Red Wings ride wave of power play's potency

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — It's been a puzzle at times this season, a source of frustration for the Red Wings.

When the Red Wings' power play goes into deep slumber, it's fair to ask how a unit with so much offensive talent can go so silent.

The unit ranked near the bottom of the league through much of the first month of the season, a head-scratching statistic indeed.

But when the Red Wings power play is clicking as it was Tuesday in the 6-3 victory over Buffalo, there is no mystery.

More like business as usual.

Tuesday's four power-play goals gave the Red Wings 32 for the season, more than any team in the NHL.

"We're happy our power play is working," said Tomas Tatar, who had two almost identical power-play goals in Tuesday's third period. "When the puck isn't going in, you just have to shoot from everywhere.

"Try, try and it will eventually go in."

Tuesday's power-play goal barrage was the first time the Red Wings had scored four in a game since Dec. 27, 2011 in Colorado.

Along with Tatar, Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen each had a power-play goal.

The Red Wings have the fourth-ranked power play in the NHL at 24.1 percent (San Jose and Washington are tied atop the league at 25.0 percent).

"We didn't try to do anything different," Henrik Zetterberg said. "We just moved it around and shot the puck. Eventually the puck will go in."

Good luck charm

Weiss almost seemed uncomfortable with the attention and statistic itself.

But it's there, and must mean something.

When Weiss is in the lineup this season, the Red Wings have an impressive 9-1-2 record and have 43 goals in 12 games (3.58 average).

When Weiss has been out of the lineup, it's been a stark difference.

They are 9-7-7 without Weiss in the lineup, scoring only 57 goals in 23 games (2.48 average).

Weiss isn't thinking much about it.

"I've been around long enough to know it's not me," Weiss said. "It's a neat little stat but the more games I play, I'm sure it will even out.

"I'm not taking much stock in that."

Weiss has five goals and six assists in 12 games this season, and is supplying the Red Wings the offense they felt they would receive from him when they signed him in July 2013.

"When he's been playing this year, he's been really productive," Zetterberg said.

Ice chips

The Red Wings might get an idea Friday whether Niklas Kronwall (upper body) could be available for Saturday's game in Ottawa. Kronwall was hit near the head area in Tuesday's victory and didn't return.

General manager Ken Holland said after the game Kronwall was day-to-day.

Weiss, too, was knocked out of the game with a hit near the head area but said afterward he was cleared and feeling fine.

…Tuesday's victory made it a good holiday break for goalie Petr Mrazek. He'd never won at Joe Louis Arena before. Mrazek is 1-4-0 at JLA in his short NHL career.