Reaching 1,100 regular-season victories, which he did in Saturday night's 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, wasn't one of them.
"I started the season with 1,096 wins, so I was pretty sure we would get four more," Bowman said.
Before the season, Bowman talked of coaching in five decades, which he will do in January, and moving ahead of Toe Blake with a ninth Stanley Cup. The ninth title would also tie him with longtime Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach for the most championships in North American major sports.
Only three other coaches have even coached 1,100 career NHL games.
With the loss, Philadelphia dropped to 0-5-1, the worst start in team history.
"Obviously, we're really struggling to get that first win," Philadelphia coach Roger Neilson said. "But tonight was encouraging. This was probably our best game of the year. We're starting to look like a decent hockey team again."
Detroit dominated the first period, outshooting Philadelphia 12-5 and taking a 1-0 lead on Draper's goal at 4:59. Darren McCarty's pass created a 2-on-1 with Flyers defenseman Chris Therien caught up ice. Sergei Fedorov waited for Eric Desjardins to commit, then slid the puck to Draper for the tap-in.
"Mac made a really nice play to Sergei and I just went to the net," Draper said. "Sergei made a great pass and I just had to bang it into the open net."
The Red Wings made it 2-0 at 1:50 of the second when Doug Brown scored his second goal of the season. Philadelphia goalie John Vanbiesbrouck stopped Fedorov's original shot but Brown lifted the rebound into the top of the net.
Philadelphia made it 2-1 with a bizarre shorthanded goal at 6:59 of the second. Mark Recchi picked up a loose puck in the corner and fired it toward the crease. The puck hit goalie Chris Osgood's skate, knocking him down. As he fell, Osgood knocked the puck into his net with his stick.
John LeClair pulled the Flyers back within one at 11:44, slapping a loose puck past Osgood. But the Flyers only managed one more shot the rest of the game.
"We're playing better but we just can't get over that hump," LeClair said. "We had some chances, but we didn't get the results we needed. We have to stay upbeat and tell oussalves we'll win our first game tomorrow."
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