Detroit Red Wings wobbly on protection, end skid with 7-5 win over Jets

Their click offenseed, but defensively the Detroit Red Wings left much to be desired.

The Wings scored first and built a lead Tuesday at Little Caesars Arena, but they were resoundingly sloppy against the Winnipeg Jets, squandering a three-goal edge. The Wings ultimately were able to prevail, 7-5, ending a three-game losing streak.

Jake Walman, Jonatan Berggren and Oskar Sundqvist scored in the first period, and Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Larkin added goals in the second period. Moritz Seider collected four assists, tying a franchise record for most assists in a game by a defenseman.

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Ville Husso faced 17 shots just in the second period. Nikolaj Ehlers scored in the opening minute of the third period to pull the Jets within a goal. Robby Fabbri, in only his third game since debuting following offseason knee surgery, deflected Gustav Lindstrom’s shot a minute later, but Mark Scheifele converted while Fabbri was serving a penalty to make it a one-goal game with 5:05 to play.

The Jets pulled Connor Hellebuyck with 2:35 to play for an extra attacker, and Lucas Raymond took advantage to score into the empty net.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso (35) stops a Winnipeg Jets center David Gustafsson (19) shot in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Detroit.

The Wings next play Thursday at home against the Maple Leafs, who just beat them last Saturday, 4-1, in Toronto.

Cop to it

Walman scored for the second straight game, rewarded for a good shift in the offensive zone. He took a pass from Seider, played the puck along the top of the left circle, skated to the middle and wired a shot behind Hellebuyck. That was a minute into the game.

Six minutes later, the Wings were able to do what eluded them the previous games, and build a lead. Berggren got the puck to the right of the net and made quick of redirecting it, picking up his seventh goal of the season. Andrew Copp assisted on both goals, looking more like the player the Wings hoped they were getting when they signed him in the offseason for five years, $28.125 million.

Husso’s hustle

The Wings continued to build on their lead. Sundqvist made it 3-0 seconds after a power play expired, taking a pass from Seider down low and swiping the the puck into Winnipeg’s net. That was more like what the Wings want to do: Grab momentum, and keep it. But while they clicked in the offensive zone they were too loosey goosey in their own zone, forcing Husso to make some highlight saves. He denied Mark Scheifele on a backhand, and stopped Cole Perfetti on an attempt in the final minute of the first period.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jake Walman (96) celebrates his goal against the Winnipeg Jets in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Detroit.

Salvaging the second

Kubalik added his first goal in five games early in the second period, benefitting from the hustle Sundqvist showed in winning a puck battle and feeding a pass to Kubalik. It was, otherwise, a bad period for the Wings. They were guilty of turnovers and got caught in their own zone so much that Hellebuyck barely saw any shots. Husso was barraged, and the Jets edged closer with a goal from former Wings forward Sam Gagner midway through the period, and closer yet with a goal from Nate Schmidt two minutes after that.

During a stretch in the period, the Jets outshot the Wings, 11-2. The Wings were able to restore a bit of a cushion during a 5-on-3 man advantage, when Larkin one-timed a feed from Seider.

Contact Helene St James [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter@helenestjames.

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Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from Amazon,Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via your email.

Next up: Maple Leafs

matchup: Red Wings (17-15-7) vs Toronto (25-9-7).

Faceoff: 7pm Thursday; Little Caesars Arena, Detroit.

television/radio: ESPN; WXYT-FM (97.1).

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