DETROIT – Penalties continue to be an issue for the Red Wings this postseason, and Sunday afternoon it cost them for the first time.
With Drew Miller in the box for goalie interference, Shea Weber scored Nashville’s first power play goal of the series just 2:48 into the first period.
Weber seemed to nudge Miller off balance, therefore sending him sliding on the ice and into Pekka Rinne.
“That’s what Millsie said,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said of the nudge. “I thought that was going to be a penalty as soon as I saw it myself. We have to look after those guys (goalies), so I have no issue with that call.”
Nashville also had 23 seconds of a 5-on-3 in the second period.
“We’ve got to be more disciplined, because they call this stuff,” Babcock said. “We’ve got to stay out of the box. Putting ourselves on a 5-on-3 was real tough. You talk about flow of the game. If you’re going to be in the penalty box, that really makes it tough for you being in the box that much. You’re wearing our your players killing penalties, even though your penalty killing has been good, you’re wearing yourself out.”
Detroit has been shorthanded 16 times in the series, which is the most of any team this postseason. Nashville has been shorthanded 14 times, which is the second most.
“As long as they’re consistent,” Jimmy Howard said. “It’s give or take, some games he sees some stuff, sometimes it’s not (called), you just have to play through it.”
“It kills momentum in the game,” said Kyle Quincey, who was sent off for cross checking to cause the 5-on-3. “You watch all the other games in the league and I don’t know, you really don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know. It’s tough.
“Our penalty kill did a great job,” Quincey added. “We lost momentum but we got it back especially after those kills. I think we all want to play 5-on-5. Hopefully we can do that the next couple of games.”
These two teams were the least penalized teams in the league in the regular season.
“They have been hurting us,” Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We have to find a way to stay out of the box. When you’re behind and chasing, trying to score goals, it’s tough putting guys in the box and it’s going to hurt you in the long run. Even if they’re not scoring, it doesn’t allow us to get our lines going. We have to keep moving our feet. We can’t be grabbing on our using our sticks. We can’t get back taking those penalties.
“You can’t get frustrated,” Lidstrom added. “You have to overlook that. You can’t let that be an obstacle for you. You can’t let officiating effect you. We have to put that behind you and keep working.”
The Wings had been shorthanded six times in each of the first two games of the series.
“I think some of the calls are penalties, some are not,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “I think we don’t really know how we should play out there. It is the playoffs and then it seems like it’s not the playoffs. It’s tough to react and play.”