The Detroit Red Wings didn’t feel like they played poorly in the front end of a back-to-back. Nonetheless, they head into Tempe, Ariz., for a meeting with the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday looking to end a two-game slide.
After losing to one of the league’s worst teams, Columbus, at home on Saturday, Detroit fell behind by five goals at reigning Stanley Cup champ Colorado on Monday afternoon. The Red Wings wound up losing, 6-3.
Detroit had two more shots on goal, won 13 more faceoffs and blocked 14 more shots than the Avalanche. Yet Colorado’s top players seemed to take advantage of every opportunity they had.
“We could play that same exact game and a couple of things go our way early and (the score) could have been flipped. I thought it was important for them to know that,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said in a TV interview about his postgame comments to his team. “We leave here not satisfied, not good enough, but hopefully some things we can build on.”
Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and two assists for the Avalanche, and Cale Makar supplied two goals and one assist.
“The bottom line is they had a couple of players who had some pretty special nights tonight,” Lalonde said. “Probably the difference in the game.”
The Wings lost the special teams battle, as Colorado converted on half of its four power plays while Detroit went 0-for-2.
“Some momentum swings in there,” Lalonde said. “Obviously, they get four (power plays) in the first half of the game and score on two of them. A little frustrating. It didn’t feel like a 6-3 game, but we didn’t do enough to give ourselves a chance. Especially in those first 30 minutes.”
Detroit should have a good chance to collect two points against the Coyotes, who will be looking to snap a nine-game losing streak.
“Doesn’t matter who we play,” Red Wings forward Adam Erne said. “Points are points and we’ve got to come away with them.”
Ville Husso started in goal for Detroit on Monday but his backup, Magnus Hellberg, will likely get the nod on Tuesday.
The Coyotes are coming off a pair of 2-1 losses over the weekend. They lost to Minnesota on Saturday and Winnipeg on Sunday.
Arizona hasn’t tasted victory since Dec. 29, a 6-3 win over Toronto.
“You need to keep fighting,” coach Andre Tourigny said. “In the league, nobody will feel sorry for you. Everybody needs points, everybody needs wins, and everybody has urgency.”
The team’s lone All-Star representative, Clayton Keller, had just one point in the previous six games before scoring the only goal against the Jets. He fired in the puck from the left circle during the second period.
“I’ve had a couple rushes like that where I’ve maybe shot a little too early,” he said. “I think that one, I thought back to that in that split second, and I was able to make the move around the guy and put it into the net.”
The first meeting with the Red Wings was a shootout thriller, which Detroit pulled out 4-3 on Nov. 25.
The Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun scored in the final minute of regulation to send the game into overtime. Dylan Larkin was the lone scorer during the shootout.
–Field Level Media