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Red Wings Notebook: Ultimately, Maatta’s Goals Didn’t Matter

Kane extends points streak to 10 games



Olli Maatta, Red Wings
Red Wings defenseman Olli Maatta scored twice in Thursday's loss to the Isalnders

In assessing defenseman Olli Maatta’s performance on Thursday, Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde was delivering an uninentional double entendre.

“I love the finish,” Lalonde said of the two-goal performance of Red Wings defenseman Maatta during Detroit’s 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders.

Or did he say, “I love the Finnish?”

Maatta, after all, hails from Jyvaskyla, Finland.

Either way, there was a lot to love about what Maatta brought to the ice. Scoring twice, he doubled his goal output for the season. They were Maatta’s first tallies in 19 games.

“When he’s got confidence with the puck he’s a really good player,” Lalonde said. “He’s a guy that can find the middle of the ice on breakouts. That’s hard to do in this league.

“He was skating, he had confidence with the puck. He was great tonight.”

Kane Comes Through Again

There’s been no shutting down Red Wings left-winger Patrick Kane since his return from injury on Feb. 10. In 10 games since, Kane has successfully counted a point in every contest.

His 13th goal of the season just 10 seconds into the third period briefly tied the score at 2-2. Over this 10-game stretch, Kane has accounted for five goals and 10 assists. He’s delivered five multi-point games and three game-winning goals.

Feb. 29 Loss Omen For Red Wings?

Thursday was a rare Feb. 29 game, just the 10th in Red Wings history. Detroit is 5-4-1 on Leap Day.

They are 0-1-1 in their last two Feb. 29 contests. However, the previous time the Wings were losers in regulation on Feb. 29, they won the Stanley Cup.

That was in 2008, when Detroit fell 3-2 to the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 29.

Ice Chips

Red Wings defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is plus-seven over his last seven games . . . The loss brought to an end Detroit’s six-game win streak. The Wings haven’t won seven in a row since 2011 . . . Maatta leads the Red Wings with  +18 rating . . . Gostisbehere has points in five games in a row. He collected his 350th NHL point in Thursday’s loss, assisting on one of Maatta’s goals.