It was an upsed daily double in the NHL on Tuesday night as both conference leaders went down to defeat. While Ottawa was once again getting schooled by the upstarts in Washington, the Red Wings were getting a Dixie thrashing as the Atlanta Thrashers handed the Wings their third loss in a row by a solid 5-1 margin.
For Atlanta it was a rare win in the Joe, a place where the Wings have long held control over the play and the score, but not on Tuesday night.
The Thrashers were paced by some outstanding goaltending from Jere Lehtinen, who faced down an array of Detroit shooters who peppered the Atlanta net in the final two periods. The only goal to get by him came in the third period when Niklas Kronwall managed to sneak one by him.
For Atlanta it was Marian Hossa continuing to do the damage, finally breaking free of a mini slump that he had been mired in for a bit, Hossa scored three goals on the way to the victory.
Chris Osgood was pulled by coach Mike Babcock after some shaky goaltending, in his last two games Osgood has given up nine goals something that the Wings aren't used to and something that so concerned Babcock that he sent Domenik Hasek into the game cold, a process that the Wings try to avoid as much as possible considering Hasek's always fragile groin.
While they aren't quite ready to panic yet in the Motor City, such is the domination that Detroit seems to hold over the West at the moment, there still is some room for concern over suddenly sloppy defensive units and scoring lines that don't seem to be doing much of what they've become known for of late.
A three game slide is probably all that Babcock will want to see, so there will no doubt be some extra attention to detail over the next few days in practice.
Bad news for the Vancouver Canucks, who coming off a 3-2 Tuesday night loss to Columbus must now head into Detroit and take on a rather angry Red Wing club. Thursday's game will most likely be a lively one for both teams, with the Wings anxious to put a losing skid behind them as well as remind the Canucks that any hope for a Stanley Cup berth must still run through the Joe come June.
Windsor Star--Hossa scores three on Wings
Detroit News--Hossa stops talk of slump
CBC Sports--Hossa hat trick helps Thrashers thump Red Wings
Detroit Free Press--ATLANTA 5, DETROIT 1: Hossa hat trick sends Wings to another loss