Red Wings rebound with convincing victory over Ducks

Detroit News

Detroit — After a disappointing and disheartening loss in Chicago 48 hours earlier, coach Derek Lalonde was curious to see how his Red Wings would respond.

The Wings blew a two-goal lead in Chicago and got away from the way they’ve wanted to play. It was definitely eye-opening losing that way to a team the Wings should likely beat.

But Lalonde was pleased with what he saw Sunday.

Two power-play goals in the first period got the Wings going early and led them to a 5-1 victory over Anaheim at Little Caesars Arena.

“Real good,” said Lalonde of the way the Wings responded. “We had a good start, (goaltender) Ville (Husso) was real good in the second period and the special teams, this was what we call an assistant coaches win because of the special teams. They were dynamite.

“It was a real good night.”

The Wings talked immediately after Friday’s loss about learning from that loss and they seemed to play with a purpose.

“We kind of got a lesson last game, how to win those games,” said Dominik Kubalik, who had a goal and two assists Sunday as he continues to be an early-season revelation. “We did a pretty good job with it today. In all, a pretty good job.”

BOX SCORE: Red Wings 5, Ducks 1

Dylan Larkin and David Perron scored the first-period power-play goals. Joe Veleno, Kubalik (power play) and Elmer Soderblom added goals as the Wings dominated the special teams while extending their season-opening streak to five games (3-0-2) without a regulation time loss.

Goaltender Ville Husso stopped 32 shots to go to 2-0-1 on the season.

Trevor Zegras scored for Anaheim, his third goal of the season. Ducks goalie John Gibson made 36 saves.

Husso and the penalty killers came up big toward the end of the first period, killing a 1-minute, 31-second two-man Ducks advantage. The Wings barely let Anaheim get set up, and Husso made a key stop when called upon, maintaining a 2-1 lead after one period.

The Wings have yet to allow a power play goal this season.

“I had goosebumps and I’m on the bench, I can’t imagine what it did for our players,” said Lalonde of the lengthy penalty kill to end the period. “Huge, huge momentum. The guys were fired up because of that kill. My message was you get an effort like that, we don’t waste this, and let’s make sure we win that second (period) and try to finish this game off.”

Said Husso: “It was a huge kill for us, and that gives you energy for sure when you go into the locker room and it’s still 2-1 for sure. Guys are doing a great job on the PK keeping the puck on the outside and making our game easy.”

The Wings opened the scoring with an early power-play goal of their own.

With Anaheim’s Nathan Beaulieu in the box just 18 seconds into the game for hooking Oskar Sundqvist, the Wings converted late with Larkin’s goal at the 2:02 mark.

Kubalik’s shot from the dot was stopped by Gibson, but the rebound went directly to Larkin alone in the slot. Larkin slammed the rebound past Gibson, giving the Wings a 1-0 lead.

But Anaheim quickly answered with Zegras tying the game.

Ducks forward Troy Terry took the puck to the net and was stripped of it though still managing to direct the puck toward Husso. The puck slid just past the crease, where Zegras poked it past Husso at 5:31.

After a Ducks power play went nowhere, the Wings capitalized on their chance.

Perron, who has been one of the Wings’ most productive players early, one-timed a pass from Filip Hronek from Perron’s favorite spot, by the hashmark.

“We did a good job of putting guys in places to succeed and tonight it cashed in,” said Lalonde of the power play’s success.

Veleno extended the Wings lead to 3-1 early in the second period.

Adam Erne skated the puck down the wing and centered a pass that Veleno, coming down the slot, got his stick on and slipped the puck past Gibson at 4:07.

Kubalik added a power-play goal in the third period and is up to eight points (three goals, five assists) in five games. It’s the most by a player beginning his Wings career through five games, since Paul Coffey had 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 1992-93.

“Everyone has been playing pretty well right from the start,” said Kubalik of the Wings’ depth. “The power play is going (good), the PK, especially today, has done a great job and we’re getting energy out of it. The goaltending is unbelievable.”

Twitter: @tkulfan

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