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Mule gives kick to power play

Veteran forward leads surge over winless Blue Jackets

Friday, 10.21.2011 / 11:13 PM ET / News
By Zack Crawford  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Mule gives kick to power play
DETROIT Johan Franzen broke the Red Wings’ 0-18 power play streak in overtime last Saturday night in Minnesota. And it was Franzen again who kept the power play production going tonight as the Wings scored three times on the man-advantage en route to a 5-2 win over Columbus at Joe Louis Arena.

Despite failing to capitalize on the first 18 power play opportunities of the season, the Wings’ special teams have been in full force ever since Franzen crashed into the Wild’s net last week just behind the puck.

The first goal tonight came at 9:03 in the first period during a holding penalty to the Blue Jackets’ RJ Umberger. Valtteri Filppula left the puck sitting for Franzen who lifted it above Columbus goaltender Steve Mason’s glove hand.

Less than six minutes later the same line did it again while Derek Mackenzie sat in the box for slashing. Franzen recovered his own rebound and sent Mason digging into the back of the net. Filppula assisted again.

“Good to get a couple on the power play,” Franzen said after the game. “We needed that for sure. We've been struggling a little bit.''

The last time Franzen had a multi-goal game was during his sensational performance last February when he put five—including the game-winner—in on the Ottawa Senators.

Early in the third period the Wings gave up a goal while Nicklas Lidstrom did time for hooking.
“I thought we were through that penalty kill,” coach Mike Babcock said of the Blue Jackets’ second goal. “We just got caught a little bit high.”

It didn’t take long for Detroit — on yet another power play — to bounce back.
On a 5-on-3 opportunity, Lidstrom buried a slap shot behind Mason. Lidstrom has 129 career regular-season power play goals and two goals this season.

The Wings have now scored four power play goals during 24 opportunities. They have let in three goals during 15 shorthanded penalty kills.

“Even tonight with all of the power-play goals, you know, Mule’s group got two of them,” Babcock said. “Normally, Pav and Z and those guys would be carrying us in that area, so I think that’s a sign of good things to come. We have good depth on our team up front. That’s a positive thing.”

“I think we were shooting the puck,” goalie Jimmy Howard said of why the power play opportunities were clicking tonight. “We weren’t trying to be fancy at all; we were just putting the puck on net and retrieving it and slamming it right back down their throats. Whenever you just keep it simple and you fire the puck the good things happen.”

Good things certainly happened.

Filppula and Franzen both ended the game with four points each.

"A one-point night is a big night,” Filppula said. “Four-point nights, you don't get those too often, especially me."

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80