DET Danielson

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings kicked off their 2023-24 preseason schedule with a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.

“It’s just good to play,” Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde said. “We’ll have some game video. I thought there were some good reps out there. A little sloppy in some areas - two goals against from the defensive zone and some puck play there. We’d like to be a little cleaner in some areas and face-off details, things like that. Very typical. For the most part, fairly good.”

The Penguins opened the scoring at 6:23 of the first period before Nate Danielson, who was Detroit’s ninth overall pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, found the back of the net at 17:23. Both clubs went into the first intermission tied, 1-1, despite a 15-4 shot advantage for the Red Wings.

“He’s really poised and just goes about his business,” Michael Rasmussen said about Danielson. “A good attitude and works hard. Just nice to see him get rewarded. Besides the goal, I thought he played really well too.”

Captain Dylan Larkin scored on the power play at 6:58 of the second to give Detroit a 2-1 lead, but Pittsburgh pulled even just over three minutes later.

A man-advantage tally from Moritz Seider at 11:40 put the Red Wings back in front, but the Penguins scored a power-play goal of their own at 13:08 to tie the game again, 3-3.

Detroit’s power play made a positive first impression on Lalonde.

“It looked organized with some of the habits,” Lalonde said. “We had some really good looks, obviously cashed in twice. Again, power play is important for scoring but sometimes momentum. It was good. A work in progress, some different looks, but guys did some good things tonight. That’s definitely a good step.”

Rasmussen scored the go-ahead goal at 6:13 of the third, finishing a shot from the slot past Pittsburgh goalie Alex Nedeljkovic on a power play. For the 24-year-old forward, who was limited to 56 games in the 2022-23 campaign due to a lower-body injury, it was “nice to be able to let loose.”

“It was good to get a game, especially at home here, and get back with the guys,” Rasmussen said. “Some stuff to clean up here and there, but felt good.”

Alex DeBrincat and Shayne Gostisbehere each had two assists in their respective Red Wings debuts. Goalie James Reimer started between the pipes and stopped 7-of-9 shots, while Jan Bednar made 11 saves in relief for Detroit.

NEXT UP: After an off day Wednesday, the Red Wings will travel to face the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.


Lalonde on Danielson navigating situational play against the Penguins

“Very valuable, just building off a good rookie tournament and good camp in Traverse City. Good tonight. Some learning too, which is great. We’d like to get him back in there again soon.”

Lalonde on the value of having Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Dan Watson behind the bench

“Continuity and cohesion. We kind of have a routine. We rifle through every American Hockey League coach for one game on the bench because we think it’s a valuable experience."

Rasmussen on the overarching goal of the NHL preseason

“Being in the offseason, you kind of get out of that compete and grind mode. Just get the systems down and really get our compete high because come Game 1, it starts.”