The Detroit Red Wings returned to the ice for a matinee contest Saturday afternoon following a hectic trade deadline.
Detroit hit the road to square off with the New York Islanders without Filip Hronek, Tyler Bertuzzi, Jakub Vrana, and Oskar Sundqvist. Detroit signed Alex Chiasson, 32, to a one-year deal to fill the void. Chiasson had been playing with the Grand Rapids Griffins this season, totaling nine goals and 20 points over 29 games. The 6-foot-3 winger has tallied 114 goals and 224 points over 631 NHL games heading into Saturday.
Following the first period, Trevor Thompson of Bally Sports Detroit interviewed Chiasson. The veteran forward was quite emotional, mentioning how excited he is to play for an Original Six franchise and how happy he is to be back in the NHL—a really incredible moment.
The Red Wings also recalled Adam Erne earlier this week. Defenseman Jordan Oesterle also returned to Detroit’s lineup instead of Gustav Lindstrom. With Hronek traded, the Red Wings moved Ben Chiarot over to the right side of the second unit and paired him with Olli Maatta. Over the past few weeks, head coach Derek Lalonde needed to scratch a forward each game, which was rotated between Vrana, Filip Zadina, and Berggren, now with Detroit’s deadline departures, Lalonde isn’t forced to scratch a forward. The Red Wings entered Saturday’s matchup with only 12 forwards on their active roster.
Detroit lost starting goaltender Ville Husso for the weekend after he suffered a minor injury during Friday’s practice. Detroit recalled Alex Nedeljkovic Grand Rapids on an emergency basis to back up Magnus Hellberg. With Detroit set to play Sunday afternoon again, I’d expect to see Nedeljkovic return to the cage against the Flyers.
The New York Islanders beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 Saturday afternoon.
Following a scoreless first period of Saturday’s game, there wasn’t much action to report. Hellberg was peppered early and often as the Islanders outshot the Detroit Red Wings to the tune of 18-6 in the first frame. Detroit’s best two chances of the period came from Lucas Raymond and Filip Zadina. Dominik Kubalik was elevated to Detroit’s top line alongside captain Dylan Larkin and Raymond, with Bertuzzi shipped off to Boston. That comes as no surprise; Kubalik spent a ton of time on Detroit’s top line when Bertuzzi was injured, but now with Detroit all but out of the wild card race, I wouldn’t mind seeing Zadina take a few shifts in Kubalik’s place on the top unit.
The Detroit Red Wings lost defenseman Jake Walman during the second period forcing Lalonde to juggle things.
Captain Dylan Larkin opened the scoring late in the second period with a firm wrister in tight on the power play. A phenomenal pass from the point by Moritz Seider set up the goal. Robby Fabbri received the other assist on the goal. It’s Larkin’s 12th power-play goal and 23rd of the season, and first in seven games. Detroit was fortunate to take a 1-0 lead into the locker room after being outshot 25-13 through two periods.
The New York Islanders broke through in the third period. Zach Parise tied the game at one with a goal from a reasonably tight angle to the right of Hellberg. Hellberg used his right pad to kick out a point shot but right to a waiting Parise. Hellberg made a sprawling attempt with his blocker and seemed to get a piece of the second shot but not enough. That’s one Hellberg will want back; rebound control is vital.
Anders Lee quickly gave the Islanders the lead with his 23rd goal of the season less than three minutes later with a beautiful redirection in front of Hellberg, leaving the Detroit netminder no chance to make the save.
The Islanders made it 3-1 thanks to Kyle Palmieri’s 10th goal of the season, which came on the power play with 4:19 to go in the third period. Dobson’s point shot found its way through a mass of humanity in front of Detroit’s net, and Palmieri got a piece of it. Less than two minutes later, Lee scored his second of the game, and the Red Wings essentially stopped skating late in the third period.
Detroit was outshot 36-23 and, for the most part, left Hellberg out to dry in this one. The Red Wings were just 31.7% in the faceoff circle. Detroit was 1-3 on the power play and 1-2 on the penalty kill.
The Red Wings will try Sunday again at 6 pm Est. in Philadelphia.