The Detroit Red Wings returned home to take on the Calgary Flames on Sunday afternoon. It’s a quick turnaround for Detroit after beating the Senators 5-2 in Ottawa on Saturday afternoon. The hope on the second of a back-to-back is that the players don’t find their legs fatigued as the game wears on, stuck in cement, so to speak. On a day the Detroit Lions were thumped on the road in Baltimore, could the Red Wings salvage something for Detroit sports fans?
James Reimer got the nod in goal for Detroit following Ville Husso’s marvelous start Saturday. It would be Reimer’s first home start for the Red Wings and second on the season. His first came on the road in Columbus, where he performed exceptionally well, leading the Red Wings to a 4-0 victory.
Following the injury news to forward Robby Fabbri, the Detroit Red Wings recalled Jonatan Berggren, who makes his season debut on a line with Austin Czarnik and Christian Fischer. Klim Kostin will be sidelined for Sunday’s contest. Berggren is coming off a 15-goal, 28-point season as a rookie but didn’t find himself in Detroit to begin the year. Head coach Derek Lalonde also elected to give veteran defenseman Jeff Petry a maintenance day on the second of the back-to-back, making him a healthy scratch.
The Detroit Red Wings torch the Calgary Flames 6-2.
It didn’t take the Detroit Red Wings long to strike Sunday afternoon. Alex DeBrincat put Detroit up 1-0 just 1:59 into the game. Dylan Larkin carried the puck into Calgary’s zone on the left wing and fired a pass toward Lucas Raymond near the goal as he spun to the ice. Raymond sent a backhand pass across the front of the net, but no one was at the side of the goal, so the puck landed at the base of the right-wing wall. Justin Holl picked up the loose change and continued to the back of the net and, just before circling, sent a gorgeous pass in front to a wide-open DeBrincat. It’s DeBrincat’s sixth goal of the season.
We need to start calling Joe Veleno a weekend warrior. Veleno, coming off a two-goal game in Ottawa, remained hot Sunday by putting Detroit up 2-0 midway through the first period. Veleno tipped home a Ben Chiarot point shot. Holl also received an assist on the play, his second of the game.
The first period would come to a close with Detroit up 2-0 while outshooting the Fames to the tune of 14-9.
Like in the first, the Detroit Red Wings struck quickly in the second period. Dylan Larkin and DeBrincat enjoyed a little give-and-go action before DeBrincat sent a cross-ice pass over to Larkin, who somehow found some room over the right shoulder of goaltender Daniel Vladar from a sharp angle. The goal mirrored Veleno’s from Saturday afternoon in Ottawa when he deposited a Daniel Sprong pass top shelf.
The Calgary Flames cut into Detroit’s lead with a goal by Andrew Mangiapane. The Red Wings lost the puck in front of the net; Mangiapane found it and deposited it into the net, breaking Reimer’s shutout streak with the Red Wings.
Detroit would respond just 1:21 later thanks to a SportsCenter top-10 highlight reel goal from, guess who, DeBrincat. Lucas Raymond carried the puck into the offensive zone after Larkin started the play in the defensive corner and made a quick, short pass back to Larkin just inside the zone, who quickly found DeBrincat, a right-handed shot on the left side for a one-timer to make it 4-1 Detroit. DeBrincat’s release is such a thing of beauty; it’s elite.
Calgary did have an answer late in the second period, thanks to Yegor Sharangovich. Sharangovich went all Kenan Thompson and ‘knuckle puck time.’ Sharangovich ripped a shot from just inside the Detroit blue line through defenseman Moritz Seider. The puck was shot while on edge, which really affected its trajectory, and went right over the right shoulder of Reimer. Reimer barely moved, suggesting he didn’t see the shot. Initially, I thought the shot hit Seider’s stick as he reached it out fully extended, trying to defend the rush, but the replay showed the puck on edge and sailing right over Seider’s stick without making contact. Although it didn’t touch Seider’s stick, I can hear Don Cherry yelling at Seider for sticking his stick out that way, trying to defend a shot. It had always been one of his pet peeves.
Following the second frame, the score would be 4-2 in favor of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit also held onto a slim lead in shots (22-19) through two periods.
As they did in each of the first two periods, the Detroit Red Wings struck early in the period. Joe Veleno was tossed from an offensive zone faceoff. Veteran winger David Perron came in for the draw, and it won it to Daniel Sprong on the left wing wall. Sprong quickly sent a pass back to Jake Walman, waiting with his stick cocked. Walman fired a rocket past Vladar.
Before the arena announcer could announce the Walman goal, DeBrincat broke in on a semi-breakaway thanks to an excellent feed from Raymond and buried his third of the game, making it 6-2 Detroit. After all of the different and unique ways to describe it, I’ve elected to roll with the term Cat Trick, his first as a Red Wing—the top line combined for eight points. Holl also received an assist on the play. It would be his third of the game; Raymond also recorded three as well.
As Jim Halpert questioned, what is a rundown? Well, I don’t know, either, but here’s my best guess.
- DeBrincat – 3 goals and one assist
- Holl – 3 assists
- Raymond – 3 assists
- Larkin 1 goal and one assist
- Veleno and Walman each a goal
- Sprong, Chiarot, and Perron all each recorded an assist
- Reimer – 29 saves, two goals against.
The Detroit Red Wings cruised to their fifth straight victory on the season and found themselves atop the Atlantic Division with 10 points. Detroit has scored 30 goals through their first six games of the season. DeBrincat leads the league with 12 points.
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The Bruins sit with eight points and have yet to lose play later Sunday night in Anaheim following the article’s conclusion. Next up for the Detroit Red Wings is the Seattle Kraken at home on Tuesday evening. With every team in action on Tuesday, the NHL has strategically staggered the start times for every game, meaning the puck will drop at 8:15, a bit later than usual.