Joe Hicketts was paired with Jonathan Ericsson to begin the game, which is hilarious considering the difference in their height.
The Devils came out with the edge, but the Red Wings pushed back to get on the board first. Tyler Bertuzzi with great play in the Devils zone to keep the play alive allowed Dylan Larkin to throw a backhand on Cory Schneider, and Bertuzzi was right there to pick up the rebound to make it 1-0.
I usually don’t like to highlight hits, but Joe Hicketts laid the body on Nico Hischier as he was rushing into the zone, and it really highlights how size doesn’t describe his play. Not only a great hit, just a great read to neutralize the threat:
The Wings had a really good mentality with attacking later in the period.. They forced the Devils to ice the puck out.
After 20 minutes, the Wings have the edge, 1-0 — they also lead in shots, 12-11.
The Devils came out fast in the 2nd period... Real fast. Once the Red Wings got things settled down, Henrik Zetterberg was able to draw the game’s first penalty. The power-play did not look very good, but you probably already knew that even if you didn’t watch the game. The Devils drew the following two penalties — both taken by Dylan Larkin — but were able to escape without any damage. Petr Mrazek played a big role in slamming the door shut.
Okay, so the 2nd period just seems to be each team taking a penalty back-and-forth. The Red Wings got a chance, it looked like hell, the Devils got a chance, and the Red Wings shut them down. Petr Mrazek has been the key ingredient to the penalty kill thus far.
Despite a lackluster power-play performance, the Red Wings were able to pull ahead by a pair in the closing minutes of the period.. David Booth picked up his 4th goal of the season with a ripper of a shot from 48-feet out, and a rare smooth offensive play from Jonathan Ericsson to set it all up:
Red Wings still ahead 2-0 after 40 minutes. Devils hold the edge in shots, 23-21.
The early minutes of the 3rd started with a penalty on Henrik Zetterberg — Joe Hicketts got aggressive and came in, which meant Hank had to hold into a Devils player to prevent a scoring chance. The Red Wings power play was again led by Petr Mrazek, who stood tall and held onto his goose egg.
I’d like to take a moment and appreciate Dylan Larkin. He had probably one of the best shifts he’s had in his career in the final half of the 3rd period. That shift turned a bang-bang play that made it a three-goal game with his 8th of the season. Larkin was the only person in the building who knew he scored.. It needed to go to review to make sure it went in:
Three goals is more than enough comfort we need for a win, and that’s what it took to put this one away.
The Red Wings shutout the Devils 3-0 — and while the youth came to play, Petr Mrazek was the star for the Wings Monday night. Dylan Larkin picked up a goal and an assist, Athanasiou allotted a couple of points, but Mrazek’s remarkable poise on the penalty kill kept the hometown team out of it.
While the Devils led shots on goal, you have to be pleased with the way the Red Wings youngsters performed. I think Joe Hicketts had himself one hell of a first-career game, but there’s still more for him to learn at this level. He’s great at lining up big hits, but he needs to learn when the right time is to do that. He saw a lot of time on the penalty-kill, and that’s a good thing. I don’t see him sticking around for the rest of the season, but it’s great to see him contribute to a shutout win. He’s got an NHL future.
At the end of the night, I think we’re seeing a new page for Petr Mrazek. He played a calm, poised, and confident game. Good game, good win. See you Tuesday, Philly.