Wings’ shootout woes persist in loss to Lightning
DETROIT — Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is not a big fan of the shootout, and for good reason.
The Wings don’t do so well in them.
After Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar and Darren Helm all failed to score in the shootout and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Ryan Callahan did score, the Lightning earned the extra point in the 4-3 victory.
"I don’t know," Helm said. "It just seems like we haven’t found a way to win those shootouts. We got lots of talent, lots of skilled guys that can put pucks in the net but just haven’t found a way to win any."
The Wings are now 0-3 in shootouts this season and have just one goal — by Nyquist — in eight attempts.
By contrast, they’ve given up five goals on seven attempts.
Last season, the Wings were 5-9 in shootouts, scoring 11 goals on 51 attempts while giving up 14 on 48 shots.
"We haven’t been good enough," Nyquist said. "Can’t seem to find a way to score and then you don’t win some shootouts. It’s tough. You want to get that extra point when it comes down to it but we haven’t been able to do that this year."
Since the league started having shootouts in the 2005-06 season, the Wings are just 43-53.
"Obviously, that’s something I don’t spend a whole lot of time on, that’s why I got this great video guy named Andrew Brewer," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "He does all that work and he comes out and tells me who to shoot. Right now it isn’t working as good as want, but I think we should have just shot it in the net in overtime when we had all those good chances, so I’m going to spend no time worrying about it."
Perhaps Holland should fight to get an extra overtime period of 3-on-3 rather than keeping the shootout.
The Lightning (11-3-1) extended their winning streak to six games and lead the Atlantic Division with 23 points.
Despite the shootout struggles, the Wings (7-3-5) did have some good things happen.
For the third straight game, they scored two power-play goals.
It’s the first time since Feb. 15-20, 2009, that they’ve had two or more power-play goals in three consecutive games.
During that run, the Wings went 9-for-17 on the power-play, including scoring on five of six chances in a 6-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Feb. 18.
"We’re getting the puck back, moving the puck quicker and really attacking when we get it, even off the rush now," Nyquist said. "Helmer scored off rush today on a power play breakout and that’s great to see so I think just the biggest thing is we’re attacking more and getting the puck back and getting those second and third opportunities."
The Lightning snapped the Wings’ home penalty-kill perfection, but they needed a two-man advantage and Steven Stamkos to do so.
Former Wing Valtteri Filppula assisted on Stamkos’ power-play goal. He was happy to see his former teammates and even happier to beat them.
"I think they’re playing really well," Filppula said. "It was really tough today, it could have went either way. They skate well, it’s tough. There’s not a lot of room. Fun to play against, especially when you get a win. That makes it special."
The Wings started the season killing off 23 straight power-plays at home.
"Our penalty killing was outstanding," Babcock said. "Those guys blocked a lot of shots. We weren’t as smooth from the back end as we normally are."
The Wings also battled back from a 3-1 deficit to earn a point.
"I think we played an OK game," Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "It was a lot of special teams, lot of PK, lot of power play. Tough for some of our guys to get momentum. Obviously, it was nice of us to come back in the third there when Gus got that goal to tie it up. I think we created a lot of chances in overtime. Once again, penalty shots, you know, that didn’t go our way."