Detroit Red Wings center Darren Helm celebrates his goal on New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio
December 31, 2014

DETROIT (AP) Darren Helm and the Detroit Red Wings gave hometown fans an early reason to celebrate the approaching New Year.

Helm scored two goals, and Detroit held off the New Jersey Devils 3-1 on Wednesday night.

Helm's unassisted tally with 4:25 left gave the Red Wings a two-goal cushion. Henrik Zetterberg had scored the go-ahead goal 1:24 earlier for Detroit, which got 12 saves from Jimmy Howard.

Cory Schneider made 25 saves for the Devils, whose lone goal was scored by Joe Whitney. He gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead with 4:23 remaining in the second period.

The victory helped the Red Wings shake memories of Monday's 5-2 loss in Boston.

''He was good,'' coach Mike Babcock said of Helm. ''I didn't think his line was any good at all in Boston.

''It was great to see they bounced back and were that solid. All of them had a good night.''

Howard faced 44 shots in Monday's loss but he had a much easier time two days later after Detroit outshot the Devils 11-1 in the third period.

The 13 shots were the fewest Detroit has allowed this season.

''We didn't give them much room,'' forward Gustav Nyquist said. ''I thought we tracked them hard. They didn't spend much time in our zone.''

The Devils saw it differently.

''We gave ourselves a chance going into the third, and some mental lapses cost us,'' Whitney said.

Whitney began the scoring off a takeaway. His shot went in over Howard's left shoulder. Helm tied it 2:19 later with a wraparound goal.

Zetterberg scored the game-winner by redirecting Niklas Kronwall's slap shot past Schneider.

Devils forward Steve Bernier was helped off the ice late in the game after being checked at center ice by Brendan Smith. New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello, who is also serving as a coach, said Bernier will undergo X-rays. He added that he feared the injury could be serious.

A New Year's Eve game had been a Detroit tradition, but the Red Wings hosted one for the first time since 2011. They couldn't do it last year because they hosted Toronto in the outdoor Winter Classic the following day.

NOTES: The Devils were without several regulars, including forwards Ryane Clowe (concussion), Jacob Josefson (illness), Martin Havlat (flu) and Stephen Gionta (hand), and defensemen Bryce Salvador (lower body) and Damon Severson (ankle). ... Red Wings defenseman Jakub Kindl missed his second straight game because of a sprained elbow. ... Detroit played 10 of its 14 December games at home but will host only six times in January and February.

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)