Not even the NHL record books can stop the red-hot Detroit Red Wings as the league’s top team set a new mark with their 21st consecutive home victory in a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
The Red Wings broke their tie with the 1929-1930 Boston Bruins and the 1975-1976 Philadelphia Flyers for most consecutive wins on home ice.
The Joe Louis Arena crowd stayed behind to give their team a standing ovation for a sensational streak that has not seen the team lose at home in more than three months.
“We’re thrilled this has happened for our team,” Wings coach Mike Babcock told reporters.
“I think it’s really good for our logo, it’s really good for our ownership, our team. I’m proud of the guys. They’ve worked hard and now let’s get on with it,” he said.
Goaltender Joey MacDonald, who has replaced injured starter Jimmy Howard, made 20 saves and came within 33 seconds of recording a shutout, but surrendered a late score to Dallas’ Adam Burish.
Detroit dominated the first period, where they scored twice thanks to Henrik Zetterberg and Brad Stuart, and went ahead 3-0 when Jiri Hudler netted a shot late in the third.
The league-leading Red Wings (39-17-2) completed a four-game regular season sweep over the Stars with the win.
Kari Lehtonen made 34 saves for Dallas (28-25-2) in their third straight loss.
The Stars are currently outside of the Western Conference playoff picture and more than 20 points behind Detroit, but they still could appreciate what the Red Wings had accomplished with their record.
“It’s an impressive record,” Burish said. “This isn’t the ’70s. You can’t show up at the rink and say: ‘We’re going to cruise through this one.’ The competition level in this league from top to bottom is pretty good.”
RANGERS 3, BRUINS 0
In Boston, the New York Rangers opened their NHL Eastern Conference lead over nearest rivals Boston to nine points with a 3-0 road win at the Bruins on Tuesday.
Henrik Lundqvist made 42 saves for his NHL-leading seventh shutout of the season, as New York won their fourth straight game.
Ryan Callahan scored for the sixth time in four games, and Ryan McDonagh and Artem Anisimov also had goals for the Rangers, who won despite being outshot 42-20.
Lundqvist recorded his 42nd career shutout and is 18-5-2 against the Bruins in his career.
PREDATORS 3, BLACKHAWKS 2
In Nashville, Ryan Ellis scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and added an assist as Nashville handed Chicago their ninth straight loss. Ryan Suter and Nick Spaling also scored for the Predators.
Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa scored for the Blackhawks.
DEVILS 4, SABRES 1
In Buffalo, Ilya Kovalchuk had three goals and an assist to power New Jersey past Buffalo.
Martin Brodeur stopped 29 shots, while Petr Sykora also netted for the Devils, who extended their road-winning streak to a season-best five games.
New Jersey, sixth in the Eastern Conference, are one point behind division rivals Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Jason Pominville scored for the Sabres.
FLAMES 5, MAPLE LEAFS 1
In Calgary, Miikka Kiprusoff made 41 saves as Calgary routed Toronto.
Alex Tanguay had a goal and two assists, Paul Byron scored on a penalty shot in the second period and Olli Jokinen, Jarome Iginla and Blake Comeau added goals for the Flames.
Calgary are unbeaten in regulation in six games, moving within one point of eighth-placed Phoenix in the Western Conference playoff race.