and Samuelsson each also had an assist, but Detroit sniper Marian Hossa had his point streak ended at nine games with six goals and eight assists.
|PPG - Mikael Samuelsson (2) Snap shot - ASST: Henrik Zetterberg (4), Jiri Hudler (6)|
1 - 0 DET
|PPG - Brian Rafalski (3) Slapshot - ASST: Pavel Datsyuk (9), Nicklas Lidstrom (7)|
2 - 0 DET
|Henrik Sedin (3) Snap shot - ASST: Daniel Sedin (6), Mattias Ohlund (3)|
2 - 1 DET
|PPG - Henrik Zetterberg (8) Backhand shot - ASST: Mikael Samuelsson (8), Jiri Hudler (7)|
3 - 1 DET
|Kyle Wellwood (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Sami Salo (6), Mason Raymond (5)|
3 - 2 DET
|Darren McCarty Fighting (maj) against Mike Brown|
|Mike Brown Fighting (maj) against Darren McCarty|
|Kevin Bieksa Roughing against Mikael Samuelsson|
|Tomas Kopecky Boarding against Ryan Johnson|
|Mikael Samuelsson Interference against Daniel Sedin|
|Alexandre Burrows Interference against Jiri Hudler|
|Kirk Maltby Boarding against Willie Mitchell|
|Brad Stuart Holding against Ryan Kesler|
|Sami Salo Cross checking against Valtteri Filppula|
|Willie Mitchell Cross checking against Pavel Datsyuk|
|Niklas Kronwall Holding against Willie Mitchell|
|Derek Meech Cross checking against Alexandre Burrows|
|Daniel Cleary Interference on goalkeeper against Roberto Luongo|
|Mason Raymond Holding against Valtteri Filppula|