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Red Wings' power play explodes in 8-3 thrashing of Canucks

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings got a boost from their power play and an offensive explosion.

Damien Brunner had two goals and two assists to lead Detroit to a 8-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings took the lead in the second period with three power-play goals. They came into the game ranked 26th with the extra man in the National Hockey League.

"It was nice to get a few goals tonight. I thought the power play worked pretty good," said defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who had a goal and two assists. "It hasn't really changed too much to be honest with you, we just stuck with our game plan."

Joakim Andersson scored twice, Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and two assists, Daniel Cleary contributed a goal and an assist, and Jordin Tootoo also scored for Detroit (9-7-3). Pavel Datsyuk and Jonathan Ericsson had two assists, and Jimmy Howard stopped 18 shots.

It was the Red Wings' second home win in two nights. They beat Nashville 4-0 on Saturday night at JLA to snap a five-game winless skid (0-3-2)

"It's hard work. Work ethic. I thought we did good in part of games that we lost," Brunner said. "Finally put 60 minutes together.''

Daniel Sedin scored twice and Chris Higgins added a goal for Vancouver (10-4-4). Henrik Sedin had two assists, and Roberto Luongo made 20 saves as he took his first regulation loss of the season.

"It's one of those games where it felt like the puck was finding its way in on almost every shot," Luongo said.

The Canucks actually led before Cleary tied it at 3, 2:57 into the second period, when he tipped one in during a goal-mouth scramble for his fourth goal of the season, his third in four games. Zetterberg's sixth goal of the year gave the Red Wings the lead with 4:50 left in the second when he beat Luongo with a one-timer from the slot on a give-and -go play with Datsyuk. Brunner calmly put in a rebound with 42 seconds remaining in the middle period.

"It was great to see the power play be rewarded," Red Wings' coach Mike Babcock said. "We have been snake bitten on the power play, it hasn't gone very well."

Brunner added his second of the game and Andersson scored both his goals in the third period.

The Canucks had only three shots in the second.

"Up 3-2 after the first period. After that it went sideways," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said.

Daniel Sedin's first goal of the game opened the scoring at 5:45. He put in a one-timer from the front of the net off a pass from brother Henrik.

Tootoo tied it with 8:52 left in the opening period when his shot from deep along the right wing boards went in off of Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard. It was Tootoo's second goal of the year. The Red Wings then went ahead just 1:29 later when Kronwall's slap shot from just inside the blue line went in off the stick of Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis for Kronwall's third goal of the season and second in two nights.

Daniel Sedin's second goal of the game, with 3:42 left in the first, tied the game at 2. He again teamed with brother Henrik, who sent the puck caroming off the boards in the left corner of the Detroit zone to Daniel, who was cutting in off left wing. Daniel Sedin picked up the puck and beat Howard for his seventh goal of the season.

Higgins capitalized on Justin Abdelkader's turnover in his own zone to give the Canucks the lead with 1:34 left in the first period. Higgins put in a backhand shot on a wrap-around for his fourth goal of the year.

NOTES: Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson wasn't available because of a sore groin. Thomas McCollum was called up from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League to back up Howard. ... Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa didn't play because of a groin injury, and Canucks left wing David Booth missed the game because of an illness. ... Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey missed his second game due to a sore left ankle. . ... Vancouver center Ryan Kesler is from the Detroit suburb of Livonia. ... Vancouver right wing Zack Kassian is from the Windsor, Ontario suburb LaSalle. Windsor is across the Detroit River from Detroit. ... Kronwall had two goals and four assists for six points in the two weekend games.
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