They lost their captain, but the Detroit Red Wings never lost the plot. And because of that, they are moving even closer to a place in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Downing the Wasington Capitals 3-1 on Tuesday, the Red Wings were playing the majority of the game minus captain Dylan Larkin. He was issued a game misconduct at the 12:43 mark of the opening period. Larkin was given a five-minute major for cross-checking Washington forward T.J. Oshie in the face.
FEELIN' GOOD! pic.twitter.com/Ftvvms5nCq
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 22, 2023
Detroit was up 1-0 when Larkin was ejected. Defenseman Robert Hagg opened the scoring with his first goal for the Red Wings. His previous tally came 76 games ago, Oct. 25, 2021 against the Tampa Bay Lightning while he was a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
It was the 15th goal of Hagg’s NHL career, but his third goal in 15 career games against the Capitals.
Suter Holding Hot Hand For Red Wings
During the five-minute disadvantage, Pius Suter made it 2-0 Red Wings with an unassisted shorthanded goal. Washington got that one back when Tom Wilson was tallying on the power play.
Following a scoreless second frame, Suter scored again in the third period, pouncing on a turnover by Washington defenseman Nick Jensen, the former Red Wing.
With the victory, Detroit improved to 6-1 over the past seven games, completing a five-game road trip with a 4-1 slate. With 62 points, the Red Wings were pulling even in the standings with the Capitals. They sit two points behind the Florida Panthers for the second Eastern Conference Wild Card playoff position.
Forward Jakub Vrana was making his first appearance in the Red Wings lineup since Oct. 15. Vrana was held pointless during the game.
It was also the first time since the Detroit-Washington deal that saw Vrana and Anthony Mantha switch teams that the two players were suiting up against each other. However, it didn’t last long. Mantha left during the second period with an upper body injury.