DETROIT -- It was an all too familiar scenario that played out Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena as the Red Wings dropped their fifth consecutive game, getting shut out 2-0 by the St. Louis Blues.
A first period goal at the 2:06 mark by the Blues had Detroit playing catch-up hockey early and although goalie Petr Marzek settled down and played very well, the Wings inability to convert on the power play (0 for 3) and lapses in concentration ultimately lead to the Wings' downfall.
1. Henrik Zetterberg: Once again Zetterberg was Detroit's best forward and led the forward corps in ice time, logging 20:39, registered a game-high six shots on net, which was the most by a player on both teams and won 63% of his face-offs. The Wings captain remained upbeat after the loss because he felt that the team was doing a lot of the right things, but just can't seem to do enough to put them over the top.
Quotable: "We're creating. We have to keep doing that and eventually it'll go in. Even though they scored the first goal I thought in the first period we outshot them and it was two teams that played really good defensively, clogging up in front of both nets. Not a lot of scoring chances. In the second they took over a bit. We were in the box a little bit too much. In the third we went at it and had enough chances to score. There are things that can get better. We're working on it. We're not perfect. We have to keep working." -- Zetterberg
2. Dylan Larkin: As the game progressed, forward Larkin picked up his play and saw considerable ice time on a line with Zetterberg and Tomas Tatar. Larkin played 16:20, had two shots on goal, was creating scoring chances with his speed and was tough on the puck most of the game, especially in the third period. Larkin has struggled at times this season playing on all four of Detroit's lines. With a solid performance and being rewarded by his coach with increased ice time, perhaps the young forward will elevate his game for Detroit's stretch run.
Quotable: "I switched (Anthony) Mantha and Larks because I thought Larks had a little more compete in him tonight. I thought the third period was one of Larks' best periods. I thought Larks had good jump in the third. That was one of his better periods in a while. Now I also would say this, I see him doing tons of good stuff. I see him doing the types of things that it takes for long-term success that you guys won't see, it won't show up on the score sheet. But he's stopping on pucks, he's playing from the defensive side of the puck, those types of things are critical in order to be a real good player in the league and I think he's really taken steps forward." -- Jeff Blashill
3 . Power Play: Detroit's lack of production converting on the power play has been a source of frustration the entire season. Against the Blues, the Wings failed on three power play opportunities. Entering Wednesday's game the Wings ranked dead last in the NHL on the power play. Detroit has clicked with the man advantage at a rate of 12%. Certainly if the Wings hope to maintain their playoff streak, the power play needs to dramatically improve in a hurry.
Quotable: "Our power play's definitely got to be better. Better as in, we can talk about getting pucks and creating momentum but bottom line we've got to have results and somehow get pucks in the back of the net. I think as long as we try to keep putting pucks on net and fighting for rebounds, the biggest thing is outworking the penalty kill. We got an extra guy, so any kind of loose pucks, we got to have those back." -- Justin Abdelkader