Connect with us

Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Persevere, Live to Fight Another Day



Dylan Larkin, Red Wings
Dylan Larkin's OT goal Saturday at Toronto kept the Red Wings playoff hopes alive.

In a game that would amount to a Cliff’s Notes version of the Detroit Red Wings season, the resilience that this club continues to display once again rose to the fore to save the day . . . and the season, for that matter.

Captain Dylan Larkin’s redirect of a Patrick Kane shot in overtime gave the Red Wings a 5-4 road victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. It also kept the flame burning on the club’s flickering playoff hopes.

“It’s just a sample size of what we’ve been going through,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin told Bally Sports Detroit.

With two games left to play in the regular season, the Red Wings, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers each sit with 87 points. Washington is holding the eighth and final playoff spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference via tiebreaker. Pittsburgh, 6-4 losers at Boston, are at 86 points.

In fact, had the Red Wings fallen to the Leafs in regulation time on Saturday, they would’ve been eliminated from postseason contention. Detroit will finish the season with two against the Montreal Canadiens – at home Monday and on the road Tuesday.

Red Wings Squander Fast Start

Just like late February, when the Wings were leading the playoff chase by a vast gulf of eight points, the first period couldn’t have gone much better for Detroit. The team took a 4-1 lead to the dressing room after 20 minutes, Alex DeBrincat would score twice in the frame, just his second and third goals over the past 21 games. Defenseman Simon Edvinsson potted his first of the season.

Then, much like the month of March when Detroit would endure an eight-game losing skid, the script was flipped. Netting three goals, Toronto would tie the game,

“I think in the second period we gave up a little too much, obviously,” DeBrincat said. “Didn’t play north enough and obviously it ended up in our net.

“Third period, we tried to get back to what we did in the first and thought we did a good job but obviously to win is huge for us.”

Red Wings Killers Come Up Huge

The Leafs would be given the chance to win it on a power play in the final moments of regulation time after Kane went off for high sticking. But they held firm against a Leafs power-play unit that had already counted twice in the game.

“I think I was on the ice for most of the penalty kill, so I was breathing through my eyes and just trying to gut it out,” Larkin said.

Then the story would do another 180. Toronto’s Max Domi went to the bin, setting the stage for Larkin’s OT winner.

Reimer A Winner In Milestone Game

Getting the start in what was his 500th NHL game, Detroit goalie James Reimer would make 32 saves to beat his first NHL team.

“We were happy to get it to the intermission with how the second period went,” Larkin said. “Our message was win a period, win a game.

“It ended up that it went a little bit extra but we got two points and Reims was a huge part of it in his 500th game. I can’t be happier for him.”