Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde likes to talk about commitment. Wednesday, he was talking about goalie Ville Husso committing larceny.
Posting his third shutout of the season, Husso made 26 saves to backstop Detroit to a 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators.
“This is probably the first goalie complete win,” Lalonde explained. “He stole the game.”
This was Husso’s third shutout in 13 starts this season. He also blanked Montreal on Oct. 14 and the New York Islanders on Nov. 5. All the zeroes were recorded at Little Caesars Arena and by identical 3-0 scores. However, there clearly was something different about this Husso shutout.
Ville Husso improved to 8-2-3 through his first 13 appearances with the @DetroitRedWings with a 2.36 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and three shutouts.#NHLStats: https://t.co/JlYzpSW8wB pic.twitter.com/cvRmKVCvLW
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 24, 2022
“He’s been great, he’s been solid,” Lalonde said. “There’s games when we’ve been really good in front of him and he hasn’t had to do a ton, but tonight he was the difference in the game.
“He was the best player on the ice and if he’s not that good in the second, even in the third, we’re probably looking at a different outcome.”
Big Red Wings Penalty Kill
After captain Dylan Larkin opened the scoring, Detroit was facing a 5-on-3 penalty kill for 1:37 in the second period. Making matters worse, it was the Red Wings’ top defense pairing of Moritz Seider and Ben Chiarot who were in the penalty box.
Husso was a brick wall between the posts during this shorthanded span. Highlighting her performance were a pair of cross-crease sliding saves on point-blank drives.
“It was incredible,” Larkin said. “We had a big five-on-three kill early in the season and it was blocks and guys laying out on the line. But that kill there was with Huss making some big saves and the crowd going crazy.”
Filip Hronek and Michael Rasmussen also scored for the Red Wings, winners of three in a row.
The Hellberg Chronicles
If you were surprised by the Red Wings claiming goalie Magnus Hellberg on waivers, you’re not alone.
“That was news to me also,” Lalonde said. “That’s not something we talked about as a group.”
Evidently, Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman is concerned by the struggles of Alex Nedeljkovic and also by the fact it doesn’t appear that either the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins goalies, Jussi Olkinuora or Victor Brattstrom, could fill in at the NHL level.
“Steve called me today,” Lalone said. “His exact words were, ‘We have a lot of hockey coming up. We have a roster spot.’ I think it gives us another option if one of our two goalies here goes down.
“I don’t follow GR as closely as I probably should. I think we would like another option if something goes wrong with our top two guys. Literally Steve’s exact words.”
Facts And Observations
- The outcme was Detroit’s first victory against Nashville since Feb. 25, 2021, snapping a six-game winless streak (0-5-1)
- The three-game win streak for the Red Wings is matching a season high set from November 3-6
- Husso joined Hap Holmes (4 in 1926-27) and Dolly Dolson (3 in 1928-29) as the only Detroit goalies to post at least three shutouts in their first 15 games with the club
- Hronek recorded a power play goal and an assist to extend his point streak to five-consecutive games (5-2-7)
- David Perron tallied the lone assist on Larkin’s goal to extend his point streak to five-straight games (1-7-8)