Recap: Detroit Red Wings fall 4-3 to Devils in season opener

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It’s time. The Detroit Red Wings 2023-24 season is officially underway. The Red Wings kicked things off with a match-up against the New Jersey Devils as they headed east to open up the season.

Out of the gates, the Detroit Red Wings had all the momentum in the world. The Red Wings were putting the pressure on the Devils, flipping the ice, and doing what they could to get some quality scoring chances.

On the flipside, the Devils came back in the second period and tilted the ice the other way. On top of that, both goalies were stellar. The Red Wings and Devils saw their respective netminders make some huge saves to keep them in games.

Jack Hughes was the driving force in the second, really shifting momentum in favor of the Devils as play headed into the third. The Red Wings battled back but could not retake the lead and ended up falling.

Detroit Red Wings fall in season opener against New Jersey.

1st Period

The Detroit Red Wings got started early. They did a ton to put pressure on the Devils. The shots were heavy in favor of Detroit before, and it felt like the Red Wings were putting tons of pressure on the Devils to make decisions and move the puck, creating some turnovers.

Jake Walman took an interference penalty, but Detroit looked solid as they defended it. They maintained a good setup in the defensive zone and were aggressive to an extent, allowing them to create a couple of scoring chances on the penalty kill.

The Red Wings were awarded a powerplay after the penalty kill and looked good even if nothing came of it. They created some scoring chances, but another puck off the post proved to be the issue. Klim Kostin rang one off the iron early on, and then Daniel Sprong fired a missile off the pipe from the point while on the powerplay.

Later on, Jeff Petry took a holding penalty in the same play. Christian Fischer was hit by a follow-through on a shot from Tim Meier. He took a stick to the face and headed down the tunnel immediately after leaving the ice.

The Devils took a penalty soon after, leading to some 4-on-4 hockey. Both teams maximized on the open space and created a couple of scoring chances, but neither side found the twine. The Red Wings ended up with another quality scoring chance, but Lucas Raymond whiffed. Sending things to the first intermission in a 0-0 standoff.

2nd Period

The tune of the game stayed pretty similar into the second period. Though New Jersey jumped back into the game a bit, stealing some of the momentum from Detroit. Albeit, the Red Wings also were going against Vitek Vanecek, who was exceptional between the pipes. He made some tough saves and continued to do so well into the second period.

Both netminders, for that matter, were solid. Husso was exceptional working side-to-side for Detroit and did a good job keeping the Devils off the board. A little after the halfway point in this one, the Red Wings were able to grab a 1-0 lead by way of some gritty play.

The Red Wings put some pressure on the Devils in the offensive zone, crashing hard down low. the puck was cycled along the boards, and Michael Rasmussen ended up getting on one the net. Daniel Sprong had become free up high after cycling along the boards; he crashed hard, got a stick on the puck, and it ended up squeaking through Vanecek’s legs for the goal.

Jack Hughes got things going after the Red Wings got out to a 1-0 lead. He picked up a powerplay goal, tying things up at one apiece. Hughes was streaking down the side, creating some space, and he carried it down to the goal line and then fired one into the gap left by Husso, finding enough space to squeak it behind Husso.

It did not take long before the Devils got involved again. Hughes found the back of the net with just over a minute to go in the second. He carried the puck into the zone, cut across the circle, and then glided to the slot, taking Husso with him, before shooting far side to find the back of the net for his second goal of the game. Hughes collected his second and sent things to the break with a 2-1 score in favor of the Devils.

3rd Period

Both teams were battling, but a penalty call on Jack Hughes for slashing led to the Red Wings climbing back into it. The Red Wings were able to tie things at two after Alex DeBrincat scored his first goal after being acquired this off-season.

Dylan Larkin cut toward the middle of the ice, ended up in the slot, and the puck ended up on the stick of Alex DeBrincat, who was just above the slot near the top of the circles. He corralled it and fired it home to beat Vanecek to tie things up at two.

After that, there was some hope the Red Wings could come back. It was Dougie Hamilton who ended up giving the Devils the lead once again. He let a shot rip from the point and was able to beat Husso to make it a 3-2 game in favor of New Jersey.

After that, with 2:40 left, Jeff Petry took a penalty, which made it seem like it was over and the rest of the clock would be eaten up. Jesper Bratt ended up taking a penalty against Dylan Larkin soon after, making it a bit of 4-on-4 action. The Red Wings opted to pull the goalie and try to spark the offense.

The Devils put some pucks on the empty net, but Erik Haula banged it home to make it 4-2 with 1:31 left on the clock. But the Red Wings did not give in. They continued to put up a fight and ended up pulling the goalie once more.

The result was a goal from Robby Fabbri. There was a puck loose in front of the net that got directed out front by J.T. Compher, who was in a battle for it. It shot across the crease, and Fabbri jumped on it, sneaking it past Vanecek to make it a 4-3 ballgame.

The Red Wings showed plenty to like, coming out strong and showing some momentum. But there were also a bunch of penalties and things to clean up. Detroit will head home for the home opener on Saturday against Tampa Bay.

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