The Detroit Red Wings looked to get themselves back in the win column on Nov. 22 after dropping both games in the Global Series in Sweden, welcoming in the New Jersey Devils for a Thanksgiving Eve matchup. The Red Wings were also out to even the score against the Devils having lost the season opener to them on Oct. 12. They were able to do this, pulling off a 4-0 shutout victory at Little Caeser’s Arena.
Full 60-Minute Game
One of the biggest issues with the Red Wings so far this season has been the fact that they have not been able to play a full 60-minute game. Whether it be coming out slow in the first period and falling behind their opponent or playing laid back when they have a lead in the later parts of a game, the Red Wings have had issues with this. Against the Devils, this issue seemed to be non-existent though. The team seemed to be ready to play in the first period, finally cashing in their offensive chances with three goals in less than two minutes towards the end of the first period. These chances came thanks to a solid forecheck that caused a handful of turnovers by the Devils, leading to two of the three scoring chances that ended in goals.
Along with the offensive game and forecheck being solid for a full three periods, the team’s defense which has been spotty throughout the season, looked pretty solid. This includes the penalty kill that kept the league’s top powerplay off the board in two opportunities. The team’s defensive play was surely a pleasant surprise in the game, while there were a couple of lapses (after all, no team’s perfect).
Alex Lyon Could Make Goaltending Dilemma Interesting
In just his second game of the season, offseason acquisition Alex Lyon earned himself his first shutout as a Red Wing, stopping all 16 shots that he faced. While he was not kept as busy as his counterpart in Vitek Vanecek (28 shots), when he was tasked with shutting down the Devils, he answered the bell. There were very few situations in the game where Lyon gave the Devils a second chance shot and tracked the puck solidly throughout the game as well.
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It has only been a small sample size, but Lyon’s performance so far has been solid and could make the goaltending situation the Red Wings have a tad bit more interesting. While the team has hoped for Ville Husso to take the reins and step up as the number one, he has struggled throughout the season and James Reimer has also looked spotty throughout his time in the net for the Red Wings. If Lyon can continue to take the chances and opportunities he is given by Derek Lalonde, there is a solid possibility that he could see more of a workload as the season goes on.
11/7 Lineup Continues to Work for Red Wings
While some fans were disappointed when the lineup came out for the Red Wings and saw that Klim Kostin was not in it, the 11/7 lineup that Lalonde continues to use sporadically seems to work for the team. They have now gone 4-0 this season when this setup has been used.
With the rotation of two more offseason acquisitions, Daniel Sprong and Christian Fischer being the “10th and 11th” guys, it seemed to allow the Red Wings to shuffle players around to give them an advantage in different situations and throw some curveballs at the Devils, keeping them on their toes. Speaking of Sprong and Fischer, they both seemed to be able to cause havoc in the offensive zone with their hard forechecking and Fischer’s physical play definitely helped that cause.
Another player who benefited from the lineup setup is Joe Veleno, who earned his way up to the first line and also rotated from the winger spot to center throughout the game as well. He played another solid game on both ends of the ice and got himself on the scoresheet with an assist on Robby Fabbri’s first-period goal. On the back end, with seven defensemen dressed, Jake Walman and Moritz Seider did not get broken up as the top pairing (as expected), but Shayne Gostisbehere slid in as the seventh defenseman and was solid.
Other Game Notes
- The Devils had gone 101 games without being shut out before the game against the Red Wings.
- Captain Dylan Larkin was able to break out of his pointless streak, scoring in the first period to end the streak at five games. The goal also pushed his personal point streak against the Devils to seven games.
- Lyon earned the second shutout of his career, with his first coming last season with the Panthers in April against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
- Lucas Raymond’s hot stick continued with his fourth goal in the last five games.
What’s Next for the Red Wings
The team is off for Thanksgiving until a Black Friday matchup when they travel to Boston to play the Bruins for an afternoon game on Nov. 24, before returning home against the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 26.