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Detroit Red Wings

Veteran Mistakes Derail Red Wings Again

Bad decisions with puck curse Detroit to defeat



David Perron, Red Wings
David Perron's ill-advised pass would spell doom for the Red Wings in Tuesday's loss to Washington.

Entering Tuesday’s home date with the Washington Capitals, the Detroit Red Wings talked confidently of being in control of their own destiny in the race for the final Eastern Conference wild card spot in the NHL playoffs.

Today, that’s no longer the case, and they can thank a pair of veteran players who wear Stanley Cup rings for this dilemma.

A 2-1 loss to the Capitals was the result of ill-advised decisions with the puck made by experienced forwards J.T. Compher and David Perron that both resulted in Washington goals during the final 2:13 of the second period.

“Those were controllable situations,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde of the two miscues that led to Capitals tallies. “We gave them some zone time and some looks off of some turnovers.”

Late in the middle frame with the game scoreless, trouble began brewing the Detroit zone. Red Wings defenseman Jeff Petry broke his stick. Forward Alex DeBrincat would then hand his twig off to his teammate.

“Jeff broke his stick in the corner,” explained Perron. “Cat gives him his stick and it’s kind of a mini five-on-four for a little bit and they found a way.”

The path to that way was paved via a terrible decision by Compher. Attempting to clear the puck, he threw it directly up the middle of the ice – the only place along the Detroit blueline where a Washington player was situated.

Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary blocked the clearing attempt. He fed the puck to Dylan Strome, who’d rifle a shot past Detroit netminder Alex Lyon for the opening goal.

Red Wings Giving Away Goals

For the second time in as many Detroit one-goal losses, veteran forward Perron had his fingerprints all over the deciding goal. Friday, it was his third-period penalty that led to the New York Rangers scoring on the power play in a 4-3 victory over Detroit.

Tuesday, with the clock winding down on the second frame, Perron threw a pass back toward his own end in the direction of defenseman Moritz Seider.

Seider was unable to control the puck and it would bounce to the last person any Red Wings player would want to see with the puck on his stick, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. He sent a sizzling shot into the net and it was 2-0 Washington with 7.3 seconds left until the second intermission.

“Just not the greatest pass by me,” Perron admitted. “I got to put that on his stick.

“That’s a play we do all the time. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes you hit the weakside D coming up the ice and just unfortunate I didn’t make the right play on his stick.

“Sometimes it happens and he handles it, this time he didn’t handle it and it went back the other way and Ovechkin scored. Not a great play by me.”

Poor Puck Management Punishing Detroit

Poor puck management has victimized the Red Wings all season long. These self-inflicted mistakes were Hockey 101 stuff. You learn early never to throw the puck out of your zone up the middle of the ice. Likewise, the last thing you want to do with the puck as the period is nearing a conclusion is send it back toward your own net.

Tuesday, those bad decisions put the Red Wings behind the eight ball, handing the Caps a playoff position. Detroit is now trailing Washington (85 points). The Red Wings are in a deadlock with Pittsburgh (84 points). They’re heading next to the Steel City for a Thursday showdown with the Penguins.

“This one certainly stings,” Lalonde was admitting. “We still have some games to play. If we take care of business, I still think we’re in this thing.

“It’s just gonna be a little harder now, obviously, going into Pittsburgh, into Toronto. It stinks, it happens.”