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Stingy Wings' goalies off to hot start

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Three games into the regular-season and the Red Wings lead the league in fewest goals allowed. Granted, it’s early, but the Wings sure are in far better shape than they were at the end of last season when they were rated 23rd in the category, having allowed 237 goals.

Jimmy Howard makes one of his 25 saves Thursday, here stopping Vancouver's Dale Weise.

Now, there was a bit of concern last week when the Wings raced to a 5-0 lead over Ottawa on opening night, only to surrender three unanswered goals in about a 12-minute window in the third period.

However, since then, goalies Ty Conklin and Jimmy Howard have pitched back-to-back shutouts, beating Colorado (3-0) and Vancouver (2-0), respectively. It’s the first consecutive shutouts for the Wings in 440 regular-season games, dating back to February 2006 when Manny Legace blanked Colorado (3-0) and Nashville (6-0).

“Both goalies (Conklin and Howard) were good, it's not like they had nights off, they had to be good in both of them,” said coach Mike Babcock, following Thursday’s win. “That's good for Howie, good for Conks and good for our team.”

The Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs (I know, the Toronto Maple Leafs!) are the lone NHL teams not to give up goals in both the first and second periods in the opening week of the season. Detroit also leads the league with a +7 goals differential, and shares the league lead with Edmonton with a 1.00 goals against average. However, the Oilers only have two games in the books.
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