The Detroit Red Wings cruise to the All-Star break flaunting a 20-point January

The Detroit Red Wings are feeling good heading into the All-Star break, and help is on the way.
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The Detroit Red Wings finished a widely productive month of January with a stinker against the Ottawa Senators, who seemingly owned them over the past few seasons. Detroit came out flat-footed, simply put. Heading into the contest, the Red Wings had been 9-2-1 in the month of January, which followed an awful and embarrassing 5-9-1 December. I can't say that no one expected this resurgence because veteran forward and alternate captain David Perron predicted it.

Head coach Derek Lalonde recently mentioned that he likes to keep the locker room banter private but couldn't help but tell a fun story that occurred in early January. Lalonde said that following an uninspiring victory over the San Jose Sharks on January 2nd, as he was walking into the room to address the team, Perron was yelling that they were going to get 18 points before the All-Star break. Lalonde said he snickered and thought to himself, has he (Perron) seen or realized how poorly Detroit has been playing? And despite a tough 3-2 loss on Wednesday night to Ottawa, here is Detroit with 20 points obtained since that day heading into the break.

Detroit's captain also spoke about how important January has been for the Detroit Red Wings. "It’s been a huge month," Dylan Larkin said. "We’ve been playing to an identity, and we’ve won games where we’ve shut the other teams down; we’ve won games in many different ways. It feels really good, and we have a good thing going in our room. We have one more game before the break, and it’s a big one."

The Detroit Red Wings fell short in overtime against the Senators.

Again, it's not how we hoped the Detroit Red Wings would enter the All-Star break, considering how well things have gone in January. Daniel Sprong got the Red Wings on the board first with a gorgeous one-timer from Joe Veleno.

Mark Kastelic and Brady Tkachuk scored the next two in the second period before Dylan Larkin leveled things at two midway through the third period. Kastelic's goal was a beautiful tip from a point shot, leaving Lyon helpless. Tkachuk's tally was a breakaway goal as the puck found him right as he exited the penalty box and whistled a shot past Lyon's left ear. Seider, unfortunately, fell down at the Senator's blue line as the puck found Tkachuk. Also, Veleno was caught trying to be a bit too cute in the offensive zone as Detroit's power play expired. Larkin's goal would be his 23rd of the season. That marker also extended his current point streak to 12 games. Shane Pinto won it in overtime for the Sens with a nice redirect past Lyon on a crafty lead pass from defenseman Thomas Chabot. The Red Wings didn't possess the puck in overtime; Ottawa had it for just over two minutes before scoring the game-winner.

The Detroit Red Wings enter the nine-day break in the second wild card position, just one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Detroit's 20-point month is their best since January 2012, when they also achieved 20 points.

Help is on the way for the Detroit Red Wings. Goaltender Ville Husso is expected to become a factor throughout the second half of the season after returning from a leg injury. Husso is a significant upgrade to James Reimer and will serve as the primary backup to Alex Lyon moving forward. Detroit will also get Patrick Kane back on February 10th when the Red Wings return to the ice to host the Vancouver Canucks.