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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 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 NYI 54 29 19 6 153 137 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
15 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89