DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings had their most productive night of the season, feasting on their power play and the Flyers.
After twice letting two-goal leads slip away, the Wings bore down in the third period to finish off Philadelphia, 5-2, at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, waking up after a slow week.
"You've got to earn the right to feel good about yourself and feel confident," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I think we can still play way better, but it was a good step for our team."
The Wings had lost two straight, widely described themselves as "embarrassed" after a sloppy game at home two nights earlier, and had shuffled every line in hopes of generating more oomph. They showed far better urgency and were harder on the puck, and although there were some dicey moments, the good ones lasted longer.
"We weren't happy with the way we played in the last game," captain Henrik Zetterberg said after a two-goal night. "We wanted to come out and play a better game, and we did. We worked harder. We did better, structure-wise."
The Wings got power-play goals by Todd Bertuzzi, Niklas Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk and three power-play assists by Daniel Alfredsson.
Bertuzzi's performance matched his size: Big. He scored, he screened, he was, as Babcock put it, "steady."
Teammates were more effusive. "We're going to need him to use his big body," Jimmy Howard said, "especially playing in the East, there are a lot of big boys."
Zetterberg, who was a line mate with Bertuzzi, said, "On Pav's backhand, and my goal, the goalie didn't see it because Bert was in front. That's good to see."
The Wings needed the win for many reasons, not the least of which is a Monday matinee in Boston, where a week ago they got shown up by the Bruins.
The Flyers aren't in that stratosphere--they've won once in six tries, had played Friday and had just lost key players in Vincent Lecavalier and Scott Hartnell, but they gave the Wings fits at times, and forced 32 saves from Howard.
The power play had gone 0-for-10 through four games before catching fire.
"I thought we entered the zone pretty good, we moved the puck around quite a bit and the most important thing, we shot the puck and we had traffic around the net," Bertuzzi said. "That was key."
An early penalty waylaid the offense for a stretch, but the Wings righted things on their first power play. Alfredsson sent the puck behind the net, where Bertuzzi picked it up and quickly wrapped it around the right goalpost. They injected just the shot the Wings needed.
"That loosened the guys up," Babcock said.
The Wings slowed a bit in the second, allowing the Flyers far too much access to Howard. Kronwall made it 2-0 midway through, but Erik Gustafsson halved that within a minute. Datsyuk restored a two-goal lead minutes into the third period. Kronwall took a pass from Alfredsson and fired the puck down the middle, where Datsyuk picked it up, smiled, and delivered a backhand that thwarted Ray Emery.
Holding onto that cushier lead didn't go much better than the first time--two minutes later, a rush into Detroit's zone undid that breathing room. Howard denied Claude Giroux's slap shot, but couldn't stop Tye McGinn's backhand.
Zetterberg came through with two goals the last six minutes, giving the Wings just a little swagger heading into Boston.
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