NEWARK, N.J. — The Detroit Red Wings’ performance in the season opener was both encouraging and disappointing.
They started the game by outplaying one of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams, but then did as much damage to their effort as the New Jersey Devils. There were both positives and negatives in Thursday’s 4-3 loss at Prudential Center.
“It was a great hockey game,” Wings captain Dylan Larkin said. “It was an exciting game. It’s a good team over there. We got off to a good start. I think if we keep playing like this, we’re going to be in a good position. The most important thing is, “We did have some good chances in the first quarter and that was true throughout the game. We scored three goals but we didn’t get the job done. I’m not worried about that. We have a lot of goal scorers here. . ”
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Freshmen Alex DeBrincat and Daniel Sprung contributed goals, as did Robby Fabbri. Goaltender Ville Husso should have done a better job reading New Jersey’s Jack Hughes’ shot to score the Devils’ first goal; Husso finished with 23 saves. His New Jersey counterpart, Vitek Vanecek, hampered the Wings 32 times, 14 of which came in the first quarter.
“It’s a great start,” Husso said. “Everyone worked hard. I thought we could score two or three goals in the first quarter. I felt in the second quarter, they picked up the momentum, but it was still a tight game. The most important thing for us It’s about turning those games around to win. We’re still learning and we just have to take the positives out of it.”
The Wings will host the Tampa Bay Lightning next Saturday. Despite leaving New Jersey scoreless, the team picked what they did well.
“Loved the start, even liked our third one,” coach Derek Lalonde said. “We made some mistakes in the second quarter, which of course hurt. And then there were penalties. We took so many penalties, slants, hooks – penalties that you can manage or control. So we took them That penalty definitely has to be cleared.” Up. “
Two veterans each took two penalties: Jeff Petry was whistled twice for holding the ball, and David Perron was whistled twice for a slash. . Giving a skilled team so much man-advantage time — the Devils had 7:29 — cost the Wings their chances.
“They get momentum from it, and it wears down your top players,” Lalonde said. “You get six (penalties) against anyone away from home, you have no chance, let alone against one in the league. Maybe we were a little bit excited, but to stick with penalties, that’s something that’s hard to accept.”
Ultimately, the result was too similar to last season, with the Wings losing a close game. They learned important lessons in discipline and taking chances.
“We knew we were going to face adversity in this game, and we did,” Larkin said. “For the most part, we responded well.”
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Contact Helene St. James:[email protected].Follow her on Twitter@helenestjames.Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available at Amazon,Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. A personalized copy is available via her email.