OTTAWA -- These are trying times for the Detroit Red Wings.
Since their 3-1 start to the season, they are having trouble scoring and they are giving up way too many goals.
Those trends continued at Canadian Tire Centre Wednesday night as the Wings (3-7-0) dropped their sixth straight game, losing to the Ottawa Senators, 5-2.
The Senators (2-6-1) earned their second victory of the season.
Darren Helm and Tyler Bertuzzi scored for the Wings.
Chris Tierney, Mark Borowiecki, Jean-Gabriel Pageau (shorthanded) and Anthony Duclair (two, one empty-net) scored for the Senators.
Detroit goalie Jonathan Bernier (2-3-0) had 33 saves.
Ottawa netminder Anders Nilsson (1-2-1) made 34 saves.
Justin Abdelkader played in his 700th career game and Luke Glendening skated in his 450th.
Both players were injured during the game but Abdelkader was able to return after blocking a shot. Glendening left in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return.
Up next for the Wings is a day off before hosting the league-leading Buffalo Sabres Friday night at Little Caesars Arena.
The Senators host the New York Islanders Friday at Canadian Tire Centre.
1. Darren Helm: The most consistent forward lines this season have been the top line and the fourth line, which is Helm-Jacob de la Rose-Justin Abdelkader. In the last game, coach Jeff Blashill had Helm with Frans Nielsen and Taro Hirose. Evgeny Svechnikov played on the fourth line. Against the Senators, Blashill flipped the two, Helm returning to the fourth line and Svechnikov playing with Nielsen and Hirose. Early in the second with the Wings trailing 1-0, Helm got a nice pass from Abdelkader, who was behind the net, and his shot from the left circle beat Nilsson 45 seconds into the period. It marked Helm's fourth goal of the season, moving him into second place alone behind Anthony Mantha, who leads the team with seven goals. Helm had seven goals in 61 games last season. Helm finished with 18 shifts for 12:36, had two shots, one hit, one blocked shot, was 1-for-1 in face-offs and was plus-1.
Quotable: "It makes it really difficult. You ask me about how many goals we've given up, a lot of those goals have been on the penalty kill. We've gone through games where we've played pretty good defensively and all the sudden you give up goals on the penalty kill and it melts you a little bit. Tonight, it's 2-2 and we give up a shorthanded goal; if you do that, you better find a way to come back and score. We can't lose the specialty teams battle on a nightly basis and think we're going to win. When we did this study a couple years ago, I think 76 percent of the time you won the specialty teams battle, you won the hockey game, but right now we're putting ourselves at tough odds, so now you got to play that much better than other teams to win. That's really hard to do. I thought our kill looked pretty good tonight. Obviously, their power play struggled a little bit, but I thought our kill looked good. We got to find a way to start winning these specialty teams battles." - Blashill
Quotable II: "Yeah for sure we get our chances out there. We do have to be better at that when you get them. It's hard to score in this league and we gotta make sure it's hard for the other team, too. We gotta make sure they at least have to work for the chances they get. Right now, it's too easy." - Frans Nielsen
2. Tyler Bertuzzi: Just 1:40 after Helm scored, defenseman Patrik Nemeth shot the puck from the right circle and Bertuzzi was there to put the rebound home for his fourth goal of the season. Filip Hronek picked up the second assist. It gave the Wings a brief 2-1 lead. That goal ties Bertuzzi back up with Helm for second on the team. The Senators tied the game 50 seconds after Bertuzzi's goal. Bertuzzi finished with 24 shifts for 19:22, had a team-high five shots, one hit, one giveaway and was minus-2.
Quotable: "I thought the second goal was a loose, preventable goal and then you give up the power-play goal and now you're back on your heels a little bit for a team that doesn't have … I've talked all the time about the importance of confidence in this league and all the sudden, you're back on your heels too much. Fourth goal, a couple guys are out there way too long and they can't think right. Then all the sudden, you give up a goal. It felt like we're trying to make it up in one shift sometimes. That's not how it goes. We got to find ways to play 60 minutes of complete hockey." - Blashill
Quotable II: "I felt like we had the momentum there. We got a couple goals, we had the lead. We just got to make sure we continue to make it hard on opposing teams and not give them easy chances, two-on-ones, easy chances around our net. We got to make sure that we're making it hard on teams to get there. We got to play really well within our structure and make sure each of us is doing our own job and we're not trying to do someone else's." - Abdelkader
3. Team defense: The Wings are not a team that is going to be able to outscore their mistakes on an everyday basis. So giving up five goals for the fifth time in their last six games is no recipe for success. Last Friday in Edmonton, they only allowed two goals to the Oilers but could only score one in the 2-1 loss. There are different reasons in each game for the goals against but it is something that is not sustainable and something that has to be brought under control for the Wings to get back on the right track.
Quotable: "That's really it. You might score three in this league. Especially us, we gotta be tighter. We gotta find a way to learn to win games 2-1 and 1-1 and take it to overtime. Whatever. We gotta find a way. This league is a grind and we gotta start figuring it out." - Nielsen
Quotable II: "They're different. I thought tonight was the worst defensively we've played in a while. I don't want to take anything away from Ottawa, they played hard. But we were loose. I think part of it is when you've scored three goals in three games - we worked on forecheck pressure, we worked on O-zone hound, things we want to be good at. I think as a result, sometimes we got a little bit too loose. You can't give up that many goals. I thought it was as poor defensively as we've played. Sometimes when you try so hard, you play a little bit dumb at times and you give up chances you can't afford to give up. We got to be efficient. We got to find ways to score more than we have without a shadow of a doubt but we can't give up this many goals." - Blashill
Quotable III: "We're not a team that can give up 4-5 goals on a nightly basis and win. Defensively … the best defense is playing in the offensive zone. I think we can be a great offensive-zone team. We showed that over stretches throughout the season so far. But when we get in the D-zone, we get a chance to make a play, make a play. Otherwise we have to get pucks out. We made hard plays. The turnovers are the plays that kill you and then you're in the zone for longer. You can talk about systems, different things, but each individual's got to be a little better. We got to work as a team. It's been a really tough stretch for sure. But I believe in our group and we're coming home, so I think that'll help us." - Abdelkader