Detroit — The Red Wings keep stringing together victories.
They reached the first-quarter mark of the NHL season Saturday working a little longer, but ultimately defeating the Arizona Coyotes, 4-3, in a shootout.
Dylan Larkin scored the lone goal in the shootout, after Arizona had tied the game late in regulation time.
Goaltender Ville Husso stopped all three Arizona shooters in the shootout, after both teams failed to capitalized in overtime.
“Even if we had found a way to lose in overtime, or the shootout, we had played well,” coach Derek Lalonde said. “We’ve talked about judging yourself on process and we were good (Friday). That was a good game for us against a good team.”
After missing the playoffs the last six seasons, the Wings can at least reasonably think about the possibility these days. The Wings moved to 11-5-4, seven points ahead of last season’s pace after 20 games, while extending their current win streak to four games.
“You can see there’s a good vibe around the guys right now,” Lalonde said. “There’s some momentum. (Friday) was an excellent five-on-five game, pretty much a complete game from us.”
Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun tied the game at 3 with 25.4 seconds left in regulation time, seconds after a Coyotes power play expired, the second penalty the Wings had to kill in the last six minutes.
“That’s a real good power play, they’re top-10, and you can tell,” Lalonde said. “You can’t give them two (power plays) in the third period, especially two in the last six minutes, although we did a real good job killing it.”
But the Wings regrouped and found a way to secure the crucial extra point, eventually, in the shootout.
“Of course you want to win it in regular time,” forward Lucas Raymond said. “But an unlucky bounce there at the end of the penalty kill, and the penalty kill did such a huge job tonight, Huss(o) was great again and it’s a nice win.”
Andrew Copp (power play), Filip Hronek (power play) and Jordan Oesterle had the Wings’ goals. Husso, getting his fifth consecutive start, made 20 saves. The Wings outshot Arizona, 36-23.
The Wings decidedly won the special-teams battle, going 2-for-4 on the power play, while killing all four Arizona power plays.
“Special teams was excellent, the difference in the game,” Lalonde said. “It was one of those nights we couldn’t get that fourth goal and extend the lead. They (the Coyotes) don’t need much for offense, they’re very high-end skill. We played a real good game, strong game five-on-five.”
Nick Schmaltz and J.J. Moser scored for the Coyotes (7-9-3), who played their ninth game in the midst of a 14-game road trip.
Hronek scored his sixth goal in six games, a one-timer off a Jonatan Berggren set-up, giving the Wings a 2-0 lead at 4:22 of the second period.
But Arizona sliced the lead in half on Schmaltz’s first goal, deflecting Chychrun’s point shot at 8:32.
The Wings, though, answered quickly. Oesterle scored his first goal of the season, sniping a shot from the high slot past goaltender Karel Vejmelka.
But the Coyotes closed the gap again, before the end of the period, as Moser one-timed a pass from Clayton Keller past Husso, Moser’s second goal, at 15:31 to make it 3-2.
While winning four consecutive games, the Wings have earned points in five games (4-0-1).
“The biggest thing is we’re playing for each other and it’s paying off,” Hronek said.