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January 30, 2004 - Red Wings regroup vs. Devils
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Friday, January 30, 2004

Wings 5, Devils 2

Red Wings regroup vs. Devils

Special teams take leading role after sputtering on road

David Guralnick / The Detroit News

Curtis Joseph makes a blocker save, one of his 31 stops against the Devils.

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DETROIT This should help the Red Wings overcome whatever has ailed them lately.

A sturdy 5-2 victory over defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey on Thursday night was their welcome home after a five-game trip on which they won once (1-2-2).

Its something we needed to do, said center Kris Draper, who scored his 20th goal. The road trip was unsuccessful in our minds.

The special teams, which struggled on the road, were fabulous against the Devils. The Wings were 2-for-2 on the power play (they were 2-for-19 during the trip) and killed off all seven Devils power plays (including Drapers shorthanded empty-net goal).

The difference in the game was the special teams, Coach Dave Lewis said. On the road trip, thats what hurt us.

Mathieu Schneider and Tomas Holmstrom had power-play goals. Draper, Jamie Rivers, and Brett Hull also scored.

Erik Rasmussen and Turner Stevenson scored for the Devils.

We had our chances (on the power play), but we didnt get it done, Devils Coach Pat Burns said.

Curtis Joseph stopped 31 shots and outdueled the Devils Martin Brodeur (15 saves). Joseph was impressive early in the first period, when the Wings killed off consecutive power plays, including a 40-second two-man advantage.

The guys did a good job of letting me see the shots, Joseph said. Obviously, you hope (the penalty-kill) can change momentum.

Steve Yzerman drew an assist on Holmstroms goal, moving him into sixth place on the NHL points list with 1,702. Mario Lemieux has 1,701.