The Detroit Red Wings were blanked by Samuel Ersson and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night 1-0.
The Red Wings struggled to summon much offense until late in the contest when they saw a few great opportunities to score with their net empty. The Flyers, under head coach John Tortorella, play a sound defensive game; they also play a physical brand of hockey and mainly force the Red Wings to the outside or low-danger areas in the offensive zone. When Detroit did get an opportunity from the point or in the slot, the Flyers, so willing to block shots in front of their young netminder, did just that.
The lone goal came from former Michigan Wolverine defenseman Cam York. York, 22, has totaled five goals and 12 points over 30 games this season for the Flyers and skates on the top pairing.
Not only did the Detroit Red Wings lose the game, but they also lost goaltender Alex Lyon.
Alex Lyon, 31, started in goal on Saturday night against his former team but was forced to leave in the second period after making an awkward yet acrobatic save. Lyon stayed on the ice following the whistle and seemed to gesture to his left side as the medical staff began to work. He was able to skate off the ice under his own power but would not be able to return. He made 14 of 15 saves in the contest. The lone goal was perfectly redirected by J.T. Compher, who was guarding a Flyer in front and, as he tried to intercept a centering pass, unfortunately, tipped it into Detroit’s goal over Lyon’s left shoulder.
Ville Husso was pressed into duty after making the previous two starts for the Red Wings. The good news? He looked excellent, and despite having an awful start to the regular season, which piggybacked on a terrible finish to last year, he’s beginning to show signs of breaking out of this extended slump he’s been in. He was perfect Saturday night, turning aside all 18 shots he faced. As of now, it seems like Lyon’s injury will be considered day-to-day as he returned to the bench in the third period. I will say this: day-to-day in Detroit’s language seems to mean more week-to-week, as we’ve found out on numerous occasions of late.
Here’s what Husso said following the game;
"“Again there’s a little injury,” Husso said. “Happened there in the second period. Those are part of hockey I guess. You never want to see that, especially when you’re sitting on the bench. But hopefully he’s okay and will be back soon. For my part, even when you don’t play you still get ready for the game as usual and just try to prepare like it’s your own game. I feel like it wasn’t like anything bad that I jump in like in the middle of the game. I was ready to go.”"
Expect head coach Derek Lalonde to ride the hot hand of Husso over the next few games while Lyon recovers. That implies James Reimer will need to serve as the primary backup and will likely see another opportunity to start over the next week.
The bad luck for forward Robby Fabbri continues. The man is cursed. Fabbri has often been bloodied, and that trend continued on Saturday night. Fabbri was hit up high behind the Flyers’ goal with a crushing shoulder to the head from Rasmus Ristolainen midway through the third frame. Moments later, the play was eventually stopped as Fabbri buried his face into his gloves while on a knee at the end boards to the right of Ersson. As Detroit’s training staff rushed out with a towel and Fabbri exited the ice surface for repairs, the ice crew scrapped some of the blood off the ice. There was no call on the play. The good news is that Fabbri later returned to finish the game. A hockey player, man. A week or so ago, he caught a high stick in the face and later returned with a full cage. The Detroit Red Wings have been without captain Dylan Larkin since that scary scene against Ottawa, and it’s been all hands on deck to try and fill the scoring void. Larkin is skating again and hopes to return this upcoming week.
The Detroit Red Wings do not have much room for error in an air-tight Atlantic Division, and having lost five of their last six games over this current stretch they’re on, they risk falling too far behind the Maple Leafs and Panthers who currently sit second and third in the division with 38 points. The Detroit Red Wings currently sit with 34, one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning.