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Red Wings Run on Larkin So Far This Season

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Though the Detroit Red Wings lost to the Buffalo Sabres Monday night, it was a short-handed goal by captain Dylan Larkin that pulled them within a goal.

Alas, Buffalo would answer that with four of its own to take the game 8-3.

But it didn’t underscore the importance that Larkin has brought to the team early on this season.

Red Wings Feeding off Larkin’s Performance

Larkin has 11 points (5-6) and now is tied for the team lead with Dominik Kubalik. But it’s been Larkin leading rushes, while creating scoring chances out of disruptive defensive plays in his own end. It was the story again with the shorthanded marker on Monday night, with a little puck luck involved, too.

On the goal scoring play, Larkin was aggressive on the kill, chasing the puck and causing some uneasy keep away passing from Buffalo. Larkin then skated through the left circle, intercepted a pass from Owen Power, and was skating the other way with Andrew Copp to his left.

The rush ended with the puck behind Buffalo goalie Eric Comrie.

Red Wings Run on Larkin

Larkin is in the final year of his contract and he’s certainly playing for–and making his strongest case yet for a hefty raise. But through his play–and also his words–Larkin is doing everything he can to nudge the team forward out of a rebuild.

Take for example his comments following Detroit’s drubbing. Larkin insisted that the Red Wings were missing the “it” that can be the difference between a one goal deficit and the five-goal chasm that existed once the final horn sounded.

“We’ve got to find it,” Larkin said while being interviewed on Bally Sports Detroit. “It being the pride of you get into games. A one goal game there in the third. Two goal game. Let’s go, let’s win battles,. Let’s make it an even game and we just lost some battles tonight.”

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Larkin’s rookie season included a trip to the postseason, a five game loss to Tampa Bay in the opening round. A year later, Detroit would miss for the first time in a quarter century, a streak that has continued into this season. So for Larkin, who experienced the postseason just once and some lean years for his latter six seasons, he’s pushing for his eighth season to be one of momentum out of the rebuild and into contention again.

Be it this year or beyond.

But if the early start to the season is any indication–as Larkin goes, so too, will the Red Wings.

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