The Detroit Red Wings took on the Ottawa Senators in the first of their back-to-back games. A winter storm caused things to get re-scheduled from before the 2023 calendar year, and now the Red Wings and Senators, both hot, face off.
While the Detroit Red Wings had the right idea, it did not pay off. They opted to start goaltender Magnus Hellberg in game one and then let Ville Husso play between the two teams in game two. Hellberg kept them in it early on, but the Red Wings’ defense collapsed and left him out to dry by the end of things.
The good news is the Red Wings can get after it again tomorrow. They can still get out there and try to beat them in game two. The physicality was a huge factor in this one, and Ottawa took it to them for a 6-2 win.
While Tyler Bertuzzi, Moritz Seider, and Jake Walman were throwing the body for Detroit, Ottawa was finding better ways to do so. There were more “quality hits,” as Mickey Redmond called them, from Ottawa, which proved to be a disruption to the Red Wings game.
Let’s get into the action from tonight’s contest as the Red Wings fell 6-2 to Ottawa.
Detroit Red Wings drop first of back-to-back games with Senators.
In the first period, things got physical. The Senators came out hard and took it to Detroit, finding ways to throw the body and be physical. The Red Wings were outplayed, with the Senators often finishing checks and playing the body, disrupting the Red Wings’ game plan.
Tyler Bertuzzi got things going for the Detroit Red Wings with his first-period goal. Bertuzzi was on a breakaway and made a nice move to protect the puck. He made a back-hand to fore-hand move to bury the goal and make it a 1-0 game.
On top of that, the Red Wings relied on Magnus Hellberg quite a bit early on. He made some big-time saves against his former team. The netminder kept the Red Wings in it in the first period, with the team’s defense giving up some prime scoring chances.
It was more similar for the Red Wings in the second period. Hellberg had to come up big, and he did for the most part. He gave up three goals but still did make some tough stops. Frankly, he was often left out to dry and screened on one of the goals.
On one of the Senators’ power plays, Jake Sanderson let a slapshot rip from the point and found the back of the net. It was a big crowded net front, and Hellberg was unable to find it. It eventually found the twine for the goal, tying things up at one.
It was a much-needed goal for David Perron, who was able to send a wrist shot home on the power-play to collect a goal and make it 2-1. Perron caught a nice feed from the point, turned, and fired to get it into the back of the net for the goal.
The Senators were able to answer with three more goals after that before the end of the period. Drake Batherson let a wrist shot go that beat Hellberg up high and made it a 2-2 game. After that, Claude Giroux got himself well beyond the Red Wings’ defenders and set himself up for a breakaway. He beat Hellberg between the wickets for the goal.
Before the period came to a close, it was Brady Tkachuk who was able to beat on the far side to make it a 4-2 game. Several bad changes and bad positioning issues from the Red Wings made it easy to set up the Senators’ scoring chances.
Thomas Chabot opened up the third period to make things 5-2. He was streaking in on Hellberg and was able to flip one over his shoulder into the net. Chabot joined the rush, caught a pass from Giroux, and crashed hard to set up the goal.
Tim Stützle made it 6-2 with five minutes to play in the game. He was wide open in front of the net and was able to beat Hellberg off the back post for the goal. It was just the dagger in the coffin. Once again, horrible positioning in the defensive zone left Stützle wide open in front to do damage and extend the Ottawa lead.
Detroit’s back in action against Ottawa again tomorrow night. They must come out and be ready to face the music, with the Senators bringing that physicality. The Detroit Red Wings must come out and set the tone early, responding big in game two of this back-to-back set.