KANATA, Ontario – The Red Wings are in Ottawa to wrap up a two-game road trip by the Senators in what will be Detroit’s third game in four nights.
The Wings are coming off a 3-1 loss Saturday at Boston, where they had 23 shots, but missed the net another 18 times. In total, the Wings had 57 attempts against the Bruins, but only managed to get a season-low 40.4 percent through on Tuukka Rask.
On more than one occasion since Saturday’s loss, coach Jeff Blashill has blasted the team’s offensive shortfall, including the fact that they own the league-low for shots on goal with 25.3 per game.
“If you only have 23 shots you don’t get as many chances to get seconds,” Blashill said. “It’s not from a lack of opportunity to be in the zone. It’s not from not shooting the puck. For the most part we didn’t have too many times where we were too cute. I didn’t see a whole lot of those on tape. I saw a lot of missed nets. We got to do a better job of hitting the net, making the goalie make saves.”
The Red Wings get Teemu Pulkkinen back in the lineup tonight. The sniper missed Saturday’s game with a sore neck. He will replace Joakim Andersson on the third line with Andreas Athanasiou and Drew Miller.
Jimmy Howard gets his ninth start of the season and his second against the Senators. He suffered a 3-1 loss to Ottawa at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 30.
Here are the line combinations and defensive pairings for tonight:
For the first time this month, the Red Wings built a 2-0 lead, courtesy of Dylan Larkin and Gustav Nyquist.
The newly formed line of Tatar, Datysuk and Larkin struck first converting a neutral-zone turnover into a 1-0 lead at 9:12 of the period. Defenseman Danny DeKeyser intercepted a pass and shuttled the puck to Larkin, who had to first dodge a hip check by Senators captain Erik Karlsson en route to the net. From there it appeared Larkin diped below the goal line before banking a shot off Sens goalie Craig Anderson.
A few moments later, defenseman Mike Green joined the rush, drawing an assist in his second consecutive game for the first time as a Red Wing as Nyquist recorded his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
The two goals were a pleasure to see for the Red Wings, who have struggled to score five on five. The two goals give them 18 five-on-five goals in 15-plus games.
The Senators, however, cut their deficit when Mike Hoffman scored with Larkin in the penalty box serving an interference minor.
Ottawa nearly tied the game late in the period, but Matt Puempel sent a rebound behind Jimmy Howard and out the other side of the crease.
DETROIT 2, OTTAWA 1
SCORING: 1. DET, Larkin (DeKeyser), 9:12; 2. DET, Nyquist (Abdelkader, Green), 11:01; 3. OTT, Hoffman PPG (Karlsson, Stone), 16:10.
PENALTIES: 1. DET, Larkin (interference), 14:13.
SHOTS: Detroit 8, Ottawa 8.
It’s been a very long time, but what the Red Wings call the fourth line finally registered a goal. Detroit switched up his lines before Monday’s game, deploying the trio of Darren Helm, Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan as its grind line against the Senators.
The threesome kept pressure in the zone late in the period where Glendening managed to tie up a Senators’ defenseman for Helm and Sheahan, who simultaneously reached for the loose puck in the crease to the right of Anderson.
Sheahan got to the puck first, scoring his second goal in the past 14 games.
It was one of the greasy goals, the second- or third-chance goals that the Wings haven’t been getting recently.
Through two periods the Red Wings have gotten 52.5 percent of their shot attempts through to the Senators net.
DETROIT 3, OTTAWA 1
SCORING: 1. DET, Sheahan (Glendening, Green), 16:24.
PENALTIES: 1, DET, Glendening (hooking), 0:25; 2. OTT, Hoffman (slashing), 2:22.
SHOTS: Detroit 13 (21), Ottawa 7 (15).
It wasn’t the kind of start to the third that the Red Wings wanted when the Senators took advantage of a defensive collapse in the attacking zone.
The Red Wings couldn’t get the puck out of their own zone and the Sens made them pay the consequences. Glendening broke his stick and tried clearing the puck with is gloved hand. But his attempt hit a leg and ricocheted to Sens defenseman Chris Wideman, who rifled a shot from the high slot that beat Howard at 3:13.
The pace definitely picked up once the Senators got within a goal of the Red Wings’ lead.
Ottawa had a few chances to pull even, but Howard made a couple nice saves and the defense did a nice job in transitioning the puck out of their own zone. On the other end, Athanasiou used his speed to break in on Anderson, but the Senators goalie glided to his left to stop a backhand shot and prevent the Wings from regaining a two-goal lead.
Detroit had the only power play opportunity in the final period. Alex Chiasson slashed Jonathan Ericsson and 14:25. However, the Red Wings failed to convert on their chance, which came back to bite Detroit when Bobby Ryan scored the equalizer moments later.
Ryan sliced his way through Glendening and Green before cutting in front of the net and slipping a backhand shot behind Howard.
DETROIT 3, OTTAWA 3
SCORING: 1. OTT, Wideman (unassisted), 3:13; 2. OTT, Ryan (Hoffman, Ceci), 17:12.
PENALTIES: 1. OTT, Chiasson (slashing), 14:25.
SHOTS: Detroit 15 (36), Ottawa 10 (25).
Having had a two-goal lead it’s certainly not the finish they expected, but the Wings got the win when Tomas Tatar cruised into the Senators end and fired a shot that beat Anderson. It was Tatar’s fifth goal of the season and came on the only shot in overtime.
The Red Wings (9-8-1) return home where they will host the Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. Game time is 8 p.m. EDT.
Ovheckin is one goal away from setting a new NHL record for Russian-born goal scorers. The Capitals’ captain is currently tied with Hockey Hall of Famer and Red Wings’ great Sergei Fedorov with 483 career goals.
DETROIT 4, OTTAWA 3
SCORING: 1. DET, Tatar (Nyquist), 2:04.
SHOTS: Detroit 1 (37), Ottawa 0 (25).