Wings ‘out-competed, out-executed, outworked’ in loss to Kings
The Red Wings followed up their modest two-game winning streak with one of their least effective performances of the season – at least for most of the game – in a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday night at Little Caesars Arena.
Los Angeles is also one of the NHL’s worst teams, but they are 10 points (31 to 21) better than Detroit, which had snapped a 12-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night at LCA and a 2-1 win in Montreal on Saturday night.
But it was back to the bad old habits of the losing streak on Sunday night.
“I thought we got out-competed, out-executed and outworked,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “If you do those three things, you have no chance.”
The Wings were shut out until Filip Zadina chipped in a rebound past Port Huron native Jack Campbell with 9:51 left in the game for Zadina’s second goal of the season and second in three games.
“I thought Filip Zadina was probably our best forward tonight,” Blashill said. “Filip is fighting to stay here. Other guys have to have the attitude that they’re fighting to stay here.”
Madison Bowey scored with 2:23 left to make the score respectable.
Detroit pulled goaltender Eric Comrie, who made 28 saves while giving up quite a few fat and juicy rebounds, with 1:55 left in vain.
“We looked like a team that wasn’t ready to play, and that’s ultimately on me,” Blashill said.
The Wings couldn’t use the excuse of having played on Saturday night because the Kings also played Saturday night … and played more hockey. Los Angeles lost 5-4 in a shootout at Pittsburgh.
Jeff Carter gave the Kings a 1-0 lead with 7:45 left in the first period when he put in his own rebound from just below the left circle, after intercepting a pass by Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek.
Anze Kopitar scored twice in the second period to make it 3-0. His attempted pass from the top of the left circle went in off the skate of Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson 40 seconds into the period and Kopitar cashed in on a rebound with 8:46 left in the middle period for his 13th.
Tyler Toffoli scored 6:40 into the third period, getting his ninth, for a 4-0 lead.
Zadina – the sixth overall pick in the 2018 NHL draft – played his 10th game with Detroit this year, which means his three-year entry-level contract begins this season.
Blashill told Zadina, who has two goals and five assists, that he would be staying with the Red Wings this season before the game.
“It’s always a pleasure when he tells you that, but nothing has changed,” Zadina said after the game. “I just want to play the best hockey I can to help the team and earn my spot here and play with the players I’m playing with right now and help the team to win games.”
… Former Red Wings defenseman, Hall of Fame member and seven-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom was in attendance on Sunday night.