The Detroit Red Wings not only have the most points in the Western Conference but also in the NHL and one of the biggest reasons for the team’s success has been their ability to win games at home this season. No team has been better and on Sunday night the Red Wings beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3, thanks to Johan Franzen’s goal early in the third period, to earn their 20th straight win at home.
“It was a great atmosphere out there, it was like playing in the playoffs,” Franzen said. “We have to thank them for giving us the extra energy that we needed.”
The victory put Detroit in a three-way tie for the longest home win streak in NHL history, tying the 1929-1930 Boston Bruins and most recently the 1975-76 Flyers. The Red Wings hope to break the record Tuesday night, with a win over the Dallas Stars at Joe Louis Arena.
"We don't want to talk about it," defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said. "We just want to keep it going. Just go out there and play and win games. That's the approach we've had."
Lidstrom made history of his own during the 20th straight win – his 1,550 games as a member of the Red Wings are the most by an NHL player who spent his entire career with one team. The 42-year-old captain trails Gordy Howe (1687) – who spent a season with the Hartford Whalers – for most games ever played in Detroit. It’s just one more accolade the future Hall of Fame can add to his resume.
The last team to beat the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena was the Calgary Flames 102 days ago on Nov. 3. In those 20 wins, Detroit has scored 84 goals and allowed just 30. Six of those games were won by just one goal and 13 wins were clean regulation wins. The recently faltering Flyers didn’t want to share the record with Detroit and knew more than just two points were on the line Sunday – pride was too.
“We definitely wanted to keep them from tying the record,” Flyers winger Scott Hartnell said. “We’re all disappointed about that.”
The Red Wings hold the league record for most consecutive road wins with 12, a mark the team set during the 2005-06 season. Can the team remain hot at home and break the record, or will they cool down with the playoffs right around the corner?
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