The Detroit Red Wings will face off against the Vancouver Canucks tonight at Little Caesars Arena (7 PM EDT start on Bally Sports Detroit/Sportsnet Pacific/97.1 FM).
Detroit is hoping to earn its first win against a Canucks team coming into town the beneficiaries of a 5-4 shootout victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night.
For the Red Wings, Friday was almost as busy as Thursday’s 7-6 OT loss to Tampa Bay:
- Dylan Larkin did not practice with the team, though MLive’s Ansar Khan spotted Larkin “taking a twirl” on the ice at LCA before practice;
- We were told by coach Blashill that Larkin was seeing a specialist after being cross-checked in the back, head-first into the boards, by Mathieu Joseph;
- Larkin’s decision to retaliate against Joseph was debated in the media, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Sports Talk Radio, etc., and Robby Fabbri was tagged to step into Larkin’s spot on the first line;
- And, ultimately, Larkin was suspended for one game and docked $30,500 in pay for defending himself by punching a guy in the face with his glove on (not that I’m biased or anything…or still pissed off by the entire incident, from nexus to supplemental disciplinary outcome).
For Vancouver, I’m not even sure whether the team will hold a morning skate (and their starting goaltender is up in the air) as Friday’s game was quite the bumpy ride for them: the Canucks gave up the game’s first goal in the 1st, rode a 4-goal 2nd period to a 4-1 lead, and surrendered that lead in the 3rd, requiring overtime and a shootout to earn their first win of the season (Vancouver is 1-0-and-1).
The shootout was worth watching; it was brief, but eventful:
The Vancouver Province’s Patrick Johnston recapped the game…
Opening night always starts with a roar. There was little doubt the Philadelphia Flyers were roaring and ready for their season opener on Friday against the Vancouver Canucks, but the visitors had just enough to win 5-4 in a shootout at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Flyers dominated play in the first period and were deserved 1-0 leaders going into the intermission. But a first career goal from rookie Vasily Podkolzin sparked the Canucks early in the second period. The Canucks scored three more times to take a 4-2 lead into the third.
The final frame, though, didn’t close how the Canucks wanted, as the Flyers scored two goals in 65 seconds late in the third, both with the goalie pulled late.
Canucks winger J.T. Miller thought the Canucks played very well in the third so was disappointed they couldn’t close it out.
“I thought it was just about as good a third period of a hockey game as you can play on the road,” he said. “I thought we outplayed them in the third. You tip your cap,” he said of the Flyers’ efforts to tie the game.
It all set up a wild overtime, which featured a series of rushes each way, including a pair of breakaways for Elias Pettersson.
“At the beginning of overtime I looked up, it gives you chills,” Miller said of the energy of the building. “I took a step back and realized how lucky we are to have the fans back.”
As did NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman…
J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists for the Vancouver Canucks in a 5-4 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Friday.
Miller and Pettersson scored in the shootout, and Demko didn’t allow a goal on Philadelphia’s two attempts.
“I thought we just got better as the game went on,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. “We weren’t very good in the first period. Philly had us hemmed in our zone, they had better skating legs. Talked to the team after the first period and I really liked how they responded. Second period was good. I thought our third period might have been our best period.”
And the Associated Press’s recap will wrap up our brief survey of the Canucks’ takes on Friday’s game:
With a raucous Philly crowd against them, and a third-period collapse still raw, the Vancouver Canucks pulled themselves together and believed the best was still ahead.
”It’s a rocking building, we’re on the road, anything could happen,” forward J.T. Miller said.
How does a shootout win two nights after losing in one sound?
Elias Pettersson and Miller scored shootout goals and Vancouver scored four times in the second period to lead the Canucks past the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 on Friday night.
Travis Konecny and Claude Giroux scored over the final 2:17 of regulation in the Flyers’ season opener that tied it 4-all and sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy.
Vancouver won its first game of the season after dropping a shootout to Edmonton in its opener.
”I don’t think we felt like they took the life back,” Miller said. ”Anything can happen once you get to overtime. We did it to a team two nights ago. It’s part of the game.”
If you’re interested in stats, NHL.com’s recap has the Game Summary, Event Summary and both teams’ rosters; I’m fairly certain that the Canucks will ice the following lineup, per Canucks.com, on Saturday (save Jaroslav Halak starting in Thatcher Demko’s place)…
And if you’re not in the mood to watch the highlights…
The Canucks’ website posted post-game comments from J.T. Miller…
And coach Travis Green: