DETROIT – Lucas Raymond made his first NHL goal a big one for the Detroit Red Wings, breaking a scoreless tie at 6:38 of the third period on the way to a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
“It feels great,” Raymond said. “I’ve had some good looks, and I wanted to get one to go in. It is really special to get one. I think it has been amazing — the energy in the arena and the energy in this group. We play really hard every night and it makes it a lot of fun.”
The 19-year-old Raymond, from Gothenburg, Sweden, was picked fourth overall by the Red Wings in the 2020 draft. He also assisted on Tyler Bertuzzi’s fifth goal of the season just more than two minutes after beating goalie Joonas Korpisalo, who stopped Detroit’s first 33 shots on net.
Boone Jenner made it a one-goal game at 12:51 of the final period, but Red Wings goalie Thomas Greiss and his defense preserved the lead. Greiss finished with 22 saves.
“There was a little bit of energy,” Columbus coach Brad Larsen said. “But then we tried to force plays in the 6-on-5 (after pulling Korpisalo), and it just wasn’t a good game for us.”
Vladislav Namestnikov and Adam Erne added empty-net goals in the final 1:14.
Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin – back from his one-game suspension — cruised in on the right side and dropped a pass to Raymond for the first goal of the game. Larkin also assisted on Bertuzzi’s goal.
Detroit had a 31-13 edge in shots through the first two periods but couldn’t score despite several good opportunities.
“They were way better and way hungrier than we were,” Larsen said. “We chased the game all night.”
Greiss kept the Red Wings even until they scored four times in the third.
“He was the first star in the last game and he was good again tonight,” Bertuzzi said. “He’s definitely on top of his game right now.”
Detroit had a two-man advantage for 1:34 in the second, but didn’t take advantage until the third.
Korpisalo came up big between the pipes, stopping 41 shots with a .953 save percentage.
“He was outstanding – the only reason we had a chance to be in that game or stay in that game,” Larsen said. “He was our best player. It wasn’t even close.”
Detroit coach Jeff Blashill likes the way Larkin and Bertuzzi complement one another on the No. 1 line, with Raymond working his way into the flow.
“It’s obviously a small sample, and they are a good combination,” Blashill said. “Bert has grit to get pucks in the corner, Dylan has the speed to make things happen, and Raymond is a cerebral player. Bert and Larks are both really good at going to get the puck, while that’s not a strength for Lucas at this point.”
Raymond added: “This was our second game together, and it has been incredible. They are both great players, and it is really easy to play with them.”
Columbus dropped to 2-1, while Detroit improved to 2-0-1 in the first week of the season.
“This is the kind of start we needed to build some confidence, especially after I lost almost all of last season and Larks is coming back from his injury (last season),” Bertuzzi said.
Larkin served his one-game suspension during Detroit’s 3-1 win Saturday over Vancouver. The ban was levied after Larkin was ejected from the Red Wings’ season-opening 7-6 overtime loss to Tampa Bay. He took a match penalty for punching Mathieu Joseph in response to being driven headfirst into the boards.
“Mathieu Joseph reached out to me and we texted back and forth and that was nice,” Larkin told reporters. “He apologized and I apologized, and I said, ‘Let’s put it in the past.’ And that’s what I’d really like to do with all this.”
Larkin felt if there had been a penalty called on Joseph, the incident would not have escalated.
NOTES: Larkin and Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski were roommates in the South Quad dorms at the University of Michigan in 2014-15, when both were All-Big Ten first-team selections. Larkin, then 18, played one season for the Wolverines after Detroit drafted him in the first round in 2014. Werenski, then 17, was drafted by the Blue Jackets in the first round in 2015. They previously won three Michigan state championships on the Belle Tire team, and moved on together to the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, where they attended Pioneer High and had a couple of classes together.
Blue Jackets: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Red Wings: Host the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.
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