DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings got plenty of time to work on their 5-on-3 man advantage, Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.
And with the end result it’s easy to see they need to work on it some more.
The Wings converted just once on three lengthy two-man advantages as they feel to the Ottawa Senators, 4-2.
“Obviously you want to more than one on that,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “I think that third one we had some good looks, had some good shots, but (Robin) Lehner came up with some big saves.”
The Senators were 1-for-1 with their lone 5-on-3 man advantage.
“We had a 5-on-3 with chances to score and we didn’t,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We had two power play goals, they had two power play goals, but I still thought we could have got another power play goal on that 5-on-3. We had an extended 5-on-3 in the third with a chance to score and we didn’t score. I thought that was part of it.”
Darren Helm and Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit and Jimmy Howard, who’s now 0-3-4 in his last seven starts, stopped 25 shots.
Clarke MacArthur scored a pair of goals for Ottawa, which snapped a three-game losing streak, while Chris Neil and Bobby Ryan each added a goal. Lehner made 34 saves.
The teams combined had nearly 25 minutes of power play time.
“No one gets to play,” said Babcock, who team had just snapped a season-long seven-game winless streak. “You can’t kill penalties all the time and just go to the power play. There is no rhythm off you bench and you end up gassing lots of people.
“The other thing you can’t kill penalties all night long,” Babcock continued. “I didn’t like the (Niklas) Kronwall penalty I thought it was an awful call, but other than that you deserve what you get. You have to look after your stick or you’re going to be in the box all night and no one gets any rhythm like that.”
Kronwall was sent off for roughing with six minutes to go in regulation.
Datsyuk tied the game for the Wings early in the third period, getting a nice deflection off Ottawa’s Jared Cowen to beat Lehner.
The Senators then went back in front taking advantage of a 5-on-3 power play. Ryan was left all alone on the goal line and he buried the pass he got from Erik Karlsson to put Ottawa up, 3-2.
The Senators still had just under three minutes of power play time left for the double minor Kyle Quincey was given for high sticking, but the Wings were able to kill that time off.
Detroit got its third two-man advantage, this one for 1:32, midway through the third period and could not score.
Johan Franzen looked like he might have tied the game as the first of the two penalties expired, but he batted in the rebound in with his glove.
MacArthur sealed the win with a power play goal.
The Wings have just seven points out of possible 20 in their last 10 home games.
“I’m concerned always when we don’t win,” Babcock said. “I thought we started off good, did lots of good things and we didn’t find a way to win the game.”
The Wings had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the second or take the lead with 1:33 of 5-on-3 power play time, but mustered up just one shot on goal.
Despite Helm opening the scoring for the Wings late on their first power play of the game, it was Ottawa that went to the dressing room with a one-goal lead as MacArthur and Neil scored goals 1:11 apart.
Helm tipped in a shot of Tomas Tatar with eight seconds left on Detroit’s power play.
It took the Senators a little over a minute later to tie it as MacArthur took advantage of Howard playing without a stick to get one past the Wings netminder.
Then, Neil was credited with a goal that deflected off the inside of Smith’s leg and trickled over the goal line.
Detroit outshot the Senators, 17-7, in the first period.
“When you look at the first period, they didn’t touch the puck and they were up 2-1 coming out,” Babcock said. “Bottom line is we have to mentally tough to win games and we didn’t find a way tonight.”
Jonas Gustavsson will start in goal Sunday at Buffalo.
Jakub Kindl left the game with a hip injury according to Babcock and his status for Sunday isn’t known.