Detroit — They took a lot of penalties last season in a fashion most unlike the usually disciplined Red Wings team.
They did it again against the Boston Bruins Saturday, collecting 11 penalties.
And it cost them, dearly.
The Wings lost 4-3 in overtime, on a power play goal by the former Spartan, Torey Krug, of Livonia, who seven years ago helped Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill win a junior title in the United States Hockey League for the Indiana Ice.
A power play was created when the Red Wings took a bench penalty for too many men on the ice, which some of the Wings disputed.
“One thing that we haven’t talked lots about yet that we are going to address: We took too many penalties, and this team took too many penalties last year,” Blashill said.
“You can’t take this many penalties for sure. We’ve got to be near the lowest in penalties, not near the highest.”
A bright spot was considerable offense from the defense, something for which the Red Wings have searched since the retirements of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski.
All three goals were assisted by defensemen — Niklas Kronwall, Kyle Quincey, Danny Dekeyser and Alexey Marchenko — with forward Andy Miele garnering the only one from the front lines.
Jakub Kindl stood out, especially offensively, with one goal that counted, another that was called off because of goalie interference assessed to Justin Abdelkader, and two scoring chances on which he was thwarted mightily by Bruins goalie Malcolm Subban.
Blashill like Kindl’s performance.
“I thought his overall game was real good,” the coach said. “He did a good job.
“We’d like to get more offensive production from our D-men. We think we have the ability, too.”
Despite the seven-goal total, Subban, the younger brother of the Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, had a fine game, as did Petr Mrazek in net for the Red Wings.
Mrazek forced overtime with two big stops toward the end of the third period, on Alex Khokhlachev from 13 feet at 15:54 and a 30-foot wrist shot from Brett Connolly at 17:26.
Before the game, Blashill said he was looking for a better effort and more energy from the squad that played Thursday and on Wednesday. He thought they were less than effective on Wednesday.
He was disappointed again for two periods, but liked the third.
“I thought the first two periods we didn’t play well enough. And then in the third period we came out and played really, really well.
“I think it was the best jump that this group that’s played together for two games has had.”
The Wings disputed the too many men call to no avail.
Asked about it, Blashill responded with a diplomat’s parlance.
“We’re changing and our guy jumped and they declared it was before our guy got to the bench,” he said.
The Wings got off to a rough start in the first period, with thee penalties in the first 10 minutes, including Abdelkader for goaltender interference, erasing a power-play goal.
David Krejci, the Bruins' often-injured scoring star opened the scoring at 8:20 when a puck shot around the glass in the Red Wings zone struck a stanchion and bounced at 90-degree angle towards the center of the ice.
Mrazek, attentive to playing the puck, had already left the crease in anticipation of a more customary carom, leaving the net wide open for Krejci.
Krejci scored again 2:18 later on the power play, with Abdelkader off. Krug assisted.
Henrik Zetterberg scored on the power play at 13:13. His crisp wrist shot went cleanly by Subban, with Abdelkader providing a screen that, this time, was deemed clean by the referees.
Tomas Tatar scored his fourth goal of the preseason, on a deflection of Quincey’s one-timer from the right point, at 43 seconds of the second period, to tie the score at two. Dekeyser assisted on the play.
But at 15:11, the Bruins regained the lead when a bad connection between Brad Richards and Dekeyser ended up on Brian Ferlin’s stick. Ferlin made no mistake for an unassisted goal.
Then, at 1:35 of the third period, the hockey gods smiled on Kindl, whose cannonading shot from the right point beat Subban to tie the score at three.
At 10:14, Mrazek robbed Kevan Miller with a glove save on a quick 23-foot shot from the slot, keeping the score even.
“Both teams had a lot of penalties,” said Johan Franzen, who played a highly physical game and avoided a fight with Tommy Cross by essentially horse-collaring the Bruins' 6-feet-3, 206-pound defenseman and immobilizing him in what became a wrestling match. “It wasn’t great. It wasn’t a great effort.
“We came out a little stronger in the third. We weren’t sharp enough or didn’t have the energy we needed to win games. So, even though it’s preseason game, we’ve got to get used to good habits and play a little better than this.
“We need a little more focus, and a little better attitude and get ready for the regular season.”