Detroit Red Wings fans were downright giddy when Jonatan Berggren was called up Thursday night. The anticipation only increased when he assisted on Joe Veleno’s goal in the first period.
It was one of the few bright spots in Detroit’s 8-2 loss at the hands of the New York Rangers. The goal seized some momentum as the Red Wings were trailing 1-0 late in the first period. It also revealed that the chemistry Berggren and Veleno had in Grand Rapids last season could potentially transfer to the big club.
Here’s a look at how the goal was scored.
Red Wings Used Speed To Generate the Scoring Chance
The play began in Detroit’s end, with Veleno corralling the puck just inside the right circle with 1:20 left. Two Rangers try to cut Veleno off in his own end but he’s able to escape by cutting to his right and cutting for the middle of the ice. At this point, three Rangers are now chasing as Berggren waits just ahead of the red line. Austin Czarnik waits to Veleno’s left, suddenly opening up possibilities. Veleno has a couple options now.
Veleno as you see above, sees Berggren to his right and in the next frame, chooses to take another stride or two before firing the pass to his linemate.
Berggren takes the pass and skates back into the Rangers zone, with Czarnik now in the zone and Veleno hitting his stride in the neutral zone as he crosses the red line. If Veleno hurries, the Red Wings have a potential three-on-two chance.
Berggren’s Skill and Veleno’s Speed Create the Chance
With the back checking Rangers closing in, Veleno bursts through the zone and now Berggren has a sliver of time to make a pass before the scoring chance is lost. Czarnik is going to go to the net while Veleno is already looking for the pass.
In the next frame below, Czarnik ties up the Rangers’ Alexis Lafrenière while Veleno has received the pass. The Rangers have caught up, nullifying any kind of odd-man advantage. Veleno will have to be quick with his decision.
Veleno keeps it simple and in less than half a stride, uses Czarnik and Lafrenière as a partial screen. He rips the shot past Igor Shesterkin and the Red Wings have tied the game at one.
Red Wings Fourth Line Was Strong Thursday Night
It was an impressive start for Berggren, who notched his first career NHL point with the assist. The fourth liners all averaged over 14 minutes in the loss but certainly held strong with one of the two tallies.
With Berggren going along with the team on the four-game road trip, the opportunity presents itself again for the three to build on their performance against New York.