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Red Wings Notebook: Lalonde: ‘Everyone is elevating…We Have to Also’



Andrew Copp, Red Wings

DETROIT — Washington Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said earlier this week that he believed the Red Wings were “as good as anyone in the National Hockey League.”

Whether that’s true or not, the Red Wings were not as good as the Florida Panthers on Saturday afternoon at Little Caesars. The Panthers went 2-for-5 on the power play, blanked Detroit on five PP chances, out-shot Derek Lalonde’s team 37 to 21, out-hit the Red Wings 39 to 26 and posted a 4-0 shutout over the Red Wings.

What the Panthers did was show Detroit fans how they’ve been able to win 14 of their last 16 games to become the No. 1 team in the NHL standings.

“You saw them in the playoffs last year, they can suffocate you,” Detroit forward Andrew Copp said. “Their goalie (Sergei Bobrovsky) is good, they got big D, tough to get to the front of the net on. That’s when they’re successful.”

The Panthers have beaten the Red Wings six consecutive times in Detroit since 2021. In that span, the Red Wings have never scored more than two goals in any of those losses. The Panthers now have two consecutive shutouts over the Red Wings at Little Caesars

“They’re getting dialed in.” Lalonde said. “That team, if they win the Stanley Cup, I would not be surprised. In my mind they are the hands-down favorite. But they’re playing at a high level now. They’re tuning up to get their game in order, so you’re gonna get their best and we did. That’s my point of everyone’s elevating. We have to have it also.”

Lalonde called it a “measuring stick” game and “we weren’t there.

“(But) We had some moments, we had a chance,” Lalonde said. “If maybe we could’ve found that first goal on a power play, or if Patty (Kane) finishes one of his two breakaways, it might be different. But that’s a pretty good team that was clicking today and they were better than us.”

Kane Streak Halted

Patrick Kane‘s 10-game point scoring streak was a casualty of the Sergei Bobrovsky shutout.  It’s not as if Kane didn’t have chances.

He was thwarted on two breakaways. Even in the midst of heavy pressure by the Panthers, the Red Wings felt like they had scoring opportunities.

“There’s chances all over the ice,” Copp said. “Especially early, Mo hit a crossbar, I think first shift. Getting the first goal in these types of games are really important. Then you can kind of dictate the play. Obviously didn’t get the first but as soon as that second one went in, I felt they were starting to feel it and we maybe lost our emotions.”

Ice Chips

The Red Wings won’t practice Sunday, but will have two practices before starting a four-game road trip Wednesday in Colorado…Copp’s assessment of what happened to the Red Wings against the Panthers: “Their forecheck is good, very good. Their power play is very good, and I think we lost our heads a little bit during some of those scrums, so always get the extra pretty much every time and can’t do that against a team like that.”…After this game, the Red Wings still owned the first wild card spot in the Eastern and had a seven-point lead over Washington and an eight-point lead over the Devils and Islanders.