The Detroit Red Wings run out of gas in New Jersey lose 3-2 to the Devils

The Detroit Red Wings take a 16-14-4 record into the Christmas break.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
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Losses stink, nobody enjoys them, but the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 loss in New Jersey on Saturday night, albeit a loss, wasn't exactly a bad one. I know that doesn't make much sense, but the way things have been going in December, a tight, low-scoring loss to a good-coached Lindy Ruff club on the second of a back-to-back, undermanned, plus travel isn't the end of the world.

Detroit got goals from Shayne Gostisbehere and Patrick Kane. Kane seems to score every game or at least records a point. In fact, upon joining the Red Wings, Kane has totaled five goals and ten points over ten games. He's as dangerous as ever with the puck on his stick, often displaying elite vision and tremendous vision. Kane, along with his linemates, Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Larkin, are a threat to score every time they're on the ice. Timo Meier scored twice for New Jersey, and Tyler Toffoli redirected the game-winner past Michael Hutchinson midway through the third period.

The first goal of the night was beautifully set up by Jake Walman, who was reinserted into the lineup after being a healthy scratch on Friday in Detroit. The Red Wings lost Olli Maatta to injury on Friday, which opened the door for Walman to return; also, Detroit recalled Simon Edvinsson from Grand Rapids, making Justin Holl a healthy scratch. Kane started Detroit's rush in the defensive zone, and as Walman carried the puck into the New Jersey end, button hooked at the right-wing circle and sent a pass back to the blue line where his defensive partner, Moritz Seider, was waiting. Seider swiftly one-touch passed it over to a waiting DeBrincat on the left side. DeBrincat, in turn, sends a firm cross-ice pass over to a waiting Kane wide open at the side of the goal. Kane deposited the puck into the gaping net. It was too good not to show, so I'll attach the video below.

The Detroit Red Wings fall short in New Jersey before the holiday break.

The Detroit Red Wings struggled to generate much sustained offensive zone pressure Saturday night yet still saw a few great opportunities to tie the game and force overtime. Daniel Sprong ripped a shot off the goal post late, and David Perron sent the rebound way over the net. It reminded me of when I was a kid (a long time ago). My soccer coach would say, don't toe the ball during penalty kicks because you don't have much control, and you will sail the ball over the net. He was right, by the way. Following Perron's chance, he was sitting on the bench, showing fellow forward Joe Veleno where the puck made contact on his stick, closer to the heel than the toe, and Perron gestured as if the puck had been on edge. It's a shame; Detroit played well enough to win.

I don't want to blame everything on the officials, but they had a bad night. The Detroit Red Wings went 4-4 on the penalty kill Saturday night, defending the league's top power-play unit. That's a huge plus, especially with their fourth-string goaltender in the net. Michael Hutchinson played great for Detroit, making 33 of 36 saves on the night. In turn, the Red Wings went 0-3 on their opportunities. Three, and I am not exaggerating, were questionable calls, to say the least. Another good thing, Edvinsson looked really good in his Red Wings' season debut. It will be interesting to see what the Detroit Red Wings decide to do with their young stud defender following the quick three-day break. Detroit lost Christian Fischer and Jeff Petry in New Jersey as they collided in the defensive zone and knocked heads. Both would be unable to return, but it looked as though Fischer took the worst of the collision. Fischer was clearly woozy and needed plenty of assistance off the ice. This also forced Detroit to finish the game with 11 forwards and five defenders, again, on the second of a back-to-back. The legs appeared to be stuck in cement for the majority of the third frame.

Austin Czarnik will center the fourth line if Fischer is forced to miss time. If Petry can't play right away, I would expect the Red Wings to keep Edvinsson up despite having a healthy Holl available. Time will tell. I want to mention one more thing: Ben Chiarot has been fantastic for the Detroit Red Wings of late and the majority of the year. Chiarot played nearly 28 minutes on Friday night against the Flyers and a shift away from 22 minutes on Saturday night. Detroit returns to the ice in St. Paul, Minnesota, to take on the Wild on Wednesday. Merry Christmas and happy holidays, folks.

Looking at Patrick Kane's performance with the Detroit Red Wings so far. dark. Next. Looking at Patrick Kane's performance with the Detroit Red Wings so far