Jonatan Berggren, Dylan Larkin score twice as Red Wings down Canucks, 5-2

Detroit News

Detroit — Jonatan, Jonathan, “Johnny Burgers” — Jonatan Berggren doesn’t care what you call him.

As long as you call him an NHL player. And after less than half a season in the winged wheel, the 22-year-old Swede has shown that’s exactly what he is.

Berggren scored twice in Detroit’s 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday at Little Caesars Arena, reaching 10 goals (with 10 assists) in his first 38 NHL games. In an offense that’s struggled to flash creativity at many points this season, Berggren delivered all over the offensive zone.

“He’s a smart hockey player. His vision and his skating is really good, so we’re gonna really need him this season and in the future,” said Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin, who added two goals of his own Saturday.

“(He has) good hockey sense. You watch a lot of the goals he’s scored this year, it’s finding soft spots on the ice where he’s not covered, and he’s got good hands around the net, so yeah, it’s impressive what he’s done, we need him to keep going.”

Second-year Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond (lower body) missed the first game of his NHL career on Saturday. Jake Walman (upper body) was also out. Both are considered day-to-day, Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde said.

Berggren’s first goal was produced by him from start to finish. He won a battle that allowed David Perron to pick up a loose puck, then snuck behind the net to the far-side post, where Ben Chiarot found him for an easy tip-in.

Lalonde said Saturday’s game showed the full extent of Berggren’s impact in the offensive zone.

“He’s skilled, he can complement guys, he helps our power play. Scored on the power play, which was a huge goal, the way the game was going,” Lalonde said. “He can play up and down our lineup, and he’s help drive some offense with whatever line he’s been on.”

Perhaps lost in the shuffle of Berggren’s two-goal day was a three-point game for Larkin, who snapped a six-game goal drought on Thursday night in a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames. Chiarot and Moritz Seider each had two assists.

“He’s our go-to guy for us. We’re challenged to create offense. He plays as our No. 1 center, he’s on our power plays, our penalty kill … but we treat him like that and he needs to drive us like that,” Lalonde said.

Larkin and Berggren each scored one of their goals in the opening 2 minutes and 35 seconds. Detroit (23-20-8) had three power-play opportunities to take a commanding lead — against a Canucks power play that ranks dead last (66.4% entering Saturday) — but it would be a special-teams goal by the Canucks (21-28-4) that flipped the game on its head in the second period.

Things started started to get dicey for Detroit in the middle frame, as the Red Wings were held shotless over the first 10 minutes. Vancouver cut the deficit in half with a power-play goal at 2:02 and looked to be taking over, but couldn’t find an equalizer before Larkin added to the lead with a power-play goal of his own at 13:17.

“Huge. Probably the difference in the game,” Lalonde said. “I thought we did a fairly good job, even though we had a couple looks on the three power plays in the first, there were some moments in those power plays that kind of zapped us of our momentum.

“And then just the way the second period started, we take a penalty and then they score, and then you can feel momentum going. They clearly won the second period … so getting that goal to go into the third, up two goals, was huge.”

The Red Wings got another one on the board to start the third period, but it wasn’t until after a close call for Vancouver. Vancouver defenseman Ethan Bear was sprung on a breakaway after getting out of the penalty box and was hauled down by Filip Hronek, resulting in a penalty shot. Bear appeared to be badly injured; he left the game and did not return. Hughes took the shot for Vancouver and was stopped by Ville Husso.

Less than a minute later, Hronek redeemed his play with one on the other end. After getting a pass from Olli Maatta, Hronek fired one home from the top of the circles, his eighth goal of the season. Berggren added his second goal at 10:55 in the third. Elias Pettersson added a goal for Vancouver less than two minutes later, but the damage had been done.

The Red Wings will see Vancouver in back-to-back games. Detroit starts a three-game Western road swing on Monday night against the Canucks.

As for the nickname “Burgers”?

“I like burgers, so .. .you can call me whatever you want,” Berggren said.

nbianchi@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @nolanbianchi

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