Detroit Red Wings implode in second period in 4-1 loss to Columbus Blue Jackets

Detroit Free Press

Helene St. James
| Detroit Free Press

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The Detroit Red Wings‘ performance resembled their previous outing.

The Wings played an even game with their opponent for a stretch, then disintegrated. Just as Sunday’s effort dissolved in a five-goal third period, the Columbus Blue Jackets, who had been on a five-game skid, erupted during the second period Tuesday at Nationwide Arena, using a salvo of shots to build what would become a 4-1 victory.

The loss dropped the Wings to 7-15-3. 

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It looked promising to start at Columbus, with Anthony Mantha registering his first point in nine games when he scored on a power play. But a 1-1 game turned lopsided in the second period. Jonathan Bernier, who has provided such steady goaltending, surrendered three goals in the second period as the Wings allowed a slew of Grade-A scoring opportunities. Thomas Greiss, who struggled throughout February and was in net for Sunday’s 7-2 loss at Chicago, entered the game for the third period.

The Wings had talked about playing with discipline before the game, but spent nearly seven minutes shorthanded.

Dylan Larkin missed a third straight game with an upper-body injury, but Robby Fabbri, who also sat out Sunday, was back. There was no indication Tyler Bertuzzi will be back anytime soon, as he has yet to practice after leaving Jan. 30’s game with an upper-body injury.

The Wings wore their “Reverse Retro” alternate jerseys, a modern twist on a mix of sweaters they wore in 1998 when they won their ninth Stanley Cup championship, and for 2017’s Centennial Classic.

Power play strikes again

The Wings suffered a setback on their first power play — Bobby Ryan took a nice shot on Joonas Korpisalo, but the rebound squirted past four Wings players and created an odd-man rush that led to a goal by Cam Atkinson. When Ryan drew a penalty from Seth Jones at the 14-minute mark of the first period, things went better. Ryan fed the puck to Christian Djoos at the blue line; he found Mantha at the top of the left circle. Mantha wired a wrist shot that went five-hole, at 15:46. That was the Wings’ third power play goal in three games after going without for 14 games and 40 straight man advantages.

Bernier shelled

Jones put the puck in the net early in the second period but the Wings successfully challenged the play as offsides. Riley Nash made it 2-1 at 7:26 on a laser shot from the right circle, and Jack Roslovic converted at 9:16 while Patrik Nemeth was in the penalty box, deflecting Zach Werenski’s shot. A chance to regain some momentum during a power play ended after 23 seconds, when Djoos was called for hooking, setting up 1:37 of four-on-four. Boone Jenner scored from the right circle at 17:37. Werenski (Grosse Pointe) also assisted on that goal, part of a 17-4 shot advantage in the second period.

Rasmussen returns

Michael Rasmussen made his ninth appearance of the season, and his first since Jan. 31. He centered a line with Mantha and Mathias Brome and also was on one of the power play units, with Evgeny Svechnikov, Adam Erne, Filip Zadina and Filip Hronek. Rasmussen, a 2017 first-round pick, played 62 games in 2018-19 but spent the entire 2019-20 season in the minors adapting to playing center. Putting him in the lineup over both veteran centers Valtteri Filppula and Frans Nielsen is a sign the Wings think Rasmussen has made significant progress in making decisions with the puck. Rasmussen had six points in the seven games he spent with the Grand Rapids Griffins between his Wings stints.

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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