The Detroit Red Wings aren’t scoring as many goals as they’d like, and though it’s early, they’re identifying some trends.
They’re hoping for their power play and third line to make their first contributions of the season Thursday night against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.
The Red Wings (2-1-0) are one of the last teams in the league without a power-play goal while their third line of Joakim Andersson, Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Cleary has yet to contribute to any of the team’s offense.
“None of us are really happy with how we played last game and maybe not the game before,” Andersson told the team’s official website. “We know we can do a lot better. We need to play strong on the puck and play more down low in their end and get there more often. I’m not happy that we’ve been on the ice when the other team has scored.”
Andersson, Bertuzzi and Cleary, a combined minus-8, are also the team’s second power-play unit. Detroit is 0 for 8 on the power play, while Phoenix (1-2-0) has allowed five power-play goals on 14 attempted kills.
The Red Wings are averaging 2.0 goals after Saturday night’s 4-1 loss against one of their new Atlantic Division foes in Boston. They were outshot for the first time after outshooting Buffalo and Carolina by a combined 27 shots in their first two games.
“They won in every statistic tonight,” goalie Jimmy Howard said after playing consecutive nights. “Every battle. I’m not going to make that excuse that we were tired or anything like that because I kind of think it’s pathetic.”
Howard and Phoenix’s Mike Smith were two of five goalies tied for the 2013 league lead with five shutouts.
One of Howard’s came at home in the last game these teams played, a 4-0 home win April 22. Including the playoffs, he’s 16-4-2 against Phoenix.
The Coyotes are coming off a 6-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday in which Smith was pulled after allowing five goals in two periods. It was their first loss by five goals or more since Nov. 25, 2011, against Vancouver.
“You get embarrassed as a professional athlete. It’s unacceptable,” captain Shane Doan said. “There has to be accountability in our room. They have a really good team that moves the puck well, and we let them do it all night.”
The Coyotes have lost the first two games of a five-game road trip by a combined score of 10-2.
“We’re beating ourselves right now,” coach Dave Tippett told the team’s official website. “… Teams have played well (against us) but I’d like to see what we can do before I anoint somebody else.”
The Coyotes are 0-4-2 in their last six games in Detroit, including the 2011 postseason.
Phoenix has scored six goals thus far, with half of those coming from Radim Vrbata in a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers to open the season last Thursday.
Detroit center Henrik Zetterberg has scored in consecutive games and has 17 goals in 37 regular-season meetings against Phoenix. He’s only scored more against St. Louis and Chicago.