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Three Questions: Wings-Islanders's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 75th game

Friday, 03.27.2009 / 10:14 PM / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Islanders
Who was the star of the night?

A former Red Wing returned to Joe Louis Arena on Friday, and he had a great game. Goalie Joey MacDonald turned away 42 shots to get the win against his former club. It was also MacDonald’s first career shutout. The Wings pressed in the third period, but the combination of MacDonald and the posts surrounding him stopped the comeback attempt; Detroit hit at least four posts in the third period alone.

What went wrong?

MacDonald helped the Islanders shut down the best power play in the game. The Islanders gave the Wings opportunities throughout the contest, starting 27 seconds in. The Red Wings went 0-6 on the power play. The power-play problems should start to be a concern; the Wings have struggled on the man-advantage of late.
They scored three power-play goals against Calgary on March 12, and have struggled ever since.  In their last seven games, the Wings’ man-advantage unit is only 2-for-29. But with all the offensive firepower coach Mike Babcock has to work with, the power play should right itself before the playoffs begin.

What’s next?

The Wings will take another stab at earning their 50th win of the season on Sunday, when they take on their Central Division rivals, the Nashville Predators. Puck drops at 5 p.m. EDT. Detroit will attempt to become the third franchise in NHL history to earn four straight 50-win seasons, joining Montreal and Boston. The Wings also will continue the battle between the Bruins and San Jose for the top record in the NHL, in the quest to win their seventh Presidents’ Trophy.


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