The Detroit Red Wings hosted the Vancouver Canucks without its captain, due to the one-game suspension following Detroit’s 7-6 OT loss Thursday. But in a chippy affair between the two teams, the Red Wings notched their first victory of the season in a 3-1 rough and tumble game.
The first period was very tame compared to the first game of the season, albeit it similar to the last season of Red Wings hockey–defensive, and careful.
The Red Wings opened the scoring when Robby Fabbri deflected a shot from the point to give Detroit a 1-0 lead. Vancouver would tie it in the second when Conor Garland picked the right corner of the net on a bad angle, and not only hit it, but banked the puck off Thomas Greiss‘ helmet to even the score.
The Red Wings had a power play chance with over 14 minutes left in the second and they didn’t waste any time. Filip Zadina one timed one past Jaroslav Halak, which ironically, tipped off Quinn Hughes’ stick, the star defenseman taken one spot after Zadina. The Red Wings took a 2-1 lead and it was the type of shot Wings fans dreamt of when Zadina was drafted in 2018.
The Red Wings would get another power play opportunity near the end of the period, coming close a couple times but time would run out on the second period.
Detroit opened up with a power play in the third, but they were unable to score off of it. Vancouver was gifted with a power play but they were turned away by the stingy Red Wing penalty kill. With just over 13 minutes to play, Seider was speared and Tyler Bertuzzi took umbrage, giving a little shot to the face before he was hauled off the ice for matching penalties.
Thomas Greiss fended a couple Vancouver chances away, while Michael Rasmussen waited just a few seconds too long to pull the trigger on a shot.
And then all hell broke loose.
On a play near the corner, Zadina and Garland chased a puck and Garland put a shoulder into Zadina’s head, which sent the Wings forward careening to the ice. Rasmussen then went after Garland, who had Bo Horvat come to his rescue. The two tussled and were both sent off to the box. Upon getting back onto the ice, Garland was met with a hard check and a slash from Fabbri, but it was Raymond who went to the box for holding. Detroit killed it off, and after a puck was frozen by Halak, Bertuzzi was stirring up more in front of the Vancouver net.
Vancouver did appear to score to tie the game, but it was ruled interference, nullifying the goal and keeping it a 2-1 Red Wings advantage with just over two and a half minutes to play.
Greiss then made two critical saves, one sliding to shut down a high danger chance before Sam Gagner fired the insurance goal into the empty net, giving Detroit the 3-1 victory.
Yikes guys–there’s still 80 games left after two pretty action packed ones. But Detroit is now 1-1 on the season and face Columbus Tuesday at LIttle Caesars Arena.