Red Wings' run bolstered by shootout

If American author Stephen King is looking for a setting in his next horror novel, he should base it on Joe Louis Arena.

That's because no other venue in the NHL is currently as ominous.

The Detroit Red Wings have won 20 straight home games, tying the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers for the league mark -- and have the opportunity to break the record against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

"Obviously, it's incredible to win that many in a row at home," said Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock. "It's unbelievable that you could actually do that. We don't really look at it like that. We look at it like you won one, so that's the approach we've taken. That's what we'll try to do again on Tuesday."

While Detroit's run of success on home ice is quite impressive, the club has benefited from a format in today's game that wasn't present during either of the streaks for Boston or Philadelphia: the polarizing shootout.

Three of the Red Wings' wins have come beyond overtime -- the idea of an individualistic concept determining the outcome of a team sport irks me, but that's a diatribe for another day.

If the same pre-lockout standards applied, Detroit's streak would've been snapped at 12, with the hosts and Phoenix Coyotes playing to a 2-2 tie (remember them?) on January 12. The Red Wings wound up prevailing in the shootout and did so nine days later and again last Friday to maintain their pursuit of history.

Regardless, a winning streak or undefeated streak, the fact the Red Wings haven't lost at home in three-plus months is, as forward Henrik Zetterberg put it, "pretty cool."