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Anatomy of a record: Detroit’s history-making home winning streak

Henrik Zetterberg

Detroit Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg (40), of Sweden,, center celebrates his goal with defenseman Brad Stuart (23), from left, defenseman Niklas Kronwall (55), of Sweden, Zetterberg, wing Jiri Hudler (26), of the Czech Republic, and center Valtteri Filppula (51), of Finland, against the Buffalo Sabres in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)


Tonight on NBC Sports Network (7:30pm ET), the Detroit Red Wings will host the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena.

It’s a fairly crucial game for the Wings in terms of Central Division jockeying -- they’re just one point up on the Blues for first place -- but also in terms of history. Detroit has won 16 straight home games and is now just four away from tying the NHL’s all-time mark of 20.

Let’s take a look at the past and future of the streak.

Looking Back

– The streak began with a 5-0 win over Anaheim on Nov. 5.

-- The last time Detroit lost at home, Jay-Z and Beyonce weren’t parents and Kim Jong-il was the supreme leader of North Korea.

-- The previous franchise best (14-game winning streak) was set 47 years ago by the famous Detroit team led by Gordie Howe, Norm Ullman, Alex Delvecchio and Roger Crozier.

-- It was broken last Monday.

– During the streak, the Wings have scored five goals or more eight times, including a 7-1 romp over Winnipeg, an 8-2 destruction of Los Angeles and a 5-0 whipping of Buffalo.

-- The 16-game winning streak is the fourth-longest in NHL history.

-- Only the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers (20 each), and the 1970-71 Bruins (19) had longer ones.

Top Performers

-- Jimmy Howard has been the goalie of record for all 16 wins.

-- Detroit has seven players in the NHL’s top 20 for home plus/minus: Nicklas Lidstrom (1st, +24), Ian White (3rd, +23), Valtteri Filppula (7th, +19), Johan Franzen (13th, +17), Brad Stuart (16th, +15), Drew Miller (18th, +13) and Jiri Hudler (20th, +13).

-- Detroit doesn’t have a minus player at home this year.

-- Pavel Datsyuk is second in the NHL for assists at home (21).

Looking ahead

-- Detroit hosts St. Louis tonight, then heads out on a five-game road trip to Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton and Phoenix. That’s followed by a six-game homestand at the Joe.

-- Should the Wings get by the Blues tonight, they’ll have to wait until Feb. 8 (vs. Edmonton) to try for another home win.

-- Assuming Detroit keeps winning at home, the projected date for the record-tying 20th victory is Sunday, Feb. 12 versus Philadelphia.

-- The potential record-breaking opportunity would come two nights later, Feb. 14, against Dallas.