The Detroit Red Wings’ Alex Nedeljkovic looked like he would get a second straight shutout. Then the Kraken rose. Detroit surrendered four unanswered goals in the third period in a 4-2 loss to Seattle Saturday night.
For all the momentum seized by the Red Wings in the second period, it ended as another game they were outshot, outplayed, and inevitably, outscored.
Red Wings Survive Rough First Period
Outshot 10-0 through the first half of the period, Detroit couldn’t get anything generated. The Kraken had several close chances early, but Detroit was bailed out by Nedeljkovic several times. The struggling penalty kill kept Seattle off the scoresheet before Nedeljkovic robbed Morgan Geekie of a sure goal. The Red Wings biggest punch came from Vlad Namestnikov who engaged in fisticuffs with Adam Larsson. Detroit would be outshot 16-6 in the first period.
NED! 😱 pic.twitter.com/X9gbQh549H
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) March 20, 2022
Red Wings Penalty Kill Holds Its Own
Heading into the game, the Detroit Red Wings penalty kill was doing its job at a 50% clip. Facing a crucial 5-on-3 kill in the middle of the second, the Red Wings not only held strong for the 42 second two-man deficit but also scored moments after the second penalty expired. Dylan Larkin all but leapt out of the box on a Seattle miscue, and slid a backhand pass to a waiting Joe Veleno, who buried it for a 1-0 lead.
A big kill and an even bigger momentum shift. Unfortunately for Detroit, it wouldn’t last through the third.
Taro Hirose Making His Case to Stay in Detroit
Hirose scored his first goal of the season as a Red Wing, burying a rebound chance that gave Detroit a 2-0 lead. Hirose has held his own since the call up and undoubtedly helps the power play. With movement likely to happen by Monday’s trade deadline, Hirose could be a candidate to finish the year out in Detroit.
Taco with a PP goal. Now if you could assign assists by the value of puck possession, you'd have to honor Larkin's spin-behind-the-back-pass to Seider
— Red Wings Rant (@BODHockey) March 20, 2022
Kraken Too Much for Detroit in the Third
The third goal ricocheted off of Moritz Seider‘s skate and right through Nedeljkovic’s pads. The Red Wings’ goalie looked absolutely shocked that it found a way through. Worse for him and the Red Wings, they were now down a goal.
Outshot heavily, the Red Wings just couldn’t keep up as the Kraken kept coming. Larsson’s goal powered its way through Nedeljkovic’s arm to cut the deficit to one. Jaden Schwartz scored backhand on what Bally Sports Analyst Chris Osgood called a tough play for Troy Stecher to defend. Gourde then scored on the fluky bounce off Seider’s skate.
Even with the extra man when they pulled the goalie, Detroit struggled to generate anything in the offensive zone. Gourde added an empty net goal and what started as a two-goal lead morphed into a two goal loss.
Monday’s Trade Deadline Looms Large
There could be a number of Red Wings players moved before the 3pm deadline on Monday. Neither Sam Gagner or head coach Jeff Blashill were going to use it as a distraction preventing the team from getting the job done.
“At the end of the day, Monday, the deadline will be over,” Blashill said. “But we’re gonna have a whole bunch of the same guys here and we gotta play better. “