Why Dylan Larkin’s ’emotional’ play sums up what Detroit Red Wings want to do

Detroit Free Press

Dylan Larkin’s big play left him emotional and his coach, e0vocative.

The Detroit Red Wings had a good practice Tuesday, the day after they snagged a point despite trailing three times in a game against the Los Angeles Kings. Even getting to overtime wouldn’t have happened without Larkin’s incredible drive in the final minute, after the Wings had pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker. Kings forward Viktor Arvidsson got the puck, but as he closed in on the empty net, Larkin was able to poke away the puck from behind.

“I got pretty emotional about it driving home,” Larkin said. “It’s something that, it means a lot. I was a little bit upset, I felt I kind of cost the team in overtime, I took a long shift and kind of threw the puck away.

“The care level is there. It’s easy to kind of skate back and be pissed off. You lost by two and break your stick over the post and try and show the guys how mad you are. I just think it means so much more that – it was kind of a lucky play, but that it wasn’t shot in the net. We didn’t give up on it. The reaction from the fans, the reaction from the guys after we scored.”

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Larkin said he was careful not to take a penalty. “In the past I probably would have. I was just really trying to go under. I think he was surprised I was there and I was able to poke it away.

Oskar Sundqvist scored with 41 seconds to play in regulation, and the Wings came away from their first three games with five points.

After the game, David Perron called it something the Wings can look back on later in the season and know it made a difference. Coach Derek Lalonde likewise was effusive afterwards, and on Tuesday, he described what it was like to see it from the bench.

“I see the play develop,” Lalonde said. “A little bit of a bad bounce in the neutral zone, we just got our six out there. Had to pull them without possession because of the situation. It ends up, you see Arvidsson going in all alone. You think, game over. And he makes this amazing effort play and it gives you a little spark.

“I talked to Dylan this morning. It felt like that play was symbolic of what we are trying to do. Never give up, fight through things. He did it and we got rewarded for it. A good moment to build off.”

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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