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Red Wings Notebook: Roster Acquisitions Still Delivering For Detroit



Dominik Kubalik, Red Wings
Red Wings forward Dominik Kubalik scored his 20th goal of the season on Thursday.

When the Detroit Red Wings were signing Dominik Kubalik as an unrestricted free agent last summer, had we told you to count on him for 20 goals this season, you would’ve rushed to sign up for that total.

Well guess what? Kubalik was netting his 20th of the season on Thursday, the opening goal as the Red Wings edged the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. On the Detroit roster, only  captain Dylan Larkin (28) is responsible for lighting more red lamps this season than Kubalik.

In fact, look up and down the Detroit roster for Thursday’s win and it was covered in accomplishments from players acquired by GM Steve Yzerman. Forward David Perron, another summer free agent pickup, set up Kubalik’s goal. Perron was the scorer of a hat-trick in Tuesday’s 7-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s been good for 19-29-48 totals this season. Perron has five points (3-2-5) in his last two games, and eight points (5-3-8) in six contests since March 20 vs. Florida.

Defenseman Jake Walman, a 2022 trade-deadline acquisition from the St. Louis Blues, scored the winner with 3.2 seconds left in regulation time on a feed from center Andrew Copp, another free-agent addition. Copp is third on the club with 32 assists.

Even though he didn’t figure in the scoring, the return of defenseman Ben Chiarot following a six-game injury absence was also a welcome, calming sight for the Detroit back end.

“Ben coming back was a huge addition, especially against a really elite team with two elite lines and a good third line,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “We got exposed a little bit with Benny out with some matchups. That helped a ton, too.”

Nedeljkovic A Reliable Stopper

An acquisition from the previous season, goalie Alex Nedeljkovic is also stepping up for Detroit since his recall earlier this month from the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins. He’s won consecutive starts, the first Red Wings goaltender to do so in more than a month.

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“That’s the Ned that we know and he played unreal (Thursday),” Walman said. “A couple of . . . I mean more than a couple of big saves. He for sure won us that game.”

Ice Chips

With less than four seconds remaining in regulation, Walman scored the third-latest go-ahead goal in franchise history, behind
Yzerman (59:58 on Oct. 9, 2003 vs. Los Angeles) and Brendan Shanahan (59:57 on April 4, 1998 at Chicago) . . . Larkin became the first Red Wings skater to score at least 15 power play goals in a single season since Henrik Zetterberg tallied 16
power play goals during the 2007-08 campaign.