Red Wings fall 4-2 to Senators; Green to miss 3 to 5 weeks
The Red Wings suffered two losses on Friday.
They lost 4-2 to the Ottawa Senators at Little Caesars Arena on Friday night, their second consecutive regulation loss.
And earlier in the day, they learned that defenseman Mike Green will miss three to five weeks with a lower-body injury. Green, 33, did not practice on Thursday after playing limited minutes in Tuesday’s loss in Washington, the Red Wings’ second game in two nights.
“I’m going to use the timetable of 3-5 weeks,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said after the morning skate. “Those are always flexible, but right now we’re looking at 3-5 weeks with Mike. He’s been playing excellent, so this is unfortunate for him and for the team. How much it hurts depends on how the other guys play, but he was really grooving.”
Green leads Detroit defenseman with 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 23 games and leads the team in average ice time (21:56) and in plus/minus with plus-10.
Green missed the first nine games of the season recovering from a virus that was attacking his liver. The Red Wings were 1-6-2 without him and are 13-8-2 with him on the ice.
Detroit clearly missed Green’s ability to generate offense and get rushes started on Friday night, particularly in the third period, when Ottawa clogged up the middle of the ice and were constantly on the puck.
“They were hounding the puck (in the third period), but I thought we played too slow,” said Luke Glendening, who scored one of the Wings’ goals. Dylan Larkin got the other and Jimmy Howard made 24 saves.
Mark Stone broke a 2-2 tie for the Senators 7:08 into the third period when he was the only one who realized that Howard did not have the puck covered – it was in the crease behind the Red Wings goaltender. Stone tapped it in for the game winner.
“Everybody thought he (Howard) had it but, obviously, he didn’t,” said Niklas Kronwall, who was the closest Wing to the play. “Again, you’ve got to play to the whistle, and I’ve got to do better.”
That’s when Ottawa shut things down.
“Once they got that lead, they dropped into the 1-3-1 in the neutral zone and we couldn't get through,” Blashill said. “We were playing so slowly that we couldn't make anything happen in transition, so they just got back into the 1-3-1 and clogged it up.”
An actual bad “break” – of which Larkin was the victim – led to the Senators’ first goal, scored by Chris Tierney 8:19 into the game. Tierney would later add an empty-netter.
Larkin’s stick broke as he was trying to get off a shot from the high slot. That led to a 2-on-1 rush for Ottawa that ended with Tierney converting a pass from Ryan Dzingel.
Defenseman Thomas Chabot made it 2-0 with 6:03 left in the first.
Glendening made it 2-1 with 1:40 remaining in the opening period with his fifth goal, a backand shot from the bottom of the right circle.
Larkin got a little revenge for his misfortune with a spectacular breakaway goal to tie the game at 2 with 7:52 left in the second period. After coming out of the penalty box, he took a pass from Frans Nielsen, went in and beat Craig Anderson for his team-leading 14th goal.
But that was the Red Wings’ final highlight of the night.
“In the third period, we just slowed everything down and I don't know why,” Blashill said.
… Green is the third player the Red Wings have lost for an extended period of time in less than two weeks. Anthony Mantha is out for at least another month with a broken hand and, fellow defenseman Dan DeKeyser is out four to six weeks with a hand injury.
… Defenseman Filip Hronek, recalled from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, played 11:51 Friday night and was minus-1.
Hronek, like Green a right-handed shot who’s proficient in running the power play, began the season in Detroit due to a rash of injuries on defense. He had one goal and two assists in six games. Hronek has five goals and 13 assists in 20 games with the Griffins.
… The Wings sent defenseman Brian Lashoff to Grand Rapids.
… Detroit plays the New York Islanders on Long Island at 7 p.m. Saturday.