While his season as a whole can be considered a success, the past month for Valtteri Filppula
hasn't been pretty.
The 28-year old Detroit Red Wings
forward has scored just one goal in the past 17 games dating to the regular season. He last found the back of the net March 17 at San Jose. He had career-highs of 23 goals, 43 assists and 66 points this season while shifting from center to left wing.
Through Detroit's first three Stanley Cup Playoffs games, however, Filppula has no goals and one assist. He's also taken just six shots on goal, including just two of the Red Wings' 43 in Game 3 on Sunday.
"You create chances to score, but at the end of the day, chances ... they don't count," Filppula said. "We have to find a way to score and hopefully we can do a better job."
The Red Wings have struggled scoring goals in the same timeframe that's seen Filppula's production fall off. They also find themselves down 2-1 in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Nashville Predators
and could use an offensive outburst in Game 4 on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).
"I feel like we've been getting some chances, for sure," Filppula said. "[Sunday's] game, we had a lot of good chances and couldn't score. It's tough, obviously. You hope to get more chances but their goalie is playing really well, too. The more chances, hopefully the better luck you have that some go in."
In the regular season, Filppula led Detroit in goals scored against Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne
this season, with four in six games.
"It's a little different," Filppula said of the postseason. "Playoff hockey is always different. There's less room and you don't get as many good chances as you do during the regular season. It's tighter. The biggest thing is getting second shots and second chances and getting goals that way."
Still, the Wings know that when Filppula's firing more pucks at the net, the better it is for their scoring chances.
"I think we saw that [this season] when he was scoring some goals, he was shooting the puck a little more, driving the net, and [that's] something [he] can do an even better job at," Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom
said. "It would help [if Filppula heats up]. You're always looking at one player to be that difference and I think Fil can be that difference for us."