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Bottom Six get off the schnide

Third- and four-line forwards produced 8 points in win

Saturday, 02.9.2013 / 12:30 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Bottom Six get off the schnide

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DETROIT – It finally happened.

Daniel Cleary’s dubious streak of 19 games without a point – including last spring’s Stanley Cup playoff series against Nashville – came to a screeching halt when the Red Wings’ third-liner slammed in his own rebound during the first period of Thursday’s 5-1 win at St. Louis.

Cleary’s goal, his first since March 19, led a cavalcade points from the bottom six forwards, who, until Thursday, hadn’t produced a single point in the young season.

“It feels good. A whole lot of us felt good about it and realized the importance of it,” Cleary said. “That’s how we’re going to be a successful team by getting some balanced scoring. It was good to get off the schnide, is that what they call it?”

Yes, that’s what they call it.

And the Wings, who desperately need offensive production from other than their two usual suspects, could really use the boost from forwards like Cleary, Cory Emmerton, Justin Abdelkader, Jordin Tootoo, Drew Miller and Tomas Tatar, all of whom registered points in the win over the Blues.

Now, Wings coach Mike Babcock would like to see some consistency from the third- and four-line guys.

“We had real good effort from our bottom six. They all played well and really contributed,” he said. “We left the game feeling good, but the last time we left the rink feeling good we weren’t so good. So it’s important we match last night’s effort. We’ve got a good team like the Oilers coming in so it should be lots of fun.”

The Oilers come in with a speedy, offensively potent group of young stars, meaning the Red Wings can’t afford to give them added opportunities by taking penalties. Detroit did a great job of staying out of the penalty box against the Blues, who were 1-for-2 on the power play.

“Penalty kill has to be better. We might not be a team that's going to score 4-5 every night,” said Abdelkader, who had an assist and was a plus-1 against the Blues. “We got to play well defensively and not give so many chances and so many goals.

“Offensive numbers are going to come and go. I think you can always control your defensive play and attention to detail. You might win some 1-0, 2-0, 2-1 games. You don't need to score four goals every night. We just got to come out with better start.”

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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