Vancouver, British Columbia — The Red Wings went back to playing the type of hockey Wednesday that’s made them successful — and proved to be yet again.
They ended a four-game winless streak with an impressive 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, playing their best hockey in some time.
And, the victory allowed coach Mike Babcock to look at the NHL standings and statistics again.
“Anytime you go four games, eight possible points, and get two of them, you’re not rolling along,” Babcock said. “The rest of the league is rolling along and you’re watching.
“Maybe I’ll check them (standings) out tomorrow,” Babcock said.
Daniel Alfredsson and Tomas Tatar scored second-period goals, erasing a Vancouver lead, and leading the Red Wings to the win.
The Red Wings limited Vancouver to 20 shots, controlled possession of the puck most of the night, and greatly limited the turnovers that had been haunting them.
Basically, the things Babcock had been preaching for several days, the Red Wings took to heart.
“We had everybody going and we took care of the puck,” Babcock said. “When we’re careless with the puck, and careless with our structure, we don’t look very good.
“We’re a team that needs to play a certain way to be successful, and if we do, we’ll be successful.”
Said goalie Jimmy Howard, who made 19 saves: “It has to be everybody pulling in the same direction. When things weren’t going our way there was a lot of duplication out there, a lot of guys trying to cover up for other guys and vice versa. Tonight, everybody trusted in each other and we got the job done.”
The Red Wings (7-4-2, 16 points) continue their four-game road trip Friday in Calgary.
Vancouver (9-5-1, 19 points) saw its four game win streak end.
Alfredsson tied the game 1-1 at 11:37 of the second period. Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin opened the scoring with 5:48 left in the first period.
Alfredsson snapped a rebound off a scramble in front of goalie Roberto Luongo (25 saves) for his third goal of the season.
“It was a loose puck and I just tried to go far side,” Alfredsson said. “Once I saw (Daniel) Cleary put his arms up, that felt good.”
Then, almost seven minutes later, Tatar gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead.
On an innocent looking play, Tatar took a pass from Niklas Kronwall near the wall and skated toward the slot.
Tatar fired a shot toward net that surprised Luongo, apparently screened by defenseman Chris Tanev, who also lifted his foot and let the puck go through.
It was Tatar’s first goal this season.
“I tried to shoot at the net and the puck ended up in,” Tatar said.
Opening this four-game trip with a victory was the perfect tonic for the Red Wings, especially after the careless way they had been playing.
“It means a lot,” Howard said. “Hopefully it gets us some momentum. It’s a big win for us.”