The Detroit Red Wings won over the Seattle Kraken by the narrowest of margins, defeating Seattle 4-3 in a shootout on Wednesday night.
The Red Wings surrendered a 1-0 lead, trailed 2-1 and then blew a 3-2 3rd period lead, and overtime was downright dreary “soccer hockey” as the Red Wings seemed to daydream elegant passes into would-be highlight reel goals instead of just shooting the damn puck at the damn net and chasing after it…
But Robby Fabbri, Vladislav Namestnikov and Lucas Raymond’s regulation goals stood up thanks to both Dylan Larkin and Adam Erne’s shootout goals, as well as a fine performance from Thomas Greiss, who earned his 150th career win in a 23-save, 3-of-4-shootout-save performance (with a couple of goalposts and crossbar ringers on his side).
Long story long, the Red Wings looked a little tired, more mentally than physically, coming off a big, emotional win in Boston the night before, but the Wings stuck with it against an undermanned but tremendously tenacious and pesky Kraken team.
So the Wings took the battle of Octopus vs. Giant Squid, Chapter 1, extending their winning streak to 4 games ahead of a more marquee Saturday match-up vs. the Islanders…
And yes, the Red Wings won without Tyler Bertuzzi for the first time. That must be mentioned, as must Bertuzzi’s soon-to-be 5-game absence due to COVID protocols.
For our friends from Seattle, as the Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker notes, taking a point from the now-12-9-and-3 Red Wings was tangible consolation, especially given the performance of their interim top line of Yanni Gourde, Joonas Donsokoi and a visibly stiff and sore (from blocking shots) Ryan Donato:
“I think we’re happy we got to a point where we did get a point,” Donato said. “But at the end of the day we should do everything we can to win in regulation and not be happy with not finding total success. I think we could have and we just made a few mistakes.”
Some things, however, did go the Kraken’s way. Just two minutes after an early Kraken goal was waved off when Mason Appleton was ruled to have bumped into Red Wings goalie Thomas Greiss, Raymond appeared to beat Grubauer short-side from a bad angle. But Kraken coach Dave Hakstol got the goal overturned with the first successful challenge in franchise history, arguing the play was offside at the blueline based on a recommendation from team video analysts Tim Ohashi and Brady Morgan.
After the Red Wings scored on the power play early in the second period, the Kraken got a man advantage of their own and it was Marcus Johansson feeding Dunn with a pass in the high slot. The defenseman fired a perfect wrist shot through a screen to tie the game.
The Kraken then briefly took the lead that frame when Detroit defenseman Jordan Oesterle fell down in his own zone. Donskoi pounced on the loose puck, then passed it to Yanni Gourde, who found Donato alone on the left side for an easy shot into a partially vacated net.
“He played great for us,” Gourde said of Donato. “Not only did he score two goals for us, but he won his battles along the wall in the D-zone. In the O-zone you can rely on his to win those 50/50 battles and he did a tremendous job tonight of doing that.”
Gourde had generated the Kraken’s best overtime chance by winning a puck battle in the offensive zone, outmuscling a defender to the net and nearly jamming it home behind Greiss. He said the team’s mentality hasn’t changed in the absence of Schwartz and Eberle and that it must battle like it did to pick up critical extra points it missed on earlier this season.
“We can do that every single night,” he said. “That should be our standard. We kind of set that up on this road trip. That is the standard for this team. We’re going to go out there and battle every single game and that’s going to give us a chance to win games and get points.”
For Seattle coach Dave Hakstol, the Kraken earned a point and something to grow upon while giving the Wings as good as they got…
“We obviously wanted the extra point tonight, so I think we’re all disappointed about that,” he said. “But it’s also a valuable point that we gained. We earned a point tonight. And we did that throughout the road trip.”
If you read SeattleKraken.com’s Bob Condor’s recap, well, shucks, the man’s paid by the team, so you’re gonna get a “team read”…
The Kraken pushed an impressive, notably young Detroit Red Wings team into overtime Wednesday in an Original Six city that celebrated its 3,000th all-time victory Tuesday night against Boston. It was just the second extra period for Seattle this season.
Down 3-2 with less than six minutes remaining, defenseman Jamie Oleksiak moved up into the offensive rush and Detroit zone. He moved the puck with sharpshooter Ryan Donato trailing the NHL’s biggest player just a half-stride behind. Oleksiak stopped, the puck moved to Donato’s stick blade. Donato, known for a quick release, did just that to rocket a shot into the upper left corner of Red Wings goalie Thomas Greiss’ net.
The final minutes were nail-chewing and exciting and all-out tense. A highlight moment: Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer making an acrobatic, stand-tall save on Detroit’s Adam Erne.
The 3-on-3 overtime period, as per NHL rules established in 2015, provided even more thrilling and worrisome moments. Detroit controlled play a good portion of the five-minute period, with lots of pressure. Yanni Gourde did summon two superb scoring chances during OT only to be stopped by Greiss.
Then, with six seconds left in OT, Filip Hronek hit the post. In the shootout, Detroit’s Lucas Raymond, just named NHL rookie of the month for November, hit the post to give Joonas Donskoi the opportunity to tie up the shootout at 1-1 after the requisite three shots.
On the fourth round, Erne got his revenge after getting stoned by Grubauer late in the third period. Greiss got a piece of Alex Wennberg‘s shootout attempt and Detroit secured the win, 4-3. The Kraken earn a standings point and leave for home for a Friday matchup with Edmonton, going 2-1-1 on the road trip.
The truth of the matter is that neither coach was completely satisfied with the outcome, as the AP’s recap noted, but they were both satisfied with the result:
”I like the fact when we got down in the third, we continued to push back and found a way to earn a point and get ourselves into overtime,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said.
Thomas Greiss made 21 saves for Detroit in his 150th career victory. Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 23 shots.
The Red Wings took a 3-2 lead at 6:30 of the third period when Raymond, who leads NHL rookies with 10 goals and 22 points, spun around in the slot and fired the puck past Grubauer.
”Today wasn’t the prettiest game but we got it done,” Raymond said.
Seattle tied it on Donato’s second goal of the night. He fired a shot from the right circle that eluded Greiss’ stick with 5:44 remaining.
Erne, who has three goals and six points this season, has become a fixture in the lineup after fighting for playing time in his first two seasons with Detroit.
”He’s really had to earn his ice time,” Blashill said. ”He’s been a jack of all trades for us.”
Hakstol gave Donato and company due praise for stepping up when Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz were out…
”That’s part of this league. You have to find a way to have others come into the lineup,” Hakstol said. ”A guy like Ryan Donato tonight got a little bit more of an opportunity and he showed he can help us earn points. It’s nothing more than that. You don’t overthink it. The guys that are available are confident. They’re ready to go out and work together. It’s all about earning points.”
And the themes repeat to some extent in NHL.com’s Dave Hogg’s recap, which will serve as our pivot point between the Kraken and Red Wings’ perspectives:
“We weren’t at our best after last night (a 2-1 win at the Boston Bruins), but I liked our energy and I liked our compete level,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We were sloppy when it came to our execution, but we were able to get a win out of it.”
“Our fans have been fantastic for every home game, and that gives us a lot of energy,” Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond. “That helps us a lot when we’re playing on the second night of a back-to-back.”
The Kraken played without forwards Jordan Eberle and Jared McCann, who each sustained an undisclosed injury in a 7-4 win at the Buffalo Sabres on Monday. Eberle (11) and McCann (10) lead the team in goals this season.
“We know we’re missing a couple of our best offensive players, but that’s a situation you are going to have to deal with in this league,” Donato said. “That means the rest of us have to step up and score some goals.”
As Lucas Raymond told the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan, the Wings took a step forward…if not a step sideways…
“We’ve gone back to our (type of) game, we kind of lost it when we were on the road,” said forward Lucas Raymond, who scored his 10th goal. “We kind of hit the reset button when we got back home and tonight wasn’t the prettiest game, but we got it done and that’s a huge strength.”
And Blashill weighed in on both Greiss’ play, given that he won his 150th career game, and the Wings’ overall play:
“That’s a great number, good for him, it’s a lot of wins in this league,” Blashill said. “Thomas is a good pro and he works hard every day. He wasn’t as sharp at the start, and that’s to be expected, but as the game went along he was sharper.”
With each game, each victory, there’s a growing sense the Wings can sustain this success and play meaningful, important games late in the regular season.
“For sure it was a great win last night in Boston, so to follow up here and get in late and and it’s a tough game, it’s big of the team to pull this one through,” Raymond said.
The Wings have found a variety of ways to win games, which is also a major positive development.
“We weren’t at our best and we found a way to win, which is critically important,” Blashill said. “You want to learn lessons while you’re winning, and certainly there are lessons, but you want to learn while you’re winning and we did that.
“Our compete was high (Wednesday) and our energy was good. I didn’t think our execution was great, we were sloppy at times. Sometimes the game is a little bit harder when you get in late and you don’t play quite as smart as you need to play, and there was some of that.”
Raymond continued while speaking with DetroitRedWings.com’s Jonathan Mills:
Raymond put Detroit ahead again, 3-2, at 6:30 of the third period. The NHL’s November Rookie of the Month threw a wrister past Grubauer for his 10th goal of the season that was assisted by Larkin and Seider.
“I’m trying to find my game. I think I’m still learning every day and trying to get better at the areas that are my weaknesses and always trying to improve my strengths,” Raymond said. “But I think overall, I’m trying to be an offensive forward and one you still count on defensively who plays hard every night.”
Seattle evened the score (3-3) with just over five minutes remaining (14:56) into the final frame when Donato recovered a loose puck and beat Greiss. Neither team converted down the stretch, sending the game to a 4-on-3 overtime session.
Overtime also ended without a goal, as both teams headed to their first shootout of the 2021-22 campaign
Larkin gave Detroit a 1-0 advantage in the second round of the shootout before Joonas Donskoi knotted things up in round 3. Erne scored in the fourth round followed by Greiss’ glove save on Alex Wennberg to secure the two points and Detroit’s fourth straight win both overall and at Little Caesars Arena.
“Adam has done a really good job here in Detroit. He’s really had to earn his ice time,” Blashill said. “I didn’t understand as good of a level of the player that he has become. He has become a better player than the ice time that I gave him.”
With the win over Seattle, the Red Wings are now 8-2-2 at LCA. They are 4-7-1 on the road.
The Red Wings clearly do play with more energy at home. That was true in this game, even though they were not sharp. They have scored four or more goals six times at home .
Raymond lost one goal when a video review determined his first scoring play was offside. But he made up for it by scoring his 10th goal of the season at 6:30 of the third period.
In case you were wondering, the Swedish sensation is on a 34-goal pace. Remember, when no one was sure he would make the Detroit roster?
He and Larkin have a strong chemistry. “It’s a joy to play with him,” Raymond said.
Highlights: As posted above, Sportsnet posted both the Wings-Kraken shootout…
And an 8:21 highlight clip:
NHL.com posted a 9:16 highlight clip:
Post-game: The Kraken posted post-game comments from Yanni Gourde…
And coach Dave Hakstol:
Lucas Raymond spoke with Bally Sports Detroit’s Trevor Thompson post-game:
Bally Sports Detroit also posted a 2:21 clip of coach Blashill’s post-game remarks:
Mickey Redmond = always good for you:
WXYZ’s Brad Galli posted both Raymond and Blashill’s full pressers:
The Red Wings distilled Raymond and Blashill’s comments into 2:22:
Photos: The Seattle Times posted a 7-image gallery;
The Free Press posted a 12-image gallery;
The Detroit News posted a 12-image gallery;
NHL.com posted a 56-image gallery.