NHL history was made at Joe Louis Arena Sunday night as Henrik Zetterberg scored a goal and added two assists to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. It was the Wings' 20th straight victory in Hockeytown, tying the all-time League record that was shared by the 1929-30 Boston Bruins, and the 1975-76 Flyers. The Red Wings are now an incredible 23-2-1 on home ice.
With the triumph Detroit took the NHL lead in the Presidents' Trophy race with 78 points, one more than the New York Rangers.
The Red Wings can set the record for most consecutive home wins Tuesday night when they host the Dallas Stars.
Things looked good for the home team early on, as defenseman Niklas Kronwall's power play point blast found its way through a Todd Bertuzzi screen in front of Sergei Bobrovsky for his 12th goal of the year to give Detroit a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the opening period.
But Philadelphia's Brayden Schenn appeared as if he would single-handedly rain on the anticipated parade, scoring with just 3:18 remaining in the first to tie it up, then ripping a Braydon Coburn rebound into the net behind Joey MacDonald for his eighth goal of the season just 5:22 into the second stanza to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. It was Schenn's first-career two-goal game, and gives the youngster six goals in his last nine contests.
Pavel Datsyuk scored his 15th of the year for the Red Wings' second power play goal of the evening just over three minutes later to knot the score at 3-3, but Maxime Talbot answered with his career-high 14th tally of the year with 3:41 left in the second period.
Detroit leveled the score before the end of the frame, as Zetterberg sent the teams to the dressing room at the second intermission tied at 3-3 with his 11th goal of the campaign.
Shortly after a Marc-Andre Bourdon penalty expired early in the third period, Zetterberg started the sequence for what would end up being the game-winning goal. The Swede sent a pass to fellow-contryman Nicklas Lidstrom, who sent a pass across to Johan Franzen at the side of the net for a tap in into the open side of the cage for his 22nd goal of the season and a 4-3 Red Wings' lead at the 52 second mark of the final frame.
MacDonald, who was brought to the team at the beginning of February due to an injury to starter Jimmy Howard, stopped all nine Philadelphia shots directed his way in the third to earn the his third consecutive victory, improving his record to 3-1-1. The goaltender finished the night with 26 saves on 29 Flyers' shots.
At the other end of the ice, Bobrovsky took his second loss of the weekend in place of usual netminder Ilya Bryzgalov, who remains out of the lineup with an illness. Bobrovsky stopped 21 of 25 Detroit shots in falling to 12-7-1 for the season.
The Flyers were done in by their terrible special teams play over the weekend, as they allowed five power play goals against the Rangers and Red Wings, while scoring none of their own. Philadelphia is now just 2-4-2 in their last eight games since the NHL All-Star break, and were tied in the Eastern Conference standings by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier in the evening.