Howard's return yields familiar result: shootout loss

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — Jimmy Howard's return was good enough for one point — but not two.

Howard's — and the Red Wings' — troubles in the shootout continued Saturday as they lost 5-4 to the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets won the shootout 1-0, with newly acquired Drew Stafford scoring the lone goal in the fourth round.

"It was great to be back out there competing with the guys," said Howard, who wasn't thrilled with his performance overall. "Not up to my standards, but I'm not going to get too down on myself right now. I'm going to watch the video and try to learn from my mistakes."

The Red Wings are 2-8 this season in the shootout, while Howard dropped to 0-7.

But in this game, the Red Wings will take the point earned with the regulation tie and the positives they had.

"We're happy with the point down late and Pavel (Datsyuk) being able to tie it up," said Darren Helm, who had a goal and assist. "Being short(handed) with two minutes left (in overtime), the guys did an unreal job killing it. We're happy with that. We'd like to get those points (lost in the shootout) but we'll take the positives."

As will coach Mike Babcock, though the Red Wings' carelessness was an issue.

"There's a lot of things you really like (in this game) but our inability to take care of the puck when we entered the offensive zone got us in trouble," Babcock said. "We had too much of that. We took penalties on two of them and gave up chances. We have to fix that."

Datsyuk tied the score at 4 with his second goal of the game at 13:27 of the third period. His two goals ended a nine-game goal drought for Datsyuk, who has 16 for the season.

Winnipeg's Andrew Ladd's power-play goal, his 19th goal, broke a 3-3 tie at 4:18 of the third period.

Along with Datsyuk's two goals, Niklas Kronwall (power play) and Helm (power play) scored for the Red Wings (31-13-10, 72 points).

Datsyuk and Helm added assists, and Tomas Tatar had two assists, the line easily being the best the Red Wings had Saturday.

Chris Thorburn, Blake Wheeler and Stafford (power play) scored for the Jets (29-19-10, 68 points).

The Red Wings took a 3-1 lead in the second period when Helm scored his 12th goal (equaling a career high) then assisted on Datsyuk's goal, the puck glancing off Datsyuk's arm and past goalie Michael Hutchinson.

But the Jets stormed back with goals 2:44 apart.

Wheeler made it 3-2 at 7:04, tapping in a loose puck after a drive to the net by Tyler Myers, the puck sitting to the side of Howard.

Stafford tied it on the power play at 8:15, the puck bouncing off Howard and dribbling into the net.

"Normally the first (Thorburn's redirect goal) and third wouldn't go in, but Howie battled and gave us a chance," Babcock said. "He made enough saves in the shootout but we didn't give him any run support."