'Not good enough': Wings fall at home again

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — Winning at home has become a problem for the Red Wings.

They’ve only done it once since Dec. 14, a stretch of eight games, after losing Saturday to the Anaheim Ducks, 4-3.

Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler (Livonia) each scored two goals as the Ducks avenged a Red Wings victory in Anaheim Jan. 10.

Danny DeKeyser’s goal at 18:44 of the third period cut the Ducks lead to 4-3 but the Red Wings couldn’t get the equalizer.

BOX SCORE: Ducks 4, Red Wings 3

“We weren’t good enough,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “They were good, credit to them for sure, they looked impressive.

“I didn’t think we managed the puck well enough, so when you turn pucks over you end up playing in your own end and not being able to apply pressure.

“Overall, not good enough.”

Winning on the road hasn’t been an issue for the Red Wings. But winning at home has, as they’ve gone 1-5-2 over their last eight at JLA, a definite problem area for a team struggling to the make the playoffs (as are many other Eastern Conference teams).

The Red Wings (24-16-8) are 11-10-5 at Joe Louis Arena this season.

“This is our home and (we’re) used to playing a lot better at home and get more wins,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "We just need to go out and play the way we’re supposed to play. As soon as we get away from that, the other team gets (Red Wings) turnovers and it’s hard to play.”

Anaheim (21-18-7) has won four of its last five.

Darren Helm and Tomas Jurco added Red Wings goals, both ending long goal-scoring droughts. Jimmy Howard stopped 31 shots in his first start since Jan. 11 and only his second game since he was pulled Dec. 29 in Winnipeg.

“Jimmy played good, he got hung out to dry,” Blashill said. “He played real good actually. He held us in the game in the first (period), made some big saves in the second.

“It’s unfortunate for Jimmy, I was hoping he’d get a game his way. By going his way, partially I mean the team in front of him plays real good and we didn’t. We really hung him out to dry.”

Helm opened the scoring with his fourth goal, ending an 18-game drought.

Brendan Smith made a fine bounce pass off the boards springing Helm on a breakaway. Helm made a nice move at the net and snuck the puck around goalie John Gibson at 1:10 of the first period.

But the Ducks answered with Kesler tying it at 7:26.

Andrew Cogliano did great work in the corner, got the puck to Jakob Silfverberg at the net, and Silfverberg passed to Kesler in the slot for his ninth goal.

The Ducks took the lead toward the end of the first period thanks to Perry.

Perry and Riickard Rakell went on a 2-on-1 rush, Perry got the puck, made a nice inside move and backhanded a shot over Howard for his 18th goal at 18:36.

The Red Wings tied it in the second on Jurco’s goal at 12:52.

Gustav Nyquist fed Jurco on a 3-on-2 rush and Jurco roofed a backhander past Gibson for his second goal, ending a 17-game goal-scoring drought.

“I wanted to score for a while,” Jurco said. “I want to score every game but it’s hard. It helps me a lot, I feel much better.”