Detroit Red Wings fans wanted blood for the Jamie Benn hit on Dylan Larkin but would it actually happen? Not only would that answer be no, but the Red Wings may have lost their captain in a game against Dallas for the second straight time.
Filip Zadina and Larkin would each score, but the Red Wings couldn’t overcome an early 3-0 hole and fell to Dallas 5-2. It’s now their third loss in four games.
The Red Wings started brutally slow, looking late to puck battles and several strides slower than Dallas throughout the period. Outshot 12-4 through the period, it was a miracle they were only down 1-0 courtesy of a Ryan Suter goal from the point that found its way through traffic.
The Red Wings would be in a 2-0 hole after public enemy #1 (Benn) redirected a shot from the point. Detroit stepped it up a bit after that, getting a couple chances on net, but were unable to really get deep into the zone outside of the Bertuzzi-Larkin-Raymond line. Raymond fed Larkin on one chance low, but Larkin didn’t get a lot on the puck, and it was an easy save for Jake Oettinger who slid across the crease.
Hintz was next, as he ripped one over Nedeljkovic’s blocker side and Dallas was suddenly up 3-0. But after calling a timeout, Filip Zadina answered with a backhand shot that found its way into the net after a great feed from Sam Gagner on a two-on-one chance. Later, Larkin would bury one bar down just seconds into a Red Wings power play, cutting the deficit to one, 3-2. The top line was buzzing again near the end of the period, where Lucas Raymond had a point blank chance in front of the net, and though he didn’t score, the Wings were in better shape heading into the second intermission.
But the third would start on a down note with Larkin not being on the bench and he would not return. (Editor’s Note: It was later reported that Larkin left the game due to Covid protocol). Pius Suter slotted up to center the top line. Jason Robertson would score just four minutes into the period on a wrap around chance that saw the puck hop off Ned’s stick, his pad and into the net.
The Red Wings struggled to generate chances once Larkin left, which seemingly has been an issue when the captain is out. The Stars added an empty netter to seal it off 5-2, capping off a brutal game to watch.
The Red Wings face Vegas on Thursday with some question marks heading into the contest if Larkin ends up missing some time.