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The Breakdown: Red Wings Give Up 5 Special Team Goals in Loss to Ottawa

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Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings player

DETROIT — The Ottawa Senators produced three power play goals and two shorthanded goals. One of their shorthanded goals was an empty-netter. The Senators found a variety of ways to be better than the Red Wings. Meanwhile, the Red Wings are starting to only find ways to lose games.

The 6-3 loss to the Senators Saturday was the Red Wings’ fifth consecutive loss. Last week, the Red Wings were in an Atlantic Division playoff spot and they will start the new week only two points out of last place. Going into Saturday night’s games, the Red Wings had 32 points. The Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres and Senators were all tied below them with 30 points.

“I think early in the year we were getting the big save at the right time, the big kill, the big goal,” Detroit captain Dylan Larkin said. “Right now,  it’s not happening for us. We have to find a way to get that back, whether it’s someone scoring a big goal, a big hit or a big fight that changes the game, whatever it may be. Whatever you bring to the lineup – we need to have more of that. ”

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The Red Wings are undoubtedly talking about not allowing this season to get away from them, like last season did. The Red Wings face a surging Washington Capitals team Monday night on the road. The Capitals have played themselves back into the playoff race by going 6-3-1 in their last 10. Injured Capitals Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom could be back in the lineup when the Caps play Detroit.

Red Wings Look to Regroup

“We just have to find a way to get it back,” Larkin said. “And I think it starts with just a solid 60 minute effort against Washington. Maybe a 2-1 or 1-0 game where we get two points and we get that good feeling back.”

Adding to the Red Wings’ frustration is the fact that the game was tied 3-3 in the third period. It was a game they could have won.

The Senators were 3-for-5 on the power play and scored more on Detroit’s power play than the Red Wings did. The Red Wings were 1-for-7. Filip Hronek scored on a five-on-three. But the Senators generated two shorthanded goals, one of them coming when the Red Wings pulled their goalie to give them a two-man advantage in the closing minutes.

“It’s hard to define,” Coach Derek Lalonde said. “The penalty kill is literally two panic clears. Puck is literally on our stick and we hand it to them. Not only do we hand it to the other team, we hand it to them in a scoring area. It turns into broken plays, they’re obviously tough to defend. You can call them puck management but it’s just bearing down.”

Facts and Observations

1.Detroit’s defensive play isn’t as relentless as it was earlier in the season. They have given up 19 goals in these last five losses.

  1. Dylan Larkin (hand) and Olli Maatta (pneumonia) were both game time decisions. They both played.  Lalonde said he thought did well playing through the injury. “But he obviously was not himself,” Lalonde said. “Some battles, we a few like that but for the most part good. I think we feel fortunate.” The original fear was Larkin would be out an extended period.

  2. This was only the third time this season that the Red Wings lost in regulation when they scored three goals. They are 12-3-3 when they score three or more.

  3. Hronek is the first Red Wings defenseman to reach the 25-point mark (7-18-25) within a season in 30  or fewer game since since 2010-11. Brian Rafalski (27 game) and Nicklas Lidstrom (30 games) both did it last season.

  4. Elmer Soderblom picked up his first assist of his NHL career on Joe Veleno’s goal.

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