Five of a kind is a winning hand in poker but five goals in a team’s net is a sure-fire way to keep being dealt losses, as the Detroit Red Wings are discovering.
For the third successive game and the eighth time in the past 13 contests, the Red Wings fished at least five pucks out of their net. The resulting outcome was again, not surprisingly, unsuccessful for Detroit. The Ottawa Senators whipped the Wings 5-2 Friday at Little Caesars Arena.
Detroit has surrendered five or more goals in 27 games this season. The Wings are 0-24-3 in those games.
Third Period Collapse
Is it possible for a team to be the third-best club on the ice? The Red Wings are certainly seeking to defy that logic in the third perod of games this season.
It’s another common trait in Red Wings games this season – the third-period collapse. Ottawa outscored the Wings 4-1 in the final frame of regulation time.
“There’s an emotional drain on it,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said the team’s steady demise as they’ve fallen out of the playoff picture. “That’s the reality at times.
“We just can’t let that happen. We have a decision to how we kind of attack every day.”
Detroit has allowed an NHL-worst 106 goals in the third period this season. At the same time, the Wings have scored 67 third-period goals. That -39 goal differential is also at the bottom of the league.
The Wings also allowed their NHL-high 24th empty-net goal on Friday. Detroit’s goals-against per game of 3.84 is the highest the NHL has seen over the past quarter century.
That Isn’t Special
Detroit was entering the third period in a 1-1 tie and enjoying a 41-second five-on-three power play that was carrying into the third period. While the Wings ended up failing to take advantage, Josh Norris gave the Sens the lead for good during an Ottawa power play at the 2:25 mark.
The Senators opened the scoring on a shorthanded goal by Austin Watson.
There's really nothing like scoring against your hometown team. 😌
Cc: Austin Watson pic.twitter.com/4XxJS4GPbX
— NHL (@NHL) April 1, 2022
“Obviously it’s a huge factor,” Blashill said. “You go into the third 1-1. We’re on a five-on-three. We don’t score and they end up getting a power play goal. In the end, we were 0-for-5 and I think they were 1-for-2 with a shorty.
“Those are areas where we’re at right now as a hockey team that can really pick us up. We need something to pick us up. So that ends up being a letdown for us.”
Sogaard vs No Good
Mads Sogaard was making his NHL debut in the Ottawa goal. The Wings were needing to make his life miserable . . . and they didn’t.
“I think anytime a goalie is playing their first game, especially in the first period you want to get some shots on him and get some traffic in front of him, try to make it hard on him early,” Detroit forward Sam Gagner said. “I think we just allowed him to settle in too much.”
Ottawa’s Sogaard is the 33rd backup goalie to start against the Red Wings this season. Detroit is 12-15-6 against them overall this season. Sogaard is the 12th among them who would be considered No. 3 or deeper on the depth chart. Detroit is 7-3-2 against those netminders.
Sogaard is also the second goalie they’ve faced this season who was making his NHL debut. Detroit is 0-2 against debutants. Washington’s Zach Fucale shut them out 2-0 at LCA on Nov. 11.
Red Wings Razor Sharp
The one bright spot for the Wings in Friday’s setback was the continued consistency of rookie winger Lucas Raymond. He scored both Detroit goals, giving him 22 on the season.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) April 2, 2022
“He’s been incredible all year,” Gagner said. “It’s a really hard league as a 19-year-old to bring it every night. I feel like his consistency has been great.
“He’s a really mature kid and puts a lot of pressure on himself to succeed. He’s been fantastic for us all year and fun to watch.”
Red Wings Are Canadian Incontinent
When they are winning at home, a Red Wings tradition is celebrate by playing the tune Don’t Stop believin’ by Journey. There’s a line in the song that references being born and rasied in south Detroit.
Anyone who knows their geography knows that south Detroit is Canada. And anyone who knows the dichomoty of this year’s Red Wings team knows that when they go to south Detroit, they head south on the scoreboard.
The Wings are 4-10-0 overall against Canadian clubs this season. They are 1-5 when playing in Canada.
Two of Detroit’s next three games are in Canada – Sunday afternoon at Ottawa and April 6 at Winnipeg. Ottawa has won four of five and six of nine from the Wings.
“It won’t be easy Sunday, we’re gonna miss one of our energy guys in Bert but we gotta find a way to do it,” Blashill said.
Second on the team in goals (26) and points (54), left-winger Tyler Bertuzzi can’t play in Canada because he hasn’t been vaccinated for COVID-19.