NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Detroit
(Friday, March 26th)
Final Score: Detroit 6, Minnesota 2
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Johan Franzen notched a career-high with four points on two goals and two assists, as Detroit ripped Minnesota, 6-2, at Joe Louis Arena.
"Everything was bouncing my way tonight, and our way. It happens," Franzen said of the victory.
Jonathan Ericsson, Tomas Holmstrom, and Pavel Datsyuk all added a goal and a helper for the Red Wings, who pulled into a tie for seventh-place in the Western Conference with idle Colorado as both teams have 89 points.
Jimmy Howard picked up the win by making 25 stops.
Andrew Brunette and Owen Nolan tallied for the Wild, who have dropped four of six and couldn't maintain momentum after a surprise overtime win in Philadelphia on Thursday.
Starter Josh Harding yielded four goals on 32 shots through two periods in defeat. Niklas Backstrom finished the game with eight saves on 10 shots.
Nolan tallied a little more than two minutes into the third to get Minnesota within 4-2, but Franzen and Drew Miller tallied less than two minutes apart before the midway point of the third to make it a four-goal spread and lock up the victory.
"There were a lot of teams close to them for a while, but they've definitely stepped up their game to make sure they'll make it into the playoffs," Minnesota defenseman Greg Zanon said of the Wings.
Following a scoreless first period, Detroit was able to jump in front at 1:19 of the second. Franzen took a lead pass from Jason Williams, then faked Harding and slid a long shot home from a sharp angle.
Holmstrom's tip of a Nicklas Lidstrom shot made it 2-0 at 4:32, then Ericsson's short-handed tip-in of Lidstrom's point drive put the Wings up by three at 10:03.
Datsyuk upped the lead to four just 80 seconds later when his floater from the boards hit Zanon in the crease and caromed in.
"Sometimes it doesn't go in but we've been getting some bounces," Holmstrom said. "It's good that we get scoring from all of the guys. It was our night tonight."
Brunette's poke of a loose puck in the crease put the Wild on the board with a power play at 16:07.
"We just unraveled in the second period," noted Minnesota head coach Todd Richards.
Detroit won three of four in the season series, and has taken 15 of 20 matchups with Minnesota since 2005...Franzen's previous career high for a regular-season game was three points, last achieved with a score and two assists on March 20, 2009 at Atlanta.
03/27 00:12:07 ET