Red Wings go winless on the road, lose 2-1 in overtime to Arizona
Glendale, Ariz. — When you play the Arizona Coyotes these days a team needs to come out of it with some points — and the Red Wings did just that, but only one of them.
Arizona's Clayton Keller scored 22 seconds into overtime, scoring his fourth goal, giving the Coyotes a 2-1 victory.
The Wings challenged the goal for goalie interference with Phil Kessel interfering with goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, getting his stick between the goalie's legs, but the goal was deemed legal.
"I was standing right there and I thought Ned was going to scoop it up, and they popped it out," forward Dylan Larkin said. "They looked at it and the game was over, so that's the way it goes. Nothing more to say. Toronto (league officials) thought it was a good goal."
It was a disappointing ending to the game, and a four-game road trip that saw the Wings go 0-3-1.
"You have to find ways to grind out those games like that to a win," coach Jeff Blashill said. "We played good enough to win the hockey game, so it's unfortunate to walk out and not have won."
Larkin's ninth goal midway in the first period gave the Wings a 1-0 lead, and the Wings and Nedeljkovic (26 saves) made it hold up for a long time. But ultimately, the Coyotes (3-13-2) managed to rally.
Arizona's Ryan Dzingel (second goal) deflected Cam Dineen's shot from the point past Nedeljkovic at 13 minutes, 31 seconds of the third period, tying the game 1-1.
The Wings put 33 shots on Arizona goaltender Scott Wedgewood, but weren't able to get that second goal.
"We have to capitalize, have to find a way to score," Larkin said. "We had a ton of chances. Wedgewood played good but we have to find a way to score. We hit a couple of posts, had a couple looks on the power play (0-for-2), but we have to find a way to score."
The Wings (8-9-3) have had a mildly successful start to this season, but there are still plenty of learning areas. And learning how to play with a lead, especially late in games, is one area where the Wings need to improve upon.
"When we get a lead late in the game we can't panic and sit back and defend for 20 minutes," Larkin said. "We have to play some offense and play smart and we didn't do that.
"You can't win games very much 1-0."
The Wings lost a late lead against Columbus to begin this four-game trip, not being able to protect that advantage either.
"Both of them sting for sure," Blashill said. "This one was a little different than Columbus, that was late and we had scored to go up. This one, we had a lead for a significant period of time and the biggest thing that hurt us is we have to continue to play and not give them much. We didn't have enough sustained pressure.
"They had more pressure, double shifted the line with Keller and (Phil) Kessel and those guys, and they sustained a lot of pressure. It's a learning process for group and at times we've done well, and this is a hard league and you have to continue to find ways to grow as a group."
Larkin's breakaway goal, his ninth, at 8:41 of the first period, gave the Wings a 1-0 lead. Lucas Raymond knocked the puck up ice and Larkin raced to it, scoring and giving the Wings a 1-0 lead.
But the Wings weren't able to grow the lead, and it would cost them.
"In the third period, when we have a lead, we just defend too much," Larkin said. "There's not enough confidence we can have a big offensive zone shift to grind them down and get the momentum back. We missed that in Columbus and missed that here."
The Wings (8-9-3) finally get a bit of a breather in the next several weeks after one of the busier stretches of any team in the NHL.
It'll provide some time to practice, rededicate themselves to some defensive principles that were lacking at times during this trip, and build on for the rest of the season.
"We are going to get a chance to practice from now to the end of the year, and that's an important piece of getting better," Blashill said.