The Detroit Red Wings seemed to have their season opener against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions under control. It all fell apart in the last seven minutes of regulation, as they squandered a three-goal lead and lost 7-6 in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Detroit will try to make amends in a home game against Vancouver on Saturday. The Canucks lost their opener in a shootout against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday, then bounced back for 5-4 shootout win over the host Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.
Tyler Bertuzzi’s four-goal game for the Red Wings on Thursday went to waste during the Lightning’s late flurry.
“You want to find a way to win the hockey game there after you have that kind of lead,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “All that stuff is disappointing. It was a gut punch there at the end. That part is certainly frustrating. You have to be able to finish that off. We were in position to win the hockey game.”
Bertuzzi made headlines during training camp as the only unvaccinated Wings player. He nearly carried the team to an exhilarating victory in an outburst that included a second-period hat trick. He added his fourth goal early in the third period.
Bertuzzi was sidelined for much of last season due to a back injury.
“He brings a ton of energy,” Blashill said. “Tyler is a real good player, he does a ton of good things and makes defensive and offensive plays. It was great for him to come back and play at a high level like that. It’s going to give him confidence. It’s too bad we gave away a point when he played that good.”
Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin scored the first goal of the game but was tossed in the second period. He retaliated after getting slammed into the boards by the Lightning’s Mathieu Joseph and was assessed a match penalty for throwing a punch.
Larkin, who sustained a neck injury on a similar play late last season, was handed a one-game suspension by the league’s department of player safety. He will miss the Vancouver game.
“After what Larks has been through the last three months with his injury, it wasn’t nice to see,” Red Wings forward Robby Fabbri said. “I’m not surprised at the way he reacted.”
Detroit defenseman Moritz Seider, the sixth overall pick of the 2019 draft, made an auspicious NHL debut with two assists.
The Canucks will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set, having prevailed Thursday despite blowing a third-period lead.
Vancouver gave away a 4-2 advantage in the final three minutes of regulation. The Canucks scored all of their regulation goals in the second period, including power-play tallies by Elias Pettersson and Alex Chiasson.
Canucks center J.T. Miller notched a goal and two assists, and Pettersson and Chiasson each had two points. Vasily Podkolzin, the team’s first-round pick in 2019, supplied his first career goal in his second game.
“He’s been working so hard,” Pettersson said of the 20-year-old. “He’s a great guy to have on the team. Always comes with a smile to practice.”
The Canucks reversed the pattern from their opener, when they scored twice in the third period to force overtime against Edmonton.
“Every team wants to get off to a good start,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said. “Nothing’s handed to you. I’ve liked probably five of our six periods to this point, and it’s nice to see our guys get rewarded (Friday).”
–Field Level Media