Tatar's tally lifts Wings over Canucks
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Tomas Tatar picked a good time to score his first goal of the season.
Tatar's goal at 18:58 of the second period gave the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night at Rogers Arena.
The Red Wings (7-4-2) ended their four-game losing streak, while the Canucks (9-5-1) suffered their first loss in five outings.
"We had four losses in a row, and this is a big relief for us," Tatar said. "This is huge, and hopefully we will continue. Obviously, this was a big game, and it's hard to win in this building, so I'm glad we did."
Daniel Alfredsson scored the Red Wings' other goal, while Daniel Sedin scored for the Canucks.
Detroit overcame a 1-0, first-period deficit with two goals in the second, and they gave the Canucks few opportunities in a scoreless third period.
Tatar put the Red Wings on top when his long shot beat Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev screened Luongo and picked a bad time to lift his leg instead of blocking the shot.
"I just tried shooting it on the net, and the puck ended up somehow in," Tatar said.
At 11:37 of the second period, Alfredsson forged a 1-1 tie as he scored on a shot from the slot. The play began when Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith lost possession of the puck on a rush involving several players, and a number of Canucks unsuccessfully scrambled back to defend.
"I don't know if it hit something on the way there, but once I saw (Daniel) Cleary put his arms up, I felt good," Alfredssson said.
The loss spoiled a strong effort by Luongo, who made 25 saves. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard stopped 19 shots in the win.
Both teams went scoreless on three power-play chances.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock was impressed with his club's effort as the Wings netted their equalizer and generated several scoring chances off moves to the net.
"When you get things driving through the middle and creating confusion at the net, good things can happen," Babcock said. "To be honest with you, I thought (Luongo) played real well. We could have had a lot more."
Babcock praised his players for getting the puck out of their zone quickly and protecting it well -- things they didn't do during their losing skid.
"I'm looking at the stats and feeling a little weak because I can't stand looking at them," he said. "I'm going to check them out tomorrow."
Daniel Sedin, who opened the scoring 14:12 into the first period as he put in a high shot from a sharp angle, might not want to. Despite the close score, he was not impressed with his team's effort.
"It wasn't good enough," he said. "I thought it was sloppy. It was real sloppy at both ends. I thought (we spent) a lot of time in the neutral zone and we never really got any pressure going."
Luongo wasn't pleased with his performance, particularly about the long shot that got past him.
"Obviously, I didn't see it," he said. "I think our (defenseman) man was trying to cut across to get the guy on the other side, and I didn't see it until the last second, but I have to find a way to find those. It's a pretty (lousy) way to lose a game on a goal like that."
NOTES: Detroit scratched former Canucks RW Mikael Samuelsson and RW Jordan Tootoo, while C Darren Helm (groin), D Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder) and RW Johan Franzen (undisclosed) were sidelined with injuries. ... The Canucks played without C Jordan Schroeder (ankle), RW Jannik Hansen (upper body), LW David Booth (lower body) and RW Dale Weise (lower body). ... The game was the first of two meetings between the teams this season. ... The Red Wings continue their road trip with a Friday game against the Calgary Flames. ... The Canucks play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.