A number of unlikely outcomes occurred in the Detroit Red Wings stunning 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday night. Falling into a four-goal hole heading into the first intermission, the Red Wings relied on Magnus Hellberg, who they plucked off waivers to fill in for the usually reliable and often outstanding Ville Husso.
It worked–giving Detroit a shot at overcoming the overwhelming deficit, and eventually, rallying from the four goal hole. Not only would they rally, but Jake Walman buried the game winner in overtime, lifting Detroit to a 5-4 victory.
“That’s the Griddy right there,” Walman said of his celebration following the game winning goal via Bally Sports Detroit. “I think all the boys like that all the young kids probably like that, too.”
That might be the understatement of the last six years for a fanbase starving to see the Red Wings back to where they once were.
Hellberg Gives Red Wings a Jolt and a Chance
Husso surrendered four goals on twelve shots, something few would expect from the stalwart. With such doom and gloom in place, it could have been forgiven if the Red Wings spiraled. But Hellberg stoned Penguins captain Sidney Crosby on a point blank chance early in the second, and Detroit, who looked all but dead, found their way back by the second intermission.
Captain Dylan Larkin recorded his 13th goal of the season and Joe Veleno added another as the Red Wings cut the deficit in half through the second period. In the same juncture, they were outshooting Pittsburgh 30-21 through two periods.
They weren’t done, either.
Detroit fed off of the change, scoring a couple goals and Hellberg stood on his head, making 19 saves. Detroit snagged a power play with just over 10 minutes left in the game and they threw everything at the Penguins, including a flurry with just over 30 seconds left in the man advantage.
Nothing found the back of the net. From there, both teams traded chances until Jonatan Berggren slammed home a goal with just over five minutes left on a broken play. Pittsburgh still held a 4-3 advantage. It would be David Perron next, burying a shot just 13 seconds into a power play chance after Pittsburgh was whistled for too many men.
After chasing a four-goal deficit, Detroit tied it. Walman finished it in overtime.
Detroit Shows Resilience in Rally
Previous iterations of the team would have folded almost immediately. But the Lalonde-led Red Wings found a way to rally in spite of what looked like overwhelming odds.
Coming back is one thing. But bailing out of a four-goal hole where they looked a stride behind is another.
If there’s ever a game where momentum in a season could start, here’s one. This is likely the most defined victory of the season in Derek Lalonde’s tenure as coach so far.
Now, what will Detroit follow with tomorrow against Buffalo?