Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 2/15/12

The Detroit Red Wings made NHL history Tuesday night, breaking the record for consecutive home wins by getting their 21st home win in a row. The record had previously been held by both the 1929-1930 Boston Bruins and the 1975-1976 Philadelphia Flyers. During the streak, the Red Wings outscored their visitors 84-31.

With just a few minutes left in what would be a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars, fans in Detroit's Joe Louis Arena chanted "Twenty-one! Twenty-one!" and the players on the ice heard it. "To have the fans cheering for is like they did today was special. Something to remember, that's for sure," said Henrik Zetterberg, who scored the first goal of the game.

After the final buzzer, the Red Wings skated to center ice and raised their sticks in salute to the enthusiastic home crowd. "I think everyone was thinking about going to center ice because the fans are a huge part of this and they're really helping us play good at home," Zetterberg said. "It's fun to break the record and they are definitely a part of it."

The Red Wings players said that the 20,000-plus fans that pack Joe Louis Arena every game have been a big part of the home winning streak, but coach Mike Babcock says the key has been the team's consistency. "We're proud of the fact that our guys have been this consistent, and we've found ways to win each and every night," Babcock said.

Another key component to the streak has been the Red Wings' goaltending. Jimmy Howard started off the team's home winning streak with 17 straight wins, but Joey MacDonald was the winning goaltender for the Red Wings' landmark game. MacDonald was called up from Grand Rapids after Howard broke a finger on Feb. 2, and MacDonald started the team's last four home games.

The groundbreaking win was very close to being an even more special night for MacDonald. Dallas scored their only goal, an Adam Burish tip-in, with just 32.8 seconds left in the third period to spoil MacDonald's shutout bid.

"It would've been nice to get (the shutout), I haven't had one since last year, but at this point in time, it's a win," MacDonald said. "Especially a night like tonight, breaking a record like that, it didn't really matter." But MacDonald did get a consolation prize in the absence of a shutout -- he earned the third star of the game with 20 saves.

With the win, the Red Wings remain on the top of the league standings, but the team isn't getting distracted by their new record. "It's something special for the team, but we are still in the middle of the season," Nicklas Lidstrom said. "We still are very focused."

"We are thrilled that this has happened for our team. I am proud of the guys. They worked hard," added coach Mike Babcock. "Now it's time to move on with it."

Photo credit: Getty Images
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