Detroit — So much for the Red Wings carrying over something from those two successful road victories in western Canada.
The momentum must have fallen somewhere over Montana.
Playing their first and only home game Wednesday after a successful trip — and with a lengthier trip beginning Friday in Anaheim — the Red Wings lost to the Minnesota Wild, 4-2.
"We weren't good enough," coach Mike Babcock said. "We knew what kind of game it would be. They play a tight game and we'd have to get through it.
"Normally when we've made mistakes it's been with the puck. Tonight, we made them without the puck."
If there was a morsel of good news, coming from the direction of forward Gustav Nyquist.
Recalled earlier in the day from Grand Rapids, Nyquist scored a beautiful breakaway goal at 9:09 of the second period, cutting the Wild lead to 2-1.
It was Nyquist's first goal in five NHL games this season — he leads the American Hockey League in scoring with 60 points.
Drew Miller added a power-play goal with 14 seconds left in the game.
But that was it on an evening the Red Wings out-shot the Wild 38-19, though they had little to show for it.
"We take full credit for what we earned here," Babcock said. "The bottom line is we have to be better than we were. Defensively we've been excellent but tonight we weren't.
"It was disappointing. We thought we'd be pretty fresh, we had some time off and had some practice time. We thought we'd be better than we were."
The Red Wings (14-11-5, 33 points) begin a four-game, seven-day trip Friday against the Ducks, with another game Sunday in Anaheim.
"We thought we were on a little bit of a roll after the last two (road games, both victories)," forward Henrik Zetterberg said. "There's not many home games left and we wanted to make the best of this one. But we couldn't do it and there's a tough road trip coming up."
An apparent Wings goal by Jordin Tootoo early in the first period, which would have tied the game at 1, was waved off as referee Dave Jackson ruled Drew Miller had high-sticked the puck moments before it got near Tootoo.
Devin Setoguchi scored two goals (one a power play), and Kyle Brodziak (power play) and Mikko Koivu had the other Wild goals, as Minnesota (17-10-2, 36 points) gained sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division, two points ahead of Vancouver.
Setoguchi opened the game's scoring with his 10th goal at 2:04 of the first period.
Defenseman Brendan Smith turned the puck over to Minnesota forward Matt Cullen, leading to a Wild drive up the ice.
Cullen eventually found Setoguchi driving to the net, with position on Smith in front of goalie Jimmy Howard, and Setoguchi slid a backhander through Howard.
The Red Wings had two power -play opportunities after the Wild goal, but failed to capitalize.
Brodziak put Minnesota ahead 2-0 with a power-play goal at 3:51 of the second period.
With Niklas Kronwall off for a four-minute high-sticking penalty, Brodziak scored his fifth goal with just 10 seconds left in the power play, converting a centering pass from defenseman Jared Spurgeon.
Nyquist scored his goal at 9:09, cutting the Wild lead to 2-1.
Nyquist intercepted a pass between the Wild's Dany Heatley and Spurgeon, and took off up ice. Nyquist slid a backhander between the pads of goalie Niklas Backstrom for his first goal.
"Gus showed good speed coming through the neutral zone," Babcock said.
But the Wild quickly answered, with Koivu giving Minnesota a 3-1 lead.
Minnesota then took a three-goal lead into the final 20 minutes with Setoguchi's second goal of the game.
With Jakub Kindl off for tripping Setoguchi pounced on a rebound of Heatley's shot, and slid it behind Howard for his 11th goal at 17:15 of the second period.