Detroit Red Wings snap 12-game losing streak with 5-2 win over Winnipeg
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — Robby Fabbri backhanded a pass toward the slot, and it bounced into the net off the leg of an opposing defenseman.
The following period, Fabbri took a shot from the right circle that was saved by the goalie — before bouncing in, pinball style, off the same unlucky defenseman.
After 12 games without a win, everything was finally breaking right for the Detroit Red Wings.
Fabbri scored twice on the fortuitous caroms, and the Wings snapped a 12-game winless streak with a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night. Both of Fabbri’s goals went in off the body of Jets defenseman Neal Pionk.
“Those are some early Christmas gifts there,” Fabbri said. “That’s what it takes to win. It’s not always going to be pretty.”
The Red Wings will take a victory in any fashion after they’d gone 0-10-2 in their previous 12 games and had dropped 10 in a row in regulation. Darren Helm, Filip Zadina and Filip Hronek also scored for Detroit.
Kyle Connor scored twice for the Jets.
Helm opened the scoring on a breakaway after a messy sequence of blunders by Winnipeg defenseman Nathan Beaulieu. First, Beaulieu let the puck get past him at the Detroit blue line. Then, after chasing it down in the neutral zone, he let the puck slip away from his control — right into the path of Helm.
While trying to recover, Beaulieu skated right into linesman Greg Devorski, and at that point, Helm was gone. He beat goalie Connor Hellebuyck with a wrist shot to make it 1-0.
“It bounced over my stick, and I fumbled it again, and then I ran into the linesman,” Beaulieu said. “It’s probably my fault. I’ll take that — I’ll take ownership for that.”
Detroit scored on the power play later in the first period when Fabbri’s backhanded pass attempt bounced off Pionk’s right leg and past Hellebuyck.
The goals were fluky, but the Red Wings fully deserved the lead after outshooting Winnipeg 14-5 in the first. The bounces kept going Detroit’s way in the second.
Fabbri took a shot from the right circle that Hellebuyck saved, only to have the rebound carom in again off Pionk, who was set up in front of the net. That made it 3-0.
Connor redirected Beaulieu’s shot from the blue line for Winnipeg’s first goal, and he added another in the second period, beating goalie Jonathan Bernier from the slot to make it 3-2.