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Tatar scores twice, but Wings fall to Flyers

Second-year forward set personal best, also lost three teeth

Wednesday, 12.4.2013 / 11:51 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor |
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Tatar scores twice, but Wings fall to Flyers

Tomas Tatar is congratulated by teammates after he scored his first of two goals Wednesday against the Flyers. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT – Without their scoring leaders – that’s right – leaders plural, the Red Wings dug deep Wednesday night, especially Tomas Tatar.

Unfortunately, the Red Wings didn’t have the skill and finesse of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk in the lineup to help maintain a two-goal lead as the Philadelphia Flyers rebounded from a slow start to hand the home team a 6-3 loss at Joe Louis Arena.

“We stopped playing and we stopped skating,” said Tatar, who also lost three teeth to a Nicklas Grossman high stick during the second period. “They took over the game and they become a better team and scored a couple of goals and we lost the game there.”

With his second goal of the night, Tatar put the Red Wings up 3-1 midway through the second period. It was Tatar’s first two-goal game of his young NHL career and just his third ever multi-point effort.

But the Wings couldn’t hold on to the lead as they surrendered three power-play goals to the hot Flyers, who have now collected points in 10 of their last 13 games.

“Anytime you’re up 3-1 you want to win the game,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Our penalty kill has been stellar for us all year long. We gave up the shots, they scored the goals. We had a chance on the power play ourselves and never got it done. In the end I thought we had things going pretty good for ourselves through two. The third period wasn’t good enough, they were better than us. They were better than us because they lit us up on the power play.’’

Tatar now has five goals this season, which is a single-season high for the second year player. But the Wings squandered several opportunities in the second period when the Flyers sent five players to the penalty box. The Wings were 1-for-7 on the power play, meanwhile the Flyers were perfect on their three power-play chances.

“Yeah, on the power play we have to simplify and get shots on net,” forward Justin Abdelkader said. “If we’re not going to score just gain some momentum for us. And our PK has to be better than three goals there.

“On both sides of the equation you can look at our power play not getting a goal there, and our PK giving up three goals. Our PK has been great all year and it’s been better and better but tonight for whatever reason we didn’t get it done. Especially with the guys we have out now our specialty teams have to be really good and we have to protect those 3-1 leads.”

Detroit took a 3-2 lead into the final period, but a four-goal effort by the Flyers snuffed out the Red Wings’ early momentum.

Tatar gave the Wings a 1-0 lead when he fired a one-timer from close range that beat Flyers goalie Steve Mason at 10:17 of the opening period. Tatar’s fourth goal of the season was set up by Drew Miller, who now has four points in his last four games.

“I try to shoot high and I just hit it,” Tatar said. “Millsie made a nice play there, a short one (pass), and I was happy it ended up in. I was sure we were going to stick together and win this game, unfortunately we didn’t.”

The Red Wings took advantage of 1:52 of a 5-on-3 power play halfway through the second period. Again, Tatar was the beneficiary of a perfect pass as he camped out in close range. This time, the 23-year-old took a pass from Mikael Samuelsson and wristed the puck into the open net at 10:13.

However, the tide turned against the Wings in the second of the game as the Flyers managed five unanswered goals by Matt Read, Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier (two) and Scott Hartnell.

It’s the second time this season that the Wings have allowed six goals at home. They lost to Ottawa, 6-1, on Oct. 23.

The Red Wings entered Wednesday’s game with an 18-1-2 home record against the Flyers since the 1989-90 season. It was the first time that the Flyers have scored six times in a game at Joe Louis Arena since a 9-6 loss to the Red Wings on Feb. 16, 1990.

The Wings played without Datsyuk (concussion), Zetterberg (herniated disc), Danny DeKeyser (shoulder) and Todd Bertuzzi (upper body). All four played in the Wings’ 5-2 win over the Flyers on Oct. 12.

“We don’t have them, so you can talk about it, no sense in us talking about it,” Babcock said. “We got to win games. That’s all there is to it.”

A definite bright spot for the Wings on Wednesday was the play of the third line with Tatar and Miller and center Joakim Andersson, who won 16-of-17 face-offs and also assisted on the Wings’ first goal of the game.

“There’s an opportunity for every one of these guys right here to lead, to grab a bigger piece and do their part,” Babcock said. “I thought Tatar was a factor in tonight’s game. To me that means you get more. If you’re not a factor, you get less, it’s real simple.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
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