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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  - 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 - 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