Another Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena, another high-scoring journey.
The Red Wings came into Tuesday night’s game against San Jose on a short losing streak at the hands of two teams who were stacked against them. The Sharks seem like a team (on paper) that would pound on Detroit with no problem. Sure, they were missing some guys due to COVID protocol, but San Jose looked downright lethargic most of the night.
Filip Zadina was a late scratch, so Givani Smith got a chance to see some ice time. It didn’t last long, but the Red Wings held tight and played a solid 60 minutes against what was once a rival team.
I know I’m going to roll my eyes at myself for saying this, but the game really started when Givani Smith picked a fight with Jacob Middleton. My reasoning here is because of Wes McCauley:
Givani Smith and Jacob Middleton drop the gloves for a great scrap, and Wes McCauley steals the show with the fighting call. #LGRW pic.twitter.com/oFzRkwWmKJ— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) January 5, 2022
I kinda knew this game was going to be scrappy from the beginning when Moritz Seider was bodied by Timo Meier. Fortunately, the Red Wings were able to find their way onto the board first, albeit a flukey goal by Tyler Bertuzzi, who had some luck on the opening goal:
Pucks on net! #LGRW pic.twitter.com/KGCJY0uGV3— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 5, 2022
The Red Wings had nothing to show with the power-play in the opening period, which should be a surprise to no one. What was really surprising for many was Givani Smith getting tossed from the game after being called for boarding on the same dude he fought earlier in the period. Look — It was a clean hit in my opinion, but I understand why officiating made the call. The two had been chirping and scuffling all game, and the refs needed to quell a situation before it escalated any further. Unfortunately this is a rare sight for NHL officiating, because there is zero consistency. Anyway, here’s the hit:
Givani Smith gets a 5 minute boarding major + game misconduct for this hit on Middleton. #LGRW pic.twitter.com/DuDAPtgjdB— Ryan Hana (@RyanHanaWWP) January 5, 2022
This hit meant an unfortunate 5-minute major penalty for Detroit, which carried over into the next period.
Jacob Middleton was ruled out for the rest of the game after the hit from Givani Smith.
Who the hell needs a power play when your special teams can score shorthanded? The Red Wings, that’s who. Starting the 2nd period down for an extended period of time, Detroit rallied hard with a pair of SHORTHANDED goals from Tyler Bertuzzi and Pius Suter just seconds apart:
Two shorthanded goals 3️⃣7️⃣ seconds apart!! pic.twitter.com/E0OrPQFDHX— NHL (@NHL) January 5, 2022
This was the 1st time in 100 games the Red Wings scored a shorthanded goal. That’s over an entire season.
San Jose and Detroit would go on to exchange goals, but Detroit’s was extra special because we saw one helluva shift from Michael Rasmussen that really helped the play unfold:
PIUS HAS TWO! #LGRW pic.twitter.com/Mjbakqoxx8— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 5, 2022
Red Wings closed out the period with the man advantage and a three-goal lead.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we went into the third period with a pretty easy win in front of us. San Jose finally yanked James Reimer for Adin Hill, so there was plenty of confidence that the team could put this away.
San Jose managed to pull within two goals just under two minutes into the period, but that was followed up by a remarkable goal from Dylan Larkin, which was setup by a beautiful no-look pass by Lucas Raymond. Gustav Lindstrom would pick up his second assist of the night on this tally:
SNIPE CITY, USA. #LGRW pic.twitter.com/Vx5DsHg8D4— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 5, 2022
The Red Wings put a lid on this baby with the touchdown thanks to Robby Fabbri. San Jose didn’t even bother pulling their goalie.
Fabbri completes the Guelph Storm at @LCArena_Detroit! #LGRW pic.twitter.com/kNxrsSbMRK— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 5, 2022
No hat-trick goal for Tyler Bertuzzi. Both he and Jeffrey Viel were assessed misconduct penalties in the last 10 minutes of the game.
This was a much-needed win to snap a losing streak right before a west coast swing for Detroit. They’re still in the playoff hunt, but also could land comfortably into a lottery pick. Oh, and all the rookies picked up a point or a W. That’s what we love to see, folks.
Off to California we go. Detroit will see San Jose again one week from today, but at a much-later hour. First - it will be Anaheim on Thursday and them Los Angeles Saturday.