Wings aim to regroup at home

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard looks back as the puck goes in the net off the stick of...

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard looks back as the puck goes in the net off the stick of San Jose Sharks' Joe Pavelski during the third period in Game 1 of their NHL Western Conference semifinal hockey playoff in San Jose April 29, 2011. (REUTERS/Chad Ziemendorf)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:57 PM ET

DETROIT -- The Red Wings will find out if there is no place like home to get back on track in their Western semifinal.

After losing two to the San Jose Sharks at the HP Pavilion, the Wings returned home in the wee hours Monday, then took the day off with plans to return to work Tuesday.

If the Wings are in any state of panic, they aren’t showing it. They are hopeful the two losses to the Sharks are just a bump in the road.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock was pleased with the way his players responded Sunday in San Jose, a 2-1 loss. It wasn’t good enough to win, but it was a step in the right direction.

“The bottom line: I thought we came here to compete, I thought we skated better,” Babcock said before leaving San Jose. “We had more opportunities, we just weren’t good enough. They won more battles than we did.

“They held serve at home. We’ve got to lick our wounds on the flight home ... and get ready to win the next game at home.” The Wings were mystified as to why they managed only two goals in the first two games.

“It’s all about adjustments in the playoffs and I’m sure we’re going to make a few,” Wings defenceman Brad Stuart said. “They’re throwing the puck from anywhere. That’s what we want to do. That’s what we haven’t done enough of.

They throw it to the net and create traffic.” Detroit players said they have to show more discipline, particularly during the scrums that were taking place after the whistles Sunday.

“That stuff is senseless,” Stuart said. “It doesn’t serve any purpose for us. We’ll probably back away. It just kind of takes away from us. We’ve got to ignore that stuff.” There were questions about Detroit’s goaltending entering the series but Jimmy Howard has been terrific, allowing only four goals on 83 shots.

“He has to continue to play well for us,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We have to do a better job in front of him as well.”

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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