Red Wings captain cites a lack of consistency as a reason for coming up short in one-goal games this season. Ted Kulfan
Winnipeg, Manitoba — Give the Red Wings credit for one thing lately — they're perfecting the one-goal loss.
They did it again Friday, their fifth loss in seven games, all the losses by one goal, dropping a 4-3 game to Winnipeg.
Trevor Daley scored at 5 minutes, 29 seconds of the third period, making it 4-3, but the Red Wings (26-28-10, 62 points) couldn't get the tying goal.
"Another one-goal loss here," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "We can say we're close and we battled hard in the third (period), but there's no reason for us to be in that situation."
What does Zetterberg believe is the reason for all the close losses lately?
"We're not consistent enough," Zetterberg said.
The Red Wings felt they were good enough in the first and third periods — but not at all good enough in the middle 20 minutes, when Winnipeg grabbed a 4-2 lead.
"Too many unforced errors, mistakes on goals that we didn't need to make," coach Jeff Blashill said. "We were playing real good and kind of gave away two goals. We have to be way better, we have to make teams earn it.
"We have to make sure that we're out-working, out-competing, out-detailing our opponents on a nightly basis. We didn't out-detail them enough tonight."
Niklas Kronwall (power play) and Anthony Mantha also scored for the Red Wings.
Patrik Laine scored two goals and Dustin Byfuglien and Ben Chiarot had Jets (38-17-9, 65 points) goals.
Laine and Chiarot scored goals 26 seconds apart after Kronwall had given the Red Wings a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Laine scored his 32nd goal at 13:24 of the first period, after getting the puck from Tyler Myers along the boards.
Laine wheeled toward the dot and snapped a shot over goaltender Jimmy Howard, tying the game.
It didn’t take long for the Jets to get the lead.
Just 26 seconds later, Winnipeg broke the 1-1 tie.
Chiarot one-time a pass from Bryan Little at the point and blistered a shot past Howard, Chiarot’s first goal this season, giving Winnipeg a 2-1 lead.
The Red Wings took the early lead on Kronwall’s third goal.
On the power play, Zetterberg found Kronwall at the point and the veteran defenseman ripped a shot toward the net that goalie Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce Township) couldn’t see with three big bodies (one being Justin Abdelkader) blocking his view near the crease.
The Red Wings were never able to gain hold of the lead in the second period.
"We competed real well in the first and third, not so much in the second," said Howard, who stopped 38 shots. "It's frustrating for all of us. It's tough. We can't be satisfied with it."
Said Kronwall: "We're shooting ourselves in the foot. It's one of the reasons we are where we are."