Detroit Gets its Wings Clipped

Last Wednesday, the Detroit Red Wings were looking to build on a three-game winning streak as they headed to the CONSOL Energy Center to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Wings fell 4-1 after another slow start and an off-game from third string goalie Petr Mrazek.

After one shutout and allowing just two goals in his previous three games, Mrazek would finish with four goals against on 17 shots and a .765 SV% after two periods. Jimmy Howard returned from a groin injury he suffered on January 10th to relieve Mrazek and stop all four shots he faced in the third period.

“Obviously, we’ve got to be a lot better. We can’t be proud of our effort tonight,” said coach Mike Babcock during a post-game interview.

The Wings can’t be proud of the effort they brought into the next game, either. Jimmy Howard dropped the Wings’ shootout record to 2-8 after losing to the Winnipeg Jets, 5-4.

The Jets came to town with newly acquired right-handed defenseman, Tyler Myers, who had been attached to Detroit-rumors since the off-season. Myers, in his second game with his new club, tallied an even strength assist, a powerplay assist and four shots on goal in 22:57 of ice time.

The next morning, Red Wings fans would wake up to the news that another right-handed defenseman was traded to a team not called the Detroit Red Wings. After being linked to the Red Wings, much like Myers, Cody Franson was traded to Nashville alongside forward Mike Santorelli. Olli Jokinen, prospect Mike Leipsic and Nashville’s 2015 first-round pick were sent back to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Playoff Matchup?

On Monday, the Montreal Canadiens came to Joe Louis Arena to display what could very well be a first-round playoff matchup. Carey Price and Jimmy Howard both put in strong performances, but Detroit would inevitably be at the losing end.

Price made 25 saves for his fifth shutout of the season and 30th of his career. Price held onto the lead that teammate Tomas Plekanec put in place with just over two minutes to play, who scored on a slap shot from the top of the right circle after Pavel Datsyuk lost an edge trying to cover him. Max Pacioretty put the Habs up 2-0 potting his team-leading 26th goal on an empty net with less than 10 seconds remaining.

It was Price’s fifth win in a row and Montreal’s seventh win in their last 10 games. Detroit has lost all three games against Montreal this season.

Ahead of Wednesday

Earlier today, the Red Wings recalled prospect Teemu Pulkkinen from their AHL affiliate, Grand Rapids Griffins and sent down Mrazek. Pulkkinen ahs played six games with Detroit this year and scored his first NHL, where he celebrated in GR after being sent back down.

His right hand shot can best be described as a cannon and he has scored 30 goals in GR this year, becoming the first player in Griffins history to record consecutive 30-goal seasons.

The Wings will hope to get back to their winning ways for NBC’s Wednesday Night Rivalry, where they face the Chicago Blackhawks at 7:30pm. Chicago will be going for its third straight win as they try to catch the St. Louis Blues and Nashville for the top spot in the Central Division.