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Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings do Needful, Blank Flyers

Detroit is 8-2-1 in the past 11 games



Moritz Seider, Red Wings
Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider felt the team was playing playoff hockey in Thursday's win.

As the Detroit Red Wings were recently reaching the midway point of the NHL season, defenseman Moritz Seider was sounding like a forlorn fisherman.

He was lamenting the ones that got away.

“I think we’ve given away too many games where we’re like, ‘this is too easy,'” Seider said at the time. “We just want to be a complete team, playing really consistent against other teams in the NHL.”

A team like the one that blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 on Thursday at Little Caesars Arena.

The fading Flyers are still clinging to third place in the Metropolitan Division. But they are slowly letting their season slip away, much like the Red Wings allowed to happen last season during crunch time. Philly has lost four in a row. That’s the longest active losing streak in the NHL.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings were winning for the eighth time in 11 games (8-2-1). They were also bouncing back strongly from a poor performance in a 5-4 loss to the Dallas Stars. In that game, Detroit surrendered four unanswered second-period goals.

“Obviously, the way we came out in the second period against Dallas was not how we want to play as a team,” forward Lucas Raymond said. “I think just the mentality throughout the entire game was that we that we had to show up, play with pace, play with confidence.”

Must Win Games For Red Wings

Dropping a game to an elite Western Conference team such as the Stars isn’t the end of the world for the Red Wings. However, winning against a team like the Flyers, who ultimately could be a squad in the battle for the Eastern Conference postseason positions, is vital should Detroit desire to remain in that discussion.

“Probably the message into the Tampa game (2-1 win on Ja. 21), this push we’ve had of late has earned you guys important games towards the second half of the season,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “We’re going to have to learn to get comfortable in them.

“We’re in the midst of it now. I thought we handled it fairly well.”

Moving into February and March, the games will only get tougher as teams tighten up for the playoff drive.

“These are the kind of meaningful games we want to play, we want to be in and we want to battle hard,” Seider said.

They were able to check off all of the above in Thursday’s triumph. At the same time, the New York Islanders, four points back of Detroit in the Wild Card chase, were dropping a 4-3 decision on the road to the Montreal Canadiens.

During the first half of the season, Detroit was letting games get away. There were losses against NHL bottom feeders like Anaheim, San Jose and Ottawa. For playoff teams, those are the games that must be locked downs. Two points need to be delivered automatically in those scenarios.

“I think today was a really successful day for us,” Seider said. “We played a really solid team and we shut them down defenisively.

“I think we could hopefully remember that in the long run, hopefully pushing for that playoff spot.”