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Red Wings top Flyers for record-tying 20th straight home win

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Associated Press
2/12/2012 10:56:16 PM
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DETROIT -- The Red Wings have finally started to embrace a record they've been chasing.

Detroit equalled an NHL mark with its 20th straight win at home, beating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 Sunday night thanks to Johan Franzen's tiebreaking goal early in the third period along with timely defence and saves.

"We haven't talked about this at all," coach Mike Babcock insisted. "We talked about it tonight because it happened."

The NHL-leading Red Wings have been more focused on trying to keep their edge in the highly competitive Central Division and Western Conference, not their streak on home ice.

"We don't want to talk about it," defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom said. "We just want to keep it going. Just go out there and play and win games. That's the approach we've had."

The league mark was set by the Boston Bruins during the 1929-30 season and matched by Philadelphia in 1976.

"We definitely wanted to keep them from tying the record," Flyers wing Scott Hartnell said. "We're all disappointed about that."

Detroit can break the record with a win Tuesday night over the Dallas Stars at Joe Louis Arena.

"It's not too often you get a chance to do that," Red Wings goalie Joey MacDonald said.

Philadelphia rookie Brayden Schenn had a career-high two goals, helping the Flyers take the first of two leads they couldn't keep against a team that hasn't lost at home since Nov. 3 against Calgary.

MacDonald overcame shaky clearing attempts that led to two goals and finished with 26 saves.

"What I liked was how he played after a mistake," Babcock said.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 21 shots for the Flyers.

Bobrovsky's head was on a swivel in the opening minute of the third period when Henrik Zetterberg and Lidstrom made diagonal passes to set up Franzen in front of the net for his league-leading 10th goal to win a game.

"There's not much you can do about it when they're zinging it around like that," Hartnell said. "They picked us apart a few times out there and that was the difference."

Lidstrom played in his 1,550th game, the most by an NHL player who spent his entire career with one team. He broke the mark set by former Red Wings great Alex Delvecchio.

"That's something special," Lidstrom said. "He came down on Friday and congratulated me and we took a picture together. That means a lot to me."

Fans stood and chanted, "Let's go Red Wings!" during the final minutes and cheered wildly when the clock hit zero.

"It felt like it was a little bit of a special game," Franzen said.

Early on, Philadelphia took advantage of facing MacDonald instead of Jimmy Howard, who missed his fifth straight game with a broken right index finger. The Red Wings are hoping Howard will return Friday night at home against Nashville.

MacDonald misplayed a puck behind the net to help Schenn score late in the first period and couldn't clear a rebound early in the second, setting up Schenn's second goal that put the Flyers ahead 2-1.

Pavel Datsyuk tied it 2-2 a few minutes later on a power-play goal from the left circle.

MacDonald didn't have much of a chance to stop Maxime Talbot's go-ahead goal late in the second period. Talbot got behind Detroit's defence and flipped the puck past MacDonald.

Zetterberg's one-timer a couple of minutes later tied the game at 3-3 entering the third.

Fired-up fans at Joe Louis Arena wanted to see a league mark matched and one of them hurled an octopus on the ice during the national anthem, an act usually reserved for a playoff game.

"That says it all about the atmosphere in here," Franzen said.

Niklas Kronwall kept them happy, putting Detroit ahead 1-0 midway through the first period with a one-timer from just inside the blue line on a power play. The puck got past Bobrovsky before he could see it because Todd Bertuzzi was obstructing his view, standing in front of the crease.

Schenn was in the perfect spot to score into an open net late in the first period when MacDonald didn't get much wood on a clearing attempt from behind the net, turning it over to Danny Briere, who quickly got the puck to Schenn in front of the net.

Schenn's second goal gave Philadelphia its first lead 5:22 into the second from the bottom of the left circle, beating Zetterberg to a loose puck that was poorly cleared by MacDonald off a rebound.

NOTES: Schenn, the fifth pick in the 2009 draft, was acquired by Philadelphia last summer from Los Angeles as part of the Mike Richards trade. ... Kronwall's goal was his 12th, topping his career high set last season. ... The Flyers have had four straight games without a power-play goal after scoring at least one in the previous six. ... The NBA's longest home winning streak in a season was set by Chicago with 37 straight victories during the 1995-96 season; the 1978 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1988 Boston Red Sox each won 24 straight at home for baseball's longest single-season home winning streaks since 1919 and the Miami Dolphins won 27 straight at home from 1971-74 in what has stood as the longest home winning streak in NFL history.

Henrik Zetterberg, Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronwall (Photo: Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
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