Detroit Red Wings show improvement, but fall to the Anaheim Ducks, 4-3 in a shootout

Detroit Free Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Detroit Red Wings bore down after a shaky start, even as they played with a short bench after losing their captain.

Dylan Larkin didn’t finish Sunday’s game at Honda Center against the Anaheim Ducks after sustaining an upper-body injury, but his teammates put on a much better performance than they had less than 24 hours earlier. They rallied from two deficits and dominated in overtime, but lost, 4-3, in a shootout.

“I thought we regrouped pretty well after the first period and started to get into our game,” Marc Staal said. “I was happy with our effort from there on out. Losing in a shootout, it always sucks.”

Coach Jeff Blashill expected to have a better feel for Larkin’s status Monday, and said that Tyler Bertuzzi, who raced off in overtime after getting cut, is expected to be OK.

The Wings (16-16-4) were on the ice just 21½ hours after playing at Los Angeles, in a game rescheduled from Thursday because the Ducks had COVID-19 issues.

Moritz Seider set up Filip Hronek’s power play goal and came to Thomas Greiss’ rescue later in the second period when Greiss was out of the net and the puck was sliding toward the goal line. Seider swooped in and swiped it away.

Tyler Bertuzzi gave the Wings a lead at 15:07, scoring his 16th goal off a wrap-around attempt by Marc Staal. Lucas Raymond picked up an assist on the play.  Raymond, 19 and playing in his 36th game, became the fastest teenager in franchise history to reach 20 assists, eclipsing the 39 games it took Steve Yzerman to reach that number.

The Ducks tied it when a review by officials showed Troy Terry’s shot at 18:04 of the second period cross the goal line. Max Comtois took advantage of poor defensive coverage to score at 2:01 of the third period, but Jordan Oesterle lifted a shot through traffic at 7:55 that Vladislav Namestnikov redirected. The Wings had a 33-27 edge in shots at the end of regulation.

Keen observer

After Saturday’s 4-0 loss at the Kings, Larkin relayed how Staal, an alternate captain, had said afterwards that, “Too many times on the road, we wait to see what happens. We can’t play like that on the road. He’s a guy that’s been around for a long time and played in meaningful games on the road.” Still, it took past the five-minute mark of the first period before the Wings registered a shot on Lukas Dostal when Raymond snapped the puck from the left circle.

Keen rookies

Trevor Zegras, who together with Raymond and Seider is a leading contender for the Calder Trophy, showed off his scoring skills during a power play in the first period. Givani Smith was assessed an instigator penalty for fighting Nicolas Deslaurier, putting the Wings shorthanded. Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills) passed the puck to Zegras in the right circle. Zegras had his stick up, ready for a one-timer, and fired a shot that sank past Greiss and tied Zegras with Raymond for a rookie-leading three power play goals. The Ducks selected Zegras in 2019 at No. 9, three spots after Yzerman drafted Seider.

Keen chance

The Wings came into the game scoreless on their previous 18 power plays; they last  converted Dec. 14. Sam Steel was called for tripping Nick Leddy at 18:29 and Josh Manson for crosschecking Robby Fabbri at 18:50, setting up 99 seconds with a two-man advantage for the Wings. They spent nearly a minute passing the puck around trying to get a perfect shot before Seider at least tried, ripping a shot that Dostal denied. Raymond was ready to do the same, but whiffed on his attempt at a one-timer. Hronek ended the drought 21 seconds into the second period.

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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