Detroit Red Wings rally to beat Chicago Blackhawks, 4-3, end winless skid at six

Detroit Free Press

The start was rough, falling behind by a pair of goals at home to an opponent near the bottom of the standings, and then losing a teammate to injury.

The Detroit Red Wings were urged by their coach ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Little Caesars Arena to stop feeling sorry for themselves over the trade-deadline dismantling. It took until there were four minutes left in the third period for the Wings to play with a lead, but when they did they made it count, earning a 4-3 victory.

“The message to the guys after is, we talked about not giving up on the season or feeling sorry for ourselves, and that was a perfect example,” coach Derek Lalonde said. “We come out of the first period, 2-0, tough to swallow. And then we have an unbelievable second, it’s 2-2, and then we find ourselves down in the third.

“It was a night where it just was not going our way, and you put that on top of everything that’s gone on in the past week – I give our guys plenty of credit for hanging in there and finding a way to win.”

Dominik Kubalik scored on his former team to end the Wings’ winless skid at six games and make for a happy ending to a challenging night in which Robby Fabbri left in the first period with a lower-body injury.

“It felt really good, especially against them,” Kubalik said. “You always want to beat your old team. Hopefully it is going to give us confidence for the next games.”

Ville Husso got beat twice on 10 shots in the first period. He only faced three in the second. Jake Walman and Dylan Larkin scored in the second period. Joey Anderson pulled Chicago six minutes into the third period, but Lucas Raymond broke a 10-game goal drought when he tipped Robert Hägg’s shot past the midpoint of the period. Final shots favored the Wings, 41-20.

REGAINING THAT FEELING:How Dominik Kubalik is trying to recapture early season scoring touch

When nothing goes right

Coming off two outings their coach deemed winnable (New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers) but which ended up as losses, the Wings’ confidence wasn’t helped by their first period. They overcame having two skaters in the penalty box for 47 seconds only to get scored on during a regular power play, when Andreas Athanasiou fed Lukas Reichel, whose cross-slot pass was finished by Taylor Raddysh, who scored again three minutes later, at 17:58. Then Fabbri limped off after a hit along the boards by Tyler Johnson, and Larkin was denied on a penalty shot.

Second showing

Things started to turn for the Wings early in the second period. Walman fired a shot from just inside the blue line than wobbled through the air, and snuck by Alex Stalock while Pius Suter was in front of the net. Newcomer Alex Chiasson, signed last Friday to restock the lineup after the trade deadline, earned his first point when he assisted on that play. He earned his second point on a neat move that made it 2-2, slipping the puck between his legs on a blind pass to Larkin, who earned his 24th goal of the season.

“We talked about it a little bit before the faceoff,” Chiasson said. “I guess it’s just instinct a little bit.

Athanasiou trade, revisited

Athanasiou made his second appearance at Little Caesars since the 2020 trade deadline, when Steve Yzerman, then in his first year as general manager, sent the one-time 30-goal scorer to the Edmonton Oilers (along with minor leaguer Ryan Kuffner) for second-round picks in 2020 and 2021, and veteran forward Sam Gagner. The 2021 pick is a good example of why Yzerman likes banking draft picks (as he just did last week at the trade deadline) — it was used to acquire defenseman Nick Leddy in the summer of 2021, and Yzerman then flipped Leddy at the 2022 trade deadline for a second-round pick in 2023 and Jake Walman and Oskar Sundqvist.

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

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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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