‘A real step back’: Red Wings go winless on road, lose 7-3 to Stars

Detroit News

Ted Kulfan
| The Detroit News

Detroit — The Red Wings’ first road trip of the season didn’t go well.

They ended the four-game trip winless Thursday, losing 7-3 in Dallas.

The Wings only gained one point on the trip, losing in overtime Tuesday against the Stars.

BOX SCORE: Stars 7, Red Wings 3

Considering the positive vibes of the four-game season-opening home stand (2-2),  the Wings return home a week later in a downward spin.

“We took a real step back,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We have to regroup. It’s not going to be easy. We’re getting home late and we have to turn around and play on Saturday but we have to find a way to regroup. Dig deeper and ultimately we have to a lot of guys play a lot better. We have individuals who can play better hockey for sure.”

Valtteri Filppula, Tyler Bertuzzi (power play) and Danny DeKeyser scored for the Wings (2-5-1).

Bertuzzi’s goal, a rebound at 7 minutes, 26 seconds of the third period, cut the Dallas lead to 4-2. After a Wings’ power play didn’t convert, DeKeyser’s shot from the point deflected off a Stars player made it 4-3 at 13:04 and gave the Wings’ momentum they hadn’t had all night.

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But former Flint Firebird (OHL) Ty Dellandrea scored his first NHL goal, on the power play, at 14:52, restoring the Stars’ two-goal lead, 5-3, and Justin Dowling (empty net) and John Klingberg added insurance goals.

“We worked our way back into the game, made it 4-3 and the game got away from us,” forward Dylan Larkin said. “That’s the Western Conference champs over there, and we were in it again, and we just let it slip away and we can’t keep letting two points slip away here. Every game is important within our division.”

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The Wings were ineffective on the power play, scoring only one goal on seven opportunities. 

Many of the power-play chances resulted in lost momentum if anything and the Wings’ confidence on the units appeared to dwindle as the evening wore on.

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“We’re fighting against ourselves, not actually fighting, but we have the puck on the stick and we’re nervous to make plays and we don’t want it on our stick,” Larkin said. “We’re second-guessing everything and not moving around. We’re not hard on it to get in on entries. 

“Every power-play goal we scored this year, we kept it simple and threw it on net, and it’s not the prettiest goals, but it’s in the net. We didn’t do that  nearly enough and it has to find a way to get going.”

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Said Blashill: “You get 12 minutes of power-play time, you have to score and score earlier than that. We changed the units around going into the third period and it still wasn’t good enough. We’re not executing.”

Joe Pavelski, Andrew Cogliano, Denis Gurianov and Jamie Oleksiak added the other Dallas goals, while Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger, making his NHL regular-season debut, stopped 19 shots for his first NHL victory.

Especially early in the game, the Wings made it too easy for Oettinger in his first game.

“Too easy in the sense we passed up shots and we just didn’t have enough zone time,” Blashill said. “We spent so much time in the game under siege, it felt like they were on top of us everywhere we looked and again, some of that is execution on our part and some of that, they were a step quicker than us all over the ice. We didn’t get enough pressure.

“He’s a good goalie, he’ll have a good career, but as a young kid in his first start, I know he played a couple of playoff games in relief, but we have to do a better job for sure.

“I was disappointed we were a step slow all over the ice.”

The Red Wings lost goaltender Jonathan Bernier on the Gurianov goal.

While Gurianov was cutting through the slot on a 2-on-1 rush, Anthony Mantha fell and slid hard into Bernier while Gurianov fired the puck into the net.

Thomas Greiss replaced Bernier during the next break, with Bernier declared out with an upper-body injury, although Blashill said after the game he didn’t expect Bernier to be out for long.


Twitter: @tkulfan

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