Funny what a difference a few weeks can make.
A few weeks ago, the Red Wings were unbeatable at Joe Louis Arena, setting an NHL record with a 23-game home winning streak, and challenging for first overall in the league.
However, the team has been ravaged by injuries and has just two wins in March (2-6-1). Detroit's losing streak reached five games with Monday's 5-3 loss to Washington.
Center Darren Helm, who was injured in Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to San Jose, joined the walking wounded with a sprained MCL.
Detroit already was without defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom (deep bone bruise in his right ankle), defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (broken left wrist), defenseman Jakub Kindl (strained oblique) and right wing Johan Franzen (back spasms).
Lidstrom missed his 10th straight game, the longest the 41-year-old has been sidelined in his career, although he did skate on Monday for the first time in three weeks.
With all the injuries, Detroit's usually potent power play has hit the skids, enduring an 0-for-33 drought before finally scoring with the man advantage against Washington.
The Red Wings are one of the NHL's oldest teams and one wonders if age is taking a toll. Still, you always have to wary of team mired in a long losing streak because a wounded animal is the most dangerous kind of animal.
Detroit has fallen eight points behind league-leading St. Louis and also is in danger of losing home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Detroit and Nashville are tied for fourth in the Western Conference with 92 points.
Continuing their pattern of playing every other might, this is the sixth game in the Rangers' seven-game hometand that concludes on Friday against Buffalo.
The Rangers' lead over Pittsburgh once again has been reduced to one point for first overall in the East and they are going to have to reel off some wins to hold off the Penguins, who have points in 13 straight games (12-0-1).