DETROIT — The best indication of Michael Rasmussen’s value to the Detroit Red Wings is the fact that he is among the team’s most requested linemates.
“You know a winger is good when every center starts to come hinting that they would like to play with him,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said, “Or, if I have a talk about a player about their current game, they’re like, ‘Well, when I was with Ras …”
Rasmussen showed off his continuing growth Tuesday when he contributed a goal and an overtime assist to help the Red Wings earn an important 3-2 triumph against the San Jose Sharks. The Red Wings have to beat non-playoff teams if they want to stay in the playoff race.
GAME WINNER IN HOCKEYTOWN 🐙
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The 6-foot-6 Rasmussen now has eight goals and four multiple point games. He was playing with Andrew Copp in overtime and Copp cleaned up Rasmussen’s rebound to score the winner.
“Ras said we won a battle,” Copp said. “He won a battle. Took it right to the cage and I was kind of off to the side. I kind of knew it would find it’s way over there. I pulled it out and put it in an empty net. It wasn’t too tough. He did all the work. Won the battle off the faceoff after I kinda lost it. Then took it right to the cage and both guys kinda went to him.
Lalonde said Rasmussen jumped the Sharks’ faceoff win. He then jammed at the puck three times before the puck ended up on Copp’s stick.
‘I’m getting to know him but he’s always a work-ethic first and he’s getting rewarded with some good play,” Lalonde said. “He’s not a natural finisher. I’m really excited he was involved in two points tonight.”
It’s clear Lalonde likes Rasmussen on the wing more than he likes him at center, although he says Rasmussen is still in the development stage.
“I think the wing frees up what he is, he hunts pucks, he wins battles, he simplifies his game,” Lalonde said.
Larkin Joins 400 Club
Dylan Larkin assisted on Adam Erne’s second period goal for his 400th career NHL point (162-238-400 in 549 Games). Larkin is only the 21st player in Red Wings history to reach the 400-point mark. Larkin (26 years, 178 days) is the fifth-youngest to reach the milestone as a Red Wing, trailing only Steve Yzerman (22 years, 282 days), Gordie Howe (24 years, 300 days), Sergei Fedorov (25 years, 102 days) and John Ogrodnick (25 years, 254 days).
“The biggest thing I look at in Larkin’s game is just his motor and desire to be a good player,” Rasmussen said. “And drive the team on ice, especially, but also in the locker room. I’ve been around him a while, and I’ve seen him mature his game on the ice and as a leader and captain. Just a full package hockey player and a good guy.”
Larkin is only the fifth player from the 2014 NHL Draft class to reach the 400-point mark, joining Leon Draisaitl, David Pastrnak, Brayden Point and Sam Reinhart
Husso has allowed two goals or fewer in 15 of his 33 starts this season…The Detroit Red Wings activated right wing Matt Luff from injured reserve and assigned him to the Grand Rapids Griffins.