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Wings put end to power play drought

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Kyle Quincey reacts to scoring the Red Wings' first power-play goal since Feb. 28. (Photo by Dave Reginek)
DETROIT – Although the power play hadn’t produced any goals in the last eight games before Monday, it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

Still, it was a huge relief to see the Wings’ scoreless streak with the man-advantage finally broken when Kyle Quincey scored his fourth power-play goal of the season, and his first-ever as a Red Wing.

However, the Wings were able to overcome a three-goal first period by the Washington Capitals in a 5-3 loss at Joe Louis Arena.

“We’ve been snake-bitten a bit, so it was finally good to get the monkey off of our back,” said Quincey, referring to the power play deficiency. “I just saw a lane and Smitty put it in the sweet spot for me and there was a good screen in front, I guess, I got it by the guy and good things happen.”

Quincey now has seven power-play tallies in 250 career games. His goal snapped the Wings’ 0-for-31 power play drought, dating back to Feb. 28 at Columbus. It was team's longest power play dryspell since the start of the 1997 Stanley Cup championship season when they began the year at 0-for-33.

Quincey’s goal came as Matt Hendricks’ holding penalty was five-seconds from expiring early in the second period. With Todd Bertuzzi battling defenseman Jeff Schultz in front of Caps goalie Braden Holtby, Quincey took a cross-ice pass from Brendan Smith and ripped a high-rising slap shot that rang off the crossbar and into the back of the net.

It was the 41st goal scored by a Wings’ defensemen this season, but just the second on the power play in more than a month.

“Well thank God. It's been the longest I've ever seen our power play not be very good for a long time,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We haven't generated much offense. It was good to see us get one.”

It was also a relief to see Bertuzzi and Danny Cleary each score their first goals since the beginning of February.

“The other thing, Bert and Cleary both scored goals,” Babcock said. “They hadn't scored in a long time so maybe that can help us out as well.

“We have to be better than we've been. We have to be better structurally and take care of the puck. If we do all those things we have a chance at being successful.”

Quincey was happy score his second-period goal, which helped atone for an earlier mistake that led to the Capitals’ first of two power-play goals.

“The first goal was very frustrating, I got a little tripped up there,” he said, “so it was good to get that back.”

Alex Ovechkin took advantage of the Wings’ breakdown when Quincey collided with a teammate at the blue line and fell down.

“Their first power-play goal we had it right there at the blue line, we couldn't get it out,” Babcock said. “Quincey fell down and it ended up in our net.”

The Wings scored twice in the third period to make it exciting at the end. They even had an opportunity to tie it late when former Wings forward Mike Knuble went to the penalty box for tripping in the final three-minutes of the game.

“We said between the second and the third (periods) to just give ourselves a chance and we did that,” Quincey said. “We couldn’t get anything going on the past power play, but we gave ourselves a chance and we made it close. That’s all we could do and we came up short, obviously it wasn’t good enough.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

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