The Detroit Red Wings' power-play futility on the road is in danger of sinking to a depth not seen in 25 years.
Still searching for their first road power-play goal, the Red Wings hope to continue their recent success in Calgary while handing the Flames a season-high fourth straight loss Wednesday night.
Detroit (12-9-5) ranks near the top of the league in converting power-play chances at home at 22.1 percent (15 of 68), but is 0 for 36 on the road while going 3-5-2. The 10-game road drought without a power-play goal equals that of the 2000-01 Minnesota Wild for the longest to start a season since 1987-88, and the stretch of consecutive failed power-play chances is fourth-longest in that span.
"We don't get the puck back," coach Mike Babcock told the Red Wings' official website. "You get in, you get set up, you get a shot and they clear it down the ice. It's like a marathon going up and down the ice.
"The bottom line is we've got to do a way better job on the retrievals. If we do that, your skill comes in. And if you don't do that, you don't look like you've got any skill."
Babcock likely will continue to use different player combinations on the power play when the Red Wings open a three-game, four-day trip through western Canada.
"It changes every game, every moment," Babcock said. "Whoever's playing good, gets out there. It (has) to do with he was getting the puck back. Whoever is playing well gets an opportunity."
Detroit snapped a six-game power-play drought with Johan Franzen's tying goal early in the third period Sunday of its second loss in as many days to Columbus, 3-2 in a shootout.
The Flames (9-11-4) let their opponents have only two power plays in a recently completed three-game road trip but allowed goals on both. They've killed 14 of 15 penalties at home, where they have won four straight.
Detroit went 1 for 4 with the man advantage during a 4-1 home loss to the Flames on Feb. 5. The Red Wings are 2 for 32 on the power play over the last nine meetings in Calgary but have won five of their last six visits.
The Flames own a 16-8 scoring advantage while winning four straight at home, but hope to get back on track after being outscored 13-3 while losing at Anaheim and two straight at Los Angeles.
With a Western Conference-low 22 points, the Flames feel the urgency to rebound and avoid a fourth straight season without a playoff appearance.
"This is definitely a big step in the wrong direction," captain Jarome Iginla told the NHL's official website after Monday's 3-1 loss to the Kings. "We have to go home and we've got to win games, but this one, this trip definitely put us a ways back."
Iginla was limited to one assist on the trip but has four goals and six assists during a seven-game home point streak. He's failed to earn a point in two straight home games against the Red Wings but scored at Detroit last month.
Among the struggling Red Wings is Henrik Zetterberg, who has one goal in the past 19 games and two points over his last seven. Pavel Datsyuk is seeking his first goal in 11 games and Damien Brunner has none in the past seven.
|Back to top ↑|