Red Wings’ culprit in series loss is clear: offense

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Tampa Bay — How bad were the Red Wings offensively in this series?

They scored eight total goals in the five-game series, losing Thursday in Game 5, 1-0.

On the power play, where they struggled most of the regular season, the Red Wings finished 1-for-25 in the series, including 0-for-3 in Game 5.

Overall, those are numbers that simply weren’t going to defeat a good Tampa Bay team whose goalie Ben Bishop was outstanding throughout the series.

“We did a lot of good things (5-on-5) but you have to score goals in this sport and we’re not doing that,” said captain Henrik Zetterberg, who had one goal and no assists in the five games.

Coach Jeff Blashill cited the special teams battle as the key to the series, with the power play being the one area the Red Wings were lacking through the series.

The Red Wings had a two-man advantage early in the first period for over a minute Thursday and didn’t score.

“That’s a big moment, obviously, you have a two-man advantage and you don’t score, that’s a tough one,” Blashill said. “They scored on their two-man advantage (earlier in the series) and we didn’t score on ours. We have to find a way to score on them.

“We lost one game (Game 4) on special teams. We put ourselves in spots to win hockey games but you have to find ways to win them.”

Tampa Bay’s penalty kill was ranked in the top 10 most of the season and did a fine job taking away the Red Wings’ lanes to shoot.

“We knew going in special teams were going to be huge and we weren’t good enough,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “(Game 5) we had our chances, some pucks laying around their net, and we just weren’t able to find one.”