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Where they Stand: After beating Bruins

With 86 points, Red Wings are three points ahead of Columbus in wild-card race

Wednesday, 04.2.2014 / 11:49 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - DetroitRedWings.com
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Where they Stand: After beating Bruins
Riley Sheahan and the Red Wings snapped the Bruins' road winning streak. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT – Good teams create their own luck. Desperate teams just find ways to win, which is exactly what the Red Wings did in knocking off the league’s best team Wednesday night.

“As a group of forwards we weren’t available for passes and we didn’t have the puck enough and so this wasn’t our best game,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “But we found a way to win a game, we had good goaltending and we’ll take that every single time.”

The Red Wings had to overcome a pair of one-goal deficits en route to a heart-pounding 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins, who hadn’t lost a road game since Jan. 9 in Los Angeles.

With the win, the Red Wings have a three-point edge over Columbus for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Detroit has 86 points, which also created some distance between it and the idle Toronto Maple Leafs (82), Washington Capitals (81) and New Jersey Devils (80). The Blue Jackets were also idle Wednesday.

Columbus and Toronto play Thursday night. The Jackets visit Philadelphia and the Maple Leafs host the Bruins.

Again, it was the stars from the franchise’s 2013 minor-league championship squad that carried the Red Wings offensively. Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco and Gustav Nyquist scored for Detroit. The trio is among a cluster of Calder Cup champs who have combined on 28-of-53 goals for the Red Wings since the Olympic break.

“We were down. I don’t think we played real good at the start of the game,” Tatar said. “We had to step up. It wasn’t just us, but the whole team. It doesn’t really matter who it is. It’s two points for us. A huge win. I’m really happy about it.”

Meanwhile, Jimmy Howard helped stave off the Bruins until the Wings’ offense came to life in the third period. The Red Wings’ goalie made 33 saves; 24 through the first 40 minutes.

“The first two periods were pretty bad. We weren’t good at all,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “Howie kept us in the game. We did a fairly good job of sticking with it, just trying to stay patient. We had a few chances and took advantage of it.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to stay alive and get in (the playoffs). Again, Howie huge, huge effort for us.”

Third periods have been a catastrophe this season. Entering Wednesday’s game, the Wings have allowed 25 more goals than they had scored combined in the third and overtimes.

But the Wings managed to turn the tables on Boston when Jurco and Nyquist scored one minute and 42 seconds a part.

Regardless of the win, Babcock would like to see his team begin stringing together consistent efforts for 60 minutes a night.

“I don’t know if we read the standings or looked at the standings or looked at the news clips and thought they were too good,” Babcock said. “We watched them I thought for two periods and they beat us to all the pucks. It didn’t look like we wanted the puck, our D had to work really hard because our forwards didn’t have the puck ever. So our goaltending was good and we survived and we found a way to get playing, get skating a little bit and we were fortunate enough to be opportunistic and score some goals.”

The Red Wings have an off day Thursday before they play back to back this weekend when they host Buffalo on Friday and travel to Montreal on Saturday.

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