Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland, USA TODAY Sports

WINGS POSTGAME: Third period breakdown cost Wings another loss

Another game in the lottery bowl, the 20-25-10 Devils hosted the 14-40-4 Red Wings at the Prudential Center. Despite 2 good periods on the road played by the Wings, a third period meltdown cost them the game and pushed their record to 0-16-1 vs teams in the Metropolitan Division. This game was ultimately frustrating because despite the 4 consecutive goals from the Devils in a matter of minutes, Detroit played a competitive game for most of the night.

Thoughts and Highlights 

  • The Wings did a good job at controlling and dictating the play during the first, ultimately having the edge of shots at 12 to 4. Bertuzzi stood out the most with a chance on the breakaway and nearly scoring after only hitting the post.
  • However, having two power plays in the first frame, Detroit failed to manage a single shot on the 4 minutes of the man advantage. There was little zone time and generation that kept the game scoreless so far for the visitors.
  • Penalties galore was the theme for the second frame. Bertuzzi sat for high sticking, but Detroit kept the puck to the boards and limited chances and didn’t let the Devils set up. The same could be said for New Jersey, who killed Miles Wood’s tripping call right after.
  • Detroit would take 3 back-to-back-to-back penalties. First it was Green who sat for his cross check, then Lindstrom for accidental delay of game, followed by Biega for interference. Despite going nearly 6 minutes down a player, the game remained scoreless, and the Wings had their best chances of the period during that stretch.
  • The calls didn’t stop there, though, cause Detroit headed back to the man advantage soon after Coleman sits for contact to the head. Athanasiou finally breaks through for the first goal of the game with a blast from the dot and it’s 1-0 Wings after 2.

  • Not much happening in the first few minutes of the third until the equalizing goal from Andy Greene. A slight scrum in front of Bernier and Greene’s rocket managed to squeeze past to tie the game up early.

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  • The Wings played well enough to win this game, but the wheels then came off and they handed the game to the home team. New Jersey scores 4 goals in 4 minutes, completely diminishing the two competitive periods Detroit put up. Simmonds scores the next 2 goals, one on another power play, before Bratt put the Devils up 4-1 before any of their fans could even sit down from the second Simmonds goal.
  • That’s the final score of the game with the shots being 26-25 Detroit.
  • It’s a shame Bernier finally got some much needed defensive help and a relatively low shot count through 2 only to have his team malfunction and not secure any leads. He’s been the team MVP for the past 2 months and hopefully the Wings can make up some games down the stretch for him.
  • Neither of these teams are realistically making the playoffs, but it was enjoyable to see both rosters show some heart in one of many games down the stretch. The frustration grows for the Wings here as they were more than capable of closing out this game, but another loss is headed their way in this historically bad season.

Gif of the Game

The refs handing out penalties to both teams tonight

Motor City MVP

With the first and only goal of the night for Detroit, Athanasiou looks like he could be heating up. With his 2 goals agasint Boston on Sunday, a streak is exactly what he needs to spark his snake bitten season. With Zadina out for a little while longer, it’s up to Detroit’s established core to pick up some of the offensive responsibilities. Detroit has another match-up with the Bruins this Sunday where he could look to continue his hot hand.