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New Faces in New Places as Tomas Tatar Returns to Town, Golden Knights rout Red Wings 4-0

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Knights’ speed too much for the Wings to overcome as Eakin and Tuch each score a pair to push the Knights to victory

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The narrative all week heading into this game was Tomas Tatar’s return to Little Caesars Arena to face his former Red Wings teammates. Will the shifty forward exact revenge against the winged wheel or will the new kid on the block — Evgeny Svechnikov — spoil the party?

First Period

Jimmy Howard and Marc-Andre Fleury get the nod between the pipes tonight. We’ve seen the “Flower” have some success in Detroit before (it’s okay, I choose to strike that save on Nick Lidstrom from my memory too).

Red Wings put together a nice tribute video for Tatar and the crowd cheers as he gives the Wings faithful a salute (I even think I caught a tear in someone’s eye).

David Perron gets the first chance of the night in close, but Howard holds his ground for the save.

Perron with another quick chance of the rebound and Howard flashes that leather (shades of last weekend at MSG).

Nick Jensen plays the puck behind his own net and appears to get a stiff arm in the face, but the ref lets it go...I guess?

Poor play by Niklas Kronwall on the boards as he turns it over to Alex Tuch. He breaks in and snaps one past Howard, just 2:24 into the first period. Knights lead 1-0.

Wings try to answer back with a two-on-one the other way as Gustav Nyquist tries to sneak one by Fleury, but he is equal to the task. Colin Miller gets called for hooking Tyler Bertuzzi on the rush and the Wings head to the powerplay at 2:43 of the first.

Not much doing on that powerplay as Nyquist might have had the best chance in close, but shot it wide...

Both teams exchange a flurry of odd man rushes, but to no evail. The mean they call “Chevy” almost pots his first career NHL goal, but Fleury robs him at the top of the crease.

LOOK OUT! Nyquist gets caught in Braden McNabb’s crosshairs along the Wings bench.

Zetterberg with a nice backhand feed over to Tyler Bertuzzi as he wrings it off the close to tying this one.

Nyquist headed to the locker room following that big hit, but he’s back on the bench now...phew.

Svechnikov is called for holding on Jonathan Marchessault at 14:27 of the second and the Knights will get their first powerplay...

Strong kill their for the Wings as they limit the Knights to just one shot on the man advantage.

End of the first, the Knights lead 1-0 and have outshot the Wings 11-9...

Second Period

Niklas Kronwall gets called for a high-stick at 1:45 into the period and the Knights will get their second powerplay of the night.

Knights continue the pressure as Howard makes a nice save from the faceoff dot on Erik Haula.

Quick thought...where was the tribute video for Tomas Nosek?

Fleury makes his best save of the night so far on a re-direct from Anthony Mantha — nice setup by Dylan Larkin.

Svechnikov gets busy in front of the net deflecting a point shot from Nick Jensen, but Fleury is there with the save. “Chevy” exchanging a few pleasantries after the whistle — I LIKE IT!

Tatar tries a wrap around on Howard, but he says goes the other way and Tats gets called for interference at 9:39 of the second. Red Wings powerplay.

Tyler Bertuzzi gets an early chance on a nice feed from Martin Frk, but Fleury stands tall.


Disaster strikes as Mantha gets stripped at the blueline by William Karlsson. Mike Green gets caught on a bad change and Karlsson flips the puck to Cody Eakin — he snaps one past Howard on the breakaway. 2-0 Golden Knights.

Jensen with a glorious chance in front of the net pinching in, but it rolls off his stick into the corner...

Luke Glendening centers in front of the net for Darren Helm and he is stopped point blank and then Fleury recovers to stone him a second time. Puck bounces back to Glendening and he shovels it right into Fleury’s midsection...oh man the “Flower” is on his game tonight.

Play goes back the other way and Eakin recovers a deflection from the point behind the Wings’ net and then proceeds to skate free from the corner into the slot and rips one by Howard for his second of the night. Nice defense displayed by the Wings there. 3-0 Golden Knights and the flood gates might be wide open here...

Barely a minute later and Vegas causes a turnover on Danny DeKeyser deep in the Wings’ zone. Puck comes out to the slot for Tuch and he snaps a rebound past Howard for his second of the night and it’s 4-0 Knights — confirmation the flood gates are open.

Jeff Blashill with a long look down the bench (presumably at Jared Coreau), but thinks better of it as Howard remains in the game.

Well, the penalties keep piling up as Luke Witkowski gets called for interference at 19:00 of the second — hold on to your hats as it could be 8-0 by the time this one is over.

The period ends with no powerplay goal...yet. A few more empty seats in this one and the Knights lead 4-0. Shots are 25-21 for the away team. Vegas definitely having their way tonight.

Third Period

The Knights open the third on the powerplay and Helm lays the body on Perron (don’t mind seeing that). Perron gets the puck back and fires it from the slot, but Howard is there — seems to have Perron’s number tonight.

Slow start to the period for the Wings as they don’t seem to be on the same page with breaking out of their own zone — back-to-back icings involving Mike Green.

Another turnover by the Wings in their own zone and McNabb just misses on a long blast from the point...

Henrik Zetterberg creates a turnover that leads to an odd man rush, finds Justin Abdelkader in the slot, but he’s robbed by Fleury...Hank finds Jensen flying in off the blueline and Fleury commits some grand larceny! OH BABY! The Wings can’t buy a goal right now...

Tatar felt bad, so he hooked Abby and will head to the box for the second time tonight at 5:52 of the second...

Karlsson with an assist tonight by the way and now has 16 points in his last 16 do the Blue Jackets feel about leaving him available in the expansion draft? OOPS!

Sloppy giveaway by Howard almost leads to a chance for Nosek — the trend continues for the Wings in their own end...

Marchessault went down awkwardly and heads toward the bench to be looked at...the play continues and Jonathan Ericsson (doing what he’s good at) stands like a pylon in the corner and trips Tatar on the way by. Knights powerplay...again.

It’s okay, Gerard Gallant put his fourth line out there — the damage is already done.

Shot from the point re-directed by Mantha off the crossbar...might be the closest the Wings get to a goal tonight with the clock winding down.

The horn finally blows on a tough night for the Wings. Knights take it 4-0 as Fleury gets his first career shutout against the boys in red and white.

Score: 4-0, Knights

Shots: 32-27, Knights

Final Thoughts...

Tatar gets the last laugh against his former team as the Wings simply didn’t match the Knights’ intensity tonight from the get-go. They trailed early on and never recovered, committing turnover after turnover in their own zone.

Vegas used their speed to exploit the Detroit defense and it showed. Back to the drawing board for Blashill and the staff as the Wings look ahead to their next matchup in Columbus on Friday night.