The Red Wings had a very difficult day on special teams and it came back to bite them in their 4-1 Game 2 loss Sunday at TD Garden.
They were 0 for 4 on the power play and allowed the Bruins two goals on the man advantage in four tries. Coach Mike Babcock said not only were they not good on special teams, they were not good in every area.
“I thought we were ineffective period, to tell you the truth,’’ said the coach, whose team is 0 for 6 on the power play in the series. “I didn’t think we were very good. I thought they were better. I thought we were better than them in Game 1. I thought they were way better than us in Game 2. They were engaged, they won the battles. They were quick, we were slow. We didn’t execute.
“On the power play, I thought their penalty kill forecheck was good. On special teams, they won the faceoffs so they cleared it down. Our power-play breakout failed to execute so we got no zone time. It was like an exercise in skating up and down the rink. We weren’t very good on specialty teams.’’
Despite that, the Red Wings had clawed back to 2-1 as the second period was drawing to an end before Milan Lucic struck at 18:16 to restore the two-goal edge.
“As poor as we were, I thought in the second period we got the game to right where we wanted it. It’s 2-1, going to be going into the third [period]. It’s a simple two-on-two cross play and we don’t execute. Now we’re down, 3-1, and the game’s over. We weren’t very good here [Sunday].’’
Five-on-five, the Red Wings’ forwards have only scored one goal in two games, but Babcock said that wasn’t an area of concern.
“In Game 1, five-on-five, we did a lot of good things,’’ said Babcock. “I thought we had lots of good looks down the pipe and didn’t [score]. As poor as we were, it didn’t go in, but I’m not worried about that.’’
Howard looks to rebound
Goaltender Jimmy Howard gave up four goals on 29 shots Sunday after earning his third career shutout in Game 1.
The first goal he surrendered was an ugly one. He raced out of his net to clear the puck and it glanced off the leg of defenseman Brendan Smith and right to Bruins forward Justin Florek. The rookie shot it past a sprawled Howard.
“You know, it’s hockey,’’ said Howard. “It’s a bad break and just unfortunate for us. It happened, I don’t think it had anything to do with the outcome or anything. You know, it happened and it got them rolling a little bit in the first period.’’
The killer came on Lucic’s goal late in the second that robbed the Red Wings of any momentum.
“It was a good play by [Jarome] Iginla,’’ said Howard. “Notoriously, he’s a good shooter and he made a nice pass over to Lucic. I just didn’t get enough of it. I got a lot of it, but I didn’t get enough of it and it went in.’’
Howard said they’re eager to get back home and feed off the energy of the Joe Louis Arena crowd.
“I’m looking forward to getting back and playing in front of our fans,’’ he said. “It’s a great place to play and I think we are looking forward to it.’’
Cool hand Luke
Rookie center Luke Glendening had the only goal for the Red Wings in Game 2, his first NHL playoff goal and first point. Darren Helm and Drew Miller drew the assists for their first points of the series . . . After putting up a team-high five shots on goal in game 1, Tomas Tatar had only two Sunday . . . The Red Wings’ play also suffered on the faceoff circle. They won 55 percent of the draws in Game 1, only 44 percent in Game 2.