The Detroit Red Wings returned home Wednesday night to square off with the Chicago Blackhawks. Detroit entered the night amid a rough six-game losing streak, and with a back-to-back on the horizon against the Boston Bruins o this coming weekend, it was imperative to beat Chicago. Mission accomplished; Detroit won the contest 4-3 thanks to a rally late. It’s always fun to enjoy some Original Six hockey.
Starting goaltender Ville Husso got the nod for the Red Wings in this one. The only healthy scratch was Jordan Oesterle. Head coach Derek Lalonde continued to shuffle his lineup but elected to leave Filip Zadina, who has been playing very well of late, up as a top-six forward. Instead of playing with Dylan Larkin, and Lucas Raymond, Zadina started the contest playing alongside Andrew Copp and Robby Fabbri. Lalonde’s top line consisted of Larkin, Raymond, and veteran David Perron.
The Detroit Red Wings had many good scoring chances in the first period. Zadina had a great opportunity to score early with a loose puck sitting in the crease, but it was just out of his reach. Larkin and Raymond broke in on a two-on-one; Larkin failed to get a pass across to Raymond but got a solid chance after the block. Husso also had a horrible turnover trying to go up the middle with a pass, which led to the Blackhawks ringing the goalpost before Husso could get back to the cage and square to the shooter.
The Detroit Red Wings edged out the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3.
Chicago opened the scoring on the power play. Former Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou started the play at Detroit’s blue line completing a nifty give-and-go with Lukas Reichel, the nephew of Robert Reichel. Reichel then found a wide-open Taylor Raddysh driving to the net. Ben Chiarot was in no man’s land on the mini two-on-one and was left sprawling to make a play but could not do much of anything.
Two minutes later, Raddysh struck again, beating Husso on the glove side from the right wing hash marks. It was a very soft goal that Husso will want back. On the play, Fabbri absorbed a hit on the half wall and was shaken up, leaving it essentially a five-on-four for Chicago. It looked to be a lower body issue for Fabbri, who needed help to Detroit’s room. Fabbri has had three serious knee surgeries already in his career. He would not return.
Dylan Larkin was rewarded a penalty shot in the first period but failed to get a great scoring chance. Larkin tried to go five-hole but somewhat fumbled the puck and was stopped by Alex Stalock. The first period would end 2-0 in favor of Chicago.
The Detroit Red Wings got on the board to cut into Chicago’s lead in the second period thanks to a gorgeous play by defenseman Jake Walman. Walman made a stutter-step at the blue line to create some space and eventually let a wrist shot go from just inside the line that hit a Blackhawks stick and found its way past Stalock. It’s Walman’s seventh goal of the season.
The Detroit Red Wings dominated the second period but could only muster one past Stalock. With five minutes left in the frame, the Red Wings had outshot Chicago 14-1; the period would end with Detroit outshooting Chicago 19-3 and 31-13 through two periods. Stalock stole the show, making save after save, highlighted when he robbed Jonatan Berggren on a one-timer as the Red Wing broke in on a four-on-two.
Larkin tied the game at two late with his 24th of the season in the second period at the 18:34 mark on the power-play thanks to a gorgeous between-the-legs pass from Alex Chiasson. It’s a must-see pass. Chiasson also got a helper on Walman’s goal earlier in the game. Larkin also sits at 60 points on the season.
Joey Anderson gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead in the third period with a firm shot off the draw past the glove of Husso. Detroit got a lousy bounce during the draw, as the puck bounced off Veleno’s stick and right to a waiting Anderson in the slot after neither center could win the draw cleanly.
The Detroit Red Wings would tie it up at three thanks to an excellent effort from Robert Hagg to hold the puck in at the Chicago blue line and send a shot toward the goal that would be awkwardly redirected past Stalock by Lucas Raymond. It would be Raymond’s 16th goal, and Chiarot drew the other assist.
Dominik Kubalik scored the eventual game-winner, his 18th of the season, beating Stalock at the 15:53 mark of the third period to give the Red Wings a 4-3 lead. Gustav Lindstrom found Kubalik from the point all alone at the right-wing circle after a faceoff win from Andrew Copp.
The Detroit Red Wings finished this one by outshooting the Hawks 41-20. Next up for Detroit is a date in Boston Saturday afternoon.