It was another close one for the Detroit Red Wings but close doesn’t get you two points in the NHL. It did get the one, however, for the second consecutive game. Alex Nedeljkovic made 37 saves as Detroit was outshot 40-19 in a 3-2 overtime loss Tuesday at San Jose to the Sharks.
“He got us a point,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said of his goaltender. “He gave us a chance to steal one for sure.”
Four takeways from the concluding game of an 0-1-2 West Coast trip for the Red Wings.
Red Wings Not Good Enough
That was Blashill’s assessment of the winless road trip that is leaving Detroit with a 4-11-3 road slate for the season and a current skid of 0-5-2 away from Little Caesars Arena.
“We walk out of here with two points (out of six available on the trip),” Blashill said. “We needed more than that.
“The LA game (4-0 loss) was a tough one to evaluate. We were so bad in the first. I thought we came out tonight and had energy early.
“It seemed like we were tired. I’m not sure if that’s the case or not but that’s what it looked like to me. We made some mental errors as the game went along, we made some physical errors as the game went along. In the end, the trip’s certainly not what we wanted. We wanted to come out here and get more.”
Letting It Get Away
The Red Wings were leading in the third period. They were also running on fumes.
“I think it wasn’t our best period but they did a good job getting pucks in deep, kind of getting on us,” Detroit defenseman Nick Leddy said. “I think we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit at times. I think we’re a team that needs to do what they did in the third.
“It’s a hard place to play. They’ve always been good in this rink. We just have to do what they did, get pucks in deep, hound their D a little bit and get chances.”
Barber Out, Seider Gets Stitches
Forward Riley Barber, called up from AHL Grand Rapids to replace injured captain Dylan Larkin, was lost on his first shift of the game. He hobbled off the ice favoring his right leg and didn’t return.
“Very unfortunate for Riley,” Blashill said. “He was getting a pretty good opportunity. He was going to be on our power play, so I feel real bad for him.”
— TEAL TOWN USA – A San Jose Sharks Podcast (@TEALTOWNUSA) January 12, 2022
Rookie defenseman Moritz Seider missed much of second period. He was clipped in the left side of the head with the puck on a clearing attempt by Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro.
“I think Seids did have to get stitches, so it took him a little bit,” Blashill said. “He came back and he’s okay.”
Red Wings Put It On Net
All season long, Blashill has been preaching to his team the value of simply putting the puck to the net. Evidence of that was never more prescient than in Tuesday’s game.
“I think we’re gaining a little bit in our shooting mentality but there’s still areas to improve in that,” Blashill said. “We just got to continue to make sure we understand the chaos that the shot can create, whether goes directly or indirectly on net, it leads to chaos and O-zone time.”
On a Detroit power play, Filip Hronek flipped a shot toward the net that Tyler Bertuzzi tipped in.
It was Bertuzzi’s team-leading 17th goal of the season, one better than Larkin’s output.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 12, 2022
At the other end of the spectrum, defenseman Nick Leddy was counting his first goal of the season. Skating the puck into the San Jose zone and using a defenseman as a screen, he snapped a long-range wrist shot in early in the third period which at the time gave Detroit a 2-1 lead.
“It was end of the shift,” said Leddy, who hadn’t scored since April 21, 2021. “Honestly, I was just trying to get it on net and shoot through the stick and it ended up finding the back of the net.”