Red Wings rout Jets to snap slide in style
DETROIT — The Winnipeg Jets could smell what was coming their way, and they didn’t particularly care for the odor.
“We knew this was going to be tough, because that’s a good team that just took one of the worst losses in franchise history,” Jets forward Adam Lowry said Tuesday after Winnipeg’s 5-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
Rebounding from a dismal 10-1 loss to the Canadiens on Saturday in Montreal, the Red Wings (11-12-5) turned in one of their best performances of the season and completely controlled the Jets, who entered play Monday tied for first overall in the NHL.
“We came out with a purpose tonight right from the drop of the puck,” Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard said. “We played hard for a full 60 minutes.
“That is the type of game we need to play every single night, the way we supported each other around the ice, and the way we played as five-man units. When we play like that and we use our speed, we’re a tough team to play against.”
Gustav Nyquist recorded two goals and an assist, and Howard made 25 saves as the Red Wings ended a seven-game losing streak.
Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm and David Booth also scored for the Red Wings, who had gone 0-4-3 since a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 17.
“I think we just weren’t really playing with a lot of passion the last couple games and we wanted to play with a little bit more intensity and show that we belong out there,” Helm said.
Patrik Laine scored his 14th goal of the season for the Jets (17-7-4), who are 0-2-1 in their past three road games.
The Red Wings wasted little time in establishing dominance, outshooting the Jets 16-3 in the first period and grabbing a 2-0 advantage.
“That just kind of encourages guys knowing, ‘Hey, that’s a good team over there and we can outplay them,’” Booth said. “We’re a good team, and I think we showed that tonight.”
The Red Wings took the lead 10:42 into the first period. Nyquist’s shot from the high slot bounced off a couple of legs and landed at the feet of Abdelkader on the edge of the Jets’ goal crease, and Abdelkader slammed it home past Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck.
Seven seconds after failing to score during a two-man advantage of 1:55, the Red Wings went ahead 2-0. Hellebuyck (27 saves) got his right pad on a shot by Tomas Tatar, but Nyquist fired the rebound into the net at 14:43 of the opening period.
The Jets were offered their own five-on-three advantage for 1:33 in the second period and capitalized. Laine set up in the high slot to the left of the Detroit net and wired a one-timer low to the glove side past Howard at 6:25.
“I think that was the key to the game right there,” Booth said. “They could have got another quick one, but keeping your composure, and Howie coming up with big saves or big blocks by our guys goes a long way.”
Detroit increased its lead to 3-1 at 4:55 of the third period on a controversial goal. Nyquist and Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey crashed into Hellebuyck as Jonathan Ericsson’s point shot reached the net, banking in off Nyquist as he and Morrissey toppled into Hellebuyck.
The Jets challenged the goal for goalie interference but lost the appeal.
“I didn’t agree with (the call) then and I don’t agree with it now,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
Helm got behind the Jets’ defense and snapped a wrist shot past Hellebuyck’s glove side on the breakaway to make it 4-1 at 7:25.
Booth increased the margin to 5-1 at 10:40, converting Andreas Athanasiou’s feed from the slot.
NOTES: The Jets had no players in their lineup Tuesday who had minus rating this season. The Red Wings suited up one player who was a plus player, D Jonathan Ericsson, now plus-4 after a plus-2 night. ... Detroit’s last eight-game winless skid was an 0-7-1 slide from Jan. 12-30, 1991. ... Tuesday’s game began a five-game homestand for the Red Wings, while the Jets launched a three-game road trip. ... The Red Wings scratched D Xavier Ouellet. ... Detroit D/RW Luke Witkowski served the ninth contest of his 10-game NHL suspension. ... The Jets’ scratches were D Tucker Poolman, C Shawn Matthias and C Marko Dano.