Detroit Red Wings earn second straight win, defeat Chicago Blackhawks 5-3
No Dylan Larkin, no problem for the Red Wings, at least this one night.
After Larkin returned to Detroit with an upper body injury, the Wings held out without their captain on Saturday when they beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3.
Bobby Ryan, Darren Helm, Christian Djoos – Evgeny Svechnikov (in his first game of the season) and Frans Nielsen scored a goal for the Wings while goalkeeper Jonathan Bernier continued his good run with 33 saves.
Head coach Jeff Blashill said before the game Larkin would miss the Chicago two-game series after injuring himself against Nashville on Thursday. Larkin joined Tyler Bertuzzi (upper body), two players in the top row of the wings who were unavailable to play.
“We have to win as a team,” said coach Jeff Blashill. “We didn’t win enough as a team, but we worked hard as a team and the guys worked for each other, competed against each other and I can say that for sure.
“If you miss two big pieces like Dylan and Tyler, you have to dig in and our boys have dug themselves in. We’ve got the last couple of games and we need a low score.”
The Wings (7-13-3) reached their season high of five goals for the second time in a row and scored a second win in a row for the first time this season.
“It sure feels good to score a goal. We’re struggling with that,” said Nielsen. “We’ve lost that fight (special teams) a lot this season and when you lose that it’s hard to win. You have to be good at this area. It’s nice that it went our way.”
Alex DeBrincat (Farmington Hills), Mattias Janmark and Dominik Kubalik scored for the Blackhawks (11-7-4).
BOX SCORE: Red Wings 5, Blackhawks 3
Djoos’ power play goal (the first of the wings in 15 games) gave the wings a 3-1 lead at 18:27 in the second half. Djoos worked his way through the slot and beat shielded goalkeeper Malcolm Subban.
“This is obviously an area of the game where we haven’t won a lot of special teamfights,” said Blashill. “That was a big part of the game, a big power play goal right now.”
Svechnikov then increased the lead to 4-1 by 2:33 of the third period.
After Subban stopped him on a runaway, Svechnikov stayed near the post, jamming a loose puck of Nielsen’s shot for his first goal of the season.
“Very good moment,” said Svechnikov. “I definitely worked hard for it. I was patient and stuck with it. I was hoping. I knew the chance would come and I got ready.
“It’s always difficult, but you have to stay professional and stick with it. I was able to stick with it mentally and it went pretty well.”
Chicago passed Bernier within two goals, 4-2, after Janmark’s distraction. But Bernier made several key stops as the Blackhawks shot up, and the saves became even more important when Svechnikov centered a pass on Nielsen that ran in the middle. Nielsen scored his first goal and the first since February 29, 2020, a span of 24 games.
“It’s always nice to be a little longer between (goals), but it’s always fun,” said Nielsen. “You need goals from everyone in the line-up and that was a problem so it’s always nice when you get one.”