Red Wings’ cannons blast Blue Jackets

Winging It In Motown

They’re back in the eastern time zone!! After three games played out on the west coast with 10 pm EST starts, the Red Wings finish out their road trip in Columbus to take on the snakebitten Blue Jackets. The Red Wings are coming off a big win against the Sharks where they saw their highest goal-scoring total in a win since early 2021. However, they have struggled on the road this year and are facing a team who, despite their injuries, have won their last three games at home.

They’ll be looking for a continued contribution from David Perron, who had a big night on Thursday in San Jose and now has six points in his past three games. Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Larkin both have continued their hot starts as the only two qualified Red Wings averaging over a point per game with 20 and 19 points respectively through 17 games.

In goal, the Red Wings start Ville Husso for the third consecutive game for the first time this season. He has continued to play excellently as he has sealed up that number-one netminder spot. The Blue Jackets will start Joonas Korpisalo, who will be getting a lot more playing time with starter Elvis Merzlikins out with an injury. He has a 3.74 GAA in five starts coming in, but his .909 save percentage shows it’s more than just his play that’s led to that. With that being said, the Red Wings are the better team on paper going into tonight. We’ll see if they can show that on the road.

1st Period

A bit of a slow start to this game which has been the case in basically every Red Wings game that I’ve recapped this season. The first few minutes pass with very little in terms of offensive pressure from either team. The best “chance” for either side was a Columbus chance after a bad turnover in the defensive zone from Detroit. However, a bad pass to Johnny Gaudreau ruined that chance for the Jackets. That quietness continues until Tyler Bertuzzi picks up a minor penalty for hooking to send the Blue Jackets on the power play after the first media timeout.

The Blue Jackets head into this game with the worst power play in the NHL with just four goals scored all season. And it looks as bad as advertised early on as they fail to generate any quality chances. They finally get a chance as Cole Sillinger gets a backdoor chance, but Husso comes up big. Shortly after the penalty kill ends, the Red Wings draw a penalty as Mathieu Olivier picks up a cross-checking minor, sending Detroit on the power play.

The Red Wings get started on the power play and get a couple of quick shots early. After some more pretty passing between Seider and Perron, the puck gets thrown into the slot and finds the stick of Dylan Larkin. Larkin shoots AND FIRES IT PAST KORPISALO TO GIVE THE RED WINGS THE 1-0 LEAD!!! HIS EIGHTH GOAL OF THE SEASON!!!

Perron picks up the assist for his seventh point in four games, and Seider adds his seventh point of the season. It was such a pretty pass by Seider back to Perron to create the chance. It’s wonderful to see the reigning Calder winner playing with this level of confidence. Another minute passes and we reach the second media timeout.

The Blue Jackets get a phenomenal chance out of the break as Sean Kuraly finds the puck to Husso’s left. However, Husso once against comes up big with the save. The next few shots go the Blue Jackets way as it quickly goes from 10-5 to 10-10. We head into the final media timeout with the momentum in Columbus’ favor despite the Red Wings winning 1-0.

The Blue Jackets continue their momentum as Cole Sillinger finds himself in alone on Husso, but the Red Wings netminder comes up with the save again and a loud “HUUUUUUSSSS” chant goes off at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The Red Wings finally get a shot to break the drought, but the chances start to dry up a bit for both teams. Outside of a Columbus chance late, neither team is super threatening to end the period.

The Red Wings head into the intermission up 1-0 and leading the shot count, 13-12. They were by far the better team through the first ten minutes of the period, but after that, Columbus took control. The team has to get better at five-on-five because you can’t just lean on Husso to stop everything, as well as he did play in that period.

2nd Period

Right off the bat, Columbus generates a good chance. A failure to come away with the puck in the neutral zone leads to the Blue Jackets getting a rush with Boone Jenner controlling the puck. He comes up the left side and after a failed pass gets blocked, he sneaks one through backdoor to Emil Bemstrom who puts it past Ville Husso to tie this game up, 1-1. Just 43 seconds in and that Columbus momentum comes away with a goal.

After some slow play following the goal, the Red Wings get their first big chance in a while as a Bemstrom turnover at the blue line leads to a 2-1 rush with Lucas Raymond and Bertuzzi. Raymond fires the puck to Bertuzzi who takes the shot but Korpisalo makes a fantastic save, keeping the game tied as Bemstrom comes sliding in and takes the net off its moorings for a stoppage down in the Detroit offensive zone.

This frees up play a bit as the two teams start to be a bit more aggressive offensively. Each team picks up a couple of decent chances with both netminders coming up big. It’s the Red Wings who finally get a grade A chance. A poor clearing attempt created by a great forecheck by Kubalik forces the puck to roll out into the slow. Filip Hronek comes flying in AND HE RIFLES IT PAST KORPISALO TO GIVE THE RED WINGS THE 2-1 LEAD!!! IT’S HIS THIRD GOAL OF THE SEASON!!!

Hronek stays hot with his seventh points in seven games. His 13 points have him in fourth on the Red Wings behind just Kubalik, Larkin and Perron He’s playing as well as his facial hair looks bad. There won’t be an assist on the goal, but credit to Kubalik for the forecheck to create that chance. Another excellent Red Wings chance by Michael Rasmussen gets stopped again by Korpisalo, and an offside call sends us to the media timeout.

There’s another great chance after the break for Detroit as Larkin finds Kubalik coming in from the point, but Korpisalo once again comes up big. After a final ten minutes with no big chances to end the first, the Red Wings are starting to get plenty here in the second. A shot from Seider gets stopped and the rebound leads to some cycling. That cycling creates a chance as Ben Chiarot gets the puck at the point. Chiarot winds up AND RIPS ONE PAST KORPISALO!!! 3-1 RED WINGS ON CHIAROT’S SECOND OF THE SEASON!!!

The puck movement has really improved for Detroit in this period. Raymond picks up his fifth assist of the season while Andrew Copp picks up his eighth. Columbus follows this up with a big chance of their own. Kent Johnson is found backdoor for a wide-open chance but Husso makes a massive save to keep this a 3-1 game! What a save and once again, the “HUUUUUUSSSS” chants rain down at Nationwide Arena. The score remains that way as the game heads into another media timeout.

The Red Wings second line creates another great chance as Raymond once again comes up the right side. He finds Copp at the top of the slot, but his shot gets blocked by a defender in front. Detroit gets another pair of good looks from Raymond and Rasmussen, both saved by Korpisalo, and we head into the final media timeout. Shots so far are 12-8 in favor of the Red Wings this period after a very even start.

A scary moment shortly after the break as an Olli Määttä shot hits Rasmussen in front at the same time he’s taking a cross-check to the back. Not sure where the puck hits him, but he slowly comes off the ice as icing gets called against the Blue Jackets. The Red Wings get another good chance as Larkin finds Hronek streaking up the right side with the pass being tipped by Jenner. Hronek fires the shot and he calls that it’s in, but there’s no call from the referee. Finally, the referee checks under the back bar AND FINDS THE PUCK AND AWARDS THE GOAL TO HRONEK!!! HIS SECOND OF THE GAME AND IT’S 4-1 RED WINGS!!!

Hronek’s goal brings him up to 14 points on the season as he continues his hot start. Larkin picks up another assist for his 21st point of the season, surpassing Kubalik for the team lead. Seider picks up his second assist of the game as well as he continues to improve throughout this season.

Play finally slows down for a bit after this with neither team getting any chances for a couple of minutes, but a big scrum gets started after a puck goes out of play following Sean Kuraly taking an exception to a hit from Sundqvist. Seider and Vladislav Gavrikov each pick up roughing minors to send the game to four-on-four to end the period. Nothing big comes from it for either team as the period ends with the Red Wings still up, 4-1.

Shots in the period were 13-10 in favor of Detroit, but that doesn’t do justice to the control the Red Wings had during that period. Three goals, all from defensemen, have put them in a prime position heading into the third period facing a team that is still struggling. An excellent response to the goal just 43 seconds into the period has them up going into the final frame. One last note, Rasmussen was back on the ice for that last shift of the period so it appears he’s doing alright.

3rd Period

The period starts at four-on-four and it’s the Red Wings who get the first good chance with Dylan Larkin getting a shot off a three-on-one rush, but the chance doesn’t really threaten Korpisalo. That does it for the four-on-four. But shortly after, Kuraly trips Jake Walman as he cuts across in the circle, sending the Red Wings on just their second power play of the game.

Immediately, the Red Wings get a chance as Kubalik rips a shot off the crossbar. After that, there’s some great movement but not a lot of great chances early. Then, right off a draw, Berggren receives a perfect pass on the doorstep, but Korpisalo gets a pad over to keep the game within three. That’s the last chance as the power play comes to a close. However, shortly after, Olivier comes flying in with an elbow to Hronek’s head to send the Red WIngs back on the power play.

And the Red Wings quickly take advantage. A rotation sends Seider to the top of the slot and he finds Kubalik in the right circle. Kubalik fires a one-timer PAST KORPISALO AND GIVES THE RED WINGS THE 5-1 LEAD!!! HIS NINTH OF THE SEASON AND ANOTHER ONE ON THE POWER PLAY!!!

The goal gives Kubalik his 21st point of the season, while Larkin’s assist puts him at 22. Seider picks up his third assist of the game as the Red Wings defensemen continue to have big nights. The game heads into the first media timeout of the period with the 5-1 lead still intact.

Play comes back and there’s an early chance for the Red Wings. Raymond makes a pass towards the slot, but it gets popped up in the air. Despite this, the puck finds Copp who kicks it over to Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi gets the puck AND ROOFS IT PAST KORPISALO!!! 6-1 RED WINGS AND IT’S A ROUTE WITH BERT’S FIRST OF THE SEASON!!! Raymond and Copp each pick up their second assist of the game. Shortly after, the game heads to another media timeout.

The rest of the game just feels like a formality. There are a couple of chances before the final media timeout, but the game is basically over at this point. It’s just a matter of what the final score will be and if it’ll stay at 6-1. And the answer to that question is yes. The final five minutes of the game are entirely uneventful. Jordan Oesterle picks up a slashing minor with 1:19 remaining and the Jackets get a couple of good chances, including a Bemstrom shot that rings off the post. But the game ends with the Red Wings picking up a 6-1 win over the Blue Jackets.

Final Thoughts

After a rough final ten minutes of the first and immediate goal to start the second from the Blue Jackets, it would’ve been really easy for them to roll over. But, they didn’t. Instead, they put up a six-spot just two nights removed from a seven-spot in San Jose. I’m not sure when the last time the Red Wings scored 13 goals in a two-game stretch was, but my guess is it has been a while. They outshot the Jackets 11-6 in the third period for a grand total of 37-28.

Five different Red Wings had multi-point games with Seider’s three assists and Larkin’s goal and two assists leading the charge. Kubalik continuing to put up points, even if it’s just one, is always wonderful to see. Shoutout to Hronek for his first career two-goal game and for continuing his hot stretch to eight points in seven games. Perron added a point to now have seven in his past four games. And lastly, shoutout to Ville Husso who once again plays well through a rough patch of play in front of him before the team found itself.

It was just an all-around great night for the Red Wings. They finish the road trip going 2-1-1 and improving their record to 9-5-4, good enough for third in the Atlantic division at the time this is being written. It still does feel like at times we’re waiting for it to fall off and the team finds sea level in the standings, but for now, let’s enjoy that this team is playing some great hockey and getting some great results. Until next time gang.

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