Dylan Larkin on the Wings' loss to Minnesota. The Detroit News
Detroit — This time there was no dramatic comeback — none that mirrored what the Red Wings had done twice during the week, rallying from three-goal deficits to force overtime.
But there was another loss.
And, actually, this wasn’t one for which the Wings could be patted on their backs.
Minnesota jumped to a quick lead and held off any Red Wings rally Friday night, defeating the Red Wings 3-2.
Anthony Mantha’s power-play goal, his 15th goal, cut the Minnesota lead to 3-2 at 3:06 of the third period.
But the Wings weren't able to complete the comeback and tie the score this time.
For too much of the 60 minutes, the Wings were simply the second-best team on the ice.
“I didn’t like the dig at all,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We didn’t compete to the level you have to.”
Blashill felt only the top line, the Dylan Larkin-centered line, was effective for the Wings.
“What about the other lines?” Blashill said. “Can somebody pick up their own line and say, ‘I don’t need to play on that line to be an impactful player.’
“Pick it up and let’s go. We didn’t make it nearly hard enough on them.”
Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves to secure the victory and was a big reason the Wings couldn't tie it late.
Dubnyk had some of the game's best saves, including stopping Frans Nielsen at the edge of the crease on Nielsen's sliding backhander with just under eight minutes left.
Dubnyk was awfully good late in the first period, stopping Danny DeKeyser on point-blank attempts, then stopping Tyler Bertuzzi, who had several attempts in close.
Bertuzzi scored his 15th goal early in the second period, cutting the Minnesota lead to 2-1.
But the Wild answered on the power play, Eric Staal scoring at 10:09, and the Wild regained their two-goal lead.
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier, getting the start in place of Jimmy Howard (illness), stopped 32 shots but was pegged with the loss.
Minnesota’s Luke Kunin and Chad Greenway scored 1:57 apart late in the second period to give the Wild a 2-0 lead.
It was a hole the Red Wings couldn’t completely escape.
“We were just waiting for things to happen, watching them play and sitting back,” Larkin said. “We didn’t play fast enough and with the speed in this locker room and the guys we have here, we have to come out and really put teams on their heels, especially at home in the first 20 minutes.”
The Wings (23-30-9) began their selling off before Monday’s trade deadline Friday, dealing defenseman Nick Jensen to Washington.
The Wings are subtracting players, but the losses are adding up. They’re winless in four games and have only won twice in their last nine games (2-5-2).
“We like this group in here, we don’t like having guys shipped out of here,” Larkin said. “It’s just a terrible feeling. We play for each other. With our effort tonight, it’s not good enough.”