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Detroit Red Wings

Wily Coyotes Blank Red Wings

Detroit has lost four in a row



Jake Walman, Red Wings
Defenseman Jake Walman says the Red Wings are giving up too many easy chances.

Discussing what it’s going to take for his team to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs on Friday afternoon, Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman was outlining their blueprint for success.

“We gotta be better defensively collectively as a team.” Yzerman explained. “We gotta keep working on that. And that includes not just defending. It’s your play with the puck all over the ice. You gotta be responsible with it.

“That’ll be I think the determining factor.”

Later Friday, as they were on the road facing the Arizona Coyotes, the Red Wings appeared to make a conscious decision to completely ignore this blueprint.

Not suprisingly, the outcome wasn’t successful for the Wings.

Scoring three times in the first period, the Coyotes would carry on to blank the Red Wings 4-0.

“Awful start,” Detroit coach Derek Lalaonde told Bally Sports Detroit. “Tough to explain. It’s just really disappointing to have a start like that.”

Arizona would net two goals before Detroit would count a shot on goal. The Coyotes were completely dominant, while the Wings were utterly docile. The Red Wings have now lost four games in a row. Their lead over the New York Islanders for the final Eastern Conference wild card spot has dwindled to two points.

Red Wings Giving Up Easy Chances

“We’re finding ourselves behind, we’re finding ourselves giving up easy chances, giving up leads,” detroit defenseman Jake Walman said. “We just gotta stay dialed in all the time.”

Too often during their dismal opening frame, the Red Wings were dialing the wrong number.

“We just lost some battles,” Lalonde said. “The first goal was really disappointing. We got outskated to the net and then the puck’s lying at the net and all the sudden it’s 1-0.

“I don’t like the penalty kill goal. (A) too many men on the ice (penalty to Detroit), minor hockey type stuff. You’re waiting for your guy to come back to the bench and he plays the puck and you’re not even watching the play.

“It’s the third time it’s happened in a week. It’s not being ready, not being locked in.”

This was a game the Wings could ill afford to lose. Arizona came into the night losers of six in a row at home since Jan. 24. The Coyotes had lost the last five of those games all by margins of 3+ goals. They were also playing the second game of back to backs.

Instead, the Red Wings gave the game away. Starting goalie Alex Lyon allowed 4+ goals for the fourth straight game. James Reimer will be getting the start Saturday in Vegas, where the reigning Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights have lost five in a row at home.

Playing their second game in a row without captain Dylan Larkin (lower-body injury), Detroit dropped to 2-8 over the past two seasons when Larkin isn’t in the lineup. Forward Jonatan Berggren is getting a recall from AHL Grand Rapids and will be playing Saturday in Vegas.