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Wings host memorable home finale

Team thanked fans for support in celebration of annual "Fan Appreciation Night"

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 10:43 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Wings host memorable home finale

Jordan Jennings came to the Red Wings game Friday not expecting to win a flat screen TV, but he did. (Photo by Bill Roose/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT - Just two nights after clinching their 23rd straight playoff appearance, the Red Wings took the ice for their final regular-season contest before an energized crowd at Joe Louis Arena.

Despite the 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, it was a memorable evening for everyone in attendance, as the Wings hosted their annual “Fan Appreciation Night” to thank Hockeytown fans for their continued and unparalleled support throughout the season.

“I’ve always felt like ever since I got here that we have the best fans in the league,” said defenseman Niklas Kronwall. “Without our fans, we wouldn’t be much. And their support this year especially, we have had our ups and downs with all the injuries with all the injuries and things like that.

“It’s been great to feel the support from the fans whether that’s here at the game, people at home watching, if you go around town people are saying positive things. It means a lot and of course we appreciate them very much because we wouldn’t be much without them.”

Kronwall’s thoughts were echoed by every player in Detroit’s dressing room, including Gustav Nyquist.

“They’re always great here,” Nyquist said. “Every game I’ve played in this building has been great, it’s been a great atmosphere and you know we’re real lucky to have fans like this to support us no matter what and no matter how we’ve played. They showed that this year. We had a little bit of a losing streak at home I think earlier in the season, we’ve gotten better at home so it’s nice to see the crowd really sticking up for us.”

To celebrate the evening, the organization gave away hundreds of prizes to fans attending the game and following both the exclusive Fox Sports Detroit broadcast and Detroit’s social media channels. The giveaways included two 10-game plans, a preseason suite night, penalty box visits, Zamboni rides and a tour of the Fox Sports Detroit Call Sam Studio and broadcast truck during the upcoming 2014-15 season. Additional prizes such as a 60-inch television, an Xbox 360 gaming system, complete 2013-14 bobblehead sets and autographed copies of the limited-edition book “Five: A Salute to Nicklas Lidstrom.”

Along with the giveaways, 23 lucky fans were selected to take part in a post-game ceremony on the ice to receive a signed, game-used stick as well as a photo with that player.

“That was great, another chance to meet some of our season ticket holders and interact with them, take some pictures and have a brief chat with him,” Kronwall said. “Their support is very important for us.”

The game concluded a whirlwind season in which the Wings clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 23rd straight season despite enduring an abundance of injuries, dressed 37 different players over the course of the year, and watched several members of the Grand Rapids Griffins Calder Cup championship team become successful in the NHL.

“I mean right now we’re having a lot of fun, there’s a lot of enthusiasm in the locker room, and I think with the young combined with the veterans we have we’re very motivated to achieve success,” said Riley Sheahan. “We’re coming to the rink every day and we’re looking to win I guess and we’re going to have some fun with it.”

And it’s not over yet. The Wings will conclude their regular season on Sunday in St. Louis before beginning their quest for the Stanley Cup.

“It’s great, it’s starting to come down to the playoffs here and this is when the fun times start,” Nyquist said. “They (fans) are going to be a real support for us to have in the playoffs for sure. Every playoff game I’ve played in this building, it’s been insane. The crowd’s really been jumping so it gives your team a boost for sure.”

In their home finale, the Wings fell behind by two goals to the Hurricanes in the first period, allowing both Elias Lindholm and Jiri Tlusty to score. Riley Sheahan cut the visiting team’s lead in half early in the third, though, earning his eighth goal of the season on a power play.

But the lead was too much to overcome, and the Wings gave Carolina it first regular-season victory in Detroit. The Wings are 16-0-1 (W-L-T) at home vs. the Carolina/Hartford franchise during the regular season since the Whalers won in Detroit 3-0 on Nov. 14, 1989.

“It’s not frustrating, it looks like we played well today and had lots of chances,” center Pavel Datsyuk said of losing the team’s final home game. “Of course, we need to score. We need to work on it. We have one more game and a few practice, maybe we work on it because every chance counts in the playoffs.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89