The Detroit Red Wings hoped to avenge their 3-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes as the teams wrapped up a back-to-back series at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday night.
On top of revenge, the Red Wings wanted to earn a measure of redemption after playing rusty as hell in Thursday’s season-opener–an outing that left Red Wings fans concerned about the team’s trajectory.
The Red Wings answered some questions over the course of a hard-fought, 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Wings were still messy, still rusty, still shaky at times, but the Red Wings received both some pop-gun offense from Ryan, Larkin (2) and Fabbri and some fine goaltending from Jonathan Bernier (29 saves) en route to their first win of the season.
Now two games in two days loom against the Columbus Blue Jackets, on Monday at 12 PM and Tuesday at 7:30 PM.
I’m trying out some new things this evening, and the “quick take” may not remain in this format, but I’m hoping that shorter and more “to the point” is more useful for you:
There were no changes in the lineup from the morning skate to warm-ups, via MLive’s Ansar Khan:
#RedWings vs. Carolina tonight at 7:
Greiss pic.twitter.com/CrGBmPBQ4g— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) January 16, 2021
The same was true for the Canes…
Ready to go 💪 pic.twitter.com/1nVUCMgMv4— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) January 16, 2021
The Red Wings and Hurricanes dressed the following starters…
Puck drop occurred at 7:08 PM and the Wings moved the puck forward, but Glendening had to loop back and ice the puck only 11 seconds into the first period.
The Red Wings were still rusty, still turnover and icing-happy, and the Red Wings simply did not look like a team that had played hockey in ten months, and we may have to watch half-a-dozen games of sloppy hockey from the Wings before things get sorted out.
The good? Mantha looked solid on a strong top line; Brome’s breakaway speed is there and he wants to use it; there weren’t a whole lot of point-blank chances for the Canes, though Detroit was out-shot 3-0 early.
The bad? Detroit didn’t was stuck on zeroes shot-wise for a long time, and Brome was struggling with the small rink size–as were some of his teammates, who didn’t have the time and space they needed.
FILIP HRONEK MADE A HUGE STOP on Vincent Trocheck off a terrible faceoff loss just under 7 minutes into the game, after the Wings lost a faceoff and Bernier got caught frozen in his stance…
Bernier was down during a scramble. Hronek protected the net and prevented a goal as a shot bounced off him. 7:30 into the game and #RedWings being outshot 3-0.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) January 17, 2021
- At 7:54, Danny DeKeyser took a dim penalty for tripping, and the Hurricanes headed to the power play.
Evgeny Namestnikov got the Wings’ first shot on goal 9:09 into the 1st period, on a shorthanded breakaway…and Glendening followed that up with a shorthanded break that went wide of the net.
- Mathias Brome got called for hip-checking Niederreiter shortly thereafter, at 9:57, giving the Hurricanes another 5-on-4 advantage.
Good work by Wings’ PK, limit Canes to one SOG through two straight PPs.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) January 17, 2021
So there was that.
- The Red Wings then headed to their first power play at 13:35, when Niederreiter tripped a Wings defenseman.
The power play was a low-event affair, and the Red Wings didn’t need to be pressured very much to give up scoring chances for the sake of doubling back or passing to a covered player. They looked sloppy and rusty.
Valtteri Filppula did get a breakaway on a pass from Namestnikov, but nothing came of it.
All I can say about the Wings’ play thus far is this–they haven’t played in 10 months. That’s not an excuse for their rust, but it is an explanation.— George Malik (@georgemalik) January 17, 2021
The first period ended with the Red Wings out-shot 8-5.
The 2nd period began with both teams at even strength.
Wings have had 19 shots in four periods against Canes and Mrazek.— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) January 17, 2021
The Wings at least came out with more jump and more physicality in the 2nd, and the Larkin line faced Svechnikov’s in a top-talent-vs-top-talent match-up.
BOBBY RYAN SCORED THE RED WINGS’ FIRST GOAL OF THE SEASON SOME 2:44 into the 2nd period, off a lovely steal by Zadina and then a pass to the slot, where Ryan fluttered a shot through Mrazek.
DETROIT LED 1-0.
The Red Wings displayed a good amount of jump after their goal, taking a 13-8 shot lead by the 5-minute mark of the 2nd period.
The midpoint of the game truly looked muck-and-grind-y–the Hurricanes attempted to regain their footing as the Red Wings clung to the lead, despite being out-shot 16-9–and we waited the next break-open point in the action.
Minutes of time passed, and the Red Wings seemed to shake some of their rust off as the game progressed, but neither team could find that break-through moment.
Ultimately, the Red Wings were able to generate some scoring chances, but Carolina did a fine job of stifling the Larkin line and the rest of the Wings’ offense as the 2nd period waned.
- With 32.8 seconds left in the 2nd period, Danny DeKeyser cross-checked Brett Pesce, and DeKeyser headed to the box for cross-checking.
The Red Wings and Hurricanes came out for the 3rd period at 8:55 PM:
- Bertuzzi and Glendening drew in with Nemeth and Hronek on the PK, and Evgeny Svechnikov made it 1-1 in short order. Vincent Trocheck tipped the puck off his leg and the puck evaded Jonathan Bernier at 28 seconds of the 3rd period, tying the game at 1-1.
EIGHTEEN SECONDS LATER, DYLAN LARKIN TOOK A PASS FROM ANTHONY MANTHA, WRAPPED AROUND THE NET, AND CENTERED THE PUCK OFF VINCENT TROCHECK’s STICK TO MAKE IT 2-1 DETROIT.
The Red Wings were stuck in their own end for a significant shift, but Vladislav Namestnikov took a back-pass for a defenseman and skated the puck up ice alone, sending the puck in on Mrazek, who made a GOAL LINE STAND to stifle Namestnikov’s second breakaway attempt of the game.
Tyler Bertuzzi got very lucky as he attempted to check McGinn in the right wing corner. Bertuzzi’s skates got up on his former Guelph Storm teammate, and McGinn barely avoided a skate cut.
The Canes and Wings settled into something of a rhythm as the 3rd period progressed, and some 6-and-a-half minutes in, the Wings were actually shooting the puck on the net and generating zone time.
Regrettably, Staal and Stecher got tied up defensively, with the players exchanging positions at the Wings’ blueline to defend Svechnikov, and he beat Staal out of the corner and then proceeded to beat Bernier to the post, making it 2-2.
The Hurricanes really POURED ON THE AFTERBURNERS, and the Red Wings struggled mightily to regain their footing as the 10-minute mark passed.
- Worse, Tyler Bertuzzi took a hooking penalty 200 feet from his net, and with 8:30 remaining in the 3rd period, the Red Wings headed to the penalty-kill.
The Hurricanes buzzed and buzzed the Wings’ net, but Detroit held tough, and held the Canes to ZERO SHOTS on the power play.
- However, Filip Hronek got slashed and tripped by Brady Skjei, and that meant a late power play for the Red Wings, with 4:47 left in the 3rd.
The Red Wings’ power play was AWFUL…
But Robby Fabbri, who put the puck off the crossbar earlier in his shift, flipped a Filip Zadina shot into the back of the net 1-on-3 to give the Red Wings a 3-2 lead.
- Carolina called timeout with 2:16 remaining in regulation, and Rod Brind’amour pulled Petr Mrazek…
Luke Glendening won a faceoff deep, Larkin raced up ice, and LARKIN MADE IT 4-2 with 1:56 remaining in the 3rd period.
The Red Wings wrapped things up with some close calls for Brome and Namestnikov, there was a pile-up in the corner and some offsetting penalties…
- Luke Glendening took a penalty for playing without a helmet with 3.5 seconds left in the 3rd, and that was that.
Detroit won 4-2. Bernier stopped 29 of 31 shots.
All in all, the Red Wings improved, from the net out, and that matters going forward.