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Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Hole Gets Deeper; Losing Streak at Six



Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings don’t have to say a word because the numbers can scream for themselves.  An 0-4 road road trip. Six consecutive losses overall. Outscored 32-11. An eight-point cushion in the playoff race is gone.

And worst of all, the Red Wings seem to have zero answers about how to turn it around.

The Red Wings went into the game expecting, or at least hoping, they could halt the losing streak. Instead, Buffalo Sabres dominated them in a 7-3 win that pushes the Red Wings below the playoff line. The Red Wings and Islanders are tied for the second Eastern Conference wild card spot, but the Islanders have a percentage points lead because they have a game in hand.

With the win, the Sabres are now only five points behind Detroit. The Red Wings gave up seven goals to a team that has scored three or fewer goals in 14 of their last 17 games.

Another Poor Start

“Rough start,” Coach Derek Lalonde told Bally Sports. “We gave a top player a breakaway just over a minute into the game. Can’t feed their offense, their skilled guys. We want to make it hard on them. We gave them easy offense. And then we just got chasing it. We got out of structure a little bit. I think we got a little bit rattled and obviously that was the first period.”

Poor starts have been a problem throughout the losing streak.

“It’s for sure a mentality thing,” Detroit’s Lucas Raymond said. “I think we, if you look at the three periods, we’ve had really tough starts. It kind of gets ourselves in a hole to kind of dig out. That’s a huge thing for us. We need to come out with better starts to keep us in it and just find a way to win hockey games.”

Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said earlier that the game in Buffalo wasn’t a “must win.” But it was a “must play well.” That didn’t happen. The Red wings played better in the loss to Vegas Saturday then it did against Buffalo.

“We got to fight out of it,” Lalonde said. “Even after the second period – stay positive with it, we’ll play through it. We’ll get an opportunity again on Thursday. We just need to fight with some positives here. It’s disappointing because we showed some signs in Vegas with some positive team play, especially in that third period, and then we just didn’t have it tonight. We were slow. They played with way better pace. It looked like a huge mismatch. We got to figure it out.”

Joe Veleno had to leave the game when he was struck in the head by Buffalo defenseman Connor Clifton’s shot.

“I did see him just now,” Lalonde said. “He felt pretty good. Probably more kind of a protocol situation. So he’ll see the doctor in the morning and hopefully be available for us on Thursday.”

Many Detroit players subpar

The defensive pairing of Ben Chiarot and Jeff Petry was -4 in this game. Alex Lyon was pulled late in the first period after giving up four goals on 11 shots. This losing streak isn’t on him, but his .692 save percentage is clearly not what Detroit needed in this game.

The fact this losing streak is coming with Dylan Larkin on the injured list illustrates his importance. He is going to be sidelined at least through the weekend.

“Obviously a huge part of our team,” Raymond said. “Our captain on and off the ice. But at the same time we need to play better. I think that’s just it. We can do it. When we play the way we’re supposed to, we’re a hell of a hockey team. Obviously he’s a huge part of our team, but we need to get back to things here.”