8 observations from the Red Wings 6-3 win over Philadelphia

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After a lackluster west coast road trip, the Red Wings returned home to Detroit to face off against the Philadelphia Flyers in which they secured a well-needed win on home ice. In their third matchup of the season, Detroit won their 3rd straight game against Philadelphia and gave the Flyers their 2nd loss without their former captain. In this 6-3 victory, what were the big takeaways?

1. New faces in the roster! In the Nick Leddy trade, Detroit received Jake Walman and Oskar Sundqvist from the St. Louis Blues and they joined the Wings for practice and last night’s game. Both Sundqvist and Walman were in the lineup against Philadelphia with Sundqvist being on the 3rd offensive line alongside Smith and Veleno and then Walman being on the 3rd defensive pairing with Lindstrom. It was great to see them get in action with the team right away and to welcome them to Hockeytown at LCA.

2. Jakub Vrana with another two-goal game. Isn’t that just great to hear? In just seven games played this season, Vrana has had two two-goal games and a total of five goals scored. The way that Vrana is able to place his shots so skillfully and finish off plays is something special- something that this team desperately needed. He is a consistent goal-scorer who can make the puck find the back of the net in an effortless fashion which is undoubtedly a pivotal asset for the Red Wings this season. In his 2nd goal of the night, Dylan Larkin set up a beautiful pass after evading the Flyers defense and sneaking the puck across the ice to Vrana as he fooled his defensemen into tracking a shot on goal. An absolutely insane assist to be finished with Vrana’s impeccable shot placement was what pulled the Red Wings to a 4-2 lead and gave Vrana his 5th goal of the season.

3. Philadelphia’s Ristolainen having a rough night. The first goal of the evening for Detroit was ultimately due to a defensive blunder by Ristolainen. Joe Veleno was able to take the puck around the backside of the net and slip it past Hart who was unable to see any of what was happening. Why? Because Ristolainen placed an incredibly good screen… on his own goaltender, which directly interfered with Hart and resulted in the Wings taking an early lead. He would go on to do something remarkably similar for the 2nd Red Wings goal and played a part in at least one other goal being allowed by Philadelphia.

4. Bertuzzi was on fire! Tyler Bertuzzi returned to action against Seattle on Saturday after being out per vaccination restrictions in Canada along with the birth of his daughter and was ready to go for last night’s game against the Flyers. He assisted on both goals scored by Jakub Vrana and scored the final empty net goal of the game which secured the win for Detroit. He was being a physical force on both ends of the ice and took the most shots on goal out of the whole Detroit lineup, proving just how valuable of an asset he is to this team as there is nobody else on this roster quite like him.

5. Oskar Sundqvist making himself known in Hockeytown. In his first game as a Red Wing, Sundqvist had an assist on Tyler Bertuzzi’s goal as well as the 5th Red Wings goal of the evening. Scoring his 1st goal behind the Winged Wheel in his debut game was exciting to see especially since he was a part of Detroit’s best trade of the year. Additionally, Sundqvist proved himself to be a good fit alongside Joe Veleno and Giavani Smith as he was not afraid to play a physical game while still moving the puck and taking shots.

6. Solid night for Alex Nedeljkovic. Having faced 33 shots and only allowing three goals, Alex Nedeljkovic left the game with a .909 SV% which is nothing to be disappointed in given he is still coming back from a rough stretch of the season. He made a lot of great saves off of funky rebounds from his leg pads as well as glove saves on loose pucks. The Red Wings defense looked marginally better today as well which provided room for Ned to have a better game since he was given the proper support he needs.

7. Jake Walman looks as if he will be fun to watch on the ice. Another one of Detroit’s newest skaters, Walman was surely showing off what he had to offer last night. He ripped three shots on goal and was ready to make plays in the zone, which as a defenseman is very great to see that eagerness on the offensive end. Defensively, he was credited with two blocked shots and was covering ground quickly when needed. Walman looked confident alongside his linemate Gustav Lindstrom and played a solid first game as a Red Wing.

8. The team came into the game with winning energy and left the ice with a win. After only winning two games out of the last 10, Detroit has been hungry for another win especially in the 1st game back from a road trip. Throughout nearly the full 60 minutes, the Red Wings were outperforming the Flyers both offensively and defensively. The whole team just looked alive and ready to fight for the puck and to maintain possession. Scoring the first goal of the game motivated the Red Wings to keep this energy flowing through the rest of the game and this consistent effort resulted in a well-deserved victory for Detroit.

The Red Wings prepare to take on the New York Islanders this Thursday on the road and are once again looking for another win. With the two newest Red Wings coming in strong and an overall better collective effort from the team, Detroit has what it takes to fiercely compete in a game, especially against a team such as the Islanders.

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