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Homer nets power-play milestone

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Tomas Holmstrom is congratulated by teammates have scoring a power-play goal in the first period of the Red Wings' 5-3 win over Calgary. (Photo by Dave Reginek)
DETROIT – Once again Tomas Holmstrom dispelled the notion that eyesight deteriorates with age.

“Who says that?” Holmstrom asked after his first two-goal game in more than a year helped lift the Red Wings to a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Flames Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena.

Arguably one of the top net-front players in the league, Holmstrom’s power-play tallies Wednesday were his typical hard-working, parked-in-front-of-the-net variety, including a designed tipped shot that he executed perfectly, redirecting the puck between the pads of goalie Miikka Kiprusoff for the game’s first goal.

“His hand-eye coordination is unbelievable; he’s so good at it,” said captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who drew an assist on the first goal with his shot from the left point. “At the end of practice every day we’re taking slap shots from the blue line and he’s there getting sticks on pucks and trying to tip them, so what we saw on that goal is what we do in practice every day.”

While Lidstrom gave a lot of the credit for the first goal to Holmstrom, the 38-year-old forward heaped all of the praise back on his longtime friend and teammate.

“Nick is really the biggest part of that play,” Holmstrom said. “He can really shoot the puck, and finding the places to shoot the puck because he’s done it so many times. Every practice I’m working on tipping pucks, so sometimes they go in and sometimes they stay out, so this time it went in. It’s nice to get on the scoring sheet.”

Holmstrom’s second goal gave the Wings a 3-2 lead at 2:42 of the third period. The Wings only generated four shots on the power play against the Flames, but managed to score three times in four opportunities.

“We have been struggling with the power play so it was good to get on the scoring sheet,” Holmstrom said. “If you don’t score any goals on the power play, sure you tweak it a little bit and you try to do something different, for sure we work on it and try to get better every practice.

“Yeah, we’re looking good. And for sure the power play was sure a big part of it tonight.”

Again, in typical hard-working fashion, Holmstrom got the puck in front of the crease and while protecting the puck with his body, he jostled his way to the right of Kiprusoff before sliding the behind the Flames’ netminder.

“He showed a lot of patience on that goal where they kind of leave him alone sometimes and he didn’t jam at it right away,” Lidstrom said. “He took one step, two steps and around Kipper and made a nice goal. It was nice to see.”

The goals were power-play goals No. 114 and 115 in Holmstrom’s career, tying him for fifth-place in franchise history with former Wings forward Brendan Shanahan.

When asked what the milestones meant, Holmstrom said with a laugh, “It means that I’ve been here a long time.”

Holmstrom needs two more power-play goals to catch Sergei Fedorov for fourth all-time, and trails Gordie Howe (209), Steve Yzerman (202) and Lidstrom (130) in team history.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

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