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NHL on NBC: Wings go for 23 straight at home versus struggling Sharks

Feb 18, 2012, 10:05 PM EDT

Wings win Getty Images

Happy Hockey Day in America! Be sure to check out PHT throughout the day as we bring you features and previews of all the events, including a nine-hour NHL block of programming across NBC and NBC Sports Network.

Sunday at Joe Louis Arena, Hockeytown celebrates Hockey Day in America with a must-see – you guessed it – hockey game (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC). It’s the Detroit Red Wings, seeking their 23rd straight home victory, versus the team that’s eliminated them the last two postseasons, the San Jose Sharks.

While Detroit already owns the NHL record for most consecutive home victories within a single season, they can break the multiple-season mark of 22 that’s held by the Boston Bruins, who won the last 20 games of the 1929-30 season then won their first two the following year.

To put that record in perspective, when the Bruins set it, the Detroit team had just changed its name from the Cougars to the Falcons; there was a team from Philadelphia called the Quakers who had just moved from Pittsburgh, where they were called the Pirates; and Neil Armstrong had just been born.

So yeah, it’s a fairly long-standing record.

Friday at the Joe, the Wings earned their 22nd straight home win after Pavel Datsyuk took a brilliant no-look pass from teammate Henrik Zetterberg, weaved his way through the Nashville defense, and ripped it past Pekka Rinne with five seconds left in regulation to beat the Predators, 2-1.

“I kind of took a look and saw Pavel over there,” Zetterberg said, “so I knew there were just a few seconds left so there was nothing to lose so I tried to get him the puck and got lucky as it went through a lot of sticks before it got to him and he did the rest.”

The Sharks, meanwhile, won’t only be out to end Detroit’s historic run, they’ll be hoping to turn things around in the fifth game a daunting nine-game road trip.

Friday in Carolina, San Jose dropped its second straight in a 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes.

“I thought we lacked a lot of energy and jump and determination in the first two periods,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “We didn’t win a lot of races to pucks. We didn’t establish body position around them. They were bigger and stronger than we were, quite frankly, and all of a sudden in the third period, we found it. … That desperation has to be there earlier.”

  1. bensawesomeness - Feb 18, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    As a Wings fan – i really want to beat the Sharks

  2. polegojim - Feb 19, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Sharks have had the Wings number for the past few years – tip of the hat to them.

    I’m thinking that about to change…. Big.

    Let’s GO RED WINGS!

    • polegojim - Feb 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      And…. it’s 23, with another monkey off the back.

      Decent game, but men against boys in the 3rd period. Wings wanted this one bad.

      Great job RED WINGS!

  3. kiopta1 - Feb 19, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    Sharks are are great team when they are on but they haven’t been for a while now and they traded away some of the guys that used to kill the wings. I think that Achilles heel is about to go away. Go wings!

  4. AlohaMrHand - Feb 19, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    the Sharks haven’t looked like a Cup contender this season,part has been Niemis inconsistency and part has been injuries to the defense and part has been the inconsistency on offense.I’d like to think they can rise up and win today but they haven’t shown much so far on this road trip.

  5. jennybabij1119 - Feb 19, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    So far Detroit has been getting so many penalties so far. Now the review of the sharks goal??

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