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Viva Loss Vegas: Red Wings 6, Vegas 3

Detroit Red WIngs v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Pregame

“Hey, it’ll be really cool to get to write the recap for the first ever Red Wings - Golden Knights game.” Thoughts like that make you ignore that this game starts at 10:30 pm ET. OK, I’m mostly joking.

I didn’t get to watch last night’s game, so this will be my first experience of 2017 Niklas Kronwall, and boy howdy am I excited for that.

Just a quick note. I know some people had issues with the autoplaying gifs, especially on mobile, so I think I have a solution. By uploading them to Twitter, then embedding the tweet in here instead of the gif itself, it appears that it will not autoplay. So for those of you who like them, you’ll still get them. For those of you who don’t, just don’t click play. If that doesn’t work like I think it will, then I’ll keep looking for a solution.

The Vegas Twitter account had some snark for the Red Wings, but we’ll see who’s laughing at whatever godforsaken hour this game ends.

As mad as I want to be, that was pretty funny.

Trevor Thompson fired back by saying that Vegas will have Carrot Top introduce the code of conduct. That’s a really good dig, Trev....oh....wait, that’s real?

First Period

I didn’t get to see the pre-game show, but I think the Golden Knight defeated the Red and White Knight in a jousting contest.

OK, turns out I was wrong. But here is their mascot:

It’s like if the Geico gecko and Thing from the Fantastic Four had a baby. Also, he’s probably the only mascot named after a rapper.

But, Chance is sad because Henrik Zetterberg breaks into the Vegas zone after Jason Garrison whiffs on a puck at the blue line, shake-and-bakes, then dishes to Gustav Nyquist for the game’s first goal. 1-0 Red Wings, less than 2 minutes in. Trevor Daley picked up the second assist.

Ericsson made a nice defensive play to stop Cody Eakin a few minutes later. I’m as surprised as you are.

Petr Mrazek bails the Wings out two minutes later, stopping Erik Haula on a chance in close.

Mike Green goes to the box for 2 minutes for hooking. Vegas is 1 for 14 on the PK, which if I remember how roulette works means that they are due.

And now I remember why I lose at roulette. The Wings kill the penalty, allowing zero shots on the goal.

Shortly after, Mike Green turned the puck over, and Mrazek bailed him out, stopping Cody Eakin right on the doorstep.

If you’re reading this and didn’t get to watch the game, it probably sounds like Mrazek is looking good so far. He really isn’t. He’s making some big saves, but he doesn’t look in control of his movements at all. He makes the first save, but he’s then way out of position. If that continues, the wheels could come off quickly.

I missed this when it happened, but Brendan Leipsic had a wide open net a few minutes ago, but he shot it wide, otherwise it would be 1-1.

Nick Jensen broke his stick on a shot from the point, and it looked like Vegas was going to get a chance on the break, but Frans Nielsen made a solid defensive play on the backcheck to steal the puck.

The period ends 1-0 for Detroit. Detroit played pretty poorly overall, and they are lucky to be up by a goal.

If Detroit keeps giving Vegas chances, this is what’s going to happen:

Second Period

Mike Green takes a penalty for slashing. Pretty weak call, if you ask me. It’s almost immediately cancelled out by a Vegas penalty on Jonathan Marchessault. The call was high sticking, but it looked like Marchessault’s elbow hit Larkin’s head rather than his stick.

Neither team scores on the 4 on 4, and Detroit comes up empty on their second power play, although they only had 10 seconds of PP time. The Red Wings look a little better, but they are still making way too many bad decisions with the puck.

David Booth would have made a good Bee Gee.

Ouellet made a terrible pass to Nielsen and Reilly Smith intercepted it. Smith sent it to Marchessault, past Nick Jensen, who was apparently kneeling to pray the puck wouldn’t go in. The Vegas player scored one of the easiest goals he’ll score in his career, making it 1-1. A pretty terrible play by Detroit’s defense.

Anthony Mantha looked poised to regain the Red Wings lead as he drove the net. His knee made contact with Marc-Andre Fleury’s head. There was no penalty, as Mantha attempted to avoid the Vegas goalie.

Fleury will stay in the game. Maybe the concussion spotters were watching the Vegas drummers or wondering what level of hell the new Vegas mascot is from. But no, the NHL really cares about protecting its players from head injuries.

The line blender is warming up.

Luke Glendening destroyed Sbisa with a clean hit in the corner. Sbisa and Nate Schmidt went after Glendening, leaving Henrik Zetterberg to pick up the puck after coming off the bench and skate in all alone on Fleury. The captain put it through the goalie’s 5 hole to make it 2-1!

Unfortunately, I didn’t even finish writing up the Detroit goal when James Neal scored his 6th of the year. Even though Mike Green won’t get an assist on the goal, he really should. His defense was really weak, allowing his man Neal an easy goal.

Remember when I said the wheels could come off? The lug nuts are straining. Detroit turns the puck over and Haula scores from the blue line. You read that right: from the blue line. The first two goals weren’t on Mrazek, but that third one looked pretty bad. From seeing a replay, it looked like it was tipped before it got to him.

Random thought: If Vegas doesn’t play the “Holla!” part from Missy Elliot’s “Get Your Freak On” when Haula scores, they are missing an opportunity.

The Golden Knights tackle Abdelkader, who bumped Fleury, and Sbisa, Schmidt, and Abdelkader tumble to the ice. Somehow, the penalties cancel out, and we have 2 minutes of 4 on 4. Sbisa not getting a penalty there is an absolute joke.

At the end of the second period, the score is 3-2 Vegas. The Wings are lucky that they aren’t behind by more.

This was me watching the Red Wings defense that period:

Third Period

We’re still at 4 on 4. Zetterberg digs a puck loose from the side of the net and dishes it to Mantha, who can’t get a backhand by Fleury.

A little later, Fleury made another point blank save on Larkin who shot off a feed from Mantha. Both Larkin and Mantha have looked good overall tonight.

Speaking of that, Henrik Zetterberg makes a ridiculous flip pass to Mantha who has his back to Fleury. Mantha turns and rips a laser by Fleury to tie the game at 3. If you had Zetterberg as player of the game, you’re looking pretty good right now.

Frans Nielsen took a penalty for interference. Yes, he interfered, but Vegas had done the same thing earlier in the game with no call.

A goalpost keeps the score at 3-3, and the Wings kill the penalty. They nearly did more than that with Larkin breaking in shorthanded. He nearly set up Glendening for another shorthanded goal (the first was last night).

Nielsen exits the box and takes a pass ahead of the Vegas defense. He finds Zetterberg, who passes back to Nielsen who makes it 4-3. You can start printing Zetterberg POTG t-shirts.

Remember when I said how bad the second period was? The third period is just like that, but completely opposite. Nyquist taps the puck to Mantha, he nearly scores himself, but Nyquist puts in the rebound to make it 5-3. Blashill replaced Tatar with Mantha on the top line, and boy is it working.

A hip check was thrown by Nikla....Tomas Tatar? It looked low, and Erik Haula, Tatar’s target, took exception and he and Tatar dropped the gloves. I had flashbacks to Mantha breaking his hand on Witkowski’s helmet last year, but Tatar won the fight and looks like all his bones are intact.

And now Luke Glendening scores on Fleury from at least 45 feet. Sure, why not?

It’s 6-3. Unbelievable given how poorly the team played during the second period.

Time runs out and the Red Wings win 6-3. Congratulations to the Vegas Golden Knights on their first ever loss.

You can credit JJ with the recap title again.

I’m really glad I get to close the recap with this: