It’s back to work for the Red Wings about 24 hours after opening the season with a win at Little Caesars Arena Friday night. The Wings took on the New Jersey Devils on the road, but if you ask me I don’t think the home advantage was in NJ’s favor. In fact, I think the Devils fans hate the Devils more than they hate the Red Wings.
The power play struggled but the offense showed up when it needed to for Detroit. The bad news is that the Wings would end up losing a key player but you saw the defense step up across the ice to secure a big win Saturday night.
The Red Wings had an early look on the power play. There were a couple of OK chances but nothing to show for it. Almost immediately after going even strength, the Devils picked up steam and had them hemmed in. That would eventually lead to a lazy slapshot from Dougie Hamilton that Alex Nedeljkovic couldn’t track.
The Wings had another chance on the power play, but it didn’t go anywhere. Few too many passes if you ask me.
1-0 after 20 minutes:
- Power play is still frustrating. I think a changeup in personnel may be needed.
- Elmer Soderblom continues to impress. His line took the first shift and opened the game with energy.
- Moritz Seider rules
The middle period was packed with special teams and offense. The Red Wings got on the board in the first couple of minutes thanks to a missile from Ben Chiarot:
The offense continued for Detroit — Jakub Vrana was next in line to pick up a goal. It’s hard to believe he scored from his angle like this.. It was a complete laser of a shot:
The Devils would tie the game almost immediately after Vrana scored. There was hardly any time to celebrate. The next thing of note was the Wings losing Tyler Bertuzzi after he appeared to take a puck to his hand. He would not return to the lineup.
Detroit’s penalty kill was tested pretty heavily in the 2nd period. Nedeljkovic was a big contributor but special teams did a pretty good job keeping NJ’s offense on the perimeter. The Red Wings would manage to strike two more times before the period ended. David Perron picked up his first as a Red Wing and then captain Dylan Larkin scored a late goal — and I mean late. I believe Bally Sports said it was scored with 8/10ths of a second left:
- Penalty kill was strong
- Nedeljkovic looked like he got more settled in. Made some good saves.
- Ben Chiarot, offensive dynamo, had a goal and an assist in the 2nd period.
- Andrew Copp had a really strong 20 minutes in the 2nd period.
4-2 through 40 minutes.
It’s early in the season and not entirely clear what kind of a team Detroit has, but one thing I see improved was how they perform in the 3rd period. They kept it simple, didn’t get stupid and ultimately closed New Jersey’s offense out of the game.
The highlight of the final period was a spectacular play from Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond and Dominik Kubalik to notch Detroit’s 5th goal of the night — and Kubalik’s 1st as a Wing:
That goal would put it away. Surprising for me, because I am used to a team that typically collapses when it has the lead late in the game. Refreshing.
- Power play is no good
- Lucas Raymond has a quietly brilliant game
- Chiarot had a real solid game
The Red Wings are 2-0 to start the season on a back-to-back. You’d like to see the Wings have more control of Saturday night’s game, Devils outshot them handily but Detroit striked when it was given the chance. It was a quietly solid night for Alex Nedeljkovic.. Which makes me wonder if they finally have a healthy 1A/1B tandem with Ville Husso in the mix.
The Red Wings are off Sunday and back at home against the LA Kings on Monday. Puck drop is 7(ish) pm at Little Caesars Arena.