The Detroit Red Wings continue to play the level of playoff-caliber defense they will need to end their seven-year post-season drought. But they couldn’t solve the other half of the winning equation Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes limited the Red Wings to 13 shots — their lowest single-game total in 19 years — to end Detroit’s seven-game points streak on a 4-2 victory. Carolina leads the NHL in shot suppression. The ‘Canes only give up an average of 25.7 shots per game. But Carolina, perhaps owning the league’s best collection of defensemen, went above and beyond against Detroit.
“They obviously didn’t give us the middle of the ice too often,” Red Wings center Joe Veleno said. “I thought we were passing up on a lot of shots, too. A bit of it is on us. At times we had opportunities to shoot the puck. Obviously you gotta give credit to them. They block a lot of shots, they play hard defensively but at the end of the day we just had to have that mentality of getting shots through.”
Game Tied in Third
The game was 2-2 in the third period. Klim Kostin and J.T. Compher had Detroit’s goals. But the game turned on a power play goal by Andrei Svechnikov at 10:46 of the third. Jeff Petry was in the penalty box for tripping.
The timing of the penalty was made worse by the fact that Ben Chiarot had left the game in the third period. He is a key penalty killer. He is considered day to day at this point.
“Upper body, something that’s been bothering him for a while,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “Just bad timing. He’s probably playing as our top D-man. He’s been a top shutdown matchup guy. Eats the first minute of the penalty kill. But we gave ourselves a chance. That’s all you can ask sitting here 2-2 on the road against a team like this, that plays well at home. We just didn’t execute enough in the last 10 minutes.”
Red Wings Know the Formula
Carolina’s final goal was an empty-netter by Sebastian Aho. The loss halted Detroit’s five-game road winning streak. The Red Wings were 3-0 in California and were 2-1 on this three-game trip.
“Very good (trip),” Lalonde said. “It’s our first loss (in regulation) since the New Year. Our goal every time we come on the road is to get as many or more points as you have games. We won the road trip. Just a really nice opportunity here to finish off the road trip. As you’re going to see it’s literally for every point now as we get towards the second half of the season. A little bit of a missed opportunity here, 2-2 on the road under 10 minutes, you’d like to get a point.”
At the very least, what the Red Wings have learned since the start of 2024 is how they need to play to be a playoff contender. Alex Lyon’s goaltending, combined with improved defense, has allowed Detroit to move into a wild card position. The Red Wings are tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning, their Sunday opponent in Detroit.