Detroit — If they are to make the playoffs, it seems the Red Wings will do it without a lot of victories.
And, maybe, it suddenly seems, without a lot of healthy players.
The Red Wings lost a valuable point Tuesday, losing to the lowly Arizona Coyotes 5-4 in overtime.
Niklas Kronwall (lower body) and Erik Cole (upper body) joined Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) as injured Red Wings during the course of the evening.
Coyotes forward Mark Arcobello scored his second goal of the game, at 3:08 of overtime, giving Arizona only its second victory in the last 20 games (2-17-1).
"They skate and work hard like every other team in the league," said Gustav Nyquist, who tied the game at 4 at 13:39 of the third period. "You just can't go out there and expect it to be easy, just because a team is out of the playoffs.
"They came out hard and got two points."
And the Red Wings didn't, although coach Mike Babcock felt they played good enough to do so.
Except, it appears, the goaltending.
Jimmy Howard allowed five goals on 22 shots, a performance not good enough in Babcock's mind.
"The puck went in our net, obviously," Babcock said. "We did tons of good things, but we were chasing the game all night long. We gave up two penalty-kill goals and I thought our PK was outstanding.
"We got a huge point. The other side of it is we lost a huge point. But we got a huge point and that's a positive thing. Let's build on it."
With a day off Wednesday — Babcock called off practice with the Red Wings heading into a three-games-in-four-days stretch — he'll think about whether Howard or Petr Mrazek will start Thursday against San Jose.
"We gave up too many goals any way you look at it," Babcock said. "The puck can't go in your net five times and you expect to win in the NHL. Not good enough."
The Red Wings (39-21-12, 90 points) have a five-point lead on Ottawa and six points over Boston.
Luke Glendening, Justin Abdelkader, Jakub Kindl and Gustav Nyquist scored for the Red Wings.
Livonia native David Moss had two goals (one on a power play), while John Moore and Mark Arcobello (power play) had the other goals for the Coyotes (22-44-8, 52 points).
Also important for the Red Wings were the players lost in this game.
Already without Datsyuk (lower body), the Red Wings lost Kronwall (lower body) and Cole during the game.
They almost lost Glendening, too, but he returned after getting leveled on a hit by defenseman Connor Murphy late in the second period.
Kronwall was a late scratch, announced just prior to lineups being announced. It was the first game Kronwall has missed this season. Kindl entered the lineup for the first time since Feb. 28 and had a goal and assist.
Kronwall plays a team-leading 23:45 a game and is the Red Wings' top defenseman, so any sort of lengthy absence would be costly.
Then, the game started and the Red Wings lost another key player.
Cole left late in the first period. During a goalmouth scramble to the side of the net, Cole appeared to fall awkwardly during a scrum near the post.
Cole immediately hunched over, skated gingerly to the bench, and immediately headed down the hallway to the locker room.
He did not return, after playing seven shifts and 5:03.
Babcock had no update on Cole or Kronwall after the game.
"Those are good players, a big part of our team," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "But we should find a way to win anyway. Obviously we didn't do that."