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Streak comes to disappointing end

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Vancouver's Alex Burrows helps the Canucks snap the Red Wings' home winning streak with this shootout goal against Jimmy Howard. (Photo by Dave Reginek)
DETROIT – Intended or not, the message was bulletin board material when Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo voiced a desire this week to end the Red Wings’ home winning streak Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.

And while it looked early on as if Luongo’s prophecy would not come to fruition the Canucks managed to bounce back and deliver a 4-3 shootout loss to the Wings – their first on home ice in 112 days.

“You know, we’ve felt the intensity with every team that we’ve played in here, especially as of late here,” Wings forward Justin Abdelkader said. “They’ve all wanted to knock us off.”

While other NHL teams wanted to stop the streak, 16 different clubs didn’t, and the Canucks only avoided becoming the 17th streak victim when Daniel Sedin scored with 16-seconds left in regulation to force the extra session.

In the shootout, Alex Burrows scored the lone goal, stopping the Wings’ NHL record-long home winning streak at 23 straight, firing a shot that found its way over goalie Jimmy Howard’s left pad and under the crossbar.

“In the end you can't tempt fate like that,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “They played longer than we did and in the end they won the game so I give them full marks.”

The victory also gives the Canucks 84-points – one shy of Detroit – as they continue to chase the Wings in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy and top spot in the Western Conference standings.

For the second straight game the Wings were without the league’s top playmaker as Pavel Datsyuk continues to rest his right knee following arthroscopic surgery this week. But the Wings were about to make excuses for missing Datsyuk.

“I don't think we skate as good,” Babcock said. “Sometimes you win games when you fight your way through when you don't play great. We haven't done that. We found a way to lose by one in Chicago and then a shootout here tonight. … We have to skate better.”

The Wings certainly didn’t play their best brand of hockey early on as the Canucks outshot them, 17-4, in the first period. Despite being out-played the Wings still managed to take a 1-0 lead on Darren Helm’s seventh goal of the season.

Helm also had two assists, leading all skaters with his first career three-point game.

Helm’s line, with Drew Miller and Abdelkader shined all night, contributing to all three of the Wings’ goals, including Abdelkader’s go-ahead goal at 13:46 of the third period.

“(Helm) shot the puck and I blocked it with my stomach,” Abdelkader said. “I got it down to my feet and I couldn’t really get my stick around to it so I went to kick it to him and he made a good shot there and the puck was loose in the crease so I put it in.”

Another key contributor was defenseman Kyle Quincey who was playing in his first game back with the Wings since he was placed on waivers prior to the 2008-09 season.

Quincey, who was re-acquired in a three-way trade this week with Colorado and Tampa Bay, scored in his return, giving the Wings a 2-1 lead early in the third.

Quincey jumped into the slot, took a pass off the half wall and fired a shot while being checked. His shot was harmlessly deflected into the corner by Luongo, and retrieved by Abdelkader, who feed Quincey again in the slot. But Quincey wasn’t denied a second time, blasting a shot into the back of the net at 6:08.

It was Quincey’s second goal as a Red Wing and sixth of the season, tying a single-season best, which he set two years ago with the Avs. The goal also marked his first with Detroit when he got his first NHL tally in the 2006-07 season-finale, wristing a shot through traffic in a 7-2 win over Chicago and goalie Patrick Lalime.

“It was huge,” said Quincey, sporting a fresh shiner under his left eye. “I’ve been kind of snake-bitten for the last two or three weeks, especially against these guys, so to get a goal and help the team that’s what I’m trying to do and it was huge.”

While the loss snaps the club’s streak, the Wings have plenty to be proud of, Babcock said.

“It’s beyond impressive,” he said. “I don't care what era and I'm not comparing it to anything. It's a real good run for the Red Wings and we're real thrilled to have done it. It's set us up to be in a real good situation playoff-wise now we've got to get back to skating.”

The Wings will look to begin a new home winning streak, and more important, two big points in the standings when they host Colorado Saturday night.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

2011-12 Red Wings NHL RECORD Home Winning STREAK
Nov. 5, 2011 5-0 J. HOWARD (22) N. Kronwall
Nov. 8, 2011 5-2 J. Howard (24) J. Franzen
Nov. 11, 2011 3-0 J. Howard (24) D. Miller
Nov. 12, 2011 5-2 J. Howard (25) J. Franzen
Nov. 23, 2011 5-3 J. Howard (19) P. Datsyuk
Nov. 26, 2011 4-1 J. Howard (18) H. Zetterberg
Nov. 30, 2011 4-2 J. Howard (21) T. Holmstrom
Dec. 8, 2011 5-2 J. Howard (30) T. Holmstrom
Dec. 10, 2011 7-1 J. Howard (29) H. Zetterberg
Dec. 17, 2011 8-2 J. Howard (27) N. Kronwall
Dec. 27, 2011 3-2 J. Howard (29) N. Kronwall
Dec. 31, 2011 3-0 J. Howard (31) J. Franzen
Jan. 12, 2012 3-2 (SO) J. Howard (25) H. Zetterberg
jan. 14, 2012 3-2 (OT) J. Howard (25) T. Bertuzzi
jan. 16, 2012 5-0 J. Howard (27) H. Zetterberg
jan. 21, 2012 3-2 (SO) J. Howard (17) V. Filppula
jan. 23, 2012 3-1 J. Howard (21) J. Franzen
feb. 8, 2012 4-2 J. MacDonald (15) D. Miller
feb. 10, 2012 2-1 J. MacDonald (29) T. Bertuzzi
Feb. 12, 2012 4-3 J. MacDonald (26) J. Franzen
Feb. 14, 2012 3-1 J. MacDonald (20) B. Stuart
Feb. 17, 2012 2-1 J. MacDonald (20) P. Datsyuk
Feb. 19, 2012 3-2 J. MacDonald (31) D. Helm
Feb. 23, 2012 3-4 (SO) R. Luongo (33) A. Burrows
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