'Our power play was brutal': Red Wings shut out by Blackhawks as 3-game win streak ends
Detroit — This was a different Chicago Blackhawks team Saturday from 48 hours ago.
And the same could be said of the Red Wings, also, which was a main reason the Blackhawks came away with a 4-0 victory over the Wings at Little Caesars Arena.
Still involved in a tight race for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division, the Blackhawks looked much more inspired from the previous game and skated to an important victory.
But the Wings helped out, going a disappointing 0-for-6 on the power play, and making costly defensive mistakes that Chicago gladly converted into goals.
"The difference in the game was our power play was brutal," coach Jeff Blashill said. "Our power play had a chance to make a difference and it made a difference in the wrong way. In the end, it was our power play not being nearly good enough and dumb mistakes, giving away goals. They didn't lean on us, they didn't grind us or didn't have us on our heels, but what they did do was score on the opportunities we gave them.
"That's not a knock on Chicago at all. It's just a total lack of execution by us in those situations."
The Wings (16-24-6) saw their modest three-game win streak — albeit their longest such streak of the season — come to an end.
You'll excuse the Red Wings if they're saying good riddance to the Blackhawks (21-19-5), now that the season series is done. The Wings only won two of eight games (2-5-1) against Chicago.
Some of the Blackhawks' best players were their best players Saturday, with Patrick Kane getting a goal and assist, Alex DeBrincat (Farmington Hills) scoring his 22nd goal, and goaltender Malcolm Subban stopping all 29 shots he saw.
"It was the kind of game where we stood around and waited for something to happen and it didn't for us," forward Dylan Larkin said. "We got looks, we got chances, we were moving the puck real well, we just didn't score. We didn't get out and have a big shift or big goal, it just didn't come tonight like it did the night before."
Kane scored with only 20 seconds left in the first period, converting a drop pass form Vinnie Hinostroza into an open net, as goaltender Jonathan Bernier had committed to the other post.
Kane's goal followed two consecutive failed Wings' power plays.
"Just a lack of execution," Blashill said. "We had a chance for a real good first period and instead, because of the power play and lack of urgency, it wasn't good enough. They score and you're down 1-0 and you haven't given anything up (to that point)."
DeBrincat scored his 22nd goal, making it 2-0 at 12:40 of the second period. Connor Murphy's shot hit Brandon Hagel near the hashmarks, and the puck drifted to DeBrincat alone in the circle, who buried the scoring opportunity.
That gave DeBrincat points in 12 of 15 career games against the Wings, with nine goals and 12 assists (21 points).
Wyatt Kalynuk made it 3-0 with his second goal, converting a nice feed from Hinostroza all alone in front of Bernier at 1:16 of the third period, and Pius Suter closed out the scoring with an empty net goal.
"They scored first the last game and we responded great, but the response didn't come tonight," Larkin said. "We just didn't make it hard enough on Subban, we didn't get around the net and we didn't get any rush chances, we didn't score on the power play.
"We didn't respond well to them scoring."
The Wings return to action Monday, beginning a unique scheduling quirk, playing Dallas four consecutive games - the first two Monday and Tuesday in Dallas, before returning home Thursday and Saturday to face the Stars.
► Frans Nielsen exited the game in the second period due to an upper body injury and didn't return.
► Adam Erne saw his career-best eight-game point streak (April 1-17) come to an end, tying for the sixth longest by any Red Wing in the last 10 years.
► The Wings assigned forward Joe Veleno to the taxi squad Saturday, but Blashill was unsure if Veleno was going to get into the line-up, at least in the two games in Dallas.
Veleno will complete his seven-day quarantine Sunday, after having returned from playing in Sweden. Veleno also missed the last couple weeks of the Swedish schedule dealing with a mild concussion and whiplash.