3 Takeaways From Red Wings’ Preseason Opening Win

The Hockey Writers

The Detroit Red Wings’ preseason officially started on Tuesday night (Sept. 26) with a home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. While the Penguins played a lineup that consisted of mainly players who will be in the American Hockey League (AHL), the Red Wings dressed a mix of NHLers and AHL-likely players. The game ended in a 4-3 win for the Red Wings.

Newest Red Wings Stand Out

With the numerous moves made by general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman, it would be kind of hard for at least one or two of the newly acquired players not to stand out. The headlining move of the offseason Alex DeBrincat was able to make an impact on the powerplay along with defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. Both players had two powerplay assists and helped make the powerplay look much improved, albeit in a preseason game against a bunch of minor-leaguers.

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With DeBrincat and Gostisbehere on the Red Wings’ first powerplay unit with Dylan Larkin, Moritz Seider and David Perron, the unit was able to control the offensive zone and show good patience while on the ice together, ending in numerous chances to score. Even though the powerplay only converted twice in six opportunities, the first unit looked much improved from last season.

Related: Larkin & DeBrincat Could Be Detroit Red Wings’ Next Dynamic Duo

Building off of the powerplay, DeBrincat was also able to show off some chemistry between himself, Larkin, and Lucas Raymond on the first line together. While the trio did not end up on the scoresheet as an entire line in five-on-five play, they were able to showcase their offensive prowess and give Red Wings fans a glimpse at what could be for the regular season.

Danielson, Other Youngsters Look Solid

The ninth overall pick in this year’s draft, Nate Danielson, was another new addition to the organization that gave fans a glimpse of what the future could hold. Being touted as an all-around player, Danielson showed that off while playing on the third line with Taro Hirose and Jonatan Berggren. His presence was felt throughout the offensive zone, being able to find himself in position off the puck to make a play ending with a goal in the first period. He was also one of the Red Wings’ best defensive forwards throughout the game.

Nate Danielson Detroit Red Wings
Nate Danielson, Detroit Red Wings (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

On the back end of the ice, two young defensemen for the Red Wings further showcased their games in Simon Edvinsson and William Wallinder. Both youngsters were paired up with veteran partners in Jeff Petry and Gostisbehere respectively.

Each of them got on the scoresheet with an assist apiece on Michael Rasmussen’s third-period goal. There is hope that either Edvinsson or Wallinder could possibly make a push for the roster this season and the first preseason game did not temper those hopes.

Edvinsson showed off the physical side of his game with four total hits and also looked solid in the defensive zone. In the offensive zone, he was able to get in on some of the scoring chances the Red Wings had on their 33 total shots.

The aspect of Wallinder’s game that stuck out the most was his smooth skating and like Edvinsson, his offensive prowess. Both young defensemen looked very solid on the back end for the Red Wings in the win.

Rasmussen Makes Presence Felt

After missing the end of last season with a knee injury, Rasmussen played in his first game since Feb. 25 and made his presence felt big time. He made sure that Penguins players knew he was on the ice with his physicality and willingness to mix it up when need be as well.

He was another player that showcased his offensive play, getting involved in numerous chances in the offensive zone, and ended up scoring the game-winning goal in the third period. As a player that is expected to play an important role in the regular season for the Red Wings, Rasmussen’s performance on Tuesday night should make fans excited to see what could happen if he is able to stay healthy this season.

Onto The Next Game

The Red Wings move on to another Eastern Conference foe for their next preseason game when they travel to Washington to play the Capitals on Thursday (Sept. 28). It is expected that a few more of the newly acquired players will be in the lineup as well.

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