Captain Dylan Larkin was back in the Detroit Red Wings’ lineup Sunday against the Vegas Golden Knights after missing three games with “personal” issues.
The Red Wings never explained why Larkin wasn’t with the team.
He last played eight days ago when the Red Wings lost 5-4 to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Red Wings were 1-2 with Larkin out of the lineup. They lost to the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins on the road, and then beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in overtime last night.
Pius Suter played center on Detroit’s No. 1 line against the Sabres, but Larkin was back between Lucas Raymond and Tyler Bertuzzi against the Golden Knights. Bertuzzi is coming off a two-goal game and Raymond posted a three-assist game against Buffalo.
Unknown Whether Dylan Larkin has Been Skating
Larkin spent the offseason rehabbing an injured neck injury. He also missed a game earlier in the season when he was suspended by the NHL for throwing a gloved-punch during a scrum. Larkin has eight points in eight games this season.
It’s unknown whether Larkin worked out or skated during his time away from the team. The Red Wings returned center Joe Veleno to their American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids. Veleno was brought up originally to fill the roster spot vacated by Bertuzzi who can’t play in Canada because he isn’t vaccinated. He stayed with the team when Larkin left the team.
Veleno has demonstrated he can play in the NHL, but coach Jeff Blashill has said he needs Veleno to be able to help the Red Wings win. In other words, Veleno can’t just hold his own. He needs to be a difference-maker to stay up. Otherwise, the Red Wings would prefer he stay in Grand Rapids and play on a top line.
The Red Wings’ offense struggled without Larkin. They were outscored by a cumulative score of 8-1 against Montreal and Boston. They fell behind 3-1 before rallying to win in Buffalo.