‘A winnable game’: Wings’ five-game streak snapped by Kraken in 4-2 loss

Detroit News

At this point, Jordan Eberle has to wonder what his career might have looked like if he played the Detroit Red Wings more often.

The Seattle Kraken forward on Saturday night continued his reign of dominance against Detroit, adding two goals to his career ledger as the Wings had a five-game losing streak stopped with a 4-2 loss in Seattle.

The dropped game — described as “very winnable” by Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde — was a missed opportunity for the Red Wings (26-21-8), who began play Saturday after all four teams ahead of Detroit in the wild-card standings had already lost. Buffalo would go on to move into a playoff position with a win over San Jose.

“Our second effort wasn’t there tonight,” Lalonde told Bally Sports Detroit. “They were a little heavier than us, they executed better, they made a few more plays — we just left too much out there.

“This was a winnable game. We had plenty of opportunities. We just didn’t execute throughout, didn’t give ourselves a chance.”

Pius Suter and Dylan Larkin scored for Detroit. Winger Tyler Bertuzzi, on the same day it was reported he was likely off the table in trade deadline talks, notched his 200th career point in his 300th NHL game.

BOX SCORE: Kraken 4, Red Wings 2

With his pair of goals, Eberle pushed his career total against the Wings to 15 in 28 games. Over his career, he averages 0.54 goals per game against Detroit and 0.17 against every other team. Eberle added an assist, former University of Michigan center and current Kraken rookie Matty Beniers had two and Eeli Tolvanen and Jamie Oleksiak each scored a goal for Seattle (32-18-6).

Getting the win proved to be a tough task for the Wings, who played four games in six nights out West after traveling to Vancouver on Sunday morning.

“I didn’t think we had our best first two periods,” Bertuzzi said. “We kind of made a push in the third, late in the third, and the goalie stood on his head.”

Near the end of the first period, the Kraken fought off a flurry of Red Wings chances to get a chance of their own on the rush. Red Wings goalkeeper Ville Husso let up a goal he almost certainly wanted back, allowing a wrist shot from Eberle to squeak by him for the game’s first goal at 16:50.

Suter got the goal back for Detroit with 16 seconds left in the opening period. He stole a pass from Vince Dunn in the neutral zone and started a chance the other way, eventually swatting home his ninth goal of the season (and third since the winning streak began) from the high slot to make it 1-1.

Eberle gave the Kraken a 2-1 lead at 2:05 in the second period. Beniers carried the puck into Detroit’s zone and got the puck out front, where Eberle was waiting to one-time the pass past Husso for his second goal of the night.

Bertuzzi, on the same day that it was reported he would likely not be available at the trade deadline, played in his 300th NHL game.

The Red Wings got a four-minute power play to close the second period when Michael Rasmussen was hit with a high-stick from Vince Dunn that drew blood. Red Wings forward David Perron, however, nullified the power play just six seconds later by taking a penalty for holding the stick of Adam Larsson.

Seattle got the better of four-on-four hockey, adding to its lead before heading into the intermission. After Beniers nearly scored his first goal of the night, he wound up a set-up man for a goal by Oleksiak with eight seconds left in the second period.

The expiration of Perron’s penalty put Detroit on a much-needed power play early in the third period, but after squandering their chances, Seattle went for the knockout punch. Kraken defenseman Will Borgen forced a turnover as the Wings were breaking out of their zone, then got the puck on net for an easy rebound goal off the stick of Tolvanen.

“A goal, any time at the end of a period, beginning of a period, is huge,” Lalonde said. “That was a tough sequence for us, but ultimately, we did not execute in simple coverage, four-on-four, which is pretty basic and simple, and gave them an easy goal at the end.”

Larkin cut into Seattle’s lead with 2:21 left in the game, but it was too little, too late.

The loss in Seattle concludes the Red Wings’ four-game swing out west. The Red Wings will play at Washington on Tuesday and return home to face the New York Rangers Thursday.


Twitter: @nolanbianchi

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