Detroit Red Wings, led by rookies, sink Seattle Kraken, 4-3, in shootout, for 4th straight

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Red Wings’ star rookies put on another entertaining performance as the Wings got their first up-close look at the Seattle Kraken.

The expansion team paid its first visit to Little Caesars Arena Wednesday, where Lucas Raymond, the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for November, and Moritz Seider, who held the title in October, did what they’ve done so often through the first quarter of the season. Seider earned his second assist when he set up Raymond’s goal in the third period.

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The Wings put on a master class in puck possession during the five minutes of overtime, but they weren’t able to get any shots on net. That led to the first shootout of the season. Raymond hit a goal post but Dylan Larkin and Adam Erne scored to secure a 4-3 victory.

It’s the first time since March 23-April 2, 2019 that the Wings (12-9-3) have won four games in a row.

The Wings held a moment of silence before the game for the victims of Tuesday’s school shooting in Oxford. Larkin, who is from nearby Waterford, described it as an “unspeakable tragedy … that hit our room really hard.”

They had to play without top-line forward Tyler Bertuzzi, who was placed in COVID-19 protocol less than an hour before puck drop.

Playing for the second time in two nights while their opponent was fresh, the Wings grinded through the first period. They converted on a power play for the first time since Nov. 16 when Robby Fabbri finished a pass from Pius Suter, who extended his point streak to four games. Vince Dunn dinged the Wings six minutes later during a Seattle power play. Ryan Donato took advantage of Jordan Oesterle falling to go in alone on Thomas Greiss, but Vladislav Namestnikov replied before the second period ended.

What chemistry

The play was offside so there was no goal, but a sequence in the first period demonstrated what chemistry Raymond and Larkin have. Linemates since the start of the season, the two have learned how to find one another with ease. This time it was Larkin who slipped the puck to Raymond, who took a couple strides and angled the puck along the goal line, sending it behind Philipp Grubauer. The two connected in the third period, when Raymond took a feed from Larkin, turned on a dime, and threw the puck into Seattle’s net.

Namestnikov nets eighth

Namestnikov got the puck in Seattle zone and showed again why putting the puck on net is a good idea: He did not appear to have an open lane, but he the puck snuck by everyone and into Seattle’s net. The goal was Namestnikov’s eighth of the season. That puts him on par with his goal output last season, when five of his eight goals in 53 games were empty netters. Namestnikov, in the last year of his contract, has looked noticeably more engaged this season, and been much more physical.

Making do without Bertuzzi

With Bertuzzi unavailable, Fabbri moved up to play with Larkin and Raymond. Filip Zadina moved back to the second line, having spent the previous couple games starting on the third line because coach Jeff Blashill wanted a bigger physical presence with Fabbri and Pius Suter, and put Givani Smith in Zadina’s spot. Kyle Criscuolo, called up as insurance Monday, entered the lineup on the fourth line, with Carter Rowney and Sam Gagner.

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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