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Wings look to rebound against Jackets

Babcock says it's imperative to put season-opening loss in past

Sunday, 01.20.2013 / 10:05 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Wings look to rebound against Jackets

Jimmy Howard was pulled from Saturday's game after allowing five goals on 28 shots. But he says he's learned to let games like that escape his memory. (Photo by Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio Jimmy Howard learned a long time ago to let games like Saturday’s debacle in St. Louis roll off his back.

“That was already gone by the time the game was over with,” said Howard, who gave up five goals in the Wings’ 6-0 season-opening loss to the Blues. “You learn over time, when things like that happen you just have to rebound. Go back out there and give the guys a better chance to win.”

What’s done is done and the Red Wings were back at practice Sunday to prepare for another Central Division game that carries greater importance in this condensed 48-game NHL schedule.

In fairness, Howard was sharp early in holding the Blues to a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission. He made 15 saves in the first period and stopped another eight shots in the second, but was pulled from the game after allowing the Blues a 5-0 lead on their first shot of the third period.

“You have to work, it’s as simple as that,” Howard said, following the Red Wings’ 35-minute practice at Nationwide Arena. “We got out-worked in every aspect of the game last night. That was the message out there today. You have to get out there, get up and down the ice and we have to go out there tomorrow night and win battles and try to sustain some offense in their zone.”

The Wings conclude their short, two-game road trip when they face the Blue Jackets Monday night before returning home to host the Dallas Stars at Joe Louis Arena.

While there was nothing positive that came out of Saturday’s loss, coach Mike Babcock spread the blame equally.

“When you teach school all week and you give an exam on Friday and everyone gets 50 (percent), what kind of job did you do?” asked Babcock, rhetorically. “We had a good camp, I thought we had good tempo, I thought we had good battle and I thought we had good structure. We came out and didn’t play last night. … We have to be better. Simple.”

Special teams were an utmost concern for the Wings, who allowed four power-play goals, but were 0-for-5 on their own chances with the man-advantage,

While it’s only one game, defenseman Niklas Kronwall said it’s important that everyone on the team responses with a strong performance this week, which features three games in five days.

“We have to find a way to play a lot better than that. Compete harder. Just play harder,” Kronwall said. “I think everyone in here is pretty ashamed of their effort last night. We have to be a lot better than that.

“We were a step behind. If you're a step behind you're just chasing the whole game. You're not getting anything accomplished. Tomorrow, hopefully we can be in the game and take charge right from the start instead of the other way around.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
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

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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