The script was familiar for the Detroit Red Wings and so was the outcome. They fell behind early to the Minnesota Wild and then completely collapsed in the third period.
A 6-3 road loss to the Wild on Wednesday was fashioned through the usual self-inflicted wounds that have become commonplace in Detroit’s game during the club’s 2-8-1 current slide.
“I think all game we didn’t do a good job of managing the puck,” Detroit forward Alex DeBrincat said. “We had way too many turnovers.
“I think we gave them all they had. We gave them all their chances.”
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) December 28, 2023
For the sixth time in seven games, the Wings fell behind, this time just 38 seconds following the opening faceoff. A neutral-zone collision between Detroit forward David Perron and defenseman Moritz Seider created chaos in the team’s defensive zone, leading to a goal from a wide-open Matt Boldy.
Minnesota goals resulting from Detroit miscues was a recurring pattern on the night. Marcus Johansson gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead following an ill-advised pinch by Red Wings rearguard Ben Chiarot.
— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) December 28, 2023
In the third period, after DeBrincat’s power-play goal made it 2-2, a bad Seider pinch led to a Ryan Hartman goal. Detroit defenseman Simon Edvinsson lost a puck battle along the boards to Pat Maroon, resulting in a Marcus Foligno tally. then Johansson stripped the puck from Red Wings forward Robby Fabbri for his second of the night.
In a span of 2:07, it was 5-2 Wild.
“We gave them everything,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “Inability to manage the game. Turnovers, and they cost us.”
Different-Looking Red Wings
A significant element in the 15-9-4 start by the Red Wings was a much more diligent commitment to defense. That part of their game has evaporated during their current 2-9-1 skid.
“It’s mind-boggling to play right for 6-7 minutes and then have a high turnover or a careless play, not getting a puck deep, and giving up easy offense,” Lalonde said.
“This is all self-inflicted. This is not the team over the first 25 games. The turnovers and the carelessness, this was not our DNA at all, and of late, it’s changed.
“It better change back if we want to give ourselves a chance to get back into this.”
Sick Bay Getting Crowded
While both forward Christian Fischer and defenseman Jeff Petry were out following their head-on-head collision in Saturday’s 3-2 loss at New Jersey, there was a suprise addition to the injury list. Forward Joe Veleno was a scratch with an undisclosed injury.
None of that trio is expected back in time for Friday’s home date with the Nashville Predators. However, goalie Alex Lyon (lower-body injury) and defenseman Olli Maatta (upper-body injury) could be back in action Friday.