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game recap

Howard gets win for Red Wings against Senators in 500th NHL game

Makes 40 saves; Athanasiou scores two goals for Detroit

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Howard's series of superb stops

OTT@DET: Howard preserves lead with flurry of saves

Jimmy Howard shuts the door on Colin White's wrister, then throws his blocker up to knock away the rebound attempt and cover up in the 3rd

  • 00:29 •

Jimmy Howard made 40 saves in his 500th NHL game, and the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday.

Howard is the third goalie to play 500 games for the Red Wings, joining Terry Sawchuk (734) and Chris Osgood (565).

"It's such a great honor to be in the same company as those two," Howard said. "[Osgood] is one of my best friends, and my mentor, and I see Terry Sawchuk's picture over my locker every day. They are legends in a great organization."

 

[WATCH: All Senators vs. Red Wings highlights]

 

Andreas Athanasiou scored twice for Detroit (23-28-7), which has won two straight after a three-game losing streak.

"It was a great feeling to help get [Howard] a win on his big day," Athanasiou said. "I had a stretch with a ton of chances but not a lot of puck luck, and now that seems to be turning around."

Video: OTT@DET: Athanasiou pulls puck around Nilsson, scores

Matt Duchene and Brady Tkachuk scored for the Senators (21-31-5), who have lost seven of nine.

"We had over 40 shots in someone else's building and held them under 30," Senators coach Guy Boucher said. "I'll take those stats every day. We just didn't capitalize on our opportunities."

Anders Nilsson made 26 saves for Ottawa.

"I think we were the better team tonight, at least for the second and third period," Nilsson said. "We deserved two points, but unfortunately we didn't get them. You have to give Howard credit, because he pretty much won the game for them."

Athanasiou gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead at 10:44 of the first period, taking a pass from Anthony Mantha and beating Senators defenseman Maxime Lajoie before slipping the puck in for his NHL career-best 19th goal.

"That's [Athanasiou's] game. As soon as there is a shot, he takes off," Duchene said. "He probably gets half of his goals like that. He's a very elite skater and he got a step on us."

Tkachuk made it 1-1 at 16:24, knocking in a loose puck after winning an offensive-zone face-off.

Video: OTT@DET: Tkachuk fires home shot from the slot

"We had a lot of chances tonight but we have to get more bodies in front so the goalie can't see everything," Tkachuk said. "It's disappointing to have more than 40 shots and not win, but we didn't do enough to make it happen."

Athanasiou made it 2-1 at 17:42, converting a penalty shot after Christian Jaros was called for holding on a breakaway.

"It is nice to get my 20th goal, and I'm sure a lot of guys think that's a big deal, but I've never put a number on what I want to do," Athanasiou said. "I just try to create as many chances as I can and try to finish some of them off."

Video: OTT@DET: Athanasiou pots second goal on penalty shot

Duchene tied it 2-2 at 13:39 of the second period, kicking the puck onto his stick before shooting into the roof of the net for his 26th goal.

Frans Nielsen gave the Red Wings a 3-2 lead at 17:00 after Darren Helm forced a Dylan DeMelo turnover.

Howard's 40th save came on Thomas Chabot with one second remaining.

The Red Wings were outshot 28-15 in the final two periods.

"Our second period was as bad as things have been around here for a while, and we weren't much better in the third," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "They probably would have had a few more goals if not for [Howard]."

Video: Clutch Performance: Athanasiou lifts Red Wings to win

 

They said it

"We gave Athanasiou two breakaways, and you have to keep two men on him. They weren't defensive mistakes, you can't catch up to him on your own. It's just one-on-one and one guy is faster than the other one." -- Senators coach Guy Boucher

 

"There was a chance in my first year here that Jimmy was going to be a backup, and he decided he wasn't going to be satisfied with that. He looked in the mirror and realized he had to make some changes, and he put the work in to do that. Not a lot of people are willing to do that." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill on Jimmy Howard

 

Need to know

Duchene's goal was his fifth in five games. He has 17 points (11 goals, six assists) in his past 15 games. … The Red Wings sent rookie defenseman Dennis Cholowski to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. Cholowski has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 52 games. … Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin had an assist and has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in his past 11 games. … Athanasiou is tied for second with Gordie Howe, Valtteri Filppula and Ebbie Goodfellow with two penalty shot goals in Red Wings history. Steve Yzerman holds the record with three.

 

What's next

Senators: At the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, TVAS, NHL.TV)

Red Wings: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SNE, SNO, SNP, NBCSP, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Video: Athanasiou scores twice as Howard wins in 500th game

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