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Monkey's off back as Kindl scores

Wings' defensemen continue to add goals to league lead

Saturday, 12.3.2011 / 12:21 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Monkey\'s off back as Kindl scores
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BUFFALO, N.Y. – A TV monitor showed a surprised look on Jakub Kindl’s face as he sat on the Red Wing’s bench moments after the PA announcer cited the defenseman with scoring Friday’s first goal of the game against the Buffalo Sabres.
 
Why the perplexed look on the bench?

“I didn’t give a high-five to our forwards so Fil asked me, ‘Oh, you don’t give the forwards a high-five?’ said Kindl, referring to Valtteri Filppula’s question. “At first I didn’t understand what he was saying. But usually whoever scores you go through the whole bench, and I wasn’t sure that I scored so I just went through our D and not the forwards. That’s what pretty much happened.”

To make it official, Kindl was credited with starting the Wings’ first-period barrage, which ended in a 4-1 victory before a sold-out First Niagara Center.

Kindl scored when his blast from the left point beat Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth at 8:50 of the opening period. The goal was Kindl’s first since last April and just the third of his young NHL career. His previous goals both came in 4-3 road victories last season against Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and St. Louis’ Jaroslav Halak.

But Kindl’s goal jumpstarted a three-goal outburst as the Wings took advantage of the Sabres’ young defense that featured one player making his NHL debut (Joe Finley) and another playing in his third career contest (Brayden McNabb).  Forwards Johan Franzen and Filppula also scored for the Wings, who won their seventh straight game, and now have won 11 of the last 13.

Pavel Datsyuk capped the Wings’ scoring when he added an unassisted empty-net goal late.

Kindl wasn’t sure if his blast from the left point was tipped by either Justin Abdelkader or Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera as the two battled for position in front in Enroth.

The Wings continue to lead the league in defensemen scoring with 21 goals, and Kindl, who was the last of the six regulars to finally add to the scoring list this season, is glad he finally got that monkey off his back. The Vancouver Canucks are second in the league with 16 goals.

“Of course it’s always nice to get the first one,” Kindl said, “but I need to shoot the puck even more whenever I have the chance, like today I just got it and I closed my eyes and it went through.”

Nicklas Lidstrom and Niklas Kronwall led the Wings’ defense with six goals each, followed by Ian White (four), Brad Stuart (three) and Jonathan Ericsson (one).
While the Wings have had very strong starts to games this season, they averaged less than a goal a game in first-period action heading into Friday – their lowest scoring total in any of the three periods this season. Friday was the first three-goal first period of the season for Detroit.

“That surprised me because usually starting out 3-0 doesn’t happen very often for us,” Kindl said.

Coach Mike Babcock was happy with the team’s energy in the first period, but would have liked to have seen the Wings continue that tempo throughout the final two periods.

“We did a lot of good things, especially early, and got ourselves a big lead,” Babcock said. “We took penalties in the second and even though we had some big kill we lost the momentum and I thought we were quite as good in the third period. You’re up 3-0, but I would like to see us continue to play the same way.”
 
The Wings built a 2-0 edge when Franzen scored a power-play goal at 6:22. The play started when Lidstrom faked a shot from the point then quickly made a pass to the power forward in the slot. Franzen then beat Enroth with a wrist shot to the short side.

Filppula finished the first-period scoring when he capitalized on a Sabres’ turnover and then skated in alone on the Buffalo net before firing in his eighth goal of the season at 14:41.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill


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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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