Just as the Detroit Red Wings were enjoying their most successful stretch of the season, it ended.
Playing the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at Little Caesars Arena for the second time in three days, the Wings couldn’t capitalize on momentum and suffered a 4-0 loss.
The Wings (16-24-6) started well but couldn’t maintain the energy they displayed during their season-high three-game winning streak. The power play, for one thing, was a huge letdown.
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The Wings squandered their fourth man advantage early in the second period, and fell behind by a pair of goals when Alex DeBrincat (Farmington Hills) knocked Brandon Hagel’s rebound behind Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier. Wyatt Kalynuk made it 3-0 a minute into the third period.
The Wings clocked 1:07 with a two-man advantage just past the midpoint of the third period. When that didn’t yield anything, they pulled Bernier with more than five minutes to go — and promptly gave up a fourth goal, to Pius Suter.
The Wings next play Monday at the Dallas Stars.
Power play problems
The Wings spent six minutes of the first period with an extra skater ,but they also had to kill off a too-many-men penalty two minutes in; that wouldn’t be so egregious had they not taken two such penalties in the prior game. The Wings’ power plays were thwarted partly by Chicago goalie Malcom Subban and partly by having seven shots blocked; they exited the period down by a goal when Patrick Kane snuck the puck behind Bernier.
Joe Veleno, a late first-round pick from 2018, was assigned to the taxi squad Saturday afternoon. He’d been in quarantine since last weekend, when he returned from Sweden after his season ended. The Wings have emphasized improvement of his defense since he turned pro in 2019-20. Veleno, 21, is a fluid skater who can play center or wing, and putting him in the lineup will provide a snapshot of where he is at in his development.
Evgeny Svechnikov missed a second straight game with an undisclosed injury that occurred during Thursday’s pregame skate. He’s considered day-to-day, but Robby Fabbri has the same label, and he hasn’t played since April 3. Svechnikov’s career with the Wings has been defined by injuries, unfortunately — most notably the knee surgery that cost him the 2018-19 season. This latest injury happened just as he was getting a chance to play with Dylan Larkin, who likes playing with himbecause he gets Larkin the puck. Svechnikov, who has cleared two waiver exposures, has three goals and two assists in 14 games.
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.