COMMENTARY | So much for Daniel Alfredsson exacting some revenge on his former team.
Simply put: The Senators came ready to play, and the Red Wings did not.
They were outworked, outskated and Ottawa dictated the pace of the game from start to finish. The Red Wings had a few opportunities, but couldn't take advantage of them. Todd Bertuzzi had the lone score for the Red Wings, a power-play goal that cut Ottawa's lead to 3-1 in the first period.
You know Alfredsson was fired up to play against the team he had been with for the past 17 seasons, but he didn't get any help from his Red Wings teammates.
Even with Niklas Kronwall back in the lineup, the defense had numerous breakdowns and didn't resemble anything close to the team that kept the San Jose Sharks from scoring a single goal on Monday night.
Despite outshooting the Senators 32-28, Craig Anderson saw every shot that came his way, whereas Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson didn't see a handful of the goals that went in.
The Red Wings did a terrible job of clearing bodies from in front of their own net, and Ottawa took advantage using not only their own players as screens, but the Red Wings players as well.
The Red Wings have been outscored 11-3 in their past three games. Three goals in three games is not a good recipe for success in the NHL.
Ideally, the Red Wings would love to have Gustav Nyquist with the team to give them some scoring punch, but until they make a trade or waive somebody, Nyquist has to stay in Grand Rapids.
Tomas Tatar continues to improve
The silver lining in these past couple of games is Tomas Tatar has looked really good. Although he has no points to show for it, he has been driving to the net trying to create scoring opportunities, been hard on the puck and even threw a nice hit on Ottawa's Milan Michalek that no doubt caught the Ottawa winger by surprise.
Casual fans may see the zeros by Tatar's name and think he hasn't been contributing, but coach Mike Babcock will no doubt notice Tatar's improved play and, hopefully, keep him in the lineup on a more consistent basis.
It's good to see Tatar get his opportunities and take advantage of them. Now, the rest of the bottom-six forwards have to get on the scoresheet on a more consistent basis. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk can only shoulder so much of the load.
The Red Wings get a couple of days off as they don't play until Saturday when they host the struggling New York Rangers. The Red Wings need to take advantage of a team that has yet to find any consistency this year.
But, at the same time, they can't overlook them and think this is an automatic win. The Rangers will be just as hungry to get a win in an attempt to turn their early-season struggles around.
Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Red Wings for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He also co-hosts a Red Wings Podcast called The Octopod, and is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can follow Tom on Twitter.
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