Ted Kulfan The Detroit News
Published 6:04 AM EDT Mar 24, 2019
These Red Wings aren’t quitting.
Facing a Vegas team that been playing outstanding hockey, the Wings kept grinding and earned a 3-2 overtime victory on Saturday night.
Dylan Larkin stripped the puck from Reilly Smith in front of the Vegas net, then backhanded a pass to Anthony Mantha, who snapped a shot past goalie Malcolm Subban just 19 seconds into overtime to give the Wings a well-earned victory.
It was Mantha’s second goal, and 19th of the season. Mantha tied the game 2-2 with a power-play goal at 11:17 of the third period.
BOX SCORE: Red Wings 3, Golden Knights 2, OT
Vegas’ Reilly Smith (short-handed) had just given the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead with a goal after picking off a Mantha pass.
Luke Glendening opened the scoring for the Wings, while Cody Eakin had the other Vegas goal.
The Wings (27-38-10) moved to 8-5 in overtime this season, while Vegas (42-27-6) lost only their second in 12 games.
Here are some other observations from an impressive Wings victory:
► Detroit’s goals: Wings forward Taro Hirose intercepted a poor pass by Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore and put the puck on net. Subban made the stop, but Glendening put in the rebound, his 10th goal, at 3:06 of the first period. Mantha tied it 2-2 with a power-play goal at 11:17 in the third period, his first goal in seven games. Dylan Larkin won the faceoff, the puck made its way to Andreas Athanasiou, who found Mantha in the circle for a one-timer, Mantha’s 18th goal. Mantha won it with his 19th, thanks to Larkin hounding Smith and causing a turnover in front of Subban.
► Howard outstanding: In his first game since signing a one-year contract extension, Jimmy Howard was outstanding. Howard stopped 28 shots and was a key reason the Wings came out of the first period with a 1-0 lead, with several fine saves.
► Hirose keeps rolling: The former Michigan State star — who is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s best player — has played three NHL games with the Wings — and earned an assist in each game. Hirose had two shots in 14 minutes, 57 seconds of ice time.
► Puempel, Bowey impressive: Matt Puempel was recalled from Grand Rapids Friday and in his Wings debut against the Golden Knights, Puempel was noticeable. He had three shots on net and one takeaway, and initiated scoring chances. A former first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers, Puempel, 26, showed promise, as did defenseman Madison Bowey, who arguably played his best game as a Wing. Bowey played 24:29, and was credited with three shots, four hits, one block and two takeaways.
► Larkin comes through: Larkin had been pointless in four games and took two penalties, including a roughing penalty in the second period that nullified a Wings’ power play. But late in the game, Larkin won a key faceoff on the power play that resulted in Mantha’s game-tying goal. Then in overtime, Larkin forced Smith into a turnover then found Mantha for the winning goal.
► Vegas goals: Eakin tied the game 1-1 at 14:43 of the second period. Just as an interference penalty to Bowey expired, Eakin was alone on the doorstep and easily knocked in the loose puck after Howard turned aside a shot by Ryan Reaves. It was Eakin’s 20th goal. Smith’s short-handed goal gave Vegas a brief 2-1 lead at 10:12 of the third period, his 18th goal. Smith gathered a poor pass from Mantha and scored on a breakaway, beating Howard with a backhander.
► Injuries mounting: Blashill told reporters before the game forward Michael Rasmussen (upper body) wouldn’t be available, which put Puempel into the lineup. Blashill wasn’t sure about Rasmussen’s availability Monday against San Jose. Rasmussen joins defensemen Jonathan Ericsson (lower body) and Libor Sulak (flu), who both are day-to-day. Justin Abdelkader (lower body), Mike Green (virus) and Trevor Daley (back) are out for the season, and Jacob de la Rose (accelerated heartbeat) is out indefinitely.
► Battle for the worst: The Wings (64 points) remained six points above Ottawa (58), which defeated Edmonton earlier in the day. The Wings stand third from the bottom in the NHL, and are only one point behind New Jersey (65).
► Next: The Wings travel to San Jose for a game Monday against the Sharks (10:30 p.m./FSD,97.1 FM).
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