Red Wings-Lightning quick take: Gut punch

The Detroit Red Wings opened their 2021-2022 season against the powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, and…

The Red Wings surrendered 7 goals to the defending champions, despite earning 2 3-goal leads, and despite Tyler Bertuzzi’s 4-goal performance…

Detroit would ultimately lose 7-6 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime, learning the hard way that the lessons of last season, especially on special teams, faceoffs, giveaways, and communication, were not going to go away easily.

In theory, at least, the Red Wings went with the following lineup to start:

Tonight’s projected lines. #TBLvsDET #LGRW— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 14, 2021

And Tampa Bay went with the following lines, per The Athletic’s Joe Smith:

#tblightning lines:


Vasilevskiy— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) October 14, 2021

The starting lineup consisted of the following players:

In the 1st period…After the players were introduced, and Dylan Larkin was given a true captaincy ceremony on the ice…

The puck dropped between Michael Rasmussen and Anthony Cirelli, and the Red Wings lost the draw, but were able to chip and change quickly…

Ross Colton got the game’s first shot in on Alex Nedeljkovic exactly 1 minute into the game, a side-of-the-net jam, and Nedeljkovic boobled the puck to the BOlts off the following faceoff, affording Kucherov, Point and Hedman a significant amount of cycling time.

Detroit’s Stephens, Gagner and Smith got the first hit and first grinding shift in the Bolts’ zone…

Vladislav Namestnikov fed Adam Erne for the Wings’ first shot at 2:46 of the 1st;

And Nick Leddy was slashed in the hands at 2:58, and the follow-through of Taylor Raddish’s stick hit Leddy in the mouth, yielding a double minor for high sticking.

On the double minor power play, the Red Wings iced Seider, Fabbri, Hronek, Leddy and Larkin on the first unit, and the quintet gave up a shorthanded opportunity to Matthew Joseph that Alex Nedeljkovic stopped (with help from Moritz Seider).

The 2nd unit took a short shift, with Adam Erne firing a Lucas Raymond pass wide of Andrei Vasilevskiy, and, for the most part, the Wings looked out of sorts on most of their power play.

Bertuzzi, Erne, Suter, Raymond and Leddy did their best, but the 1st and 2nd unit just couldn’t get on the same pages, and the power play expired with an entire shot taken on the 4 minutes of PP time.

Alex Nedeljkovic had to stop another Ross Colton scoring chance some 8:40 into the 1st…

And Givani Smith headed to the penalty box for hooking at 8:41, affording Tampa Bay a power play.

On the penalty-kill, Namestnikov, Rasmussen, DeKeyser and Hronek set up vs. Kucherov, Point, Killorn, Stamkos and Hedman, and Rasmussen was able to charge up ice vs. Hedman, but he was stopped…

As was Sam Gagner, who charged up ice alone on a breakaway.

Gagner’s unit went out for a short shift, so I didn’t get to see who skated with him until late in the PK…

And the fact that it took until late in the PK for Tampa Bay to generate any sort of scoring chance was good.

The Wings killed the penalty.

Lucas Raymond also got submarined by Matthew Joseph just before a TV timeout, and Filip Hronek and Larkin were having none of it…But, with 8:23 remaining in the 1st, the shots were 9-3 Tampa Bay.

Moritz Seider hit Ondrej Palat on the ensuing shift, and the Red Wings’ third line of Erne, Namestnikov and Rasmussen gave way to a decent shift by the Suter line, yielding the Wings’ 4th shot on net…

But the Bolts were generating offense for the most part, and Nedeljkovic had to make a superb stop on Steven Stamkos before all was said and done.

Thankfully, at 14:00 of the 1st period, Robby Fabbri ripped a shot off Victor Hedman, Vasilevskiy fumbled the puck, and Dylan Larkin ripped the puck into the net behind the Lightning goaltender.

It is only fitting that the first goal of the season for the @DetroitRedWings is scored by the captain, Dylan Larkin. Assists to Robby Fabbri and Filip Zadina. #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) October 15, 2021


Dylan Larkin opens the scoring for the 2021-22 season! #LGRW— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 15, 2021

Here is your first @DetroitRedWings goal of the season by @Dylanlarkin39 for your viewing pleasure.— David Guralnick (@DavidGuralnick) October 15, 2021

Dylan Larkin scored at 14:00 from Fabbri and Zadina.

Larkin had to make a fine backchecking move on the post-goal shift, and Detroit and Tampa finally seemed to settle into a rhythm as the first period waned toward its conclusion.

With just over 2 minutes remaining, Tampa Bay almost scored on Nedeljkovic, but the Red Wings’ goaltender made some stalwart stops on Kucherov and Stamkos in the slot…

And Tampa Bay really exposed the Larkin line and Leddy/Seider in the final minute of the 1st, but Detroit was able to survive thanks to the Bolts getting fancy and some superb saves from Nedeljkovic…

And Givani Smith tried to fight Pat Maroon before the expiry of the period, but the refs broke it up as both players dropped their gloves. Both Smith and Maroon were assigned unsportsmanlike conduct penalties at 19:43 of the 1st.

A good first period of hockey.#LGRW— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 15, 2021

Trevor Thompson speaks with Robby Fabbri, who assisted on the @DetroitRedWings first goal, scored by captain Dylan Larkin. #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) October 15, 2021

Keep it goin’ in the 2nd!#LGRW— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 15, 2021

In the 2nd period, Detroit started 4-on-4 as Maroon and Smith sat in the box to serve out their unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

Detroit started Bertuzzi and Larkin with Leddy and Raymond to start the 2nd period…

And Bertuzzi took a pass from Leddy, deked between Sergachev and Hedman,a and jabbed the puck past Vasilevskiy’s blocker to make it 2-0.

Tyler Bertuzzi missed most of last season and underwent back surgery but his hands certainly didn’t suffer. He gives the @DetroitRedWings a 2-0 lead 18 seconds into the second period. Nick Leddy and Moritz Seider (first NHL point) assisted. #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) October 15, 2021

🤢— Nick Alberga (@thegoldenmuzzy) October 15, 2021

TYLER BERTUZZI! 🙌🙌🙌— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 15, 2021

Bertuzzi scored from Leddy and Seider at 0:18 of the 2nd, making it 2-0.

On the post-goal shift, Larkin, Zadina, Hronek and DeKeyser cycled around the Bolts’ zone and generally made play difficult on Tampa Bay, and the teams returned to 5-on-5 play.

As a result, Tyler Bertuzzi nearly broke away from the Bolts’ changing defense, but he was stopped by Colton;

Detroit was able to both block some Bolts shots and generate a scoring opportunity as Mitchell Stephens put a shot off the crossbar behind Vasilevskiy, who got very, very lucky on the play;

Pius Suter and Robby Fabbri generated some fine scoring chances as their line buzzed in the Bolts’ zone…

Tampa Bay was beset by bad bounces in their own zone as the 5-minute mark passed, and luck and little else prevented them from dropping down to a 3-0 deficit as Bertuzzi set up Moritz Seider for a slot shot that he fanned on.

There was a lengthy delay of game review at 5:46 of the 2nd, and Tampa Bay was called for delay of game despite the fact that the puck was not tipped out of play in the Tampa Bay zone.

Ondrej Sustr sat at 5:46 for delay of game.

On the power play, Zadina, Fabbri, Hronek, Suter and Seider worked some very strange bounces into some scoring chances, and Seider, Suter, Fabbri and Hronek all got into quite the scrum with Killorn, Cirelli, McDonagh and Vasilevskiy.

Ryan McDonagh is the meat in a Red Wing sandwich. @DetroitRedWings @nhl @TBLightning— David Guralnick (@DavidGuralnick) October 15, 2021

At 5:36, Robby Fabbri and Ryan McDonagh were assessed offsetting minors for roughing.

Detroit continued with the power play for 1:12, and 5 on 4, Leddy made a terrible pinch, and Joseph skated in on a breakaway against Nedeljkovic, but between a Dylan Larkin closure and Nedeljkovic himself making a stop, the play was stifled.

As the power play expired, Gustav Lindstrom fired the puck to Adam Erne, Erne put the puck off Vasilevskiy, and Tyler Bertuzzi scored his second goal of the game.

If you are willing to go to the hard places, you will be rewarded. Tyler Bertuzzi wins the battle here for his second goal of the game, this one assisted by Gustav Lindstrom and Adam Erne. #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) October 15, 2021

Go to the net.
Score goals. @tylerbertuzzi hockey.— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 15, 2021

At 7:52, Bertuzzi scored from Erne and Lindstrom, making it 3-0…

BUT REGRETTABLY, Tampa Bay scored to make it 3-1 on the post-goal shift, with Ondrej Palat sending a Victor Hedman pass home at 8:08.

Palat scored from Hedman at 8:08 to make it 3-1.

After the Bolts scored, they gave the Wings some fits in their own zone, but Detroit was tenacious on the puck…


Dylan Larkin or Darren McCarty? #LGRW— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) October 15, 2021

Dylan Larkin 😳— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) October 15, 2021

Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin did not appreciate this hit by Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph and let him know immediately. #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) October 15, 2021

Larkin exited the game and the Bolts chirped him as he left to be checked out by the trainers…

And the penalties were reviewed by the referees at 11:40 of the 2nd, and it was deemed that Dylan Larkin was to be given a match penalty for intent to injure.

That’s 5 and a game for Larkin, 2 minutes for Joseph, and 2 minutes for Jan Rutta, and that’s that.

Replay of the Joseph hit & Larkin retaliation. Second replay shows the punch – Larkin *connected*.

Larkin gets the match penalty for Attempt to Injure. #LGRW— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) October 15, 2021

Dylan Larkin takes exception to a hit from Joseph.#LGRW— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) October 15, 2021

The result was a 4-on-3 for 1:45, and Seider, Raymond, Bertuzzi and Fabbri worked the puck deep, Bertuzzi got hacked and whacked, Raymond looked for help, Fabbri was stopped..

Raymond went cross ice to Fabbri, and Fabbri fed the puck to Bertuzzi for a hat trick goal.

Tyler Bertuzzi completes the hat trick with this goal coming on the 4-on-3 power play. Robby Fabbri and Lucas Raymond get the assists. First NHL point for Raymond. #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) October 15, 2021



WHAT A GAME. #LGRW— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) October 15, 2021

We are SO BACK. It’s a hatty for Bertuzzi!!!!!!— Daniella Bruce (@daniellabruce_) October 15, 2021

Bertuzzi, in his first regular season game since Jan. 30 (had back surgery on April 30), records his second career hat trick, with three goals in a span of 12:11 all in the second period. #RedWings— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 15, 2021

Raining hats. #LGRW— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 15, 2021

Players to register a hat trick in the team’s season opener, @DetroitRedWings franchise history (1926-27 to present):
Adam Brown (October 28, 1945 vs BOS)
Brendan Shanahan (October 4, 2001 vs SJS)
Justin Abdelkader (October 9, 2015 vs TOR)
Tyler Bertuzzi (Tonight vs TBL)— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) October 15, 2021

Tyler Bertuzzi scored the hat trick goal on the power play from Lucas Raymond and Robby Fabbri at 12:29 of the 2nd. 4-1.

The play continued 4 on 4 for a short period of time, and Bertuzzi did a nice job working the puck deep, but he was checked off the puck…

And Tampa Bay headed to a nearly three-minute-long major power play.

Playing 5 on 4, Killorn was stifled by Nedeljkovic off an accidental Lindstrom tip…

Nedeljkovic got some help as Kucherov, Stamkos, Killorn and company cycled the puck deep down low, and Perry did find Stamkos, but NEDELJKOVIC poke-checked Stamkos…

But Stamkos scored the 4-2 marker off a passing play from Kucherov and Sergachev to make it close.

Stamkos made it 4-2 at 15:19, from Kucherov and Sergachev.

As the final minute of the power play beckoned, Nedeljkovic made remarkable stops, he was bumped and shoved, but wouldn’t bite on the Bolts’ bullshit, and, ultimately

Detroit changed poorly, Steven Stamkos got free, and he made it 4-3 on the power play (again) off the goalpost and in.

Stamkos made it 4-3 at 16:32 from Sergachev and Kucherov.

With about 3 minutes remaining in the period, the Lightning were absolutely buzzing around the Red Wings’ net, and in the Red Wings’ zone, but Detroit played rope-a-dope hockey toward a 2nd intermission holding onto a lead…

In no small part because Nedeljkovic was excellent, and because the Red Wings wouldn’t take the Bolts’ bullshit when Corey Perry, Pat Maroon and the Bolts’ 4th line–or Joseph himself–would try to bait the Wings into taking a stupid penalty.

Givani Smith was tempted to fight after skating in on the goal after high-sticking the puck, Moritz Seider was jabbed at…

Moritz Seider is 20 year old, this is his NHL debut. That’s the reigning cup champions. #LGRW— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) October 15, 2021

Ultimately, Seider, Smith, Sergachev and Anthony Cirelli were called for roughing at 19:41.

Hell, Steven Stamkos raced around the net and nearly made it 4-4 before the period ended.

WHO IS HAVING FUN?#LGRW— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 15, 2021

John Keating, Manon Rhéaume, Larry Murphy and Chris Osgood look back at a very eventful second period, which saw Tyler Bertuzzi score a natural hat trick and a lot of extracurricular activity. #LGRW— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) October 15, 2021

3rd period predictions?— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 15, 2021

In the 3rd period: Detroit worked the line of Erne, Rasmussen and Namestnikov against the Bolts with Hronek and DeKeyser on defense, though the coaches tried to roll as close to 4 lines as possible.

Fabbri was centering Raymond and Bertuzzi to start the 3rd, at least…

But the Red Wings’ inability to win faceoffs was haunting them. Hedman generated an early scoring chance off the faceoff win the Wings’ zone, jabbing a puck toward Nedeljkovic, which was stifled;

Gagner came out with Rasmussen and Namestnikov for a bit, with Hronek playing double-shift time with Nick Leddy, and the Wings were at least able to parry the Bolts’ moves, and attempt to shut them down defensively…

Adam Erne broke in alone, waited for reinforcements, and Suter nad Zadina cycled the puck to Lindstrom, Suter found Staal, he was blocked off, and Detroit continued to cycle down low…

Staal ultimately got a good scoring chance on Vaslievskiy some 2:12 into the period.

Stupidly, Tyler Bertuzzi got called for tripping Erik Cernak at 2:25 of the 3rd, and Tampa’s vaunted power play got to go back to work:

On the PK, Detroit was unable to win their faceoffs, but the Wings at least kept Tampa to the outside and kept man-on-man coverage working thanks to workmanlike shifts from Gagner, Namestnikov, Stephens, et. al.

Detroit killed the penalty.

REMARKABLY, Tyler Bertuzzi scored his fourth goal when he exited the penalty box, charged up ice to negate an icing call, and Vasilevskiy just butchered the chance that Bertuzzi chipped over him.

BERTUZZI!— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 15, 2021

Mr. Bertuzzi is enjoying the home opener. @DetroitRedWings @nhl @tylerbertuzzi— David Guralnick (@DavidGuralnick) October 15, 2021

Tyler Bertuzzi of the @DetroitRedWings is the first player in NHL history to open a season with a 4-goal game against the defending Stanley Cup champions.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) October 15, 2021

Tyler Bertuzzi (4) scored from Seider at 4:35 of the 3rd.

Tyler Bertuzzi of the @DetroitRedWings is the ninth player in NHL history to score four or more goals in a season-opening game. #NHLFaceOff #NHLStats:— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 15, 2021

The Red Wings really were given all they could handle by Tampa Bay, which charged into Detroit’s zone and attacked, attacked, and attacked some more, but–again–Nedeljkovic was really good at making the first stop, and after that, Detroit was relatively efficient at clearing pucks out of trouble.

Even better, Michael Rasmussen raced around Jan Rutta, three Lightning players stood around and watched Vladislav Namestnikov skate in, and he chipped the puck into the goal over Vasilevskiy.


Vladdy gets in on the fun! #LGRW— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 15, 2021

Namestnikov scored from Rasmussen and Leddy at 7:10, making it 6-3 Detroit.

Detroit and Tampa Bay continued to trade offensive parries, and, as the halfway mark of the period approached, Detroit tried to bunker down…

And when Michael Rasmussen was cross-checked in the back by Ondrej Palat, Palat sat for only 2 minutes for a vicious play at 9:21.

On the power play, Detroit got a little too cute, but Fabbri, Suter, Hronek, Zadina and Seider were able to kill a minute thereof, and Sam Gagner joined the first unit to help kill more time.

Gagner looked good, too…Until Gagner pulled down Victor Hedman and sat for tripping at 11:19.

Detroit needed to eliminate the stick fouls.

Tampa bristled with offense on the power play, but Nedeljkovic and a goalpost kept Kucherov from scoring, and, ultimately, Bertuzzi and Stephens rushed up ice and Bertuzzi fired the puck wide on the shorthanded break-in.

Sadly, Tampa Bay was given a 2-on-0 down low as DeKeyser and Hronek missed playing their positions, and Ross Colton made it 6-4 on the play.

Colton scored the 6-4 goal at 13:43 from Erik Cernak.

Bluntly, with 4 goals given up on over 40 shots against, Nedeljkovic could not have been much better. He was a huge reason why the Wings were up 6-4 with 5 minutes left in regulation.

Adam Erne really got whacked from behind by a Bolt defenseman, sans call, late in the 3rd period…and Erne just got up and went to the bench, annoyed.

Speaking of going to the bench, or box, Andrei Vasilevskiy exited for the bench with 4:11 left, and Robby Fabbri got tagged for a trip at the same exact moment.

On the penalty-kill, Detroit was able to clear the puck, while Hronek hit Point and Killorn chatted with Hronek, and Vasilevskiy left the net again with 3:45 left…

So Nedeljkovic made a major save on Kucherov…

But Tampa Bay won the faceoff on the ensuing play, and Nikita Kucherov made it 6-5 in a hurry.

Kucherov scored from Hedman and Stamkos at 16:24, making it 6-5. Tampa had 3 power play goals.

Nedeljkovic was still masterful on the shots that he could see, and he kept the Wings in the game as Tampa Bay deked and dangled and did a wonderful job of firing 43 shots on the Wings’ goalie.

Tampa pulled theirs with 2:40 remaining, and Nedeljkovic messed up the interchange to DeKeyser, Staal did not cover his man, and Cirelli sent the puck up to Alex Killorn, who tied the game.


👀 @TBLightning vs. Red Wings
📺 Bally Sports Sun
📱Bally Sports App— Bally Sports Sun: Lightning (@BallyLightning) October 15, 2021

Alex Killorn made it 6-6 at 17:41 from Victor Hedman.

Detroit was able to earn a point in the game, at least, and overtime beckoned.

Extra hockey!@Xfinity | #LGRW— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 15, 2021

IN OVERTIME: Fabbri, Leddy and Bertuzzi started, and they played opposite Hedman, Stamkos and Kucherov.

Tampa set up with Sergachev, Killorn and Cirelli cycling, and Nedeljkovic made a big stop, but Leddy got caught out long with Fabbri and Bertuzzi…

Stamkos came on, fed the puck around the zone as the Wings got gassed…

2 full minutes into the OT period, Detroit was caught…

Tampa’s McDonagh was STONED by Nedeljkovic…

Detroit changed and Vasilevskiy negated an icing call himself…

Nedeljkovic stopped another shot off a rush…

Hedman fed the puck to Palat, and that was that.

Hedman and Point fed Palat to score the OT goal at 2:43 thereof.

#BOLTSWIN!!!— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) October 15, 2021

Tampa Bay won 7-6.

Statistics: Here are the Game Summary and Event Summary:

Published by

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.