COMMENTARY | The last time both Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg didn't play in a game for the Detroit Red Wings was back in 2006. The Red Wings had to play the Philadelphia Flyers without the Euro Twins on Wednesday, December 4 and fell 6-3.
The Red Wings were in control of the game in the second period when they scored twice to take a 3-1 lead, but failed to close out the game yet again.
Detroit took two penalties in the third period, and the Flyers scored on both power plays as they would score four unanswered goals in the third period.
The Red Wings came into the game with the second-best penalty killing percentage in the league at 86.9 behind Vancouver. They allowed three power-play goals on three opportunities against the Flyers.
While it's easy to look at this game and say the Red Wings lost because Datysuk and Zetterberg were not in the lineup, the Red Wings had a lead in the third period and couldn't close out the game.
They couldn't kill off their penalties, and they only scored on 1 of 7 power-play opportunities.
However, it isn't time to push the panic button yet. The Red Wings have a favorable schedule for the next week and a half, which should ease the pain of not having Datsyuk or Zetterberg.
They face New Jersey, Florida and Tampa Bay in their next four games; teams that are struggling or, in the case of Tampa Bay, is also missing its best player.
Obviously, it's not ideal to have your top two players out of the lineup for an extended period of time, but it couldn't be happening at a better time for the Red Wings.
If they can take at least four or five points in the next four games, I'll consider that a win.
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.
- Ice Hockey
- Sports & Recreation
- Detroit Red Wings
- Henrik Zetterberg
- Pavel Datsyuk