Led by the young core of Anthony Mantha (2g, 1a), Andreas Athanasiou (2g, 1a) and Dylan Larkin (1g, 2a, 62% faceoffs won), the Red Wings exploded offensively to defeat the Calgary Flames 8-2 at home Wednesday night. Four power play goals highlighted one of the best efforts in recent memory.
Winners of three of their last six games entering Wednesday night, the Red Wings climbed to a record of 9-8-2 for 20 standings points with the victory.
Inconsistency seems to be the word that best describes the Wings thus far in the young season, as the team has at times struggled to provide offensive support to starting goaltender Jimmy Howard. Howard’s .930 save percentage is good for sixth in the NHL, but he owns a record of 7-5-1 after tonight’s victory.
With the game in hand, the third period turned into a chippy one. Howard was called for slashing Matt Tkachuk, who later earned a game misconduct– along with Travis Hamonic, Luke Witkowski and Mantha after a sequence where frustrations clearly came to a head. 131 penalty minutes were handed out over the course of the game.
1. Mantha’s two power play goals came from a strong net-front presence, and his 10 goals on the season lead the team. He also collected a Gordie Howe Hat Trick against the Flames.
2. Larkin’s speed and puck handling ability were on full display, as he carried the puck into the Flames’ zone before deking a defender to create a shooting lane. Larkin scored a shorthanded goal on the play.
3. Mike Green notched three more assists. His 16 on the season leads the Wings and ties him with Erik Karlsson for most in the NHL among defensemen.
4. Detroit went 4/6 on the power play while killing 4/5 Calgary power plays.
5. Th Red Wings won 58.8% of faceoffs, better than their season average 48%.
Tonight’s game may serve as the beginning of a much-needed momentum-builder, as the Red Wings host three beatable teams in the next seven days; Buffalo Friday, Colorado Sunday, and Edmonton Wednesday.
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