The Detroit Red Wings continue to defy hockey logic. Then again, they’ve been doing that throughout the NHL season.
There’s a reason why teams don’t relish playing catch-up hockey. It’s because as a formula for success, it seldom cuts the mustard.
In a 4-2 New Year’s Eve victory over the Ottawa Senators, the Red Wings once again challenged this age-old formula and came out ahead. For the second time in three games Detroit overcame a multi-goal defict to fashion a victory.
Michigander Austin Watson and Claude Giroux gave Ottawa a 2-0 first-period lead. The Red Wings have been outscored by a combined 7-0 margin in the opening frame of their last three games. On the season, Detroit has been outscored 39-25 in the first period.
Raymond Sparking Red Wings Offense
Detroit got one goal back in the second period. Lucas Raymond drove the net, taking three Ottawa defenders with him. Unable to get a shot off, he zipped a pass to the trailing Pius Suter. The Swiss center snapped a high shot past Senators goalie Cam Talbot. It was Suter’s first goal in 18 games.
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Raymond was assessed a high-sticking double minor in the second period. Detroit was able to kill off the four-minute infraction. That was thanks in part to Ottawa defenseman Thomas Chabot. His hooking penalty wiped out the final 1:35 of the Senators advantage.
Then came the final frame, and Detroit took control. When it comes to the third period, the Red Wings have a habit of finishing first. They’ve outscored the opposition 44-33 in that period.
Three goals in a span of 1:53 gave Detroit the lead before the third period was five minutes old. Raymond tipped an Olli Maatta shot into the Ottawa net at 1:18. Elmer Soderblom made it 3-2, converting a Joe Veleno feed at 2:36. Intercepting a Talbot rim attempt, Michael Rasmussen stuffed the puck into the vacated net for an unassisted goal at 3:13.
Hellberg Gets The Win
Magnus Hellberg got the start in goal for the Red Wings, the first home appearance he’s made in a Detroit uniform. Filling in for an ailing Ville Husso, Hellberg also got the starting nod when the Wings were 6-3 losers on Thursday to the Sabres at Buffalo. It’s the first time all season that someone other than Husso has started successive games in the Detroit net.
With the victory, Detroit was ending an 0-4-1 skid against Ottawa, including an 0-3 run at Little Caesars Arena.