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No excuses for 'ugly' loss to 'Hawks

Zetterberg misses game with groin injury

Sunday, 03.31.2013 / 4:24 PM ET / Recap
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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No excuses for \'ugly\' loss to \'Hawks

Henrik Zetterberg missed Sunday's game with a groin injury, snapping the captain's consecutive games-played streak of 116 straight regular-season contests. (Photo by Dave Reginek)

DETROIT – The Red Wings weren’t in the mood to point fingers or lay blame Sunday afternoon.

“To me you have no excuses this time of year, none whatsoever,” said coach Mike Babcock, after his team was thoroughly drubbed in a 7-1 defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks before a nationally televised audience on Easter.

“Ugly's an understatement, obviously. There’s no reason. There’s just no reason for it at all,” the Wings’ coach added. “I mean, it was painful to watch. There were 57 minutes of pain, that’s the way I looked at it, and they were better than us.”

Before fans could get comfortable in their seats for Sunday’s matinee, the visitors had already potted a 3-0 lead in the opening four-minutes. And though there was plenty of hockey yet to be played, it didn’t get any better for the home team.

Jimmy Howard started his 29th game of the season, but after surrendering a 4-0 lead early in the second period to the Blackhawks, he was pulled in favor of backup Jonas Gustavsson.

Unfortunately, Gustavsson didn’t fare much better, as it took the Blackhawks eight-seconds to score on the Wings’ backup.

“We didn’t do anything with it,” said Babcock, referring to the rest of the game. “We came out after – and we had a stoppage, a period – to get organized and talk about that and get re-grouped and get at her, and then they came down and shot it in our net right away again. When we changed Howie then they shot it in that very same shift. The bottom line is whatever we did today was poor. And it doesn’t reflect well on us at all as far as our preparation goes.”

It certainly didn’t help matters that the Red Wings learned that they would start the game without one of their scoring leaders. Captain Henrik Zetterberg skated in pregame warm-ups, but wasn’t in the lineup with a groin injury.

Even though Zetterberg, who has eight goals and 24 assists, missed his first game season, the Wings didn’t want to make excuses.

“He’s our captain. Our big leader,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “But other teams go through that too. We have to find a way to get through that.”

The Red Wings now have to get ready for a Monday night game against the lowly Colorado Avalanche, seated in last-place in the Western Conference. And more than likely, Detroit will be without its captain again.

“This is what I do know about groins,” Babcock said, “if you missed today you’re probably not playing tomorrow.”

Zetterberg had played in 116 consecutive games, dating back to the end of the 2010-11 season. It was in the third from final game that he was injured by a Bryan Allen hit in a game at Carolina. Zetterberg missed the final two games, as well as the opening-round playoff series against Phoenix, which the Red Wings swept in four games. Zetterberg returned for Western Conference semifinals, and produced three goals and five assists in the seven-game series, won by the San Jose Sharks.

Forward Mikael Samulesson, who was making his 2013 home debut for the Wings on Sunday, left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. He will have tests on Monday, but it’s believed that he is day to day.

Samuelsson skated more than nine-minutes, but had a game-high four hits against the Blackhawks.

Chicago built a 7-0 lead before Cory Emmerton ruined the shutout for Blackhawks goalie Cory Crawford with a goal at 19:27 of the third period. Defenseman Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff were credited with assists on the Wings’ goal.

After the game, the Wings assigned Lashoff to their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, and recalled veteran defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, who spent the weekend with the Griffins on a conditioning assignment.

Lashoff will return to Detroit on Wednesday when NHL teams are permitted to expand their rosters at the April 3 trade deadline.

THREE STARS: 3, Jonathan Toews, CHI (1 goal, 2 assists); 2, Dave Bolland, CHI (2 goals); 1, Brandon Saad, CHI (2 goals, 1 assist).

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80