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Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

WN Postgame: Red Wings cool the Jets and end the skid

The Red Wings entered Tuesday looking to rebound from an terrible outing in Montreal that resulted in a 10-1 loss and a seven-game losing streak.

After a performance like Saturday’s you wanted to see the Red Wings come out with some jam because tonight was the first game of a crucial five-game home stand. The Red Wings have been a streaky team through the first two months of the season, so they need to get one a bit of a roll after losing every game for two weeks.

Getting back in the win column on Tuesday wasn’t going to be an easy thing with the Winnipeg Jets in town. The Jets have been one of the best offensive teams in the NHL this season and came into Tuesday tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place overall.

First Period

The Red Wings appeared to have shaken Saturday’s performance off as they came out against the Winnipeg looking like a totally different team.

After a good start, they were forced to kill off an early Trevor Daley penalty and found the back of the net shortly after as Justin Abdelkader picked up his fifth goal of the season—Gustav Nyquist (7) and Henrik Zetterberg (12) with the assists.

Abdelkader won’t score an easier goal than this one as after a couple bounces, the puck found his tape with a wide open goal mouth staring him and his bubble visor in the face.

A couple of minutes later Jets’ defenseman Josh Morrissey picked up a holding penalty and five seconds later Tyler Myers made it a 5-on-3 with a delay of game minor.

While the Red Wings were not able to capitalize with a two-man advantage, Nyquist buried his seventh of the season just after Myers left the box to give the Red Wings a 2-0 lead—Tomas Tatar (5) and Niklas Kronwall (6) were credited with the helpers.

The Red Wings answered in a big way and finished the first frame with a  2-0 lead and a 16-3 lead in shots.

Second Period

The second period got off to a similar start with the Red Wings getting the first two shots on goal before Myers took his second penalty (hooking) of the night. The power-play however, was cut short as Dylan Larkin was called for tripping. Less than 30 seconds later, Abdelkader made a bone head play, chopping Nikolaj Ehlers skates out from underneath him in the neutral zone, leading to a 5-on-3 for the Jets.

Giving up a 5-on-3 against the NHL’s second best power-play is never a good idea. It didn’t take very long for the NHL’s assists leader Blake Wheeler to find Patrik Laine, who blasted his 14th goal (9th PPG) of the season past Jimmy Howard.

After killing off the second power-play, the game didn’t stay 5-on-5 for long as Howard was called for a horrible tripping penalty—he clipped Dmitry Kulikov with his stick while flying across the crease to make a huge save. (I was unable to find clip of it, but Howard was irate, as you can imagine).

Luckily the Red Wings were able to kill it off but it once again didn’t stay at even-strength for long. Morrissey was called for his second minor of the night as he caught Frans Nielsen with an ugly knee-on-knee hit at the Red Wings blueline.

Oddly enough, Myers was called for his third penalty and second delay of game right after and Detroit had another 5-on-3 with Morrissey and Myers in the box. However, for the second time on the night, Detroit couldn’t convert with a two-man advantage and went into the intermission with a 2-1 lead and a 25-12 edge in shots.

Third Period

The third frame got off to an inauspicious start as Darren Helm was given an interference penalty just 1:15 into the period.

The Red Wings were able to kill off their fourth of five penalties before Jonathan Ericsson (I know, right!) scored his second of the season—Nick Jensen (7) and Nyquist (8) got the assists. The goal was reviewed for a high-stick and then challenged for goaltender interference, but both were moot as it stood as a good goal.

The next four minutes were gravy as 2:30 later Helm scored on a breakaway—unassisted.

Shortly after David Booth converted on his third of the year on a beautiful odd-man rush by Andreas Atahanasiou, who got the only assist (5).

The Red Wings successfully snapped the ugly seven-game losing skid by coming out with some much-needed anger that you would expect after Saturday’s embarrassment.

The Red Wings now sit at 11-12-5 (27 points) and remain fifth in the Atlantic Division.

Motor City MVP

While Nyquist’s three points (1G / 2A) was impressive, the Red Wings likely wouldn’t have been able to win this one without the great goaltending of Jimmy Howard. Howie, who came into play with a 4.87 GAA and .842 SV% in his pervious seven appearances, turned aside 25 of 26 shots in the victory.

What’s Next?

The Red Wings will get the next three days off to rest before the welcome in the St. Louis Blues, who are 18-8-2 (38 points) and tied with the Jets for 1st in the Central Division after Tuesday’s win in Montreal. I will have your GameDay Report that day, so I will see you all then! #LGRW