TAMPA, Fla. -- One by one, Red Wings lined up to take aim at two points. No one could find the target, leaving them with one.
The Wings dropped another game in a shoot-out Thursday night, losing, 2-1, to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson, Tomas Tatar, Todd Bertuzzi, Gustav Nyquist and Johan Franzen all came up empty. Martin St. Louis had the sole Tampa Bay goal, beating Jonas Gustavsson with a short and quick forehand.
Kyle Quincey scored in regulation, and the Wings went 0-for-4 with the man advantage during a game in which all in all they played very well.
"It's very frustrating," Niklas Kronwall. "I thought we played a pretty decent game, but power play, we need a goal. We have to find a way to get that goal."
The Wings saw a two-goal lead dissipate into a 3-2 shoot-out loss two nights earlier at Florida. They are 0-for-6 in shoot-outs this season and 0-for-11 dating to last season.
"We've got to try to find a way to be better at it," Nyquist said. "It's cost us a lot of points so far. Those extra points are so important."
The Wings ended up exiting the first period with a lead after Quincey had demonstrated why it's always a good idea to just throw the puck toward the net: His backhand dropped into the crease, and Quincey's decision to go the net himself paid off when he banked his rebound off Ben Bishop.
A power play early in the second period didn't yield much other than a shorthanded breakaway by St. Louis that ended with him shooting wide. Nikita Kucherov had one chance denied by Gustavsson's glove but succeeded in the last minute of the period when Kucherov's shot seemed to catch Gustavsson by surprise, flying by glove side.
The Wings dominated early in the third period, on face-offs and puck possession. A Tampa Bay power play -- the fourth of the game -- bridged 1:17 into overtime, but Datsyuk led the way killing it off. Tatar came back with another good chance, rushing in only to see his shot denied by Bishop. The Wings ended up with 29 shots to Tampa Bay's 27.
"I thought it was a good game," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought our team played real hard. They might have done more off their rush. We did more off the cycle and grind. I thought our power play was ultra dangerous, and yet we went 0-for-4. Great opportunities on it, but Bishop was up to the task. We've just got to find a way."
That holds especially true in shoot-outs. Datsyuk hasn't scored in one this season. Neither has Bertuzzi. Tuesday at Florida the Wings didn't use either guy, trying Nyquist and Tatar instead, with Tatar scoring. Babcock went back to Datsyuk in Round 1 Thursday and went to Bertuzzi in Round 4. Johan Franzen was last to go, tasked with saving the day after St. Louis had converted.
"We've got to do something, because we've got to find a way to score for our goalie. Our goalie can't shut them all out," Babcock said. "Guys who have scored fairly easy before, their attempts look like they're tight. We've got to change that up."
(c)2013 Detroit Free Press
Visit the Detroit Free Press at www.freep.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services