Red Wings losing streak

DETROIT -- Frustration boiled over for the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

"We were breaking up a fight in the middle of practice because it was intense," coach Derek Lalonde said. "I think that's very productive."

Yes, productive.

The Red Wings need to show some fight after being outscored a combined 32-11 in six straight regulation losses, hurting their chances of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I think it's good to be frustrated," defenseman Moritz Seider said. "It's not OK to lose anymore."

Before this, the Red Wings were on a six-game winning streak and held the first wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

On Feb. 28, they were 33-20-6 and three points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who held the second wild card in the East, and eight in front of the New Jersey Devils, the first team below the cut line in the conference.


They're 33-26-6 -- tied in points with the New York Islanders, who hold the second wild card in the East -- but below the cut line because the Islanders have one game in hand.

They badly need a better effort against the Arizona Coyotes at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SCRIPPS, BSDET).

"I'd be more worried if we were walking around here all smiles, all happy and everything's OK," forward Patrick Kane said. "I think it's good to get a little frustrated as long as you harness it in the right way."

What's wrong with the Red Wings?

On Feb. 28, they were fourth in the NHL in goals per game (3.58), eighth on the power play (23.5 percent) and ninth on the penalty kill (81.7 percent), but 20th in goals-against per game (3.15). They were 29th in 5-on-5 shot-attempts percentage (46.1 percent) and fourth in combined 5-on-5 shooting and save percentage (102.0 percent).

In other words, they were relying on hot shooting, hot goaltending and special teams, and were likely to regress to the mean.

Even from Jan. 1-Feb. 28, when they went 16-4-2 and ranked second in the NHL in points percentage (.773), there were cracks in the foundation.

In that span, they were fourth in goals per game (3.64) and seventh in goals-against per game (2.64). They were tied with the Washington Capitals for seventh on the power play (28.1 percent) and fourth on the penalty kill (84.6 percent), but 26th in 5-on-5 shot attempts percentage (46.1 percent) and second in combined 5-on-5 shooting and save percentage (102.9 percent).

"I think at times during the last six-game winning streak, we weren't playing as good as it seemed," forward David Perron said. "Everyone was pumping us up, and I had some conversations with people -- coaches, others, players.

"I just felt like we were outscoring our problems, and at one point, it was going to turn around and bite us a little bit, and it did. It's just the reversal of it right now."

Lalonde agreed to an extent.

"I think that's too broad," he said. "We played some really good hockey in that stretch. You don't get yourself 13 games over .500 by accident, but with that said, there was plenty of time within our game that we were scoring, and we got just outstanding goaltending for a long stretch."

Since Feb. 29, the Red Wings are 31st in goals per game (1.83), 32nd in goals-against per game (5.33), 21st on the power play (17.7 percent) and tied with the Minnesota Wild and Washington Capitals for 22nd on the penalty kill (72.7 percent). They're 26th in 5-on-5 shot attempts percentage (45.8 percent) and 32nd in combined 5-on-5 shooting and save percentage (90.9 percent).

It hasn't helped that Dylan Larkin, Detroit's captain, No. 1 center and leading goal-scorer (26), has missed the past four games with an injury and is expected to miss at least three more.

"We're not paying attention to detail," said forward Alex DeBrincat, who is tied with Larkin for the team lead with 54 points but has one assist during the losing streak. "We've had some tough starts. It's hard to come back in this league, and when you give up three, four goals in the first period, it's not a recipe for success.

"I think it's just a lot of frustration boiling over, and I think we've got to maybe calm down, just get back to the basics and play the system we know and really work hard. I think we've had a couple games where the work ethic's just not there. It's up and down the lineup, and it's really costing us."

Now the Red Wings need to snap back the other way.

Perron said Hockey Hall of Famer Ken Hitchcock, his former coach with the St. Louis Blues, used to say when you get results you don't deserve, it usually takes two or three weeks to get back to your game.

"That's exactly what's happening right now," Perron said. "I just couldn't help driving in this morning to kind of have his voice in my ear again, think about that. At the same time, it's an exciting challenge to come to the rink and find a way to turn it around."