(Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)
Putting aside the fact that the Wings are riding a three-game winning streak, the effects of Detroit’s six-game, 11-day Western Conference road trip were evident in its 2-1 overtime victory against the New York Rangers on Wednesday, when it was outshot 40-31. That fatigue carried into practice Thursday.
“We weren’t real crisp today,” coach Mike Babcock told the Red Wings website. “We had a late game last night. I don’t think we had a ton of energy here today, but I expect our energy to be back and us to have no reason to [not] play a lot better than we did. We’ve got to tighten up our game again and get back to the level we need to be at.”
One player who was fresh against New York was Zetterberg, who had two assists in 17:56 of ice time in his return to the lineup after missing four games because of a head injury.
Defenseman Marek Zidlicky
, acquired in a trade with the New Jersey Devils before the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday, scored the overtime winner. He played 17:44 and was second among Detroit defensemen with 2:28 of power-play time.
Babcock, who said defenseman Jonathan Ericsson
is banged up, will keep forwards Riley Sheahan
, Gustav Nyquist
and Stephen Weiss
together despite not being pleased with his new third line’s performance against the Rangers. “They weren’t very good. Lots of us weren’t good though,” the coach said. “We’ll see if it’s a line that can spend some time in the offensive zone. We’ll give it another try tonight.”
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