Lack of shots plague Wings against Canadiens

BY foxsports • November 16, 2014

DETROIT -- There's a reason that fans like to yell, "Shoot the puck!"

Good things generally happen when you do.

In the last two games, the Red Wings have seen the value of getting shots on net.

In Friday night's 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Wings had 37 shots on goal, 20 in the second period alone.

In Sunday night's 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, a team that played the night before and had backup goaltender Dustin Tokarski in net, the Wings had 29.

That total is misleading because through two periods, the Wings managed 10 shots and just three in the second period, which included three power-play opportunities.

"All you go to do is look at the shots on net," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We knew we were going to have to shoot to break them down but we didn't execute and we paid the price for it. The team that was supposed to win as far as effort and execution did and the team that didn't get that done lost."

The Wings finally did break through for a power-play goal in the third period when Riley Sheahan backhanded a rebound past Tokarski at 4:06.

"You just have to keep shooting, get pucks to the net," Justin Abdelkader said. "That's what they were doing, and they were successful. We have to do the same, just get pucks to the net. We had some opportunity there, but just shoot and create scrums and second opportunities."

Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said both teams played tight defense in front of their goaltenders.

"But saying that, we didn't do a good enough job to get the pucks through," Zetterberg said. "You have to try to shoot a little more. In the second there we tried a little bit too much instead of throwing pucks at the net, we tried to find one more pass but it didn't work."

The Wings also managed to miss a lot of shots -- on breakaways shots went wide or over the net.

The scoresheet said the Wings had 14 missed shots, but it felt like more.

"You have to give them credit, they did a good job of clogging up the middle, but I think that's one of the things we wanted to do and we didn't do a good job of it at all," Sheahan said. "So it's pretty disappointing."

On the other side, the Canadiens were rewarded handsomely for just throwing the puck at the net.

On the goal that put them up 2-0, defenseman P.K. Subban shot from the high slot and the puck ricocheted off the upper thigh of Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey and deflected into the net past Jimmy Howard.

On their fourth goal, Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher was actually down on one knee behind the Detroit net and he just shot the puck towards the net.

The puck banked off of Howard and into the net.

"Seems like in today's game just throw the puck at the net and hopefully get some bounces and try to bang them in," defenseman Danny DeKeyser said. "That's what they did (Sunday night), got a couple good bounces."

The Wings will now have to make those improvements on the road as they head out to play their next three away from Joe Louis Arena.

"As positive as we were when we left the building the other night, we feel the other way here (Sunday night)," Babcock said. "You don't mind losing when you're as good as you could be but I didn't think we were at all (Sunday night). I didn't think we were near good enough. We didn't have enough hands on deck."

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