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Kronwall’s lucky goal helps Red Wings beat Devils

DETROIT (AP) — Niklas Kronwall scored on a lucky bounce and the Detroit Red Wings beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 Friday night to snap a three-game winless streak.

Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith and Johan Franzen also scored for the Red Wings, who outshot the Devils 31-17. Jimmy Howard finished with 15 saves.

Steve Bernier and Jordin Tootoo scored for the Devils, who lost their third straight. Cory Schneider stopped 20 shots while giving up all four goals in the first two periods, and was replaced by Keith Kinkaid to start the third. Kinkaid stopped all seven shots he faced.

Kronwall’s long slap shot late in the second period flew past the net and ricocheted straight back off the boards. The puck hit the back of Schneider’s left leg and rolled into the net to give the Red Wings a 4-1 lead.

Even before the fortuitous bounce, the Red Wings were outshooting the Devils 23-10.

By winning the opener of a four-game homestand, Detroit ended an 0-2-1 string on its road trip against Buffalo, Ottawa and the New York Rangers. The Red Wings are now 5-1-1 at Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit scored on two of its four power-play opportunities while New Jersey, which ranks last in NHL on the penalty kill, was 0 for 3 in extra-man chances.

The Red Wings controlled play from the start and outshot the Devils 14-3 in the first period, but trailed 1-0 until Kindl and Smith scored 32 seconds apart late in the period.

Kindl’s power-play shot from just inside the blue line bounced off the stick of Devils defenseman Adam Larsson and over Schneider’s glove hand with 1:05 left to play in the first. The Red Wings controlled the ensuing faceoff and took the lead just 33 seconds later on Smith’s own long wrist shot, his first goal of the season.

In the second period, it took the Red Wings a matter of seconds to capitalize on their second power play of the evening. Immediately following a hooking penalty to the Devils’ Marek Zidlicky, Henrik Zetterberg won a faceoff in the left offensive circle and Kronwall passed to Franzen in the right circle, where he beat Schneider for a 3-1 lead with 8:19 left in the period.

Tootoo, playing in his first game since Oct. 21 because of a foot injury, gave the Devils hope for a comeback when he beat Howard less than 3 minutes into the third period for his first goal of the season, but the game remained scoreless the rest of the way.

The Devils took a 1-0 lead when Bernier scored his first goal of the season at 3:18 of the first period. His wrist shot from five feet was the Devils’ first shot-on-goal of the game and its only solid scoring opportunity of the period.

NOTES: The Red Wings played without C Pavel Datsyuk, who suffered a groin injury during a team skate earlier in the day. … New Jersey was without three of its top three forwards: Ryan Clowe (undisclosed injury), Mike Cammalleri (head) and Martin Havlat (lower body). … The Red Wings hosted military appreciation night on Friday. Fans were encouraged be donate items to be sent to Michigan military members stationed overseas and the Red Wings wore camouflage jerseys during pregame warmups that will be auctioned off with proceeds benefiting the Operation USO Care Package Program.

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