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Red Wings notebook: Bertuzzi showing rust in return to action

Tyler Bertuzzi (broken) had back after missing 16 games



Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings

As would be expected from someone returning to the ice following a 16-game absence, rust was evident in the game of Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi.

“OK, good,” was the assessment that Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde gave of Bertuzzi’s performance.

The left-winger was skating 17:48 of ice time in his first game since breaking his hand in a November 30 contest against the Buffalo Sabres. Bertuzzi suffered his injury when he was struck by a shot from teammate Ben Chiarot. He had barely returned from suffering a break to his other hand while blocking a shot in Detroit’s second game of the season against the New Jersey Devils. That injury wound up costing him 13 games.

Playing just his 10th game of the season, Bertuzzi clearly wasn’t himself. He was held without a point or a shot on goal and was minus-2.

“He got stuck a few times,” Lalonde said. “I think he can manage his shifts better and then he made some of those defensive-zone tired mistakes like the rest of us, but he’s got to go through a process, he’s got to play.

“I think that’ll be good for him. He probably reflected like the rest of our team with our play.”

Seventh Heaven For Red Wings

Detroit was tying a season high for goals by scoring seven times in Tuesday’s 7-5 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. It was also the second time this season that the club garnered goals from seven different scorers.

The seven-goal output was previously accomplished on November 17 at San Jose and December 21 at home against  Tampa Bay. Both games concluded in 7-4 Red Wings victories. Detroit also picked up seven goals from seven different goal scorers in that win over the Sharks.

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“Bottom line is we were looking to find a win and we did that,” Lalonde said. “We finished and we had some hard-area goals. But as much as we’ve stayed positive through some of these losses when playing fairly well, I think our guys do a pretty good job of judging ourselves. I’d be hard-pressed to find a game we played more poorer on the year.

“It’s a lot easier to make some corrections on a win and hopefully we’ll do that tomorrow going into Toronto. Really happy with the guys, we needed this morale-wise, but we weren’t very good tonight.”

Ice Chips

Red Wings goalie Ville Husso (13-8-5) won for just the second time in nine starts . . . Former Red Wings forward Sam Gagner was given a warm reception in his first game at LCA since leaving Detroit for Winnipeg as a UFA . . . Jets coach Rick Bowness was a Red Wings forward during the 1977-78 season . . . With two assists against his original NHL club, center Andrew Copp (20) joined Filip Hronek (22) and Dylan Larkin (21) as Red Wings with 20 assists this season.