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Blackhawks drop Red Wings in OT, 3-2

By Helene St. James
Detroit Free Press/TNS

The Detroit Red Wings played a tight, spirited game against an Original Six rival in their first home game in two weeks.

The good vibe they took away from their last road game didn’t last long as a couple breakdowns forced the Wings to play from behind against the Chicago Blackhawks Monday at Little Caesars Arena.

The Wings pushed the game to overtime but lost, 3-2, on Dominik Kubalik’s second goal of the night. It was the first time this season the Wings gained points in two straight games, and bumped their record to 4-10-3.

The Blackhawks had a 2-0 lead when Vladislav Namestnikov scored. The Wings recovered from early errors to play another strong defensive game overall.

It was 2-1 going into the third period when Dylan Larkin drew a penalty on Patrick Kane to set up a man advantage. But the Wings dropped to 0-for-26 in their last nine games. What they couldn’t do with an extra skater, Christian Djoos did at even strength, scoring at 5:49 to make it a tie game. That was his first goal, and third point, since the Wings claimed Djoos off waivers during training camp.

The teams meet again Wednesday at LCA.

Two errors, two goals

An energetic start was marred by a defensive lapse that was costly. About 4 minutes into the first period, Carl Soderberg had the puck near Detroit’s net, drawing Filip Zadina, Marc Staal and Jon Merrill. That left Mattias Janmark - a 2013 Wings draft pick - open in the left circle to beat Thomas Greiss. With about 4 minutes left in the period, Namestnikov had the puck along the boards as he entered the neutral zone. His passing attempt was picked off, and Kubalik converted that turnover into a 2-0 lead.

Making amends

The Blackhawks came into the game with a power play that should make any opponent be on its best behavior, ranking second in the NHL at 34.7%. Patrik Nemeth, though, took a slashing penalty at 8:38. (It was Nemeth’s third penalty in two games.) The penalty killers came through, and Greiss only had to make one save. Nemeth had a hand - or a foot, rather - in pulling the Wings within a goal before the period ended. The puck bounced off his right skate towards Chicago’s net and popped out the side, where Namestnikov tapped it behind Malcolm Subban.

Ebb and flow

The Wings came out of the first period with a 13-6 advantage in shots, but they weren’t able to sustain nearly as much pressure in Chicago’s zone in the second period. They put themselves shorthanded for a second time when Valtteri Filppula went to the penalty box on a tripping call, but the penalty killers delivered another solid effort. Robby Fabbri reacted quicker than he could think it through when he fell on a faceoff and used his hand to swipe the puck - that’s a no-no, and forced a third penalty kill. The Blackhawks outshot the Wings, 11-6, in the second period.