Andreas Athanasiou, Jimmy Howard lead Detroit Red Wings to 3-2 win over Ottawa Senators
By PAUL HARRIS
DETROIT — Andreas Athanasiou got the Detroit Red Wings’ offense going, and Jimmy Howard backed it up.
Athanasiou scored twice, including a penalty shot, and Jimmy Howard made 40 saves in his 500th game to lead the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
Frans Nielsen scored to break a 2-2 tie late in the second period.
“(Athanasiou) doing what he does best in the first period, Frans burying one in the second, that’s all we needed tonight,” Howard said. “It was nice.”
Howard joined Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk and Chris Osgood as the only goalies to play 500 games with the Red Wings.
“I think one of the biggest things is he’s never satisfied. He’s always looking to get even better,” Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall said about the 34-year-old Howard. “I don’t know if I’ve seen him play better than he has this season to be honest with you. It’s pretty impressive.”
Brady Tkachuk and Matt Duchene scored for Ottawa, and Anders Nilsson stopped 26 shots.
“We gave Athanasiou two breaks. So we know you’ve got to two-man that guy. You can’t expect on your own to be able to catch up to him,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said.
Nielsen got the winner with 3:00 left in the second period. He got his ninth goal, from the bottom of the left circle, by converting a pass from Darren Helm after a turnover by Senators defenseman Dylan DeMelo.
Duchene had tied it at 2 with 6:21 left in the second. He skated around Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson and beat Howard for his 26th goal.
The Red Wings led 2-1 after the first period.