'It's unacceptable': Flyers extend reeling Red Wings' winless streak to eight

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Philadelphia — Allow a late goal in a period once, a hockey team is asking for trouble. Do it twice in a game, as the Red Wings did Friday, and you’re really tempting fate.

Then, let the opposing team score another two quick goals to open a period, and you're bound to lose.

The Wings did all those things Friday, so it wasn’t really a surprise Philadelphia skated to a 6-1 victory.

Philadelphia's Sean Couturier scores a goal past Detroit goaltender Calvin Pickard during the second period.

“Three minutes of the game right there and it changes the whole complexion of it (the game),” said forward Luke Glendening, “and here we are talking about the same thing. We have to find a way here.”

The numbers continue to get mind-boggling bad for the Red Wings.

With the five-goal differential Friday, the Wings now have a tidy, even number of minus-50 for the season. 

The Wings finished at minus-50 for the entire season, last season, to put that figure in a bit of perspective.

BOX SCORE: Flyers 6, Red Wings 1

They’ve allowed five goals or more in 13 of the 28 games this season.

And as the Wings (7-18-3) fell deeper into last place in the overall standings, they are now also winless in eight games (0-6-2).

“Those numbers aren’t pretty but this is our job and we have to take pride in what we’re doing,” Glendening said. “We have to be better for sure. It's unacceptable.

“I’m not saying it’s OK by any stretch of the imagination but we have to continue to work. I’m not going to make excuses about what’s wrong, but we have to be better.”

The Flyers scored with 58 seconds left in the first period — a Shayne Gostisbehere power-play goal giving Philadelphia 2-1 lead — and Sean Couturier scored with 12 seconds left in the second period, making it 3-1.

Then Philadelphia’s Kevin Hayes (27 seconds of third period) and Oskar Lindblom (57 seconds) cemented the outcome, catching the Wings asleep and deflated.

Hayes scored his seventh, backhanding a puck after somehow working his way free toward Pickard, and Lindblom scored on a scramble in front of Pickard, with three Wings surrounding the crease.

“They score to make it 4-1, and for a team that’s having troubles like us, that makes a big hill bigger than it has to be,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We have to find ways to continue to dig in. You can’t give up that many goals and win hockey games.”

Blashill, though, did see positives in comparison to Thursday’s 6-0 loss against Toronto, a rather forgettable outcome all the way around.

“The score wasn’t much different, (but) the game was vastly different,” Blashill said. “We played more the way we need to play to be successful. We just can’t give up the rushes we gave up at the second leading into the third period. We gave up too many rushes and we have to be better than that defensively.”

James van Riemsdyk added the final Flyers goal, again during a scramble.

Philadelphia's Sean Couturier scores a goal past Detroit goaltender Calvin Pickard during the second period.

Robby Fabbri (fifth goal) and Philadelphia’s Scott Laughlin traded early first-period goals. Fabbri's goal ended a drought of 164 minutes and 37 seconds before the last Wings' goal (Saturday in New Jersey, Taro Hirose).

Goaltender Calvin Pickard, making his first start as a Red Wing — the team placed Jimmy Howard (mid-body) on injured reserve earlier in the afternoon for a minimum of a week — stopped 29 shots.

Carter Hart made 32 saves for the Flyers.

“We need to find a way to win a game and build a little confidence and keep building on that,” forward Frans Nielsen said. “We’re getting punished for every mistake we do out there. Just go out there and play and have fun. We have nothing to lose, we have to find that mentality a little bit.”


Twitter: @tkulfan