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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 - 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
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
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80