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Red Wings Notebook: Fourth Line Rare Bright Spot for Struggling Detroit

Detroit’s fourth line has three goals over the past two games



Michael Rasmussen, Detroit Red Wings
Since moving Michael Rasmussen in as center, the Red Wings fourth line is clicking.

There’s not been to get excited about lately as the Detroit Red Wings stumbled to a 2-4-2 record over the past eight games following a 5-1 start to the NHL season. However, there’s at least a glimmer of hope in the work of late being put in by the revamped fourth line.

A unit with Michael Rasmussen at center between Klim Kostin and Christian Fischer is responsible for three of the club’s past five goals. They accounted for the second goal in Thursday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Rasmussen tossed a puck toward the goal with Fischer driving the net. It glanced in off of Fischer’s left glove.

“Simple, north, to the net, forecheck,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said, describing the line’s style. “Their goal that got us back in the game was just a classic forecheck goal. Fischer’s standing in the blue paint. Maybe a little fortunate because it probably did go off his hand but the right call.

“He’s just standing in the hard area. Good on them and they’ve given us a lift.”

Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin was also taking notice of the work of the fourth line, pointing out that the other three forward units might want to be taking notes.

“Our fourth line has been the best line for us the past week and they’re playing simple, they’re getting pucks behind, they’re forechecking hard and winning back and attacking the net,” Larkin said. “It’s something we’ll have to look to and we all have to play like that.”

Red Wings Lalonde Angry Over Non-Call

While it was officials calling a rare holding the stick call against Detroit goalie James Reimer that was leading to Montreal’s OT winner, it was an infraction they weren’t calling that was leaving Lalonde hot under the collar.

Not normally a coach to criticize officials, Lalonde put referee Brandon Blandina on blast for not issuing a penalty to Montreal defenseman Jordan Harris for slamming Detroit forward Austin Czarnik hard into the boards late in the third period.

“I’m not that concerned about Reimer’s penalty,” Lalonde said. “I was concerned about the player’s safety with Austin Czarnik. Five minutes left and he gets barreled into the boards. The classic push on the hip and he’s out for the rest of the game.

“Could’ve broken his leg and Brandon decides not to call that? I’m just disappointed in that one, because Harris could’ve hurt him seriously.”

Then There Was Three

Montreal’s Cayden Primeau – Keith’s kid – is the third goalie who is the son of a Red Wings player to beat the Red Wings.

Andy Brown, son of former Red Wings forward Adam Brown, blanked the Wings 8-0 on March 24, 1974. Pat Riggin, whose dad Dennis was a Detroit goalie, went 6-3-2 in his NHL career against the Red Wings.