DETROIT – Suddenly, the Detroit Red Wings are talking about poor play at home instead of total domination.
After winning 23 straight at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings have now lost two in a row there. The latest setback was a 4-3 defeat to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night. The Red Wings hadn’t been beaten in regulation in Detroit since Nov. 3.
Their winning streak was snapped Thursday night with a shootout loss to Vancouver.
Gabriel Landeskog had two goals, and Steve Downie added a goal and two assists for the Avalanche, who handed the Red Wings their third consecutive loss overall. Ryan O’Reilly had three assists, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 28 saves.
David Jones also scored for the Avalanche.
“They’re such a good team. We’re just happy to come in here and get two points,” Landeskog said of the Red Wings.
Jiri Hudler had two goals and an assist, and Valtteri Filppula scored for Detroit. Henrik Zetterberg had three assists, and Jimmy Howard stopped 23 shots.
“It’s unacceptable to play like that, to be as poor as we were,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We had a rally in the third period, but for two games—and probably for three—we haven’t had much energy.”
Detroit also lost defenceman Jonathan Ericsson for about a month because of a broken left wrist sustained in the second period when he was hit by a puck.
Colorado acquired Downie from Tampa Bay in the same three-team deal that sent defenceman Kyle Quincey from Colorado to Detroit on Tuesday.
Hudler’s second goal of the game and 20th of the season came on a tip-in with 6:38 left. Filppula’s 18th goal of the season, scored with 5:07 left in regulation, cut the Red Wings’ deficit to 4-3.
“We knew they were going to come hard. Great home team, and we hung on,” Downie said.
Colorado led 2-0 less than three minutes into the game.
Landeskog opened the scoring 1:35 in when his one-timed shot from the slot went in off Howard’s right pad. Just 1:07 later, Jones capitalized on a turnover by Quincey in his own zone. He picked up the loose puck in the high slot, skated in, and beat Howard with a high shot for a short-handed goal. It was Jones’ 15th goal of the season.
“It was a rough start. You’ve got to give them credit,” Quincey said after his first game against his former team “They came out flying and played very well. They chipped and chased and wore us down.”
He appeared to be tripped by Chuck Kobasew, causing the turnover, but there was no call.
“I saw him come at me, I knew I had him beat. I was just going to take a stride and his legs took my feet out from under me. Puck went right in the slot,” Quincey said. “It looked pretty bad, but I thought I was gone. Next thing I know the puck is in the back of our net. It’s pretty frustrating.”
Landeskog made it 3-0 with 6:25 left in the second period with another
one-timed shot from the slot for his 19th goal.
It was the first time since their Nov. 3 loss that the Red Wings trailed by three goals at home.
Hudler’s power-play goal 44 seconds into the third period put the Red Wings
on the board. He put a one-timed shot under the crossbar from the bottom of the left circle.
But Downie restored Colorado’s three-goal lead 9:13 into the third when he
put a cross-crease pass into the open side of the net for his 14th goal of the
season and second with his new team.
NOTES: Colorado RW Milan Hejduk sat out because of a groin injury. … Jones’ goal was the first short-handed tally Detroit has allowed at home his season. … Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader turned 25.