Game 18: Red Wings-Tampa Bay Enotes

One too many turnover, one too many broken coverage, one too many point blank scoring chance surrendered.

One more loss at home.

The Red Wings, playing yet another sloppy, care-free game at JLA, fell to the more determined, more present Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, in overtime.

That’s five straight games without a win on home ice for the Red Wings (9-5-4).

Teddy Purcell scored with 1:09 left in OT, as a breakdown by Detroit in their own zone left Purcell wide open in front of Jimmy Howard. Purcell took a pass from Richard Panik, who harassed Kyle Quincey off the puck behind the Red Wings net, and buried a wrist shot over Howard’s right shoulder.

The Lightning are now 12-4.

The Red Wings, unlike against Dallas on Thursday, when they might have deserved a better fate than an OT loss, deserved to lose this game. They were fortunate to get a point, frankly.

Countless turnovers—both in neutral ice and in their own zone. Too many quality scoring chances for TB. Not enough pressure on Lightning goalie Ben Bishop, who at 6’7″ makes Ken Dryden look like Jimmy Rutherford.

The Red Wings didn’t crash the net. They didn’t forecheck. They weren’t “hard to play against,” which is what coach Mike Babcock complained about during the last home stand.

Detroit came out of the gate like they were shot out of a cannon, pinning the Bolts in their own zone for the game’s first minute. There was a definite sense of urgency. It reminded me of a prize fighter looking to knock his opponent out in the first round.

After that, it was a game filled with TB blocking shots, disrupting passing lanes, and basically making the Red Wings looking frustrated and very average.

The Wings need to figure out why they play so much differently at home, and they’d better figure it out quick. Five of the next six games are at The Joe.

BOTTOM LINE: The Red Wings were playing with fire all night, and they finally got burned.

THE WINGED WHEELER SAYS: Watch Danny DeKeyser closely. He’s suffering from a bout of sophomore jinx. He isn’t playing with the same confidence he had last year before getting injured. Once again, the no. 1 line of Henrik Zetterberg-Pavel Datsyuk-Todd Bertuzzi was the best on the ice for Detroit, and there was little if any contribution from anyone else, though Darren Helm, centering the second line, looked more like the Helm of old, as he continues to get his legs under him.

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