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The Breakdown: Bertuzzi Steps Into Red Wings Lineup Without Missing A Beat

Back from injury, Tyler Bertuzzi made his NHL preseason debut for the Red Wings on Monday



Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings
Tyler Bertuzzi saw his first NHL preseason action for the Red Wings on Monday.

Tyler Bertuzzi was back in the Detroit Red Wings lineup on Monday and he nearly engineered a comeback from a 3-0 deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Red Wings ended up coming up on the short end of the 3-2 score in their NHL presason game at Little Caesars Arena, but it wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of Detroit’s top forward line.

Reunited with captain Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond, Bertuzzi’s determined board work behind the Pittsburgh and his behind-the-back feed to Larkin in the slot led to Detroit’s second goal with 2:40 left in regulation time.

Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde liked Bertuzzi’s play when he didn’t have the puck as much as the play he made with the puck to set up that goal.

“Impact on the game,” was how Lalonde was assessing Bertuzzi’s performance. “He’s gonna be all over the positives when it comes to the chances for. Obviously made a play on the goalie pull.”

Lalonde also pointed to a play Bertuzzi made early in the third period as a sign of how he’s buying into what the coach is selling to the team.

“Him not being around us a ton, what we’re trying to do away from the puck, kind of take that poach, cheat and lean out of our game, I like that he was committed to some of those things.,” Lalonde said.

“I think his offense happened correctly. It’s a small play but I go to, we’re down 3-0. We get a 2-on-1 our first shift into the third period. It started with a D zone stop which he created. And then the north play ended up with Larks on a 2-on-1 and then a half breakaway there. It started with him being committed in our end.”

Bertuzzi Back, Was It His Back?

Bertuzzi had been out of action since the first day of training camp in Traverse City. He declined to discuss the cause of his absence.

“I was just sore,” was Bertuzzi’s explanation. “Obviously training camp is pretty hard. Some things got moved around.”

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The latter sentence left people to wonder whether it was Bertuzzi’s surgically-repaired back that was of concern.

Facts and Observations

  1. Lalonde was suggesting the game carried a regular-season feel and he certainly was approaching it in that manner. Defenseman Moritz Seider played a game-high 24:20. Bertuzzi (20:07), and defenseman Filip Hronek (20:19) also were topping 20 minutes in ice time
  2. Forward Dominik Kubalik scored Detroit’s other goal. He now has three goals in the preseason, all against Pittsburgh
  3. Defenseman Jeff Petry, son of former Detroit Tigers pitcher Dan Petry, was in the Penguins lineup
  4. Enjoying another solid outing, defenseman Simon Edvinsson led the Red Wings in blocked shots (three) and hits (seven)
  5. The Red Wings announced that 20 of their regular-season games were switching to 7pm ET start times. These include the Oct. 14 home opener against the Montreal Canadiens. A full list of the games now starting at 7pm can be found here