DETROIT – Adding insult to a bevy of mounting injuries, the Red Wings can now expect a phone call in the morning from the league’s department of player safety.
Defenseman Kyle Quincey received a five-minute major penalty and a game-misconduct for boarding Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf late in the first period of the Wings’ 5-2 loss at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday night.
Already short eight regulars due to injuries, the Wings may have to call up a defenseman for the next game should Quincey receive his second league suspension in the last 20 months.
“You do the best with the group you have and you know we have guys coming up from Grand Rapids playing hard and getting a chance so tonight was not what we wanted but we gotta keep pushing,” Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson said. “We’ve had some games where I’ve seen that we’re right in there and we find a way to lose and we have to change that.”
The Red Wings have now lost five straight home games and are winless in six consecutive games (0-4-2). They don’t have much time to lick their wounds, either, as they have the Calgary Flames coming to town on Thursday.
The game started in the right direction for the Wings when rookie Tomas Jurco scored his first NHL goal and celebrated like it was a playoff goal. Jurco took a pass from Drew Miller and slipped a backhand shot through the pads of Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller at 3:15 of the first period.
“I get great pass from Millsie and somehow I find myself alone in front of the goalie and made a little move and put it between his legs, five hole, and it went in,” Jurco said. “So it was a great moment for me.”
Clearly excited for his first career goal, Jurco skated toward the blue line, dropped to a knee and pumped a fist into the air.
“I usually use this one when I score a big goal, and I think this one was pretty big for me,” he said. “Last time I did it was in Game 7 at (Oklahoma City) last year in the AHL. It was a pretty big moment for me and I just enjoy it.”
However, the Ducks stormed back, potting their first goal just 25-seconds after the Wings took a 1-0 lead. Five different skaters scored for the Ducks, who built a 5-1 lead before Daniel Cleary finished the scoring with his third goal of the season at 18:02 of the third period.
“Obviously we thought we were in a pretty good situation,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said about his team's early lead. “I didn't like the bump-up shift. Anytime you score a goal in the bump-up shift, you get scored against, you've got good people on the ice, we didn't like that. Right away we make a mistake again. The third goal, we're in a great situation to be gapped up, we're not and they shoot it right by us. Obviously it wasn't very positive. All we gotta do is get out of the period there and we didn't do that either. A tough night for us, to say the least, very humbling, to say the least. Anytime you're in your own building and things go like that for you, it's not a very good feeling. Obviously, we've got a bunch of kids here right now. We need to provide better leadership and insulate them better than we did tonight.”
Beyond the loss, the Wings will likely be down a defenseman should the league choose to levy further penalties on Quincey. Unfortunately for the Wings, Quincey is a repeat offender, as two years ago he served a one-game suspension for his illegal hit to the head of Florida’s Tomas Kopecky. The league’s action taken against Quincey in 2012 is the only regular-season suspension levied against a Red Wings’ player in nearly nine years.
The hit bloodied Getlaf whose mouth seemed to strike the dasherboard, however, the Ducks' center shouldered some of the blame for the hit.
“I watched it after," he said. "I was in tight – I have to take some of the responsibility for putting myself in that position – and he crosschecked me in the back. I was kind of trying to stop and hit the puck and he made a play with his stick horizontal to the back, which is something you don't do in this league right now.”
Asked if Quincey would receive a suspension, Getzlaf said, "Not my call. That's up to Brendan (Shanahan).”
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