TRAVERSE CITY — Training camp continued Sunday afternoon as Team Delvecchio and Team Howe squared off in the third and final intra-squad scrimmage of the weekend.
Team Delvecchio featured Red Wings mainstays like forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Tatar and Darren Helm as well as defensemen Jakub Kindl and Danny DeKeyser. The team came out victorious with a 3-2 shootout decision over Team Howe members that included forwards Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Drew Miller and defensemen Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey.
The structure of this year's Red & White game left some players out of the scrimmage finale. Among those absent were forwards Justin Abdelkader, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Jurco as well as defensemen Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall.
“It was good,” defenseman Brendan Smith said. “It was a good pace. I think what I saw every game got a little faster, they had us on our heels to start. It was a good turnout, I felt that the boys played really well and we’re just excited to play some preseason and get some of the guys back together and play some games.”
Smith won’t get a taste of preseason action until Tuesday when the team plays its second exhibition game in as many evenings. The Red Wings travel to Pittsburgh on Monday, and the Blackhawks in Chicago a night later. However, some — Datsyuk, Tatar, Helm, Kronwall and Ericsson — will face-off against the Penguins.
As camp comes to an end and preseason games begin with many players still battling for a job, the mentality shifts. The game atmosphere becomes real and opponents are no longer sporting practice jerseys.
“I think it’s actually a good stepping stone,” Smith said about the scrimmage. “I think the speed was good to get everybody’s legs back and everything and then you get into some preseason games and I always notice that the preseason games get harder every one.”
The format of the scrimmage broke it up into two, 25-minute halves and the final four minutes of each half was designated for four-on-four action, simulating a regular season overtime period. Players also got the opportunity to get reps on the power play and penalty kill units as well.
“Obviously it’s (the power play) something you have to earn and I’ll get to play some in the preseason, they told me that so that’s good.,” Smith said. “I just have to deliver and do well and hopefully I can be there because I think I can make a difference.”
Joakim Andersson scored on Team Delvecchio’s only power-play goal of the scrimmage when he put the puck past goalie Jonas Gustafsson nine minutes into the contest.
Team Howe capitalized on both of the four-on-four sessions as Luke Glendening scored with 3:45 remaining in the first half and Johan Franzen scored to with 17-seconds left in the second half to tie the game at two goals apiece.
But it was Team Delvecchio who came away victorious when Andersson — the 12th skater in the shootout — scored on goalie Tom McCollum to break the tie in the sixth round.
MONDAY LINEUP: Here are the line combinations and defensive pairings for the Red Wings when they travel to Pittsburgh for their first exhibition game of the preseason:
Darren Helm – Pavel Datsyuk – Tomas Tatar
Tomas Jurco – Riley Sheahan – Daniel Cleary
Drew Miller – Joakim Andersson – Martin Frk
Jeff Hoggan – Andreas Anthanasiou – Colin Campbell
Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson
Xavier Ouellet – Alexey Marchenko
Mattias Backman – Ryan Sproul
Jimmy Howard – Petr Mrazek