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Three Stars Of Detroit Red Wings’ 4-3 Preseason Win Over Chicago



Michael Rasmussen, Detroit Red Wings
Michael Rasmussen scored a goal in the Detroit Red Wings' 4-3 preseason win over the Chicago Blackahawks on Wednesday.

Hockey season drew a little closer Wednesday as the Detroit Red Wings rallied for a 4-3 shootout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in their NHL preseason opener on Wednesday. Here’s a look at three players who stood out for the Red Wings

Ryan Express

If Bobby Ryan wanted to draw up a scenario to launch his bid for a spot on the Detroit Red Wings roster, the sketch would’ve probably resembled what he actually did on Wednesday.

The veteran forward is in camp on a pro tryout. He scored the tying goal with the Red Wings net empty and 1:51 to play in the third period. Then he ended the game with a beautiful deke of Chicago goaie Kevin Lankinen to finish the shootout. He also dished out an assist.

I think I have a comfort level in that I’ve been to 17 camps, I understand what camps are all about and I realize it’s about getting to preseason games,” Ryan said of being in camp without a contract. “But you feel like you’re on a shorter leash.

“I can say with absolute certainty you feel tighter and a little more restrictive. I’m fortunate that I’ve been here. I know the coaching staff, I have a good rapport with everyone in the room.”

All That Ras

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill has talked at length about the place on the team that they see evolving for center Michael Rasmussen, and he put a lot of those things into practice on Wednesday.

Rasmussen was a presence on the ice. He occupied a net-front place on the power play. Rasmussen opened the scoring. He jumped into open space and drove hard to the net. Rasmussen made himself available for the pass and one-timed a backhand feed from Adam Erne past Lankinen.

“Just playing, earning ice time, earning games, earning big moments in a game, whether it’s a big face-off, power play, penalty kill, anything,”Rasmussen listed as his goals for the season. “I just want to be someone that our team can hopefully rely on and make big plays.

“Just getting trust and continuing to grow in my role, chipping in in a lot of aspects of the game.”

Stephens Stepping Up

Center Mitchell Stephens was playing opposition for the first time while wearing a Red Wings  jersey. Stephens was also making a strong case that he’ll be someone in the reckoning in the battle for the bottom-six forward roles.

He scored the Red Wings’ second goal. Stephens put a team-high four shots on goal. He delivered a hit and had a takeaway. He skated 19:24 of ice time, second among the team’s forwards behind Erne (19:38). A winner of 60% of his faceoffs, the night also saw Stephens working 3:43 while Detroit was shorthanded.

“I’m excited to show the players, the coaching staff and the management what I can bring to the team and earn opportunities,” Stephens said. “For me, it’s to come in and make a good first impression and sort of show I can help the team win.

Like Erne, who scored a career-high 11 goals for the Red Wings last season, Stephens was an acquisition from the Tampa Bay Lightning

“Adam came into exactly that same situation,” Stephens said. “He came in and he ran with that opportunity that he got here.

“For me, I want to put my best foot forward every day and show that I can contribute and play inside the structure and the system that the coaches want.”