Detroit Red Wings: 8 Observations from Detroit’s 7-6 OT Loss

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On Thursday night, the Detroit Red Wings opened the 2021-22 season hosting the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning at LCA in Detroit, MI.

The Red Wings gave up two three-goal leads and eventually lost a thrilling 7-6 game in overtime.

Here are eight observations from the season opener.

#1: Bertuzzi scores four goals.  After starting slow in the first period, Tyler Bertuzzi scored four goals, including three in the second period, to lead the Red Wings offense.  Bertuzzi ended up +3 on the night while leading all forwards with 21:43 minutes of time on the ice (TOI).

#2: Nedeljkovic makes 41 saves.  Even though Alex Nedeljkovic let in seven goals, he also made 41 saves on 48 shots.  Many of the shots were elite scoring chances where Nedeljkovic made one save after another, especially during seven Tampa Bay power play opportunities.

#3: Seider helps stabilize the defense.  Moritz Seider made several excellent breakout passes and played like a veteran in his first NHL game.  He was the quarterback on the first power play unit and earned two assists in 20:21 TOI for the night.  Seider was also physical throughout the game.

#4: Larkin scores the first Red Wings goal of the season.  Dylan Larkin played with energy during the 11:39 TOI he played.  Larkin scored one goal and was +3 in his abbreviated game.  Larkin was assessed an intent-to-injure match penalty that will result in a disciplinary hearing and possibly a suspension.  The Lightning scored two power play goals on his five minute major penalty.

#5: The power play looks better.  The Red Wings power play was 1/5 on the night, but had numerous chances.  The power play looked much better than last year thanks to Bertuzzi, who had the lone goal with the man advantage.  The two units moved the puck with authority and will score in bunches throughout the season.

#6: The penalty kill needs to be better.  It is difficult to slow down the explosive power play of Tampa Bay.  The Lightning were 3/7 on the power play and with a better defensive effort with the man short, the Red Wings would have pulled off an upset.

#7:  Red Wings must remain disciplined.  Larkin wasn’t the only Red Wings player who lost his cool and almost cost the Red Wings.  Michael Rasmussen was drilled from behind into the boards and retaliated after the hit. The Red Wings were lucky and went on the power play.  The Lightning were frustrated all night long because they were playing catchup for most of the night.

#8: This game was very entertaining.  Even if the Red Wings don’t win on a regular basis, they will be entertaining.  The sold out crowd was excited and I was left shaking my head at how entertaining this newly revamped roster was to watch.

Next Game: Saturday October 16 vs. Vancouver Canucks 7:00 PM ET @ LCA in Detroit, MI

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