The Detroit Red Wings loss against the Arizona Coyotes seemed a metaphor for the season: gained momentum almost instantly shifting to the other side. Be it the scoresheet or the standings, it’s been an issue for some time.
It may have hit a new low Tuesday night, falling to the Coyotes 4-3 in a shootout, snapping their opponent’s nine-game losing streak.
For a good minute, things looked up for Detroit. Buzzing after opening a 3-1 lead in the third, Detroit yielded two quick goals minutes after Arizona was very much alive. The Coyotes kept the Red Wings out on a long shift to end regulation, having a couple grade-A chances but unable to convert.
Pius Suter scored his sixth of the season five minutes into the third period, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead. David Perron followed with a goal just 58 seconds later, and suddenly Detroit was flying after being stuck following the Coyotes’ first goal.
And yet, the Coyotes answered 54 seconds later, to pull within a goal. They’d return with the tying goal just over a minute later.
Just as the Red Wings offense giveth, defensive miscues would taketh away.
It would cost them in the end.
An All Too Familiar Red Wings Script
For 31 minutes, the Detroit Red Wings outshot, outplayed, and on the power play, outscored Arizona for well earned 1-0 lead. In just over two minutes, the basement dwelling Coyotes evened things up.
It was scoreless for the nearly the first 31 minutes, and then the captain put the Red Wings on the board. Dylan Larkin redirected a Moritz Seider from the point, notching the first goal of the game on the power play.
The first period moved along quietly, with each team trading chances. The Red Wings had a power play late in the first but Arizona clogged both the passing and shooting lanes. By the middle of the second, Detroit was outshooting Arizona 27-8, 10-1 at that point of the period. The one-goal lead, though, was short lived.
From there, it went into the third period tied at one. The Red Wings could barely enjoy a two-goal lead before Arizona countered with a pair of its own. Overtime was dominated by Arizona, but when the Red Wings had but a few chances, they were close, but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
Arizona scored on both shootout chances, while Detroit failed on all three. Just like that, Arizona ended its skid while Detroit’s reached three.
What Now for the Red Wings?
There has to be some concern rising that Detroit is not putting away teams clearly out of the race. Saturday it was being in a 4-0 hole against Columbus. Tuesday night it was a dreadful Arizona squad clearly in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes. With Detroit now at 18-18-7, and a game where they looked in full control, what does it say about the team right now?
Will it push the Red Wings back into a lottery mindset? Is it a shake-it-off mentality, realizing that Detroit played well for long stretches despite the result?
Whatever it is, it’s been too familiar at times this season. As they slip further away from a playoff spot, it’s evident that they’ll need to figure things out sooner rather than later.