The Detroit Red Wings Squander another lead and lose to Flames

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 02: Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames can't get a third period shot past Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on January 02, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Calgary won the game 4-3. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 02: Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames can't get a third period shot past Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on January 02, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Calgary won the game 4-3. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Red Wings squander another first-period lead.  They lost tonight 5-3 (EN) to the Calgary Flames at home after having a 2-0 lead in the game.

It was similar to New Year’s eve although the Detroit Red Wings played a much more complete game tonight the results were similar, a loss.  This time the Wings wouldn’t find themselves in overtime or a shootout they lost in regulation.

The Wings struggled again in the second period; it has been a trend all season long.  I have no answer to why this is happening.  At the conclusion of the game reporters asked Darren Helm who scored a goal in his first game back from injury.  “Why does the team struggle so much in the second period?”  His answer was similar to everyone else who listens to it asked after a loss.  “I don’t know.”

Jeff Blashill needs to figure that part out.  Why isn’t this team coming out to play in the second period of hockey games?  On New Year’s Eve against the Panthers, the Wings recorded a very underwhelming 2 shots on goal.  Tonight the Wings recorded 9 shots but gave up 3 goals in the second frame, blowing their lead.

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Helm scored the first goal for the Wings; it was a 2 on 1 for the Wings when the Flames defender left his feet and fell into a slide.  Helm toe-dragged around the skidding Brodie and waited out goaltender Mike Smith before burying it five-hole.

Wings also got goals from Jacob de La Rose & Andreas Athanasiou who recorded his goal on a penalty shot.  It seems double-A is starting to perk up again; he added an assist as well finishing with a two-point evening. He seems to go in spurts; I hope he can find some consistency and become more of a well rounded offensive threat.  Athanasiou has the opportunity to become a massive part of this young Detroit Red Wings franchise for the years to come.

Jimmy Howard gave up 4,  although he gave up a soft one to T.J Brodie he played reasonably well all night.  He took a point shot that Howie seemed to see the whole way yet the puck went off the top of his glove and into the net.  It was like a shortstop trying to field a line drive, and the ball hits off the webbing of the fielders’ glove and trickles into left-center field.

I can’t count how many times Johnny Gaudreau had a breakaway or a semi-breakaway, and Howard was able to make a huge save to keep his team in the game.  The kid they call Johnny hockey had a 4 point night to lead the Flames.  He had a goal and 3 assists.  He now has 59 points in 41 contests for the Flames this season.  Not to bad for a 4th round draft pick.

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Dylan Larkin‘s 14 game point streak ended tonight.  You know what they say about a lengthy point streak that gets snapped right?  I guess he will have to start a new one.  Let’s hope Larkin keeps producing all season long.  The Wings will try their luck again at 7:30 pm Friday night at home against the Nashville Predators.