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Wings tie 47-year-old club record

OT win over Blackhawks makes Hockeytown history

Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 4:35 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor |
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Wings tie 47-year-old club record
The Red Wings celebrate a 3-2 OT win over Chicago Saturday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena. The win was the Wings' 14th straight at home, tying a club record. (Photo by Dave Reginek)
DETROIT – Ted Lindsay was in the house Saturday afternoon to watch a 47-year-old Red Wings’ record that he helped establish during his final NHL season come one step closer to collapsing.

For the first time since the second half of the 1964-65 season, a Wings’ team has won 14-straight games at home, doing so in thrilling fashion with a 3-2 overtime victory against the Chicago Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena.

“They have so many good hockey players,” replied Lindsay, when asked to compare his Wings’ team to today’s modern version.

The ironic thing about the different Wings’ rosters is that they each had similar parts with a core of aging veterans and a stingy goaltender, hell-bent on stopping the oppositions’ best snipers.

At the end of his legendary career, a 40-year-old Lindsay returned to the Wings after four-years of retirement for one last NHL season. It was in 1964 and the Wings weren’t expected to be very good. But they would eventually do something that hadn’t been done in Detroit – until Saturday.

Lindsay wasn’t the only graying cast member on the Wings’ roster at the time – with Gordie Howe (37), Bill Gadsby (37), Marcel Pronovost (34) and Alex Delvecchio (34) – but they also had rookie goalie Roger Crozier, who like Jimmy Howard this season, was outstanding.

“They picked us for fifth or six place in a six-team league that year. People weren’t too impressed about us,” Lindsay said. “But we had a great goaltender in Roger Crozier, and after we went around the league twice, we ended up in first-place and should have won the Stanley Cup that year, but lost to Chicago in the seventh game. And had we beat them we would have played Montreal and we owned Montreal that year, because we beat them out for the (regular-season) championship.”

The ’64-65 team began the second half of the season on an incredible home roll at Olympia Stadium, winning 14 straight while dominating opponents by a 72-23 scoring advantage.

This year’s squad is now 17-2-1 at home, including 14 consecutive wins. During the streak, the Wings have outscored teams 62-21, while posting three shutouts and three one-goal victories. They are 12-of-52 on the power play (23.1 percent) and 39-of-47 on the penalty kill (83 percent) during the streak.

“I think experience helps, and I think solid goaltending really helps, and Howie has been that for us,” said 41-year-old Nicklas Lidstrom, when asked about the current streak. “He’s been that solid guy for us on the back end, just playing so well for us game after game. And experience at home when you do that you can be a little bit more aggressive and we’ve been successful at doing that do.”

The Wings have been a model of consistency at home during the streak, especially Howard.

“We've been really consistent in here. Points are at a premium here and you need to get them every single night,” said Howard, who made 25 saves Saturday in earning his league-best 26th win. “We've been playing really well at home, now we got to find a way to take it on the road with us.”

The Wings are 11-13-0 away from The Joe.

“Our game was a defensive game and now-a-days it’s offense,” Lindsay said. “But what I don’t understand why they don’t do the same thing on the road, because they put the same equipment on the same bunch of guys and there are no fans in the stands that are going to do any fighting for you. The same guys are on the ice that you have to fight at home and on the road. But sometimes I watch them, it’s mental lapses on the road.”

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall agreed with the legend’s observations.

“A lot of times on the road we're not starting off well and we're chasing teams from behind,” Kronwall said. “It takes a lot of energy out of you. We need to make sure to play a lot better on the road to have future success down the road.”

When asked about tying the club record, coach Mike Babcock said, “That’s good, eh? Somebody told me that was going to be a record or tie a record or something and I thought, ‘We’ve had a few of those before and we always seem to screw that one
up,’ so it was good we got it this time.”

The Wings won 13 straight home games in Babcock’s second season as coach before losing to Edmonton in a shoot-out on Feb. 23, 2007.

Detroit will go for a franchise-best 15th straight home win when they host the Buffalo Sabres on Monday evening.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
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