Despite spectacular saves from goaltender Jimmy Howard, Elias Lindholm and the Carolina Hurricanes were too much for Detroit’s young defense.
The game started in chaotic fashion with the Canes going on an early power-play, with Elias Lindholm hitting the net just ten seconds in. To make matters worse, Danny Dekeyser was called for slashing on the goal, keeping the penalty kill unit on the ice. During the 2-minute span, Howard made a couple of incredible saves with one I literally tweeted out as “one of the best I’ve ever seen”. Things started looking up for the Wings, with Tatar firing a one-timer from the right face-off circle to tie things up at one. The second period was full of back and forth opportunities all stifled by terrific goaltending, Cam Ward going on to stop every shot after Tatar’s goal.
The third period was a telling tale of the Red Wings: hesitant and inexperienced. The Wings strung together a couple of good looks in front of the net, but tended to opt for a centering pass that was never, if at all there. Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill after the game addressed the lack of shot attempts saying, “there were a couple of times, we passed up shots that were point blank. We better figure that part of it out. We gotta keep showing them clips of opportunities they had to shoot where they didn’t.” Lindholm would not pass up his opportunities to score and netted his second of the night after Howard made three saves on a scramble in front of the net. Justin Williams would go on to be wide open on a rush and buried a puck back door to seal the game, 3-1 Carolina.
The Red Wings are still dealing with inexperience on the ice, hurting them in big penalty kill scenarios. They are currently without veterans Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm due to injuries, leading to younger guys having to step up and play bigger roles. Blashill said “Not to say that these guys won’t be big killers, but they need reps. We had a couple of mistakes made buy guys who need reps, and we’d like them to get reps and not get scored on but you have to work through it.” The Red Wings have dropped 2 straight and currently sit at 6th in the Atlantic Division and 10 pts out of a wild card spot. Urgency is becoming a big factor for Ken Holland’s mission to get back to the playoffs, and it’s starting to look bleak. The Red Wings will pick back up tomorrow night in New Jersey against the Devils, and back-to-back nationally televised home games against the Flyers and Original 6 rival the Chicago Blackhawks.