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Babcock: Win faceoffs to spark Red Wings' power play

by Dan Rosen

DETROIT -- Mike Babcock has the solution for the Detroit Red Wings' power-play problems against the Boston Bruins.

"Why not win a faceoff and get going," Babcock said.

Detroit has lost the faceoff to start five of its six power plays through two games in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series. It's not surprising then that the Red Wings are 0-for-6 on the power play with only two shots on goal entering Game 3 on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

The Bruins have matched Detroit with two shots on goal while shorthanded. Boston also scored on two of its four power plays in Game 2 on Sunday to help it even the series at 1-1 with a 4-1 victory at TD Garden.

"Just win the faceoff and get shooting and get it back, that would be the first thing," Babcock said. "The second thing is we obviously have to have a better plan and execution on our power play. We've gone through it ad nauseam, as you can imagine, and the biggest thing for us is we've gotta execute.

"Our first power play breakout [in Game 2], we came out, no pressure, we passed it to the boards and then you start getting rattled. Forget all that. Let's get some swagger back. Let's get going. Let's enter. Let's attack."

The Bruins are obviously making it harder for Detroit to attack. The Red Wings typically like to skate the puck into the zone, but Boston is preventing that by playing four across the blue line, daring the Red Wings to dump the puck in and chase after it.

Detroit hasn't done enough of that.

"We have to enter the zone," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "Last game we were basically giving it to them and they shot it back down, and here we go again, over and over and over. We have to do a way better job of being more organized and enter the zone with speed and get going with speed. Obviously once we get there we've gotta get some pucks to the net.

"They're not going to make a lot of movements if we're not moving. So get some movements, let the puck do the work, and get the puck to the net."

Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist said breakouts were a major topic of discussion in Detroit's power-play meetings since it went 0-for-4 with one shot on goal in Game 2.

"You can take different routes," he said. "You can have more speed."

You can also just win the faceoff and go from there.


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