DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings are 2-0 in preseason play.
That's thanks to an array of players young and old. Coach Jeff Blashill's lineups have been starkly different in back-to-back games.
On Wednesday the Red Wings won in overtime, 3-2, over the Pittsburgh Penguins. They were led by Dylan Larkin and a list of young prospects vying for a spot on the NHL club, including Michael Rasmussen who scored the winner. Defenseman Dennis Cholowski had a strong game for Detroit with 2 assists.
On Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, Blashill switched out everyone -- except defenseman Joe Hicketts -- and found offense from more familiar names like Thomas Vanek, Gustav Nyquist and Andreas Athanasiou. Evgeny Svechnikov, who could very well be in the Detroit lineup this season, put the Red Wings ahead, 3-2, late in the 3rd period on a nifty feed by Givani Smith. Nyquist put the game away with an empty net goal.
Filip Zadina, Detroit's highly-touted 6th overall draft pick this year, was rather quiet on Thursday. Blashill surely will want more looks at him before the preseason is finished.
Defenseman Libor Sulak caught everyone's attention against the Blackhawks as he showed off his speed, size and knack for jumping up into the offensive zone. He even roughed up Patrick Kane on the play that led to Svechnikov's goal.
Sulak is an undrafted native of Czech Republic who played two games in Grand Rapids this past season. He could be an option on defense for Blashill, or at least a nice depth player for the organization this season.
Bruins, Penguins this weekend
This weekend, Detroit will host the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, then head to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins on Sunday afternoon.
Here's the rest of the preseason schedule:
- Sept. 22 -- 7 p.m. against the Boston Bruins in Detroit
- Sept. 23 -- 3 p.m. against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh
- Sept. 25 -- 8:30 p.m. against Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago
- Sept. 26 -- 7 p.m. against Boston Bruins in Boston
- Sept. 28 -- 7:30 p.m. against Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto
- Sept. 29 -- 7 p.m. against Toronto Maple Leafs in Detroit