8 observations from the 5-2 road loss to Ottawa

Michael Rasmussen of the Detroit Red Wings. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Rasmussen of the Detroit Red Wings. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Red Wings traveled to Ottawa to take on the Senators to wrap up their weekend series. In what would be the sixth consecutive loss for Detroit and the second straight loss to Ottawa, the Wings fell 5-2 on the road.

1. Line changes around Tyler Bertuzzi’s absence

As yesterday’s game was in Canada, Bertuzzi was unable to travel with the team per COVID restrictions. The lines for this game were questionable at best in what was an attempt to structure things around the Bertuzzi vacancy for the first time since the trade deadline. Prior to the deadline, Namestnikov was a go-to fill in for this vacancy, but without him, Blashill has been left to make new decisions. The top line today was Erne-Larkin-Raymond, followed by Rasmussen-Suter-Vrana, Zadina-Veleno-Sundqvist, then finally Oesterle-Criscuolo-Hirose.

2. Michael Rasmussen and Dylan Larkin with the goals

Just 7:21 into the first period, Rasmussen got the Red Wings on the board with his 10th goal of the season. Assisted by Jakub Vrana and Filip Hronek, Rasmussen took the puck straight to net after snagging it from Stutzle along the boards.

12:25 into the third period, Dylan Larkin lit the lamp once again and made it a 3-2 game. Marc Staal passed the puck to Filip Hronek who took it nearly the length of the ice before passing it to Larkin. Larkin then slipped past the Senators defense and rang one in over the left shoulder of Forsberg- an absolute beauty for his 29th goal of the season.

3. Nasty goal given up by Thomas Greiss

The second Senators goal of the game was one that Greiss likely wanted back. Josh Norris fired the shot from the glove side circle of Greiss- who was just too slow to get in front of the puck that likely could have been saved. It went just above Greiss’ stick side pad and he just couldn’t seem to get his leg, blocker, or stick in front of the puck. This would be Ottawa’s only power play goal of the game and it was a tough one to give up for the Red Wings as they would not reclaim their lead afterward.

4. Red Wings offense was incredibly slow through two periods

In the first 20 minutes, Detroit took only six shots on goal with one of them being the Rasmussen goal. Nine more shots were taken in the second period but no goals were scored- leaving the Wings to be outshot 28-15. By the end of the game, the Red Wings rallied in terms of getting shots on goal, 32-36 in favor of Ottawa, but still fell flat of a win.

5. Josh Norris gets his first career hat trick

Giving up first career hat tricks is nothing new for this Red Wings team as this is the 6th one so far this season. Josh Norris is a native of Oxford, Michigan and a former Michigan Wolverine- so at least this hat trick came from a local kid.

6. The empty net goal tally continues to rise

After yesterday’s game, the 2021-22 Red Wings have allowed 26 empty net goals. Not only is this a franchise record, but it is also the highest number of empty net goals allowed in a season in NHL history. For the 2021-22 season, the Seattle Kraken trail the Red Wings with 22 empty netters allowed- tied for the 2nd most allowed of all-time with the 2017-18 Buffalo Sabres. This is definitely not a great record to break as a young team in the midst of a seemingly endless losing streak.

7. Larkin isn’t hesitating to stick up for his teammates

Midway through the third period, Formenton laid a brutal cross-check on the back of Lucas Raymond as he was skating to the bench for a line change. As this cross-check was completely unwarranted, Larkin came in to defend his teammate and show that he is not taking any crap from anybody. Swiftly taking a couple of jabs and pushes at the Senators skater, Larkin joined Raymond on the bench after making his message clear. Seeing Dylan Larkin take on this attitude in his first season as captain is truly a great thing.

8. Desperately needing something positive

With the way the last half of the season has gone for Detroit, they are all wanting one thing in common: a positive end to the season. In a post-game interview with Dylan Larkin, he says how everyone on the team is playing for something; “You’re playing for a lot here, if that’s not enough you gotta play for the love of the game and come out and enjoy it… I look around and I don’t see a lot of joy, I don’t see a lot of guys having fun and you know we need to change that end enjoy playing hockey.”

The Red Wings prepare to head home to LCA to host the Boston Bruins this Tuesday at 7:30 PM EST. Odds may not be in Detroit’s favor, but the Wings are looking to preform at a higher level than they have the last few games to put up a solid fight.