CHICAGO — The Detroit Red Wings lost their lead, lost their structure and had to settle for one point.
The Wings were up by two going into the third period Friday at United Center, seemingly poised to stick it to their old Original Six rival Chicago Blackhawks on a night they celebrated their home opener. But the Blackhawks grabbed momentum and forced the game past regulation. Lucas Raymond’s turnover in overtime led to Max Domi’s goal at 2:16 and a 4-3 loss for the Wings.
It was a disappointing finish after the way the first 40 minutes went.
Pius Suter and Dylan Larkin provided goals in the first period. Larkin missed a chunk of time after getting knocked over from behind, looking visibly in pain as he went down the tunnel, but he returned to finish the game. Dominik Kubalik scored in the second period.
Former Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou scored on a penalty shot in the second period after being hauled down by Filip Hronek. Philipp Kurashev scored early in the third period, and the Blackhawks built off that. Connor Murphy scored for Chicago during Detroit’s fourth power play, and the Wings had trouble getting set up on their fifth man advantage.
A couple players rejected by the Blackhawks helped the Wings build a 2-0 lead. Robert Hagg fired a shot off a faceoff that went in off Suter’s skate as he slid by Chicago’s crease, at 9:26 in the first. Suter was a healthy scratch the first game, but then subbed onto the fourth line. It was his first goal, and second point, of the season. Kubalik got his point on the second goal, setting up Larkin’s power play conversion. That was Kubalik’s third point in four games. He moved up to play on Larkin’s line when Tyler Bertuzzi was lost to an upper-body injury in the second game of the season. Kubalik has drawn praise for how well he has skated, which has helped the Wings at both ends of the ice. The Wings signed both Kubalik and Suter after the Blackhawks declined to re-sign them.
Olli Määttä’s resume also includes a stopover in Chicago, where he played 65 games in 2019-20. He picked up his fourth assist of the season when he set up Kubalik’s goal. Määttä was signed in the offseason by general manager Steve Yzerman to serve as a partner for Hronek. Määttä is the more of a stay-at-home defenseman, but he has been productive so far, scoring in the season opener when he had an empty net in the final minute. Määttä had a scoring chance late in the second period, but his slap shot was denied by former Wings goalie Petr Mrazek.
The Blackhawks fed off the energy from fans early on, sustaining pressure in Detroit’s zone. There were several impolite chants from the stands regarding the Wings the first 10 minutes, but fans quieted after the first goal. Nedeljkovic only saw three shots in the first period, but he was solid in the second period when the Blackhawks had spurts of offensive-zone time, including stopping Athanasiou on a wrist shot attempt. Mrazek allowed three goals on 18 shots and was replaced to start the third period by Alex Stalock for what the Blackhawks announced were medical reasons.
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.