A chaotic second period left the Detroit Red Wings without their head coach, but the third period left them with a victory to celebrate.
Tuesday’s outing against the Pittsburgh Penguins began well and ended with a 7-4 victory thanks to a hat trick from David Perron. Fans jeered Sidney Crosby shortly after Perron’s third goal, on what was an eventful night at Little Caesars Arena.
Derek Lalonde was ejected after arguing a call on the goal that made leveled the lead the Wings had built on goals from Jonatan Berggren, Andrew Copp and Dominik Kubalik.
Perron put the Wings ahead at 4:05 of the third period, but Josh Archibald countered with a wrap-around goal 81 seconds later. Soon after that, the Wings were faced with a sixth penalty kill. Perron scored again during the Wings’ third power play, with 3:40 remaining in the game, and completed his hat trick 25 seconds later. Dylan Larkin scored an empty net goal in the final minute.
The Wings, who went 0-for-7 on man advantages in their previous outing, had their first power play just short of six minutes. They generated three shots on Casey DeSmith, building some momentum. Mark Friedman went to the box a second straight time at 9:03, putting the Wings back on a power play. There was one second left when Berggren knocked the puck in the net, scoring for the first time in 12 games. Thirty-four seconds after Berggren’s goal, the Wings built on their lead. Moritz Seider shot the puck from the point, and Copp tipped it from the slot, making it 2-0 at 11:37. The penalty killers took care of a two-minute stretch while Austin Czarnik, who had an assist on Berggren’s goal, sat for holding. The Wings’ advantage grew at 16:07, when it was Gustav Lindstrom who fired a shot on net and Kubalik who was credited with the redirection, giving him his 19th goal of the season.
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The second period did not go well for the Wings. The Penguins pulled within a goal when Jason Zucker took advantage of chaos around the net to score 3:40 into the second period. Lindstrom took a tripping call at 6:44, and Jake Walman was called for hooking Evgeni Malkin at 7:21, giving the Penguins two extra skaters for 1:23. Jake Guentzel needed only 27 seconds to convert.
Then came more chaos. While the Penguins were still on a power play, the puck appeared to cross the goal line, but no call was made. Upon review, the NHL’s Situation Room in Toronto informed officials that the puck completely crossed the goal line. The Wings then challenged goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic had been interfered with, but video review led officials to conclude no goaltender interference occurred before Jeff Carter’s goal. That set off Lalonde, whose curse-filled tirade earned him an ejection.
Alex Chiasson was the latest forward sidelined by injury (joining Filip Zadina, Michael Rasmussen and Robby Fabbri), leading the Wings to call up Taro Hirose under emergency conditions. Hirose, 26, joined the Wings as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State in 2019, had some early success, producing seven points his first 10 games and earning the nickname “Taco” courtesy of then-Wing Thomas Vanek. Hirose earns his living in the minors, but he’s logged 57 career games in the NHL over the past four seasons.
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On the back end, defenseman Simon Edvinsson was a healthy scratch. Derek Lalonde called it a game-management decision; Edvinsson has played three, and can play six more without triggering the first year of his entry-level contract.
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.