Red Wings try to use Lightning to end six-game skid

The Detroit Red Wings haven’t won since they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Dec. 6 in Florida. They’ll look to end a six-game slide when they host the Lightning on Wednesday.

Detroit has gone 0-4-2 during that streak. One of those overtime defeats came on Monday, when the Wings lost 4-3 at Washington. The Capitals scored with 22 seconds left in the overtime session.

“In reality, I think at any other time, this is probably a really good point,” coach Derek Lalonde said in a postgame TV interview. “I think the fact that we’re sitting on an 0-4-2 stretch and we had some good chances, it’s a little frustrating.”

Detroit led 2-0 after the first period and 3-2 early in the third. But the Capitals scored just over a minute later to tie it, and the Red Wings couldn’t find another answer.

“Instead of just going and playing, playing free, playing with confidence, we’re thinking a lot,” team captain Dylan Larkin said. “It was much better (Monday). We generated much more and it’s just sometimes the way it goes. They get one shot, and it’s in our net.”

In their previous game, the Red Wings gave up five special teams goals — three on Senators power plays and two short-handed — in a 6-3 home loss to Ottawa on Saturday afternoon. Against the Capitals, the Wings’ Oskar Sundqvist scored a power-play goal, and they killed off three Capitals power plays.

“Our five-on-five game was probably better in our last game out, but we lost the special teams battle,” Lalonde said. “So, we win the special teams battle (Monday) and it gives us an opportunity (to force) overtime and obviously (get) a point on the road.”

In the Wings’ first meeting with the Lightning, Ville Husso made 44 saves and they scored three third-period goals, including a pair of empty-netters. The matchup on Wednesday will be the second of four between the Atlantic Division teams, but they won’t face each other again until Feb. 25.

Tampa Bay had a five-game winning streak halted at Toronto on Tuesday. The Lightning were outshot 40-19 in the 4-1 loss, although two of the goals they gave up were empty-netters.

Vladislav Namestnikov scored the lone Lightning goal. During the winning streak, Tampa Bay outscored the opposition 24-7.

“We definitely did not show up tonight,” coach John Cooper said. “It’s the NHL. I get it. There’s 82 games. You’re not going to have your best every single night. But we started trying to manufacture things out of nothing.”

Tampa Bay was held to one goal for the fourth time this season. The Lightning have not been shut out.

Cooper was more concerned about their 11 giveaways to the Maple Leafs.

“We were just giving them opportunities,” he said. “Everything we talked about doing, I’m not sure we did at all tonight. That was a complete game, I’ll tell you that. A complete bag of you-know-what, that’s what that one was.”

–Field Level Media