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WINGS POST-GAME: Red Wings End Losing Streak As Svechnikov Scores His First

I’m not a big fan of tanking, but this was a game that the Red Wings really needed to lose. As the Philadelphia Flyers visited Little Caesars Arena Tuesday night, Petr Mrazek already had the five wins under his belt that were required to turn the fourth round pick the Wings got in the trade into a third round pick. Now, the Flyers just had to make the playoffs. By no means is this a guarantee, but a win against the Wings would keep them ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the standings.

As for the Red Wings, an extension of their losing streak, currently at ten games, would continue to increase their chances at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft lottery. The extremely down side to this is that if the Wings lose in any way, they’ll be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Let’s dive in and see how the two teams did.

THE RUNDOWN

I missed the first period, but based on some feedback from the Wings Nation Twitter followers, it sounds like Detroit actually played pretty well. They out-shot the Flyers 13-9 and forced Mrazek to make some tough saves. According to NaturalStatTrick, their 5v5 CF% in the first period was a whopping 61.76%. Sounds like the players were ready to put an end to their losing streak, despite how much a loss helps their 2018 draft picks.

In the second period, they really flexed their scoring muscle. First, Dylan Larkin snapped his 17 game goal drought with a beautiful snipe past Mrazek. It was the youngster’s 50th career goal.

Then, Luke Glendening scored an unassisted shorthanded goal from almost the exact same spot, but instead of going far side, he snuck it in short side for his ninth of the season.

The Flyers then showed some signs of life as Sean Couturier scored his 30th of the season on a powerplay.

And then, just over a minute later, magic happened. The Flyers were scrambling in front of their own net as the Wings created traffic. Marty Frk took a shot from the top of the circle that was blocked and the puck bounced right onto the stick of Evgeny Svechnikov. He hammered it home to score his first career NHL goal.

It was so much fun watching this. Svechnikov’s face after the goal was priceless. It’s so great watching young players score their first ever NHL goal. What’s more, Svech’s goal is the one that chased Mrazek from the net as Dave Hakstol pulled him for the second time in three games. Not a great sign for the former Red Wing.

That would be the end of the scoring in the second, as the Wings converted on three of their five shots. The Flyers weren’t ready to lay down, though. They dominated most of the third period, with Matt Read bringing them to within a single goal almost eight minutes in.

Then, only two minutes later, Shane Gostisbehere tied the game up with a powerplay goal from the point. The collapse seemed to be in full effect until Dylan “D-Boss” Larkin introduced Alex Lyons to the snip show, giving the Red Wings a 4-3 lead.

Less than thirty seconds later, though, the game was tied again as Travis Konecny redirected the puck into an empty net as he was streaking in. The play went under review, but was ultimately deemed a good goal.

As the game headed into its final five minutes, it felt like a good time to remind everyone that if Detroit lost this one in any fashion, they would be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. You’d think that would light a spark under them to score a winner here, but Philly dominated them. They were firing pucks from everywhere, hitting the post and forcing Detroit to ice the puck. The pressure got so bad that Danny DeKeyser took an interference penalty in front of the Detroit net with 35 seconds left.

Regulation ended and the Flyers would start overtime with a 4-on-3. The Wings managed to kill off the remainder of the penalty and DeKeyser even had an amazing chance in the slot. Lyons absolutely robbed him. The chances went back and forth in the extra frame for one of the more exciting overtimes I’ve seen as of late. Nobody was able to get it done, so they went off to a shootout.

In the shootout, Frans Nielsen was the first shooter and scored five hole on Alex Lyons. There wasn’t another goal scored, meaning Detroit wins this one in the shootout, ending their 10 game losing streak and keeping their playoff dreams alive. For now.

THE STATS

Detroit really played a great game tonight, except for the third period, of course. I’ve just come to expect that third periods are terrible now.

As I mentioned above, Detroit’s playoff dreams are still alive, but New Jersey wins in any fashion tonight, then Detroit will be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Stay tuned to WingsNation.com for the updates.

MOTOR CITY MVP

Tonight’s Motor City MVP has got to be Evgeny Svechnikov for scoring his first career NHL goal.

NEXT UP

The Wings will get a day off tomorrow before returning to action on Thursday. They’ll be hosting the Washington Capitals at LCA. Puck drop is 7:30 P.M. ET and you’ll be able to watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit. As always, we’ll have the pre-game report up early Thursday afternoon.