Mon, Jan 23, 2012 - Page 7 News List

NHL: Red Wings edge Blue Jackets to stretch their record run

Reuters and AP, BOSTON

Valtteri Filppula scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday and stretch their franchise record run of home victories to 16.

After both sides had missed three shootout attempts, Filppula stepped up, faked to his backhand and then quickly pulled the puck across his body to his forehand to fire a shot into the net.

“I thought the goalie came out quite a bit, so I didn’t find a lot of room to shoot,” Filppula told reporters of his winning effort. “I had that in mind if I needed to deke [fake], but if he stayed in I wanted to shoot. I guess it was a little good luck, too, that it didn’t go over the net.”

Ryan Johansen then had his effort saved by Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard to give the home side the victory.

After coming under a lot of pressure the league-worst Columbus (13-28-6), who had twice taken surprise leads, carried the game to Detroit in the extra period and tested the Wings defense heavily in the final minute, but Howard stood tall for Detroit, making two spectacular overtime saves to force the shootout and earn his league-leading 29th win.

The visitors will also be disappointed they failed to convert a numerical advantage in the third period when Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for boarding Russian defenseman Nikita Nikitin. Nikitin was injured on the play and did not return.

“The puck went down to the corner and I chased down their defenseman,” Zetterberg told reporters. “I had my hand on his back. I don’t think I pushed him hard. He went down. It looked bad, it looks really bad, so I can’t blame the referee for giving me five minutes.”

The Blue Jackets have been hit by a number of injuries this season and defensemen Radek Martinek and James Wisniewski were missing on Saturday, with forwards Jeff Carter, Mark Letestu, Kristian Huselius and R.J. Umberger also out.

Despite their troubles, Columbus opened the scoring when Ryan Russell claimed a rebound goal in the first period, but Swede Niklas Kronwall replied for Detroit (32-15-1) less than three minutes later.

Nikitin restored the Blue Jackets lead on a powerplay in the second period, but again Detroit responded less than three minutes later with a powerplay goal of their own by Nicklas Lidstrom.

“I liked the way we played,” Columbus coach Todd Richards said. “We’re playing hard as a group, playing for each other. It takes away from your confidence when you’re not winning games, but we are still doing good things.”

RANGERS 3, BRUINS 2

In Boston, Marian Gaborik scored twice, the second on a third-try backhander with 3.6 seconds left in overtime, as the New York Rangers beat the Boston Bruins in a matchup of the top two NHL teams in the Eastern Conference on Saturday.

Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves for the Rangers. Ryan Callahan also scored for the Rangers, who lead the East.

Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots for the Bruins, who played most of the overtime down a man, four-on-three, after Andrew Ference drew a five-minute major for driving defenseman Ryan McDonagh into the boards and was ejected.

Ference scored his fourth goal of the season and his second in two games for the Bruins.

Saturday’s other results:

‧ Flyers 4, Devils 1

‧ Ducks 2, Senators 1

‧ Canucks 4, Sharks 3

‧ Islanders 2, Hurricanes 1

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