PHILADELPHIA (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - The Detroit Red Wings' lack of power left them frozen out of the points race.
Two straight man advantages early in the third period couldn't dent a deficit to the Philadelphia Flyers, leaving the Wings to accept an eventual 5-0 loss at Wells Fargo Center tonight. The Flyers leapfrogged the Wings by a point in what's an incredibly clogged Eastern Conference playoff race. The Wings are 1-2 against Philadelphia this season, with both losses coming in games where neither Henrik Zetterberg nor Pavel Datsyuk were available.
The Wings went 0-for-4 on power plays tonight. Dating to the Winter Classic, they've gone 4-for-46.
The Wings trailed, 1-0, after the first period. Scott Hartnell deflected Kimmo Timonen's shot during a Philadelphia power play, leaving Jonas Gustavsson helpless to react. The Wings got a power play, too, in the final minutes of the period. It was a 4-on-3 situation because of prior offsetting penalties. The first group -- Daniel Alfredsson, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Niklas Kronwall had some good puck movement, with Nyquist forcing a fast save from Steve Mason. The second group -- Riley Sheahan, Patrick Eaves, Tomas Tatar and Danny DeKeyser didn't get anything anywhere near Mason.
Other than Tatar, none of that second grouping would be on the power play, but that's where the Wings found themselves after losing Johan Franzen to concussion symptoms one game after he returned. The team already was without Datsyuk and Zetterberg, who are close to returning but not quite there.
The Wings have gotten used to being without regulars, and significant ones and that. They've also gotten used to not being able to score -- after three straight four-goal games, it was back to bare cupboards in Philadelphia. The Wings fell behind 2-0 when Hartnell scored again -- after being denied on a fantastic chance by a sliding Gustavsson early in the second period -- and then 3-0 after Adam Hall scored.
It wasn't that the Wings didn't get any shots -- they had 10 of them in the second period -- but few of them were quality ones. Luke Glendening had a nice one, which led to a rebound -- which Kyle Quincey sent over the top of the net.
The Wings were playing a team just embarrassed by three straight losses that included two blowouts. Having established a three-goal lead by the third period, the Flyers weren't gambling with that looked like a sure victory. They had little trouble clearing pucks as the Wings spent a good stretch with an extra skater, and instead shored up two points with goals from Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.
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