DETROIT – The Red Wings haven’t found comfort in too many two-goal leads this season. And Thursday night, unfortunately, was no different.
“When we got up 2-nothing, I thought we started fooling around a little bit,” said coach Mike Babcock following the Wings’ fifth consecutive loss. “It’s just the idea of taking care of the puck and staying on top of them.”
For the third time this season, the Red Wings squandered a two-goal cushion only to lose in the end. This time the Columbus Blue Jackets responded to adversity, storming back to defeat the Wings 3-2 at Joe Louis Arena when Vinnie Prospal scored the game-winner with 25-seconds left in regulation.
The Wings started strong and grabbed a 2-0 lead before the game was even three minutes old when forwards Damien Brunner and Valtteri Filppula both scored goals that beat Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky between the legs.
The Wings are now 3-3-0 when building a 2-0 lead this season.
“It was a 2-1 game going into the third, we were in good position,” Babcock said. “I actually thought we had some good play, but the bottom line is they scored on their opportunities and we’re not scoring. So if you don’t score you can’t give anything up.”
Columbus tied the score when Derek Dorsett beat Jimmy Howard at 5:03 of the third period. But the Wings, who out-shot the Jackets, 30-24, had a pair of golden opportunities to break a 2-2 in the third on back-to-back power plays when Dorsett (interference on Jordin Tootoo) and Derek MacKenzie (tripping Tomas Tatar) followed each other to the penalty box midway through the period.
However, Bobrovsky came up big as the Jackets’ best penalty killer, making 10 saves while down a man to hold the Wings’ power play scoreless on three separate chances throughout the game, including the two opportunities in the third.
During this currently losing streak, Detroit is 1-for-16 on the power play.
“We felt we created chances, had a lot of shots, but we couldn't really find a way to get the puck in there,” said captain Henrik Zetterberg, who collected his team-high 17th assist. “If we get one goal there, hopefully we get going. We did a lot of good things today in the PP but it's still not good enough. We can't score.”
NOTEBOOK: A scary moment happened early in the second period when Blue Jackets Artem Anisimov and Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey collided behind the Detroit net. While both players were injured, and didn’t return to the game, it appeared that Anisimov’s injury was of a much more serious nature.
As the two players fell, the Jackets’ center hit his head on the ice as Quincey came down on top of him. Anisimov was removed from on a stretcher and transported to the Detroit Medical Center for observation. The good news is he never lost consciousness.
Quincey suffered an ankle injury, Babcock said.
“He rolled his ankle,” Babcock said. “We’ll know more tomorrow.”
THREE STARS: 3, Derek Dorsett, CBJ (1 goal, 1 assist); 2, Pavel Datsyuk, DET (3 SOG); 1, Vinny Prospal, CBJ (1 GW goal).
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