Connect with us

Detroit Red Wings

Veteran Mistake Costly in Red Wings’ Loss to Rangers



David Perron, Red Wings

DETROIT — This is a time of the season when every play, every mistake, every opportunity matters. A missed assignment, an unlucky bounce or a bad penalty, could end up costing a team like the Red Wings a playoff berth.

The Red Wings played a good hockey game, but a few errors, including an ill-advised offensive zone penalty by David Perron in the third period, were the difference in a 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers.

With the game tied 3-3 midway through the third period, Perron was called for high sticking at 9:29 and Chris Kreider turned that into a game-winning power play goal.

“That was a tough penalty,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “The momentum felt good and we put their power play on for the third time and they cashed in.”

That wasn’t the only reason the Red Wings lost. Other veterans made mistakes that were just as costly, but Perron’s penalty will be remembered because it led to a goal.

“It’s magnified now on every play,” Lalonde said. “This is why it’s really good for our guys to be going through this. It’s just different this time of year. It’s amplified this time of year and you learn, especially against a really good team, we left some plays out there. Unfortunately, it cost us.”

Missed Opportunity

This lost cost the Red Wings in a big way because other teams helped them out Friday. The Buffalo Sabres knocked off Philadelphia Flyers, 4-2 and the Carolina Hurricanes downed the Washington Capitals, 3-2. Even with the loss, Detroit is only one point behind the Flyers for the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. The Capitals are also only one point back. The Pittsburgh Penguins are two behind.

The New York Islanders are now in third place in the Metropolitan Division, putting them in a playoff position. By winning, the Sabres are now only three points behind Detroit. Those teams are meeting Sunday in a matinee at Little Caesars Arena.

“I think we gave them a bit too much,” Lalonde said. “If you would have told me we would have kept their top six off the board five on five, we could have liked our chances. Just a couple plays out there that ended up costing us and that’s the time of year, especially against a team of that caliber.

Gritty New York role player Barclay Goodrow scored a pair of goals and unheralded Will Cuylle netted another. Detroit tied the game twice on goals by Andrew Copp and J.T. Compher and then went ahead 3-2 on Dylan Larkin‘s 30th goal of the season. That lead lasted 25 seconds because Goodrow scored his second goal.

Time Running Out

“We played good enough to get a point, to get two points tonight,” Larkin said. “I think when you get to this time of the year, every time that you drop a game it feels like an opportunity missed. It’s been hard. The hockey’s been hard and tight. We’ve been talking about every play and making sure we make every play. We left a couple out there tonight, which makes it hurt more.”

The Red Wings only have six games remaining.

‘Plays that happen in the first period are magnified throughout,” Copp said. “It’s not just the push at the end. It’s that time of the year where everything gets magnified. Tonight’s no different. We played pretty good. But pretty good this time of year can be .500 hockey. We just gotta find a way to minimize those . . . you know, you’re gonna make mistakes in a game. Everyone’s gonna make mistakes in a game. It felt like they ended up being big ones tonight.”