The Detroit Red Wings tied the NHL record for consecutive home victories on Sunday after a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers earned them a 20th win in a row at Joe Louis Arena.
The victory matched the mark set by the 1929 to 1930 Boston Bruins and the 1975 to 1976 Flyers, and Detroit (38-17-2), who lead the Western Conference by four points over Vancouver, will attempt to set a new record when they host Dallas on Tuesday.
“It’s a great feeling here tonight, and it’s great to do it,” Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom told reporters. “We needed to step up. We did a better job of moving the puck but shooting at the right times too.”
The 41-year-old defenseman reached a milestone of his own by playing in his 1,550th career game for Detroit, the most by any NHL player with one team.
Detroit opened the scoring through Niklas Kronwall at 7 minutes, 8 seconds before Philadelphia’s (31-18-7) Brayden Schenn tied the score with just over three minutes remaining in the first period.
The teams traded goals in the second period, with Schenn and Max Talbot scoring for the Flyers and Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg finding the net for Detroit.
Johan Franzen then scored the game-winning goal less than a minute into the third period to give the Wings the win.
“[Zetterberg] found [Lidstrom] on a backdoor and he tapped it right over to me for the open net. It was an easy one,” Franzen said. “The fans have been great. To play in front of them, it’s like playing in the playoffs.”
Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard was out with a broken finger, so Joey MacDonald stepped up with 26 saves to help claim the win.
PENGUINS 4, LIGHTNING 2
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Evgeni Malkin continued his torrid play, scoring his 31st and 32nd goals of the season as Pittsburgh rallied past Tampa Bay.
Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang each added a goal and two assists for the Penguins, who have won six straight at home. James Neal chipped in three assists as Pittsburgh kept Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos in check.
The NHL’s leading goal scorer was held pointless and mustered just one shot against Brent Johnson, who overcame some early jitters to make 21 saves.
Steve Downie scored twice in an 11-second span in the first period for Tampa Bay, but the Penguins roared back from a two-goal deficit for the second time in two days behind Malkin.
The Russian star pushed his league-leading point total to 69 and narrowly missed a hat-trick when his shot hit the post on an empty net as the clock expired.
RANGERS 3, CAPITALS 2
In New York, Ryan Callahan scored for the fifth time in four days and defenseman Ryan McDonagh snapped a second-period tie to lift New York over Washington.
Callahan, who notched his second NHL hat-trick on Saturday with three goals in a 5-2 win at Philadelphia, got the Eastern Conference leaders going in the first period. McDonagh gave New York a 2-1 lead with 6:39 left in the second with his fifth of the season, while Brandon Prust snapped a 48-game drought with a short-handed tally in the third.
Henrik Lundqvist did the rest, making 24 saves to earn his second win in two days and setting up New York for a showdown with the Stanley Cup champion Bruins today in Boston.
Alexander Semin scored, defenseman John Carlson had a goal and assist, and Michal Neuvirth stopped 25 shots for the Capitals, who have lost four of six (2-3-1) and sit ninth in the East playoff race.