Dylan Larkin scored an overtime goal to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals in Washington. The win raises the Red Wings’ record to 4-2-1 to put them in third place in the Atlantic Division.
Here are five takeaways from the game;
Greiss Sharp Again
Thomas Greiss bounced back from a leaky performance against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday with an impressive performance against the Capitals. He made 26 stops, including a game-saver against Tom Wilson who was in alone on Gress with 3:04 left in regulation.
Greiss is now 3-1 on the season. He stopped 88 of 92 shots (.956 save percentage) in his three victories. He was clearly one of Detroit’s primary difference-makers in this game.
“In the third, I thought Greisser stepped up big,” Red Wings coach coach Jeff Blashill said.
Rookies Keep Rising Up
When Dylan Larkin scored the game-winner at 1:37 of OT he was on the ice with youngsters Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider. Raymond drew the first assist for the set-up pass. Seider also drew an assist. They rank first and second in NHL rookie scoring with eight points and six points respectively.
Seven games into their NHL career, Blashill has considerable confidence in their ability. Both rookies handled the puck with composure and purpose before Dylan Larkin ended up burying the winning shot.
“I think (these moments) are important for growth,” Blashill said. “But that’s not why we had them out there. We had them out there because we think they give us a chance to make a real good hockey play and they did.”
OT winner: Here is Dylan Larkin’s snipe that led the Red Wings to the 3-2 comeback win
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) October 28, 2021
Hronek Returns to Lineup
Filip Hronek was back in Detroit’s lineup after being benched for the past two games. Hronek played at a high level, logging a team-high 24:25 minutes. He made a nice play along the boards to set-up Detroit’s first goal by Adam Erne.
Hronek had the assist, plus three shots on goal and two blocked shots. He was also +2 on the night.
Blashill never explained why Hronek was benched.
“(He) competed hard,” Blashill said. “I thought Fil played really good. I think he’s got the mental toughness to come into a situation like that, after being out for a couple of games, and play real good hockey.”
It Wasn’t Just the First Line
The Red Wings were looking for, maybe even expecting, more production from the second and third lines. They got it against the Capitals to rally from a 2-0 deficit.
Adam Erne ended up with a goal and an assist. His goal at 9:17 of the second period launched the comeback.
Coming into the game, the second line had only contributed two goals. But Robbie Fabbri scored his second goal of the season to tie the game. Pius Suter assisted for his first point of the season. Blashill had moved Erne from the third line to the second and he picked up his assist.
Getting the second line going is critical to the Red Wings’ hope of being an improved hockey team.
It’s Not Always About the Numbers
The Red Wings rank 23rd in the NHL on the power play and 26th in penalty-killing. That’s not where they want to be. They surrendered two power play goals — one by Alex Ovechkin — in the first period.
However, the Red Wings had a crucial penalty kill in the third period, highlighted by a major shot block by Mitchell Stephens. Clearly in pain, he pulled himself together and got back on his skates to continue his penalty killing duties.
Had the Red Wings given up another power play goal at that juncture, they might not have even earned a point.
“That’s the difference for us –winning these tight games,” Erne said.