As I said via Twitter tonight, it’s good that the Red Wings had already clinched their playoff spot, as this game was one that was supposed to be two easy points and Detroit walks away with zero in a 2-1 loss.
Part of that is Carolina goalie Cam Ward putting in a strong performance, including big stops on Justin Abdelkader. Part of that is simply a failure to execute.
Ignore the lack of offense. As Winging it in Motown pointed out, the only two power plays Detroit gave up were on too many men on the ice penalties. Taking one of those is bad enough, showing sloppiness. Two? Shameful.
The loss, combined with Columbus’ loss to Tampa Bay, means that a Blue Jackets win tomorrow against the Panthers locks the Red Wings into eighth place and a first-round matchup with the Boston Bruins no matter what Detroit does against St. Louis on Sunday. If the Wings manage a single point more against the Blues than the Jackets do in Sunrise, it’s a Detroit – Pittsburgh first round.