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Red Wings' slide deepens with loss to Kings

Ted Kulfan
DetroitNews-Unknown

 

Detroit — The way things are going, the faster the Red Wings can leave Joe Louis Arena, the better.

This farewell season is slowly but surely turning ugly.

Thursday was more of the same with the Los Angeles Kings defeating the Red Wings 4-1.

Many of the same things that have hurt the Red Wings of late showed up again as they lost their fourth consecutive game (0-3-1), all on this five-game homestand that mercifully ends Saturday against Anahiem.

“It’s obviously similar in the sense we didn’t generate throughout the game much attack,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I understand the same questions and it’s the same answers. I can tell you it’s not from lack of want or lack of effort.

“It’s certainly lack of execution.”

BOX SCORE: Kings 4, Red Wings 1

Kings goalie Jeff Zatkoff (Chesterfield Township/Chippewa Valley) stopped 17 Red Wings shots to earn the victory.

The Red Wings’ power play again was ineffective, not converting in four chances — although the penalty kill was good, killing all three Los Angeles power plays.

Over their last eight games, the Red Wings (13-14-4) are 1-for-24 on the power play.

“We’re not getting enough set-up time, whether it’s not winning enough battles or facing pressure or whether it’s self-induced turnovers, we’re just not spending enough time in the zone,” Blashill said.

Kings forward Nic Dowd broke a 1-1 tie with 17 seconds left in the second period, and Tyler Toffoli scored two late goals including an empty-net goal with just under four minutes left in the game.

Mike Green and Los Angeles defenseman Derek Forbort traded first-period goals.

 

Coming off a successful three-game trip in which they won twice, the Red Wings haven’t been able to build any momentum.

In fact, things are going the opposite direction.

“We have to stick together,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said.

The Red Wings left Dowd wide open in front of goaltender Jimmy Howard and Dowd slipped the puck past a sprawling Howard (27 saves).

Allowing a late goal is what the Red Wings did the game before against Arizona and it cost them a victory.

Dowd’s goal proved to be the winner in this game.

“It was a tough, a big momentum goal for them,” Zetterberg said. “Still, it’s 2-1 going into the third. But we have to create more chances.”

The Red Wings were held to two shots in the first period, only had 18 in the game, and couldn’t penetrate Los Angeles’ defensive style.

 

“We just could not generate enough forecheck pressure to (spend) enough time in their zone,” Blashill said. “We didn’t create forecheck pressure most of the night. We weren’t in their zone very often.

“They do a great job of interfering, they do it very well, and they interfered with us and we didn’t do a good enough of making sure we had enough forecheck pressure.”

After opening the season with four consecutive victories on home ice, the Red Wings have been 2-9-3 since over their last 14 home games.

And, for better or worse, the Red Wings begin a stretch of 10 of their next 11 on the road beginning Monday.

“To a man we have to get it done, that’s the bottom line,” Green said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a lack of confidence. It’s just finding that relentlessness and will to get done.”

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter.com: @tkulfan