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Tyler Bertuzzi’s hat trick powers Red Wings past Wild 5-2

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Bertuzzi and Thomas Vanek provided all the offense, but the Wings only needed the ones from Lil’ Bert to win

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Minnesota Wild Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit headed into Minnesota on Saturday night reeling off a 4-2 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg on Friday, losers of their last three and winners of just one in their last ten. To welcome them, a rested Wild squad sitting in a playoff position and coming off a victory against those same Jets two nights ago.

Jimmy Howard vs. Devan Dubnyk are your starters for this one.

NHL.com’s Box Score

The game started off very much in a fashion that Red Wings fans are used to as the opening goal came just 24 seconds in, except WAIT IT WASN’T AGAINST THE WINGS:

Originally credited to Nyquist, the goal was quickly changed to correct credit on the wonderful tip by Tyler Bertuzzi.

From there, the first went decently back-and-forth between the two teams; the Wings gifted Minnesota a PP on a too-many-men infraction, but Charlie Coyle gifted it right back by tripping Jensen on the advantage. Nothing doing on either advantage that time, nor when Greg Pateryn went later for a hook.

However, the one-goal lead wouldn’t last the entire period, as later on Luke Kunin took advantage of Nik Kronwall missing a bouncing puck in the neutral zone, taking the puck into the Wings’ zone and sniping it past Howard from between the tops of the circles.

Personally, I think Howard would want this one back. 1-1 tie after one period with shots 11-8 in favor of the Wild.

The second period looked more-traditionally like a Red Wings’ period start. Mike Green took a hooking penalty just 11 seconds in and then the Wild notched a power play marker to make it 2-1 just six seconds after that.

Once again though, the reverse Red Wings took over and Thomas Vanek tied it 28 seconds later with a second-effort goal aided by Anthony Mantha: 2-2 tie prior to the one-minute mark of the 2nd.

Detroit pretty much took over the game at that point, stifling the Wild for the next 15 minutes and taking the lead on Vanek’s 2nd goal of the night, a slapper from up top off kind of a broken play where Vanek was trying to pass and had the puck bounce right back to him. 3-2 Red Wings would take us to the end of a 2nd period where we saw a shot advantage of 21-2 in favor of Detroit.

Just to really hammer home the point of how odd this game was, the third period started off with yet another goal in the first minute - this one was Tyler Bertuzzi’s 2nd of the night and another redirected point shot from one of his linemates. This was not only Bertuzzi’s 2nd goal of the night, but it was the 2nd tip on the same shift, as just prior to putting this Larkin shot on net, Tyler had redirected one off the post. 4-2 Wings at the 47 second mark.

If it wasn’t already evident that the Wild had no wind in their sails after this one, the Wings would add the only other marker of the game on Tyler Bertuzzi’s first career hat trick in his 100th career game. This one looked more like a Luke Glendening special than the Bertuzzi tip-ins we’re used to, but nobody’s complaining here at the 5-2 score.

Observations

  • The Red Wings’ response to the loss against the Jets which included Dylan Larkin’s comments about people needing to buy-in defensively was great to see, as the Wings outshot Minnesota 37-18 and, despite having actually trailed in this game, basically ran them wire-to-wire.
  • The ice was bad, but a veteran like Kronwall having the puck bounce over his stick isn’t exactly all “eh just dumb luck” like the FS-D crew made it out to be.
  • Anthony Mantha had a pretty good game, but twice had his stick knocked out of his hands on what weren’t terribly-aggressive stick-checks. If I have to find something to complain about, I’m happy that this is the worst thing I could say about any forward.
  • I thought Jacob de la Rose had a really solid game in his limited ice time. He made a defensive play in the first that ended with a zone clear where his body positioning and aggression were superb.
  • Jonathan Ericsson assisted on both of Vanek’s goals and those were his first two assists of the season. I love this stat.

Wings next take on the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday at home. Anaheim is currently on a 10-game losing streak, but will play the Jets on Sunday, so it’ll either be over or it’ll be 11 by then and we may again be facing a team in a new coach’s first game. Exciting!