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RECAP: Red Wings special teams send Ducks south, 5-1

Big performances from some of Steve Yzerman’s newest additions.

Anaheim Ducks v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

The only way you can bounce back from a late-game collapse like the one the Red Wings had in Chicago Friday night is to put up a dominant performance. Detroit was able to do that Sunday afternoon as they hosted a struggling Anaheim Ducks.

Even with a slew of big names on the injury list, Detroit’s offense showed up against Anaheim and it was largely due to a spectacular performance by special teams units.

1st Period

The opening period had a ton of offense but even more penalties. Special teams played a key role in how everything played out. Detroit went on the power play early and converted thanks to Dylan Larkin:

Moritz Seider picks up his first point of the season.

It wouldn’t take long for the Ducks to respond. Trevor Zegras had the even-strength equalizer just minutes after Larkin’s opening goal.

Detroit performed well on both sides of special teams. Their next goal came from newcomer David Perron who had a pass right into his wheelhouse from Dominik Kubalik and Filip Hronek:

2-1 Detroit after 20.

  • Power play did its job
  • Penalty kill did its job (including a late-period 5-on-3)
  • David Perron has been a huge addition for this offense. Pairing him with Dylan Larkin and Dominik Kubalik on the PP has been *chefs kiss*

2nd Period

Not a lot wrong from the Red Wings in the middle stage of the game. Players like Ben Chiarot were noticeably more physical with the Ducks which gave Detroit an edge. It wasn’t long before the Red Wings would pull away by 2 — and it happened thanks to strong work from Adam Erne and Joe Veleno, who would pick up hist 1st goal of the season:

There’s definitely something to say about this Red Wings penalty kill. It’s been extraordinarily effective so far this season, even being tested again in the 2nd period. The entire unit did a great job keeping Anaheim out of the dangerous areas.

  • Dominik Kubalik has been a great pickup for this team
  • Ben Chiarot too
  • Moritz Seider hasn’t shown up on the scoresheet a lot so far, but he’s playing well. Mature and focused.

3rd Period

If you were like me and had worries of another late-game collapse, the Wings quickly put that to bed. Call it what you want — the Red Wings either suffocated the Ducks or the Ducks simply laid down and took the L. Regardless, the special teams mastery continued for Detroit in the first chunk of the final period, and it came from none other than the Wings’ hottest player right now — Dominik Kubalik:

It appears that Dylan Larkin and Dominik Kubalik have developed into a “one-two punch.”

Part of the reason why the Wings were able to put the game away with ease was Ville Husso’s quiet but solid play. The defense didn’t give up many chances, but Husso was there whenever he was needed.

The final nail in the coffin came from rookie Elmer Soderblom. A two-on-one developed with Soderblom and Michael Rasmussen. The big man was right there to clean up the garbage and seal the deal:

  • Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Larkin are buzzing together
  • Oskar Sundqvist has been a great addition to the power play unit

The Red Wings were expected to win this game, but they did it in dominant fashion. John Gibson did all he could in net for Anaheim, but Detroit’s offense was just a bit too much.

Obviously the main takeaway, regardless of how good or bad the opponent was, is special teams. Detroit’s penalty kill is still perfect on the season and the power play showed some flashes of greatness thanks to some of Steve Yzerman’s newest additions to the roster. The Wings are now 3-0-2 in the early stages of this season — points in every game so far. That’s a solid start.

The Red Wings are back in action Tuesday night. They will host the New Jersey Devils at Little Caesars Arena with puck drop slated for 7pm.