Detroit Red Wings frustration growing as long as losing streak: ‘We need to find 2 points’

Detroit Free Press

WASHINGTON — Moritz Seider said it, Derek Lalonde said it, Dylan Larkin said it — and the Detroit Red Wings looked it.

They haven’t won a game since they played the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 6; now the Wings face the Bolts Wednesday on a six-game winless streak. The Wings’ 4-3 overtime loss against the Washington Capitals was something to build on — but ultimately it was bit tiresome to yet again explain falling a point short.

“It’s really frustrating,” defenseman Moritz Seider said after the game at Capital One Arena. “We want to win every single game. It’s frustrating.”

The Wings (13-11-7) aren’t even winning when they get great goaltending (Ville Husso, 38 saves) and special teams come through with a power play goal and three big penalty kills.

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“We played much more to our identity,” captain Dylan Larkin said. “We were hard to play against, we forechecked hard, we battled. It goes to overtime, we don’t get the extra point. It’s frustrating, but we are trying not to get too down on this effort because we feel it was a positive effort.”

Larkin had a hand in David Perron’s goal, which gave the Wings a 1-0 lead. Oskar Sundqvist made it 2-0 before the first period ended. Even after giving up two goals 11 seconds apart in the second period to Nic Dowd (Lalonde said afterwards the Wings were adamant the puck hit the netting on the second one before going in, but didn’t have a conclusive replay available), Lucas Raymond scored early in the third period to make it 3-2.

“I think we showed a lot of will, a lot of compete,” Seider said. “We won a lot of battles, which wasn’t the case in the last game, so there are a lot of positive to take away. Our PK was really solid against one of the top power plays in the league, and we found a way to contribute on our power play.”

The Wings have lost twice in overtime during this 0-4-2 stretch, and are 1-5 in overtime this season. There wasn’t a turnover to blame in Washington like there was when Larkin turned the puck over in Dallas, or Tyler Bertuzzi in Anaheim — just frustration that Filip Hronek’s golden chance went awry and Dmitry Orlov’s golden chance ended the game.

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“We get the grade-A, inner-slot chance — we put a dent in the crossbar,” coach Derek Lalonde said. “Their’s goes post-in from outside the scoring area. Special teams gave us an opportunity for a point. Obviously feeling a little frustrated because of the way it has been going lately, but in reality, a pretty good road point. We played a really good overtime. I don’t know how much more we could have done.”

Larkin suggested the overtime record may have players, “gripping the stick tight, thinking about it too much. Instead of just going and playing and playing free and with confidence, we’re thinking a lot. We generated a lot more, but it’s just sometimes the way it goes — they get one shot and it’s in our net.

“We still need to find two points. But we feel it’s a pretty good point.”

After spending Sunday’s practice focused on special teams, the performance by both units offered some consolation.

“It’s probably why we got a point on the road,” Lalonde said. “Probably any other time in the season, this is a pretty good point on the road. The fact we’re on an 0-4-1 stretch leaves you a little bit frustrated.”

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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