Red Wings-Devils Preview
Cruising toward a fifth straight victory and playing without
team scoring leaders Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, the
Detroit Red Wings turned in a disturbing third period that left
them questioning themselves.
They’ll try to make the loss into an aberration when they visit
the struggling New Jersey Devils on Friday night.
Detroit (14-8-7) led 3-1 midway through the second period and
3-2 after 40 minutes Wednesday against Philadelphia, but
surrendered four goals – two on the power play – in the third en
route to a 6-3 loss.
The Red Wings have killed off 84.5 percent of opponents’ power
plays on the season and had denied all 10 over the previous four
games, but allowed the Flyers to go 3 for 3. Detroit had given up
four total goals during its four-game win streak.
The Wings were 1 for 7 on the power play and have gone 1 for 10
in the last three contests.
“Yeah, on the power play we have to simplify and get shots on
net,” forward Justin Abdelkader told the team’s official website.
“If we’re not going to score just gain some momentum for us. And
our (penalty killing) has to be better than three goals there.
” … Especially with the guys we have out now our specialty
teams have to be really good and we have to protect those 3-1
Datsyuk (12 goals, 11 assists) missed his fifth game with a
concussion and Zetterberg (11, 19) sat out his first because of a
herniated disc in his back. Zetterberg is expected to miss at least
In their absence, Tomas Tatar scored twice and Johan Franzen
added a goal. The absence of the two versatile star forwards may
have shown up in the final 20 minutes, however, as the Wings
weren’t able to match the Flyers’ level of play.
“We stopped playing and we stopped skating,” Tatar told the
team’s official website after also losing three teeth to a Nicklas
Grossman high stick during the second period.
The Wings will look to rebound at New Jersey, where they’re
2-0-1 in the past three but haven’t visited in three years. Detroit
was 6-0-1 in the previous seven overall matchups before falling 2-1
to the Devils at home in the most recent meeting April 5, 2012.
The Wings have won three in a row on the road and are 6-1-1 in
the past seven to give them a 9-3-1 mark away from Joe Louis
New Jersey (11-12-6) has hardly been dominant at home, losing
three of four and going 5-4-3 on the season. The Devils fell 4-3 in
a shootout to visiting Montreal on Wednesday for their second
straight loss overall and fifth in seven games.
New Jersey allowed the tying goal with 37 seconds left in
regulation in falling to 0-5 in shootouts. It had missed 20
straight chances in the tiebreaker before Reid Boucher scored.
”I just heard a couple minutes ago (that his shootout goal
snapped a drought),” Boucher said. ”We had the lead and it was
unfortunate they scored that goal at the end.”
Michael Ryder had a goal and an assist for the Devils and has
scored in two straight contests. He has a pair of two-goal games
against Detroit, the most recent coming Jan. 22 in a 2-1 victory
for Dallas at Joe Louis Arena.
Franzen has three goals and five assists during a five-game
point streak, while Daniel Alfredsson has recorded four goals and
five assists in his past six.