DETROIT -- It was quite a clash between the Red Wings and the Ottawa Senators Friday night at Little Caesars Arena.
In a game which had a little bit of everything, including the Red Wings squandering a 2-0 lead, Mike Green hitting the goal post when facing a wide open net during a mad overtime scramble in front of the Ottawa goal and Detroit killing off a full two-minute penalty in OT, but the Wings managed to maneuver through the adversity to defeat the Ottawa Senators in a shootout, 3-2, in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
It was Detroit's second straight victory and extended Detroit's home winning streak to a season-best three games.
All-Star Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin (power play), in an end-to-end rush, scored for the Red Wings. Larkin also scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Red Wings the win.
Jonathan Bernier (10-12-2) picked up the victory for the Wings. He stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced for a .935 save percentage.
His counterpoint in net, Ottawa's Marcus Hogberg (1-2-3), also played well, especially in overtime when the Wings were storming all over the Sens' goal mouth. Hogberg made 26 saves out of the 28 shots the Wings fired for a save percentage of .929.
Detroit (12-30-3) will try to extend its two-game winning streak and its three-game home winning streak on Sunday when they host the Buffalo Sabres. The face-off on Sunday is slated for 5 p.m.
The Ottawa Senators (16-23-5), winless in their last six games (0-5-1), will play the second game of a back-to-back when they square off versus the Montreal Canadiens Saturday in Ottawa. The game against the Canadiens will open up a five-game homestand for the Sens.
1. Dylan Larkin: There is a lot resting on Larkin's young shoulders this season as Detroit's No. 1 center. The team needs him to be good both offensively and defensively, often playing against the other teams' top players. While Larkin isn't on the same offensive pace he was last season, he still is someone who can create something on his own. At 5:32 of the second, with the Wings on the power play, Larkin did just that, carrying the puck into the offensive zone, zipping around a few Senators on his way to the net and then beating Hogberg stick-side. It was Larkin's 11th goal of the season and 99th of his career. Filip Hronek and Bertuzzi got the assists. The goal extended Larkin's point streak to five games, tying him with Anthony Mantha (Nov. 6-14) and Bertuzzi (Dec. 14-22) for longest point streak by a Wing this season. Larkin has seven points (3-4-7) in his last seven contests. When nothing was decided throughout the third period and overtime, Larkin was the second player to go in the shootout and scored the only goal. It was only his second career shootout goal in 13 tries. Larkin finished with 26 shifts for 22:34, was tied with Filip Zadina for a team-high four shots, had one giveaway, was 7-for-20 in face-offs and was plus-1.
Quotable: "I saw an opening there. It's nice getting the puck like that when most of their players are standing still. I always watch Val Filppula head fake the guy, so I head-faked the first guy like him. I used my speed to go around the defenseman and it kind of just opened up. I knew I was cutting to the far post and trying to get across there. It was a good play by the other guys to drop it back to me. That was a pre-scout that I was going to go to the blocker side from our goalie coach Jeff Salajko. I hadn't been the best in shootouts in my career. I was actually going to plan to do another move and he kind of convinced me into doing it. It was a big goal for our team and it helps when Bernie was as good as he was tonight and in the shootout." - Larkin
Quotable II: "Larks was really good for us tonight. Obviously his end to end goal but he's playing good defensively and making simple plays down the stretch there." - Bertuzzi
Quotable III: "That's his move obviously, and he pulled that so quick. It's almost unstoppable for a goalie." - Bernier
Quotable IV: "You have to pick and choose your time and it's really hard. When you start winding up, people get in your way. The thing Dylan has learned over time is to not just rely on his legs and his speed and to buy space and use others and do those kind of things. That's one of those things where he happened to get the right opportunity, where the ice was available in front of him. He took it. You hate to be a guy with a bad gap against Dylan because he's coming fast and did a great job on the goal. But it's not something necessarily that I think you can do on a regular basis because people will just take angles on you and end the play." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
2. Jonathan Bernier: Of Detroit's 12 wins this season, Bernier has earned 10 of those. There's no question he's had to work hard for them. That was the case again against the Senators Friday night. Rudolfs Balcers pounced on a giveaway at 3:57 of the first and Bernier stopped his shot from the left circle. The Senators sent 10 pucks Bernier's way in the first and Bernier saved them all. At 5:54 of the second, Brady Tkachuk's wraparound shot went off Patrik Nemeth's skate and into the net. Then the Senators scored on the power play at 10:42 of the second when Colin White tipped the puck past Bernier. Other than that, Bernier could not be beat. Tkachuk pushed hard to the net at 17:40 of the second and ended up on top of Bernier in the net but the puck did not get through. Bernier stopped Tyler Ennis and White during Ottawa's overtime power play. Then in the shootout, Bernier stopped Ennis, Anthony Duclair shot wide and then Bernier stoned Artem Anisimov for the win. Bernier is now 5-3-0 with a 2.09 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in his last nine outings.
Quotable: "The legs were burning. I think obviously it's easier on 4-on-3. It just seems that they're missing one guy in the middle, so you kind of see them coming in and coming out, so I think it's easier to read. We did a good job. I think it's just confidence. I think the more I play, the more I feel confident and the better I see the puck and the play coming at me. You try to reproduce that in practice but it's pretty hard if you don't play for over 2-3 weeks. Obviously I feel good right now." - Bernier
Quotable II: "He's kept us in countless games, whether we lose or win. I know he's going to keep giving us those opportunities to win. If we can score some goals, we'll keep getting wins." - Bertuzzi
Quotable III: "It's put us where you see we're right in games. We've just built from him out, confidence in our team. He's done a great job. He's really been a calming factor back there. He's made the saves he's had to. He's been great for us. He's been everything, I think." - Larkin
Quotable IV: "The numbers say he is a better goalie when he plays more. That's just the history of it. I would probably say that's true of lots of guys. It's easier to get in a groove, it's easier to kind of keep rolling with it, so he's done a good job. He had a tough start to his time here in Detroit last season, the beginning of this season, neither one were probably what he wanted. The thing about him is he keeps a positive attitude, he keeps digging in and he works. I think that work's paying off." - Blashill
3. Tyler Bertuzzi/Filip Hronek: There is a reason that Bertuzzi will be the Red Wings representative at the All-Star Game in St. Louis later this month. He has been the most consistent - and consistently healthy, along with Larkin - offensive player for the team this season. At 14:55 of the first, Bertuzzi went to the right doorstep and was ready when Hronek sent a pass through traffic, scoring his team-leading 16th goal of the season. Bertuzzi has points in back-to-back games and has registered nine points (6-3-9) in his last 12. Robby Fabbri picked up the second assist. Bertuzzi, who assisted on Larkin's goal, was also part of a group that had a great chance to end the game in overtime at 1:55 but Hogberg made the saves on Bertuzzi and Filppula and Green hit the post. Bertuzzi was the first to go in the shootout but Hogberg was able to make the save. Bertuzzi finished with 24 shifts for 22:49, had two shots, one hit, one giveaway, one takeaway and was plus-1. An argument could also have been made that Hronek should represent the Wings at the All-Star Game as he has blossomed in his second season and first full season in the NHL. With his two assists, Hronek now has four multi-assist games, which leads the team. Hronek leads Detroit's defensemen in points with 25 (8-17-25) in 43 games. Last season Hronek had 23 points in 46 games. Hronek finished with 31 shifts for 25:03, had three shots, one hit, two giveaways, a double-minor penalty and was plus-1.
Quotable: "I knew (Hronek) was looking at me the whole time. He just needed a better angle. That's when he walked it across and made the play. He's playing confidently and he's been unreal for us this year. He makes good plays, smart plays. Obviously from the two goals there, he's got his head up and making good plays." - Bertuzzi
Quotable II: "(Hronek's) been thrown in there and playing big minutes and a lot of responsibility and he's done a great job. I think every part of his game has matured. He's got a great shot, he's got a great first pass. When he's out there, he's a guy that'll get the puck on your stick. If you find him for his big one timer, it's always a dangerous play. He's been a big plus for us back there." - Larkin
Quotable III: "As long as the role mirrors later what he's going to do in his career and as long as his play mirrors it. By that I mean if you start playing outside of yourself because you got a bigger role than maybe you'd have if we were in a better spot in the standings, then that can be dangerous. That's not the case with Fil. I think he plays to his strengths, I think he knows what he is. He's done a really good job of trying to create offense without taking unneeded risk. He's certainly learning. Is he making mistakes? Yeah, he's making mistakes, he made mistakes tonight but he's learning as he goes and one thing he's done a good job of is being mentally tough. If you weren't mentally tough, first of all the non-mentally tough people normally don't make it to this level, but if you weren't really mentally tough right now, it could be some hard times. But he's really mentally tough." - Blashill