Lang, Detroit lead league

DETROIT (AP) -- Robert Lang made an instant impact with his new


The veteran center had three assists in his Detroit debut,

leading the Red Wings to a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers

on Sunday night.

Lang, acquired Friday from Washington, moved past Tampa Bay's

Martin St. Louis into the lead in the NHL scoring race with 77


"I wanted to get off to a good start," Lang said. "I'm glad

it worked out."

His big night helped Detroit pass Eastern Conference leaders

Philadelphia and Ottawa for first place in the overall NHL

standings with 85 points.

"They can score the pretty goals, but they can muck it up

pretty well, too," Philadelphia goaltender Sean Burke said. "They

were pretty aggressive in front of the net."

Mathieu Schneider, Steve Yzerman, Kirk Maltby and Brendan Shanahan scored for the Red Wings, and Schneider added an assist.

Mark Recchi and Simon Gagne had the Flyers' goals.

Detroit led 3-2 after each team scored twice in the second


Recchi tied it at 1-all for Philadelphia 5:52 into the period.

Yzerman restored the Red Wings' lead at 8:45 after a pass from


"I think he started to feel more comfortable as the game went

on," Detroit coach Dave Lewis said.

Maltby made it 3-1 with a power-play goal with 5:41 remaining.

Gagne brought Philadelphia within 3-2 with 1:17 left in the


Shanahan's power-play goal, scored off a rebound of Lang's shot,

made it 4-2 with 8:04 remaining in the third period.

Burke talked about Lang's effect on Detroit.

"It's another dimension, another guy teams have to focus on,"

he said. "That creates more space for some of their other players.

The balance that team has is its strength. In the playoffs, that's

what wins it for you, being able to throw out four lines, and to

throw out the four lines that they have, they're a tough team to


Lang got his first point with his new team on his second shift.

He won a faceoff deep in the Philadelphia zone back to Schneider,

whose wrist shot from the high slot went in off the stick of Flyers

defenseman Chris Therien at 4:26.

"A great faceoff win," Schneider said. "He won it so hard, it

was all I could do to get a backhand on it."

Game notes

Red Wings D Nicklas Lidstrom played in his 1,000th NHL game. He has missed only 17 games in 13 seasons. ... Flyers D Danny Markov played in his 400th NHL game. ... Lang stretched his point streak to 14 straight games (6 goals, 13 assists). ... Flyers LW Donald Brashear returned after missing six games with a sprained left knee. ... Philadelphia LW Sami Kapanen returned after missing a game with the flu. ... Maltby hadn't had a power-play goal since Nov. 15, 2000. ... Detroit D Chris Chelios missed his second game with a bruised shoulder. ... Gagne, who is 24, celebrated just his sixth real birthday on his actual birthdate of Feb. 29.