Moritz Seider, Tyler Bertuzzi hit milestones in Detroit Red Wings’ 5-3 win over Devils

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Red Wings bid farewell to their season as a potential new teammate made his debut and two reached a milestone.

Friday’s finale against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center was it for both teams, with no playoffs awaiting next week. On a night their lead was leveled multiple times, the Wings prevailed, 5-3.

Goaltender Magnus Hellberg made 20 saves as the Wings closed out the 82-game slate at 32-40-10 and 74 points. Every team that advanced to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference had at least 100 points.

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Michael Rasmussen scored in the first period and picked up an assist on Moritz Seider’s goal in the second period. Joe Veleno scored from the slot on a perfect setup by Tyler Bertuzzi in the opening minute of the third period to restore the lead. Video replay showed the puck completely crossed the goal line on Pius Suter’s shot midway through the third period, restoring Detroit’s lead for a fourth time.

Bertuzzi reached 30 goals when he scored into an empty net in the final minute.

Hellberg’s chance

The Wings signed the 31-year-old Hellberg on April 13 for the rest of this season, and he met them in New York two days later. The compact schedule limited him to a handful of practices/morning skates. He hadn’t played in the NHL since April 9, 2017, one of four career appearances in the league. Hellberg spent the past five seasons in the KHL, and hadn’t played a game since representing Sweden at the Beijing Olympics in February. With Thomas Greiss’ contract up, the Wings need a goaltender, and Hellberg was a no-risk audition. One game isn’t much of an audition, but the Wings saw value in bringing him over for a few weeks. Hellberg made a good save on a backhand attempt by Fabian Zetterlund in the first period, but Dawson Mercer forced Seider into committing a turnover that ended with Mercer stuffing the puck on Hellberg late in the period. Nolan Foote scored late in the second period when he tipped Dougie Hamilton’s shot from the blue line. Zetterlung scored off a miscue by Gustav Lindstrom at 6:57 of the third period.

{HELL(BERG) OR HIGH WATER: Why Hellberg couldn’t pass up tiny window of opportunity with Wings]

Rasmussen’s second half

Rasmussen scored 1:08 into the game. Linemate Oskar Sundqvist carried the puck across the blue line, and sent it to Rasmussen, who forced his way to the slot and whipped a shot that deflected into the net. Rasmussen had three goals through 30 games on Dec. 31, improving in the second half with 12 goals in 31 games. Rasmussen, the No. 9 overall pick in 2017, has looked noticeably confident in using his 6-foot-6 size to work down low. While a 15-goal scorer isn’t a great return for a top-10 pick, Rasmussen has established he can be a solid bottom-six center.

Seider’s milestone

When he scored in the second period, Seider became the first Wings defenseman to reach 50 points since Nicklas Lidstrom had 62 in 2010-11. Sam Gagner threw the puck back to Seider on the blueline, and he fired a shot through traffic that eluded Mackenzie Blackwood. Seider, the No. 6 overall pick in 2019, established himself as the Wings’ best defenseman in his rookie year, and did most of it before his 21st birthday on April 6.

[GERMAN ENGINEERING: How Wings’ Moritz Seider went from ‘a bit overwhelmed’ to NHL’s leading rookie]

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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