It may have taken an extended shootout and it may have come against the worst team in the NHL, but the Detroit Red Wings escaped with a 3-2 shootout victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets for their 16th straight win at Joe Louis Arena. The win extends the new franchise mark—a record that had previously stood for 47 years. Who knew it would take a Valterri Filppula goal in the fourth round of shootout to earn the victory?
Detroit’s head coach Mike Babcock displayed a little clairvoyance when he warned that the game against the Blue Jackets had all the makings of a trap game. The Red Wings had to come back in the second period to tie the game; then they were forced to hold on at the end of regulation while they killed a five-minute major handed down to Henrik Zetterberg for boarding. Still, even without their best effort, they were still able to avoid the upset.
“We haven’t been as efficient as we’d like to be,” Babcock told Ansar Khan at mlive.com, “but we’ve found a way to grind out points.” They’ve been able to grind out enough points to surge to the top of the league with 65 points.
The Red Wings will have an opportunity to extend their record home winning streak when they face off with the red-hot St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. They’ll need a far better effort if they want to the streak to reach 17 games though.
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.