Detroit Red Wings remain stuck in winless streak, lose at Philadelphia, 3-1

Detroit Free Press

PHILADELPHIA — The Detroit Red Wings finished a short road trip against an opponent having an even tougher season than them.

The Philadelphia Flyers, sitting below the Wings in the standings, still proved a challenge Sunday evening at Wells Fargo Center. The outing continued what has become a dispiriting demise for the Wings, with their 3-1 loss leaving them with one point during a six-game winless stretch.

“This was an extremely winnable game,” coach Derek Lalonde said. “In fact, it was just sitting there for us in the second period, and we gave it back.”

Just like the previous day, the Wings were first to score Sunday, with David Perron netting his 16th goal of the season early in the game. And just like against the Islanders, the Flyers tied the game — egregiously enough on a shorthanded chance — and then built a lead.

“A frustrating loss, for sure,” goalie Ville Husso said after making 34 saves. “I think we were in a good spot going into the second period and then we kind of gave it away. They got a couple goals and the third period, they held the lead.”

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It helped to that Husso was back in net after being out one game with a lower-body injury, but the Wings as a whole didn’t have their best effort, and back-to-back penalties by Perron and Moritz Seider around the midpoint of the third period didn’t help. The Wings had to resort to pulling Husso for an extra attacker with a little more than two minutes to go, and Scott Laughton took advantage to score an empty-net goal.

“We definitely want to be in a different situation than we are right now,” Seider said. “We are losing track on our big goal of making the playoffs and it’s just up to us. We didn’t play great. And then it’s just really hard to win hockey games. It’s frustrating. We have to stick together, grow even more and finish the season really strong.”

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Solid first

The Wings had a good first period, building a lead when Perron finished a back-and-forth with Andrew Copp to score just short of five minutes in. That was Perron’s 16th goal of the season. The Wings also killed a penalty to Dominik Kubalik — the Flyers got two shots on net, but they never really threatened, there’s a reason their power play is ranked last in the NHL. Put it on Carter Hart that the Wings only came out of the period with a 1-0 lead; he was on top of his game, stopping multiple quality chances among 10 total. Husso had more work in the first period, with 13 saves, making one of his harder ones on a Joel Farabee breakaway.

Deflating second

Things soured in the second period. The Wings went on a power play at 5:10, but instead of using it to build momentum, the exact opposite happened. Jake Walman, playing the point on the second power play unit that had been manned by Filip Hronek until he was traded two days before the deadline, attempted a pass that was picked off by Nick Deslauriers, who took off up ice and turned the turnover into a shorthanded goal at 6:53.

The Wings sagged after that, and the Flyers fed off that to take the lead. Nick Seeler fired a shot from near the blue line that skidded towards the net, where Noah Cates tipped the puck to make it 2-1, at 12:57. Jordan Oesterle turned the puck over deep in his own zone late in the second period, but Husso covered for that mishap.

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New look for Zadina

Filip Zadina has been playing well since returning in early February after a leg injury that sidelined the 23-year-old winger for three months. He was promoted to the top line Sunday, playing next to Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond. Zadina has struggled to establish where he fits in the lineup since being the No. 6 pick in 2018, but of late he’s looked much better, making plays with the puck and circling down low for opportunities.

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

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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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