Red Wings' two-game win streak snapped in 6-2 loss in Winnipeg
Published in Hockey
There's going to be a few of these during a long NHL season and the Red Wings definitely encountered one of those ugly losses Friday in Winnipeg.
The Wings were never really in this one, losing 6-2 to the Jets, while beginning a three-game Canadian road trip.
Maybe it was playing a third game in four nights, on the road in Winnipeg, a sneaky long flight after an emotional victory the night before. Maybe the Jets were primed and focused after two consecutive losses and seeing their lead for a Western Conference wildcard spot slipping away.
Whatever it was, the Wings (33-33-9) struggled, while seeing a modest two-game win streak snapped.
David Perron (power play, 20th goal) and Joe Veleno (eighth goal, ending a 25-game goal-scoring drought) scored goals 21 seconds apart midway in the third period, averting a Wings shutout.
Goaltender Magnus Hellberg stopped 23 shots while being under siege most of the game.
Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 22 Wings shots.
Winnipeg (42-31-3) came out flying. The Jets' best players, Kyle Connor, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele, scored first-period goals, igniting the rout.
All three Jets were in offensive slumps heading into the game. Connor's goal, redirecting Nikolaj Ehlers' shot, was Connor's 29th goal but only his second in 15 games. Wheeler scored his 16th, ending a 21-game goal-scoring drought. Scheifele hadn't scored in nine games before stuffing a loose puck near the post at 13:34 of the first period, giving Winnipeg a 3-0 lead.
Dylan DeMelo and Nino Niederreiter added second-period goals and Ehlers scored in the third, giving the Jets a 6-0 lead.
Before the game, coach Derek Lalonde said forward Marco Kasper, the Wings' first-round draft pick last July who Thursday was recalled to the NHL, is likely to play in one of these final seven games of the season. But Kasper is dealing with an upper-body injury suffered late in Kasper's Swedish Hockey League season and isn't quite yet available to play.
Defenseman Simon Edvinsson was a healthy scratch Friday as the Wings keep him under nine games played (and not burning a year of three-year entry-level contract).
The Wings play Sunday in Toronto and wind up the trip Tuesday in Montreal.
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