| The Detroit News
Go ahead and blame Tuesday’s Red Wings’ loss on the retro alternate jerseys.
Might as well find something to blame for the 4-1 loss in Columbus.
The white jersey, which looked too much like a bland practice jersey to many on social media (and did not go over well), still looked better than the Wings did during long stretches in this game.
A particularly brutal second period, where the Wings were out-shot 17-4 (Columbus out-shot the Wings 36-19 in the game), helped snapped a 1-1 tie and send Columbus to the victory.
“We lost too many individual battles, our puck management was very poor and we got beat up the ice way too much,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “As the momentum shifted away from us, we allowed it to let shift away. We didn’t have any pushback shifts, and that happens when you turn pucks over and you end up defending.
“We were defending the whole time in the second (period) and chasing them and that’s no way to play hockey.”
Anthony Mantha (power play) scored the Wings’ goal. The goal, Mantha’s sixth, ended an eight-game point drought for Mantha.
On a night where few Red Wings stood out, Mantha was arguably the team’s best player — something that needs to happen more often this season.
“Mantha competed, he was one guy, to me, that stood out for our team,” Blashill said. “He competed and won battles and played the right way. He wasn’t perfect, and nobody is perfect, but he did a real good job. The fact he got on the scoresheet is a positive for sure because it reinforces playing the right way.
“But overall, he played the way he has to play to be successful. I was real happy with Anthony’s game tonight.”
It was also the Wings’ third consecutive game with a power play goal.
But Columbus received goals from Riley Nash, Jack Roslovic (power play) and Boone Jenner in the second period, Cam Atkinson (shorthanded) opened the game’s scoring in the first period, as the Jackets (9-10-5) ended a five-game losing streak.
The Blue Jackets have also won 13 of their last 15 games against the Wings.
The Wings (7-15-3) have lost two consecutive games, after having won two in a row, and play Thursday in Carolina.
“We lost too many battles, too many individual battles,” forward Luke Glendening said. “We have to be better as individuals and do better as a team. We can’t let one mistake compound into more.
“We have to stop the snowball effect when something goes wrong, it can’t turn into a whole bunch of things that go wrong.”
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier allowed four goals in 27 shots, and was replaced by Thomas Greiss to start the third period.
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“One of those nights he (Bernier) might not have been as sharp and we weren’t as sharp,” Blashill said. “And again, we gave up way too many rush chances. We have to get away from that as a team and give up those type of rush chances”
The difference in this game was the second period.
Mantha’s power play goal, a blast from the hash marks that cleanly beat Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (now 6-0 against the Wings in his career), tied the game 1-1 in the first period and evened out Atkinson’s shorthanded snipe off a 2-on-1 rush.
But Columbus took the game over in the middle period.
Columbus’ Seth Jones had a goal wiped away when a Blashill video challenge confirmed Jones was off-side, keeping the game tied 1-1.
“Usually when a goal gets over turned, it gets some momentum for your team,” Glendening said. “But it didn’t work for us tonight.”
Just 19 seconds later, Nash beat Bernier short side from almost the same spot Jones had scored, and Columbus on its way, leading 2-1.
With Patrik Nemeth off for hooking – he came off the COVID-19 protocol list a few hours earlier — Roslovic made it 3-1 at 9:16 redirecting a Zach Werenski’s (Grosse Pointe) shot from the point past Bernier.
Jenner capped the second period barrage, set up again by Werenski, snapping a shot from the low circle that beat Bernier short side.
The game had approximately 2,000 fans in attendance, as Nationwide Arena began welcoming fans on a limited basis.
“It was nice, a little bit of normalcy coming back to hockey,” Glendening said. “It’s nice to have fans. It would have been nice if they were cheering for you and not against you, but it was nice to have people in the building.”