The Red Wings looked completely rejuvenated in a victory that saw a barrage of goals Thursday night.
After a shutout loss to Nashville Tuesday evening, the roster needed a shake up. Blashill hinted at as much afterward in post game interviews.
One such shake up was the decision to replace Frans Nielsen in the lineup with Sam Gagner.
Just a couple minutes into the first period, it was clear that the Red Wings were already playing better. Increased aggression in the offensive zone resulted in a goal just five minutes in. A scramble in front of the net finally led to a goal, with Luke Glendening cashing in.
The next couple of Red Wings goals were as greasy as they get, and both were scored by Sam Gagner. Just seconds after a power play attempt had ended in the second period, Gagner snuck an
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odd shot from a terrible angle just between Panthers goaltender Pekka Rinne and the goalpost, giving the Wings a one-goal lead.
Gagner would secure another lead for the team in an equally odd play, with the puck sliding between Rinne’s legs after an attempted pass. The next Wing’s goal came later in the third, after Adam Erne finally completed what seemed like the 100th odd man rush attempt for the team.
Gagner completed the hat trick as soon as the Predators pulled their goalie, sniping the empty net from deep in the Wings’ zone.
Coming after such a lackluster effort on Tuesday, this was a needed win for the Red Wings. The changes to the lineup seemed key to the performance change – evident from the top to the bottom of the lines.
While the scoring came from the bottom of the lineup, the top lines did not go without their chances. Dylan Larkin played as good as he as all year, making defensive steals, creating chances, while hitting the goalpost twice. The updated second line seemed to gel relatively nicely, with Vladislav Namestnikov looking comfortable with Bobby Ryan and Filip Zadina.
Jonathan Bernier continued to be maybe the best player on the Red Wings roster, with a save percentage of .949 percent
The Red Wings head back to the road Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Red Wings Goals
Blashill Post Game Conference
- Special teams continued to be a struggle for the team. The power play was 0 for 4 on the power play, continuing their streak to 0-40. The penalty kill was also lackluster, letting in one goal in four attempts.
- Faceoffs continue to be a strength of the team, with a win percentage of 58 percent.
- There is still no timetable on Tyler Bertuzzi’s return, and Troy Stecher is still day to day.
- This was Sam Gagner’s first point in 17 games.
- Glendening continued his success against Nashville, earning an assist and a goal for the second time against the Predators this season.