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Young stars shine in final scrimmage

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Bertuzzi celebrate a first-period goal scored by the Red team in Monday's intra-squad scrimmage. (Photo by Sam Iannamico/Grand Rapids Griffins)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Several young players made an impression in the Red Wings’ red and white scrimmage before the team returned to Detroit for the start of the exhibition season.

Anthony Mantha and Tomas Nosek scored two goals each to lead Team Red to a 6-2 victory over Team White Monday afternoon at Centre Ice Arena.

“I thought the young players trying to make an impression, trying to show they either want to make the team out of camp or be the first call-up, a lot of those guys played real well,” Blashill said. “I thought their energy was great, their competitiveness was great, so I thought that really pushed the competitiveness. There was no drop off from guys who are proven players in the league to guys who are trying to make the league, so I thought that was positive.”

Tyler Bertuzzi had two assists and Andreas Athanasiou added a goal and two assists for the Red team.

The first period was played at a breakneck pace with plenty of scoring chances. While the scoreboard would indicate that the Red team benefited from the pace, the White team certainly had their chances.

Mantha, Xavier Ouellet and Athanasiou each scored in the opening period. Mantha’s goal early in the first gave the Red squad a 1-0 lead. The goal was set up by Bertuzzi at 2:11.

Four minutes later, the intra-squad teams exchanged power-play goals in a span of 1:51.

Red built a two-goal lead when Ouellet scored from a pile up in front of goalie Petr Mrazek (12 saves). Bertuzzi and Athanasiou assisted on the goal.

Riley Sheahan responded for the White team, rifling a shot from the slot that beat goalie Jimmy Howard (eight saves) at 8:12 of the first period.

But the Red team regained its two-goal cushion when Athanasiou scored on a rebound from Ouellet’s initial shot from the blue line. Defenseman Nick Jensen picked up the secondary assist on the goal that came at 20:31.

The skill shown by the organizations’ younger stars certainly wasn’t lost on veterans like Niklas Kronwall.

“This organization is set up great for the future, not just right now,” he said. “You look ahead and you’ve got (Dylan) Larkin, you’ve got Mantha, Double A, Nosek, there are a lot of guys knocking on the door and hopefully they’ll be here for a very long time.”

Second period goals by Nosek and Mantha gave Red a 5-1 lead. Then, with five minutes left in the game, the teams went to a 3-on-3 format, which the league will use this season in sudden-death overtime.

Brad Richards and Nosek tallied goals during the designated five-minute 3 on 3.

The Red Wings headed back to Detroit immediately after the scrimmage. Half of the team still in camp will travel to Chicago on Tuesday for the preseason opener against the Blackhawks.

The Wings open the home portion of the preseason Wednesday when the Blackhawks visit Joe Louis Arena.

Here are the line combinations and defensive pairings for Tuesday’s exhibition vs. Chicago:

Forwards
Andy Miele – Riley SheahanLuke Glendening
Anthony Mantha
Dylan LarkinTeemu Pulkkinen
Drew Miller
Joakim AnderssonLandon Ferraro
Tyler Bertuzzi
Andreas Athanasiou – Evgeni Svechnikov

Defensemen
Brendan Smith
Alexey Marchenko
Brian Lashoff
Ryan Sproul
Nathan Paetsch – Nick Jensen

Goalies
Jimmy Howard
Tom McCollum

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