In their third game of the west coast trip, Detroit traveled to Vancouver to take on the Canucks. The Red Wings played an incredibly strong and consistent game between offense, defense, and goaltending which was enough to get their groove back and finally secure a win. Here are some of the key aspects of this celebration-worthy win:
1. Ned looked great! Alex Nedeljkovic has been in a very noticeable rough stretch and tonight seemed to be the light at the end of the tunnel for him. Leaving the night with a 43 save shutout, Ned’s confidence is back on the rise and hopefully he will be able to maintain this level of play for the rest of the season.
2. Red Wings offense was not going easy on Thatcher Demko. The Canucks goaltender faced 35 shots on goal and only allowed one to find the back of the net. Pius Suter was the man to score the one goal of the entire game for Detroit which brought home the victory. Demko had a .971 SV% for the game compared to Nedeljkovic’s 1.000- showing that this game was in fact goalie dominated on both ends.
3. Nick Leddy out of the lineup for asset protection purposes. With the trade deadline coming up in a matter of days, sitting Leddy is indicative of a potential trade, but there are no confirmed details just yet. Leddy is one of the bigger trade chips that Detroit has at the moment so it was heavily speculated throughout the season that he wouldn’t be around for much longer.
4. Big night for Givani Smith with six shots through the first period. Before last night’s game, Smith had a career high of four shots in a game which he had only done three times. Smith lead the Red Wings in shots with six with Dylan Larkin right behind him with five. As a player who doesn’t normally get shots off or score goals- tonight was a pretty good night for Givani Smith.
5. Pius Suter scores the game-winning goal for Detroit. In a beautifully organized play between Pius Suter and Vladislav Namestnikov starting with Suter stealing the puck away from Vancouver, Suter passed it off to Namestnikov as he rushed past defensemen towards the net. Seeing the perfect gap between the two defensemen, Namestnikov gave it back to Suter who had Demko all to himself. The puck went in just under the left leg pad of Demko and would be the goal to seal in the victory.
6. Moritz Seider pushes his case for the Calder Trophy. With just a handful of seconds left in the third period, the Canucks were attacking the Red Wings net and Seider knew what he needed to do. Initially by getting the puck off of a Vancouver stick as he took it took it to net, Seider shut down the initial shot opportunity. The Vancouver offense fired two more shots towards Alex Nedeljkovic and Seider was able to deflect both of them back to back in a seamless manner- the type of plays that are so common for the rookie defenseman and are all the more impressive when regarding the race for the Calder.
7. Jakub Vrana played in his 300th career NHL game. After being gone for an injury for a majority of the season, Vrana finally got to celebrate his 300th game in Vancouver last night. Although he was not able to garner any points, he did receive a 10-minute game misconduct after the end of the 2nd period. The reasoning behind this call wasn’t given in black and white terms but was likely due to him running his mouth at a referee before the whistle.
8. Red Wings finally end their losing streak. After losing six consecutive games to Tampa, Florida, Arizona, Minnesota, Calgary, and Edmonton- Detroit needed redemption in the form of a win. In what would easily be their best game in a long time, the Red Wings attained a 1-0 road victory to finish up their Canadian road trip.
Coming back to the United States for a Saturday night matchup against the Seattle Kraken, the Red Wings are eager to continue their win streak before they return home to LCA on Tuesday.