Undermanned Wings’ Drop Third Straight
Without Pavel Datsyuk or Nicklas Lidstraum who were suspended by the league for missing last weekends all star game, or Brad Stuart who was injured, Detroit dropped their third straight losing 3-2 to Columbus in overtime.
Rick Nash was the star of the game, scoring all three of the Blue Jackets goals to earn the third hat trick of his career and push his season total to 22. He scored one on the power play, one shorthanded, and one in overtime.
Despite missing three key players Detroit got off to a good start. Marian Hossa scored his 23rd of the year on the power play 8:55 into the first.
Nash tied it in the second after the Red Wings lost control of the puck during the power play and allowed their first shorthanded goal of the season. Brett Lebda scored unassisted just 30 seconds later to give the Wings the lead back but Nash scored on the power play a few minutes later to tie it.
After a scoreless third period, Nash was able to shove the puck past Chris Osgood off a rebound shot by Mike Commodore who had two assists.
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"He's a good hockey player. It's kind of like Pav and Z, your best player has got to be your best player. That's why you pay them all the money. If they're not your best players, you don't win," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "I don't think anybody's surprised. Everyone knows Nash is a real good player."
Despite appeals by the front office, the NHL did not rescind their decision to suspend both players. The rule states that if a player named to the all star game can’t play due to injury they must miss the last game prior to the all star break or else sit out the following game.
The Red Wings still earned a point to hold the second seed in the west securely but failed to hit the 70 point mark for the third straight time. They’ll try again Thursday night back in Detroit when they take on Dallas for the fourth and final meeting of the season.
Datsyuk and Lidtsrom missing or not, Detroit has been uncharacteristically sloppy as of late, allowing too many shots on goal and not killing off penalties. They’ve allowed 15 goals in the last three games. A close loss on the road to the Sharks is understandable but losses to Columbus and Phoenix is not.
ProHockey-fans.com Detroit Red Wings Correspondent