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Trending: Bernier bright spot in shutout loss to Flyers

Wings goalie gave team a chance to win in second game back from injury

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

DETROIT -- The Red Wings have had trouble with the Philadelphia Flyers in recent years but you certainly can't beat them if you don't score.

Despite a stellar effort by goaltender Jonathan Bernier, the Wings fell to the Flyers, 3-0, Monday night at Little Caesars Arena.

Scott Laughton, Kevin Hayes (shorthanded) and Matt Niskanen (shorthanded empty net) scored for the Flyers.

Jonathan Bernier (10-14-2) made 28 saves.

The Flyers (29-17-7) are now 9-0-2 in their last 11 games against the Wings (12-38-4), whose winless streak stands at nine games.

Philadelphia netminder Brian Elliott (13-5-4) stopped all 16 shots he faced for his 40th career shutout and second this season.

Up next for the Wings (12-38-4) is a back-to-back set Thursday in Buffalo and Friday in Columbus.

The Flyers return home to host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

1. Jonathan Bernier: Any concern that Bernier would need some time to round back into shape after missing seven games with a lower-body injury and then sitting through the All-Star break and bye has quickly been dismissed in the last two games. On Saturday night, Bernier stopped 30 of 31 New York Rangers shots but his team couldn't help him out with a goal. It was a similar story Monday night, although the defensive zone play was not as good as it was against the Rangers. The Flyers kept Bernier busy in the first, firing 11 shots his way. Bernier stopped Claude Giroux from the mid-slot after a giveaway at 4:40, then stoned Joel Farabee at 6:10, Farabee again on a spin shot at 9:04, plus an additional stop on Sean Couturier's rebound attempt. Bernier said he did not see Laughton's shot at 9:31 of the second, the first goal of the game. At 2:47 of the third, Hayes scored on a shorthanded breakaway but the damage could have been far worse without Bernier's heroics. Couturier and Justin Braun had a 2-on-1 and Bernier slid quickly to his left to stop Braun's shot from the right circle. Since Dec. 12, Bernier is third in the league with a 1.98 goals-against average and also third with a .939 save percentage with a minimum of seven appearances.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Big save Bernie. 🙌

Quotable: "Obviously it's not an easy situation. Two games, no goals. Same kind of thing. We had an open net and the guy hits the guy's skate. But I thought our effort was probably not as good as against the Rangers. It is what it is. I feel pretty good. Tonight was a little bit tougher. I felt like the first game obviously you have the energy. I got pretty tired from that game. Tonight was a little bit tougher. Second game seems to take a toll on you a little bit. We got a couple of days now to reset and get on the road." - Bernier

Quotable II: "He was amazing. It's kind of the same old song and dance. We didn't play well in front of him. All the credit in the world to him. He stood on his head tonight. He was a light for us tonight." - Luke Glendening

Quotable III: "Bernie, he played great. I mean gosh, all the chances we gave up. That's losing hockey. You can't give up chances like that and expect your goalie to bail you out all the time. It's gotta be one of the best for sure. He's really seeing the puck, he's moving well. I've always thought all along that Bernie's a really good goalie. Sometimes you have an off year, or bounces that don't go your way. And things, especially in that position, you need confidence more than anything. When you don't have it, pucks seem to find a way to go in. I think he's a really good goalie. Works really hard in practice. He's a professional. He's been a guy that's played really well of late and has given us a chance to win." - Justin Abdelkader

Quotable IV: "I think it'd be like what we talked about with injuries and all that, you gotta control what you can control. Bernie can only control his play. I don't like when goalies have to be in situations where they have to make backdoor saves like he had to tonight, or where they have to make too many breakaway saves because then you start to feel like you gotta play like Superman and next thing you know, you're not stopping the shots you're supposed to stop. So we gotta make sure we keep working to be a better defensive team. I thought we took a step forward, a couple steps forward against New York on Saturday. Actually, through lots of the game we weren't terrible that way, we pressed in the third a little bit. That was my direction, to try to press and we gave up more outnumbered rushes than we want to. We gotta make sure we're real good defensively and then Bernie's just got to worry about what he can control." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill

2. Lack of offense: Monday marked the sixth time Detroit has been shut out and second time it has been shut out in back-to-back contests. The Wings were shut out Nov. 24, 2-0, by the Carolina Hurricanes and Nov. 27, 6-0, by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their last goal came Friday night in New York when Valtteri Filppula scored at 10:59 of the third period, a scoreless span of 129:01. Darren Helm led the team with a season-best six shots.

Quotable: "When you're playing in your zone and keep turning the puck over, by the time you get out of your zone, you're so tired you gotta change. So you don't have much of an attack. We just kept getting hemmed in tonight. But the time we got it out, we were exhausted and couldn't ever really get anything going in their zone. Obviously things aren't going the way we want. Every time we think we've hit rock bottom, we go a little further. We gotta stick with it. I thought against the Rangers on Saturday we played well. But then we kind of went backwards tonight. We gotta find a way to take another step forward." - Glendening

Quotable II: "You can't win if you don't score, right? We just gotta continue to get pucks to the net, get bodies there, be hard on our sticks. It's not necessarily gonna be the pretty chances, it's gonna be the ugly ones. Continue to create traffic and ultimately spend more time in the offensive zone. Then teams start breaking down and stuff starts opening up. We gotta spend more time there." - Abdelkader

Quotable III: "I thought we were not very good at all. I thought Bernie kept us in the game. I thought we did actually have chances. It was a weird game, we had chances, in the end our chances art first glance were 15-10, so it wasn't like we didn't have any opportunities to score, but from a process standpoint, regardless of the score, regardless of the chances, we weren't good. We talked after Friday about execution and confidence and poise and we couldn't pass the puck today, we couldn't go from tape to tape. It's hard to play hockey when you can't go from tape to tape. We have to understand, if we're not close to 100 percent our best, we're not good enough. Some teams can play at 90 or 85 and still skill their way to a win; we're not doing that. So we have to understand that on a nightly basis … we've been back here from break and two of the three games we haven't been close to our best. We have to understand we have to be from that 95 to 100 percentile every night, whether that's mental preparation, whether that's work ethic, whether it's competitiveness, whether it's getting yourself ready for a game, we can't afford any kind of letdowns whatsoever. Until we understand that, we'll have too many nights like this." - Blashill

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: "Bernie kept us in the game."Luke Glendening, Justin Abdelkader, Jonathan Bernier & Jeff Blashill speak following tonight's game vs. the Flyers. @CocaCola | #PHIvsDET

3. Andreas Athanasiou : The first game back after a long layoff due to injury is always a difficult one, particularly when it was a lower-body injury that did not allow for skating while rehabilitating the injury. Athanasiou had missed 13 games with a lower-body injury and had not played a game yet this calendar year. With the injury to Filip Zadina, Athanasiou was thrust into a top-line, top power-play role. Athanasiou finished with 20 shifts for 16:42, had one shot, one giveaway, one takeaway and was minus-3.

Quotable: "It's a few weeks since he's played. First of all, he has had very little practice time at all. I thought he played fine but I also think it's really hard to ask a guy to step in and play on the top line and play in that live action that you gotta play when you can't really replicate it. So I think he'll be better in Buff." - Blashill

Quotable II: "I'm not gonna lie. I don't see a lot of other people when I'm out there. You see flashes of his speed and his hands. He's been out awhile. It's probably gonna take some time to get back. He's a huge piece, a great offensive player for us. He's had some injury issues this year but hopefully he'll get back to full speed here soon." - Glendening

Quotable III: "Obviously he can skate, he can move out there. Anytime you're off for that long, timing's always not there. He'll get better as he goes. Obviously he can skate and creates a lot with his speed." - Abdelkader

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