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The Breakdown: Big Line Comes Up Big For Red Wings

Elmer Soderblom first Red Wings player to score in his NHL debut since Dylan Larkin in 2015

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Elmer Soderblom, Red Wings
Red Wings forward Elmer Soderblom scored in his NHL debut.

The unit of captain Dylan Larkin between Lucas Raymond and Tyler Bertuzzi remains the top line for the Detroit Red Wings. However, Michael Rasmussen, Oskar Sundqvist and Elmer Soderblom are establishing their credentials as the team’s big line.

With Swedish rookie Soderblom netting the game-winner in his NHL debut, the Red Wings blanked the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 in their regular-season opener at Little Caesars Arena.

The game was scoreless until early in the third period. Rasmussen won a puck battle behind the Montreal net. Circling out front, his stuff attempt was foiled by Canadiens goalie Jake Allen. Soderblom was right there in the slot to bury the rebound.

Red Wings Sizing Up Opposition

“It’s hard to describe but it was an unbelievable feeling and really fun to play,” Soderblom said of his thrilling NHL bow. His parents Martin and Susanne were on hand to see it in person, flying in from Sweden for the game.

By combining the 6-8 Soderblom with the 6-6 Rasmussen and 6-3 Sundqvist, Detroit coach Derek Lalonde might be giving the Red Wings the largest line in NHL history.

“That was the vision of putting that line together,” said Lalonde, who won his debut as an NHL head coach. “Then when it came to fruition there it was very exciting.

“I really thought they set themselves up and they got the hard goal from below the goal line, which is exciting.”

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Also making his Detroit debut, Husso stopped 29 shots for the shutout, but gave the credit to the stout defensive effort the team was provding in front of him.

“It makes the goalie game easy,” Husso explained. “You know from where the shot is coming. You know all the little things.

“It’s just you trust them and they trust you.”

Scoring empty-net goals were Rasmussen, who finished the game with three points (1-2-3) and Olli Maatta.

Red Wings Facts & Observations

  1. The Rasmussen-Soderblom-Sundqvist line wound up finishing the game with six points (2-4-6).
  2. Husso and Soderblom were among eight players making their Red Wings debut on Friday. They included defensemen Maatta, Robert Hagg, and Ben Chiarot and forwards Andrew Copp. David Perron, and Dominik Kubalik. Only Soderblom was also making his NHL debut
  3. Perron and Chiarot wore A’s in the opener. Lalonde indicated two different players will wear the A’s in Saturday’s game at New Jersey and he’ll continue to rotate the letters through the lineup
  4. Captain Dylan Larkin is the only Detroit player still with the team who played for the Red Wings in the first-ever game at LCA on Oct. 5, 2017.
  5. Three players were sent from AHL Grand Rapids to ECHL Toledo on Friday, including goalie Sebastian Cossa, a 2021 Red Wings first-round draft pick. Also assigned to the Waleye were forwards Trenton Bliss and Kirill Tyutyayev.
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