When a team, like the Detroit Red Wings, fails to score for nearly two-and-a-half matches, defensive positioning needs to be on point, needs to be perfect.
But that’s what did in Detroit on Thursday night, falling to the host Carolina Hurricanes, 3-1.
Trailing by one goal midway through the third period, the Red Wings had an opportunity to clear the puck out of the defensive zone and regroup.
But defenseman Danny DeKeyser failed to clear while skating along the boards, then Teuvo Teravainen harassed and stripped the puck from Michael Rasmussen before beating goalie Jonathan Bernier (29 saves).
Earlier, defenseman Troy Stecher attempted a turn-around clearing attempt along the boards. The puck was intercepted and Warren Foegle was left undisturbed next to Bernier, who made the initial save, but not the rebound, which proved to be the game-winner.
Down 2-0, forward Jakub Vrana scored with 2:29 remaining in the second period. The goal stopped a scoreless skid of 146 minutes 46 seconds.
Over their past three matches, totaling 190 minutes since the seven-goal outburst on April 22, the Red Wings have scored twice.
If a team, like the Red Wings, are not going to score, they are going to have to play perfect defense.
If not, matches like Thursday’s will become a revolving theme.
Red Wings Power Play-(less)
Attempting to inject some offensive momentum, Joseph Veleno attempted a move, causing Carolina’s Brady Skjei to trip the rookie center.
It was the Red Wings’ only power play Thursday, marking the fourth straight match in which they have played with just one man-advantage situation.
Have the Red Wings’ opponents suddenly transformed into figure skaters?
The Red Wings on Thursday were outshot, 26-9, over the final two periods. … Thursday’s win moved the Hurricanes past Vegas for the top spot of the NHL’s overall standings. … Since dropping consecutive matches to the Red Wings on April 10-12, the Hurricanes are unbeaten (6-0-3). … Vrana’s goal was his seventh point since being acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline. … The Red Wings and Hurricanes split the eight-game regular-season series (4-4-0).