By Dan Majka
DETROIT (CBS) — After Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers, Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen called out his teammates for their lackluster effort.
On Sunday night in Detroit, the effort was there – but the results were not. Philadelphia fell to the Red Wings 4-3. It was their fifth loss in the last six games.
For Detroit, it was a historical 20th consecutive win on home ice, equaling the NHL mark first set by the Boston Bruins during the 1929-30 season, and then matched by the Flyers in 1976.
“We definitely wanted to keep them from tying the record,” said Flyers winger Scott Hartnell. “We’re all disappointed about that.”
The Flyers – a team that has played very well on the road this season – did so again. But the penalty kill problems that haunted them against the Rangers a day earlier continued against the Red Wings.
Niklas Kronwall opened the scoring a little more than seven minutes into the first period with a power-play goal for Detroit after a Brayden Schenn tripping penalty.
Schenn made up for his mistake. The Flyers’ rookie beat Red Wings goalie Joey MacDonald not once, but twice. His first goal came in the first period and evened the score at one. His second tally, early in period number two, gave the orange and black a short-lived 2-1 lead.
After Wayne Simmonds was sent to the box for a roughing penalty, Pavel Datsyuk answered with another Detroit power-play goal, beating Sergei Bobrovsky and tying the game at two. It was the fifth power play goal allowed by the Flyers in the past two games.
Max Talbot briefly put the Flyers back on top with his 14th goal of the season. But again, the Red Wings struck quickly. This time, a goal by Henrik Zetterberg that sent the teams to the second intermission knotted at three.
Coming out of the break, Detroit wasted little time snapping the tie. Less than one minute into the third period, Johan Franzen scored to put the Red Wings in front for good.
“There’s not much you can do about it when they’re zinging it around like that,” said Hartnell. “They picked us apart a few times out there and that was the difference.”
Detroit hasn’t lost at home since November 3 against Calgary. They can make history with a win on Tuesday night over the Dallas Stars at Joe Louis Arena.
The Flyers will have a few days to sit on this loss. They won’t return to the ice until Thursday night when they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to the Wells Fargo Center.
Notes: MacDonald stopped 26 shots for Detroit. Bobrovsky made 21 saves for the Flyers.