Franzen nets five in win over Ottawa
There is something about Ottawa that brings out the best in Johan Franzen.
Franzen was a one-man show Wednesday night, scoring five goals to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 7-5 victory over the slumping Ottawa Senators.
''I've only been in here twice, I think, but I scored two goals the last time I was here,'' he said. ''I like this building.''
Franzen is the first NHL player to score five goals in a game since Minnesota's Marian Gaborik did it on Dec. 20, 2007. Franzen is the first player to score five times against the Senators.
''Guys were setting me up all night,'' Franzen said of linemates Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi. ''Hank and Bert didn't want to shoot it themselves, they were just trying to set me up.''
Kris Draper and Niklas Kronwall also scored, and Jimmy Howard made 29 saves for the Red Wings. It was Detroit's first visit to Ottawa since October 2008.
Milan Michalek scored twice for Ottawa, and Peter Regin had a goal and two assists. Chris Campoli and Alex Kovalev also scored for the Senators.
The Senators (17-27-8) have lost 14 of 15 and haven't won a home game since beating Pittsburgh on Dec. 26. Ottawa's 0-6-2 home skid is the team's longest since going 0-7-1 from Jan. 31-March 2, 1996.
''It really is tough,'' Campoli said. ''For the most part we've struggled to score goals this year, and when you get five more often than not you're going to win the game. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way.''
Robin Lehner was pulled midway through the second period after allowing four goals on 19 shots in his first home start. Brian Elliott allowed two goals on 19 shots in relief.
The Senators took a 1-0 lead on Kovalev's power-play goal, but Franzen scored twice in 48 seconds to put Detroit ahead.
Ottawa retook the lead when Regin and Campoli both scored their second goals of the season.
''It's really frustrating,'' Regin said of the loss. ''It's been a tough stretch for me, so it was good to finally get on the board. But at the same time we didn't win so it doesn't mean that much.''
After a slow start to the second period the Red Wings scored twice in a span of 13 seconds to go back in front. Lehner made two great saves, but couldn't stop Draper on the third attempt as he beat the rookie over the shoulder.
On the ensuing play, the Red Wings took control and continued to pressure Ottawa deep in its end before Nicklas Lidstrom found Kronwall at the blue line. Kronwall drilled a shot through traffic and beat Lehner through the legs.
That marked the end of Lehner's night. The home fans didn't appreciate the goaltending change as Elliott, who has lost his last 11 starts, was soundly booed.
''Those things are going to happen,'' Lehner said. ''Our guys have been waiting for a game like this where our guys step up and score like they did, and it's a big disappointment for me to not be the guy to make sure they get that win.''
Franzen completed his hat trick with a power-play goal 30 seconds into the third, beating the Elliott to the short side.
The Senators tied it 5-5 just 29 seconds later when Michalek scored his second of the night.
Back-to-back penalties gave the Red Wings a two-man advantage for 68 seconds, and they made the most of it as Franzen scored his fourth of the game to make it 6-5.
The Senators appeared to tie it again with just under eight minutes remaining, but the goal was disallowed on the ice. The call was then confirmed by video review.
Franzen capped the scoring with an empty-net goal.
Notes: Ottawa D Matt Carkner was a healthy scratch. LW Jarkko Ruutu was back in the lineup after missing the last three games. The Senators were without G Pascal Leclaire (lower body) and C Jason Spezza (shoulder). ... Detroit was without C Pavel Datsyuk (hand), C Mike Modano (wrist), LW Thomas Holmstrom (hand), G Chris Osgood (groin), and D Brad Stuart (jaw).