Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) stops a Ottawa Senators right wing Alex Chiasson (90) shot in the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Oct. 30, 2015 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
The scenario is getting entirely too familiar.
The Red Wings continued a now weeks-old habit of not putting together the sort of energetic and creative performance needed to win. They lost for the sixth time in seven games Friday night at Joe Louis Arena, falling to the Ottawa Senators, 3-1. For the second straight game, the last goal was an empty-netter, as the Wings end games in desperation.
The teams meet again today in Ottawa.
The Wings are on a 1-5-1 slide, their last really good, all-around performance dating to the third game of the season, their last victory to a week ago. During the past seven games, the Wings have scored 12 goals.
As has been the case all month, captain Henrik Zetterberg and rookie Dylan Larkin — oldest and youngest active players on the team, respectively — were the Wings’ best players. Zetterberg scored on a power play to reach 12 points, while Larkin twice got the Wings two-man advantages.
Jimmy Howard faced 35 shots to 35 for Andrew Hammond.
After an unimpressive first few shifts, the Wings got skating in Ottawa’s zone and took a rare lead in shots. Justin Abdelkader had a good, clean shot denied. Howard helped kill a penalty with three saves, including gloving a blaster from the blue line. Turnovers continued to be a problem, with Niklas Kronwall guilty of a couple in the first period.
Kyle Turris put the Senators up a goal at 18:46, when he knocked a loose puck into the net before Danny DeKeyser could clear.
The Wings started the second period with 1:14 left on a power play, but they managed only one shot on Hammond. A second power play materialized 2 minutes later, and Larkin then drew a penalty, creating a 25-second 5-on-3. Still, nothing materialized. It got so bad, Howard had to make a stop during his team’s man advantage.
It got worse at the game’s midpoint, when Matt Puempel put the Senators up by two. The Wings caught a break when an Erik Karlsson slap shot clanked off a post.
A fourth power play came Detroit’s way with 5 minutes to go in the second period. Larkin was able to draw another penalty, this time giving the Wings 1:07 with two extra skaters.
The reward was seeing Zetterberg score 23 seconds later, when he grabbed Teemu Pulkkinen’s rebound and found a hole just before Hammond closed his left skate to the goalpost.
Contact Helene St. James: [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.