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Wild Wings: Detroit sauces Minnesota, 4-1

Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A big matinee match-up in the Motor City Sunday afternoon — Detroit drawing a relatively weak opponent in Minnesota. Before Sunday’s game, the Wild were on a six-game losing skid and fighting in the NHL’s basement with Chicago and San Jose. On the flip side, Detroit was looking to build some momentum for a potential playoff push.

The Wings put together a team win Sunday with big help from the likes of David Perron, Dylan Larkin, Shayne Gostisbehere… and of course, goaltender Alex Lyon.

1st Period

All Wings to start this one. It took less than five minutes for Detroit to pick-up the first goal of the game. A power-play tally from David Perron thanks to a nifty play from Lucas Raymond:

The Wings held steady for pretty much all of the first 20 minutes. I really liked what I saw from both Lucas Raymond and Shayne Gostisbehere. Would have liked to see some more scoring on the PP.

The Wild would tie the game up in the closing seconds of the first. A power-play goal from Kirill Kaprizov would send this game into intermission with the score knotted-up.

2nd Period

A lot of boring hockey was played in the middle frame, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A couple of looks on the power play didn’t turn into much. If you found yourself losing attention of the game, you’re definitely not alone. Seemed like both teams were in a lull, waiting for someone to score a goal or do something that could wake the crowd up.

Enter Dylan Larkin:

Larkin’s 8th goal of the season came with just about three minutes left in the second period. Despite the goal, Minnesota managed to get more shots on net than the Wings could. I gotta hand it to Alex Lyon — his ability to see the puck and control rebounds is refreshing. Detroit went into the second intermission with a one-goal lead.

3rd Period

20 minutes left, one-goal lead.. You probably thought to yourself “I know where this is going.” The Wings put that cliche to bed and shut the game down in the final frame. It started with David Perron notching another PP goal just a couple of minutes into the third, which would be his 300th career NHL goal. What shouldn’t be lost here is the play that Dylan Larkin made in the face-off dot right before this goal was scored. An incredible play from the captain:

Shayne Gostisbehere would put a pretty bow on this matinee and notch an empty-net goal to make it 4-1 and hand Minnesota its SEVENTH loss in a row.

FINAL: 4-1, Wings

I’ll be honest, after that trip to Sweden, I thought the Wings were cooked. Since then they’ve played great hockey and have put together a three-game winning streak, and two of those wins were against some of the top teams in the NHL. Feeling a little better today, obviously.

Detroit has pulled itself into a divisional seed with this win. Still early on in the season, but they are proving that with some adjustments and focus, they are a playoff team… Especially if they can find some stability in net. I think Alex Lyon is showing that he can and should be in the starting rotation.

Detroit has a couple of days off now. They’re headed to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday to play the Rangers.

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