The Detroit Red Wings are good enough to beat teams at home even if they don’t get help from their opponents.
St. Louis took two costly penalties, retaliating for hard hits, and the Red Wings took advantage.
Pavel Datsyuk tied the score early in the second period on the power play, and Niklas Kronwall sealed the victory late in the third as Detroit beat the Blues, 3-1, last night for its 17th straight home win - the NHL’s longest single-season streak in 36 years.
“We have such a calm team,’’ said Jimmy Howard, who made 21 saves for his league-leading 30th win. “Nothing seems to rattle us.’’
The Red Wings’ spurt is the league’s fourth longest. Detroit (33-15-1) has won seven in a row overall and leads the NHL with 67 points.
“Winning never gets old,’’ Howard said.
Detroit is three home wins away from matching the league record of 20 straight, set by the Boston Bruins during the 1929-30 season, and matched by Philadelphia in 1976. The Bruins also won 19 consecutive in Boston during the 1970-71 season.
“We played good in stretches, but we crumbled when things got tight,’’ Blues forward Jamie Langenbrunner said. “We got those retaliatory penalties. That takes away our momentum and gets us out of our comfort zone.’’
Kings 4, Senators 1 - Kyle Clifford had a goal and an assist, Jonathan Quick made 27 saves, and host Los Angeles moved even with San Jose atop the Pacific Division after earning a point for the 16th time in 18 games. Trevor Lewis scored on a penalty shot and Jack Johnson scored during a two-man advantage for the Kings.
Maple Leafs 3, Islanders 0 - Matthew Lombardi scored two goals and Jonas Gustavsson made 25 saves as host Toronto beat New York in the first game of a home-and-home series. Phil Kessel also scored for Toronto (24-19-5), which moved into an eighth-place tie in the Eastern Conference with the idle Washington Capitals.
The Leafs stopped Islanders forward John Tavares’s 12-game point streak - the longest run in the NHL this season - and snapped a three-game winning streak for New York. Tavares had eight goals and 13 assists during his spurt.
Oilers 2, Sharks 1 - Taylor Hall scored the winning goal in a shootout and host Edmonton snapped a three-game skid with a win over Pacific Division-leading San Jose.
Hurricanes 2, Jets 1 - Jeff Skinner and Tim Brent scored first-period goals as Carolina won its third straight at home heading into the All-Star break. Cam Ward stopped 29 shots for his 18th win.
Predators 4, Blue Jackets 1 - Mike Fisher scored two goals and host Nashville posted its third straight victory and 11th in 13 games.