Red Wings – Devils Preview
The Detroit Red Wings (3-0-2) host New Jersey (3-3-0) tonight as the Devils seek revenge against a Red Wings club that dominated them in their home opener.
Detroit looks to remain the only team without a regulation loss in this Eastern Conference. New Jersey is coming into Little Caesars Arena off a brutal home loss last night in which their defense struggled. The Washington Capitals scored 4 goals in nine minutes in the 2nd period, including Alex Ovechkin 783rd career goal. The Wings are coming off a dominant win against the Anaheim Ducks, and they want to keep the momentum rolling.
The Red Wings offense has been clicking on all cylinders, with the team 3 goals per game in their first five contests. The real eye opener has been special teams. Detroit’s power play has taken a leap forward with power-play specialist David Perron. Perron’s patience and ability to slow down the play to ensure offensive chances has been key. He’s also a dangerous goal scorer in his own right.
Meanwhile the penalty kill units are a perfect 17/17 on the season. The difference in team defense is night and day compared to under former coach Jeff Blashill. Coach Derek Lalonde has instilled a defensive mindset, where offensive opportunities are generated by stellar defensive play.
Newcomers Ben Chiarot and Olli Maatta have been clear difference makers thus far for the Red Wings. Chiarot has been breath of fresh air, with his defensive ability and physicality meshing well with Calder-winner Mo Seider. Both new defensemen have been key for the success of the regular-strength defense and special-teams through five games.
Gentry’s Red Wings’ Skater to Watch
Coming off another fantastic offensive performance, Dominik Kubalik will be my player to watch tonight. Kubalik and fellow new edition David Perron have been deadly on the power play. Kubalik is leading the Red Wings with 8 points (3G, 5A) and he is riding a streak of three consecutive multi-point games. His ability to find the back of net has been refreshing, and he has been a huge part of this team’s offense. He has exceeded expectations so far through five games.
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