NEWARK, N.J. - 11 days from the NHL trade deadline, the Detroit Red Wings gave up four goals in four minutes under the supervision of its general manager from the press gallery.
The Wings led the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on Thursday to collapse in the third period. Jonathan Bernier played better than 4-1 in the final, but he couldn't make up for his teammates' defensive shortcomings. The loss dropped the Wings to 14-41-4.
Wing director Steve Yzerman watched Andreas Athanasiou score a power play goal, his eighth score of the season. Bernier’s laundry offer derailed at 5:10 a.m. in the third period when Andy Greene fired a shot in traffic. Wayne Simmonds was 2-1 when he was left alone by the Detroit net to finish a good pass from Miles Wood. Simmonds scored again in the Devils' sixth power play and Jesper Bratt scored at 9:10. New Jersey is 21-25-10.
The Wings were able to train with their special teams because they had a four-man advantage and a shorthand six times.
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Dylan Larkin shoots against the Devils in the first period Thursday in Newark, N.J. (Photo: Kathy Willens, AP)
The Wings had a power play after 51 seconds of play and a second at 11:18. The first two units included Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, Athanasiou and Filip Hronek, and both times the unit failed to mount any score threats. It's a talented group of players - basically coach Jeff Blashill puts all of his eggs in one basket because the second unit included Robby Fabbri, who was good in power play, but the rest of the group is Valtteri Filppula , Frans Nielsen, Mike Green and Trevor Daley. The second power play was particularly blatant - Larkin's unit was running for the first minute and a half and spent most of the time chasing after the puck.
The Wings ended the first period with a chance to score when Fabbri blocked a shot from P.K. Subban and took possession of the puck, freezing and feeding Larkin. That was part of a 12-4 stroke advantage. In the second period, the Wings skated ruts in the penalty box with three consecutive calls against them. Gustav Lindstrom served one of them for throwing the puck on the glass. He came out and had a chance to score after Jack Hughes spat the puck, but Lindstrom hit a goal post. The Wings had one hit on five shots, the same amount as for three men.
Links with 2013
It wasn't until their fourth power play that the Wings finally appeared effective with an additional skater. Anthony Mantha propelled the right side and fed Andreas Athanasiou, who shot in the legs of defender Mirco Mueller whom Devils goalkeeper Mackenzie Blackwood did not see. Mueller was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 18th place after initiating a rally to return the first round picks to the Wings, who were confident they could still get Mantha in 20th place. The Sharks also gave the Wings a second-round pick (58th overall), which the Wings used on Bertuzzi.
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