Red Wings finally rewarded with victory after playing well enough to win

Detroit News

Detroit — This has been a difficult four-week stretch for the Red Wings.

On Feb. 23, they defeated the New York Rangers and slid into the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Anything seemed possible.

But in the interim, the Wings saw Tyler Bertuzzi, Jakub Vrana, Oskar Sundqvist and Filip Hronek traded. Injuries (Robby Fabbri, Ben Chiarot) cut further into the team’s depth, and the losses began to pile up.

That’s why Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout victory in St. Louis was such a relief.

It was only the third victory in the last 13 games (3-9-1) for the Wings, but it finally was a reward for some recent hard-fought games where the Wings felt they deserved a better fate.

“It wasn’t a great performance, but a lot of these performances (lately) we have been good enough to win, we haven’t found a way to win recently,” forward David Perron said. “Newsy (coach Derek Lalonde) brought up a good point, (about how) part of building a process sometimes is getting those wins. Nashville (a 2-1 loss) and the last game (Monday’s 5-2 loss to Florida), we have to find a way to win when we play good enough.”

Perron returned to St. Louis on Tuesday for the first time since signing with the Wings last summer during free agency.

One of the more popular Blues players in recent years, Perron was given a nice tribute video and plenty of warm cheers and applause throughout the game.

But it was also in St. Louis where Perron experienced an organization learning, and taking steps through the years, before finally winning a Stanley Cup in 2019.

Perron feels any organization, including the Wings, need to experience certain steps before achieving sustained success.

“It’s just important to keep building for the future,” Perron said. “It’s important that you don’t (expect to) miss the playoffs by 20 points and then the next year, you get in and you start making damage. You have to knock on the door. We have to get close, we have to get wins and get that feeling of playing the right way, that it’s important for the team.”

After a difficult stretch of hockey, Lalonde was pleased to see how the Wings responded in a tight, hard-fought game against the Blues.

Playing their third game in four nights, and on the back-end of a back-to-back set on the road, the Wings could have folded falling behind twice.

Instead, they persevered and grabbed a needed two points in the standings.

“We got back to playing the right way,” Lalonde said. “Back-to-back with travel, allowing under 20 shots in regulation, it was an impressive effort. This has a been tough stretch of late. We talk about having something to play for, I give our guys a ton of credit. They played with some urgency.

“I understand what the guys are going through, they keep taking punch after punch, the (trade) deadline, the injuries. It just seems never ending. The guys took a lot of pride and hopefully we can look very similar Thursday (against St. Louis).”

Savage to MSU

A recent Wings draft pick will be closer to the organization.

Forward Red Savage announced Wednesday he’s transferring to Michigan State.

Savage, a 2021 fourth-round draft pick, left Miami (Ohio) for the transfer portal after scoring 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) with a minus-15 rating in 32 games at Miami. Over two seasons, Savage had 13 goals and 17 assists (30 points) in 67 games with the RedHawks.

Savage will be reunited with Michigan State coach Adam Nightingale. Both Savage and Nightingale were part of the Plymouth Township-based United States National Development Program.

Edvinsson update

Lalonde said defenseman Simon Edvinsson will stick with the Wings until Thursday, as the Wings assess some minor injuries to their defense.

Edvinsson is on an emergency recall from Grand Rapids, and when Gustav Lindstrom returned to the lineup against the Blues, Edvinsson’s recall was basically over.

Edvinsson himself was hurt (lower-body) during Monday’s loss against Florida after a collision with defenseman Radko Gudas.

Edvinsson will either return to the Griffins, or be upgraded from an emergency to regular recall.

Blues at Red Wings

▶ Faceoff: 7 p.m. Thursday, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

▶ TV/radio: BSD/97.1 FM

▶ Outlook: The Wings defeated the Blues (31-33-6) 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday, with Lucas Raymond scoring the lone goal in the four-round shootout. … G Joel Hofer has provided a spark for the Blues, going 2-0-1 since being recalled with a 1.32 GAA and .959 SVS,

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan

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