Preseason wrap-up: Red Wings drop 4-2 decision to Blue Jackets (and that damn Laine goal you’ll be hearing about for weeks)

The Detroit Red Wings both collectively and individually engaged in a “learning experience” over the course of their 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, no more than star-in-the-making Moritz Seider, who was one of four Red Wings that Patrik Laline walked around en route to scoring this staggering goal:

With their collective pride wounded, Detroit will head home to face the Pittsburgh Penguins’ B Team on Thursday night (7:30 PM EDT start on Bally Sports Detroit/97.1 the Ticket) boasting a 3-and-3 preseason record.

The Wings will clearly look toward Thursday’s game, and Saturday’s preseason finale against Buffalo (3 PM EDT start on MSG B), as de-facto dress rehearsals for the regular season, and that’s logical; that being said, we should expect more “learning experiences” for the Red Wings’ youngsters, Moritz Seider included, and the more mistakes that they make during the preseason, the fewer mistakes they will make when the games count. posted a brief recap of the game

Jakub Voracek had a goal and two assists, and the Columbus Blue Jackets scored three times on the power play in a 4-2 preseason win against the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena in Columbus on Wednesday.

Voracek gave the Blue Jackets a 3-2 lead 7:14 into the third period, and Patrik Laine made it 4-2 on the power play at 15:39.

Oliver Bjorkstrand (14:14) and Zach Werenski (17:32) each scored a power-play goal in the first period ti give the Blue Jackets a 2-0 lead.

Riley Barber brought the Red Wings within 2-1 at 1:58 of the third period, and Dan Renouf tied it 2-2 at 6:39.

Elvis Merzlikins made 20 saves for Columbus, and Alex Nedeljkovic made 33 for Detroit.

As did MLive’s Ansar Khan

The Detroit Red Wings scored twice early in the third period Wednesday to tie the game, but Jakub Voracek scored to give Columbus the lead for good in a 4-2 preseason victory for the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Grand Rapids Griffins Riley Barber (1:58) and Dan Renouf (6:39) scored to tie it at 2-2 before Voracek’s goal at 7:14.

The Blue Jackets went 3 for 4 on the power play. Detroit went 0 for 1.

Patrik Laine provided an insurance goal with 4:21 remaining in the third period by making a slick move around Moritz Seider, getting past three defenders in the process, and beating Alex Nedeljkovic.

Power-play goals by Oliver Bjorkstrand (14:14) and Zach Werenski (17:32) staked the Blue Jackets to a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Nedeljkovic stopped 33-of-37 shots he faced in going the distance. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 20 shots for Columbus.

The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan filed a recap with a couple of quotes...

“For sure they had a good lineup,” forward Filip Zadina said. “I don’t know if they had a full team playing today, but we battled through. We gave up a couple of goals on the penalty kill, but it was an even game for both sides (at even strength). We made a couple of mistakes, but we did a decent job.”

Riley Barber and Dan Renouf scored early third-period goals for the Wings, tying the game 2-2 on Renouf’s goal at 6 minutes 39 seconds.

But Columbus countered with goals from Jakub Voracek and Patrik Laine (power play), regaining the lead.

Voracek put back a rebound of Jake Bean’s shot that bounded off the glass straight to Voracek at the post. Voracek flipped a shot past goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, who couldn’t come across quick enough.

Then Laine iced the game with Columbus’ third power-play goal of the night, at 15:39. Laine drove down the ice, faked Moritz Seider to skate free down the slot, and beat Nedeljkovic.

“Mo had moments of real good, looked like a bit of a difference-maker on the ice,” said coach Jeff Blashill, noting the importance of learning  how to play against a player like Laine. “This is what the preseason is for. That’s why he’s playing a lot of games to gain experience and understanding what a guy like Laine’s moves are, so he sees those.”

As did the Free Press’s Helene St. James

Zadina didn’t have a great opening week of exhibition season, but has put together two solid performances this week.

“I’m trying to play my best every single game,” Zadina said. “Sometimes it doesn’t go exactly the way I wanted, but I feel I have done good job. I’m just trying to play the best I can so I can play the same style to the regular season.”

Zadina, who turns 22 in November, had just six goals among 19 points last season. The No. 6 pick from 2018, he’s had to learn to find a way to create time and space for himself at the pro level. He’s become a better all-around player, but, especially with Vrana sidelined, the Wings need offense from Zadina.

“I would say from the minute Fil has come to us, I’ve talked to him about being dangerous offensively,” Blashill said. “Certainly everybody has to be complete, but I don’t think he’s been all that incomplete. There were times late last year he struggled in his d-zone. I think it’s just continuing to find those ways to create offense, and a lot of it has to come with his brain. And some of it just comes with physical maturity, just being a little stronger on pucks, being able to get a little more breakaway speed, and then his brain. Because he’s not huge and he’s not super fast, so he has to use his brain, and he’s done a good job of that so far.”

And, among’s Ethan Sears’ “Three Takeaways“:

The Red Wings defense was not at its best on Wednesday. But Nedeljkovic had about as good a night as anyone could ask for.

Nedeljkovic faced a high shot volume, especially early on, and did as much as he could. Though he gave up three power play goals, he saved 33 of 37 attempts, dealing with frequent extended zone time for the Blue Jackets and standing on his head at various points.

In the first period, he stopped a bouncing puck in front of net as the Red Wings faced a delayed penalty, then later on took a puck off his head on another chance in front of net that he ultimately kept out. When the Red Wings lost Jack Roslovic on the right side late in the second, Nedeljkoovic again played the hero, turning and making the save off a diagonal pass to the Columbus forward.

Even on Voracek’s go-ahead goal, there was little Nedeljkovic would do – Voracek was in the right place at the right time and made a fantastic play on the puck.

“I thought he got better in the second,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “Played good. I thought in the third, didn’t see a ton of action and obviously a couple go in. Breakaway is a tough one against that shooter. Little bit of an unfortunate bounce off the back wall. I thought it was a step and a step in the right direction.”


Highlights: Mercifully, there are no highlights as this game was live-streamed but not recorded by many. Head to my quick take for the goal clips.

Post-game: The Blue Jackets’ website posted clips of Zach Werenski, Alexandre Texier and coach Brad Larsen speaking about the game;

The Free Press posted a clip of Filip Zadina speaking with the media:

The Red Wings also posted a quick clip of Zadina and coach Blashill’s remarks:

Photos: The Columbus Dispatch posted a 67-image gallery;

The Free Press posted a 13-image gallery;

Statistics: Here are the Game Summary and Event Summary:

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.