Filip Hronek stays hot as Detroit Red Wings beat Arizona Coyotes, 4-3, in shootout

Detroit Free Press

Defenseman Filip Hronek continued his hot streak as the Detroit Red Wings continued their winning streak.

Hronek recorded a third straight multipoint performance Friday when the Wings hosted the Arizona Coyotes and Dylan Larkin ensured a celebratory ending at Little Caesars Arena when he scored in a shootout to pull the Wings ahead, 4-3, to make it four straight victories and nine out of 10 points the last five games.

“We played a really good game, a strong game,” coach Derek Lalonde said. “Our five-on-five was on point, our special teams were excellent, the difference in the game. It was just one of those nights, we couldn’t get the fourth goal, we couldn’t extend the lead, and they don’t need much for offense. But really happy with the guys, we got what we deserved and that was the full two points.”

Hronek set up Andrew Copp in the first period and scored on a slap shot in the second period. The assist extended Hronek’s point streak to six games, and the goal gave him four two-point games in his last six performances. Dating to Nov. 12, Hronek has six goals and four assists. It was enough to bring Hronek to a post-game press conference for the first time since before the pandemic.

“I am confident, but it’s more like I’m feeling like our team is better and everything is going well for us now,” Hronek said. “I believe each guy feels better.”

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It was 3-2 going into the third period. The Wings weren’t able to convert on a third power play, and that put stress on Ville Husso and the penalty killers. The Coyotes went on a second straight power play with 2:39 to play when Tyler Bertuzzi was called for tripping, and pulled their goalie to have a 6-on-4 skater advantage. It paid off when Jacob Chychrun scored with 25.4 seconds on the clock.

“It was too much ask,” of the power play, Lalonde said. “That’s a really good power play. You can’t give them two in the third period, especially two in the last six minutes.”

The home stand continues Monday when the Wings (11–5–4) host the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bumps and bruises

The Wings had good jump to start, with Oskar Sundqvist testing Karel Vejmelka with a chance down low and Lucas Raymond firing a puck that hit a goal post. Sundqvist briefly left the bench after getting hit by a Hronek shot. The Wings had to kill a penalty when Michael Rasmussen objected to Jack McBain’s hit on Hronek and dropped the gloves; Rasmussen and McBain got fighting majors, and Rasmussen drew an extra penalty for slashing.

“Michael is a great guy,” Hronek said. “He stepped up for me there and I am thankful.”

Lalonde said it was “an easy kill for us, because those mean a lot more,” when it comes from sticking up for a teammate.

Powering through

The power play came through for the fifth time in six games, giving the Wings a lead in the first period. The clock was ticking down on Dylan Guenther’s high-sticking penalty on Bertuzzi when Hronek sent a puck to Raymond, who fired a one-timer that Juuso Valimaki blocked. The puck lay loose at Valimaki’s feet, and Copp extended his stick and swiped it into the net. After a rusty start to the season, Copp has four points his last three games.

Momentum grab

Hronek ripped a shot through traffic to make it 2-0 at 4:02 of the second period, improving the Wings to two-for-two on power plays. Nick Schmaltz made it 2-1 at 8:32 when Chychrun’s shot hit Schmaltz’s stick and rolled in on Husso, but the Wings were able to restore momentum 28 when defenseman Jordan Oesterle scored his first goal of the season. Bertuzzi had the puck along the boards and sent it to Oesterle, who strode in from the blue line and fired a shot that went glove side on Vejmelka. J.J. Moser got the Coyotes back within a goal when he scored on a one-timer late in the second period.

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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