Detroit, MI—-It wasn’t pretty, but a win is win and the Wings will take them as they come. The NHL season is a long one so anytime you can get a W, you will gladly take it.
The Detroit Wings scored first and built an early lead, Moritz Seider had four assists to lead the Detroit Wings in a 7-5 win against the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday at Little Caesars Arena. They played sloppy against Winnipeg, squandering a three-goal edge. But ultimately got it together in the last few minutes of the game.
The 21-year-old tied the Red Wings’ record for assists by a defenseman and was their first to have four in a contest since Mike Green on Oct. 5, 2017. Three of Seider’s four assists came in the first period.
“I think I’m playing a lot more mature defensively this year,” Seider said. “I’m getting better and I’m finding the right times to jump into the offense. That’s important when you are playing against the top lines every night.”
Lucas Raymond scored a goal with two assists, and Oskar Sundqvist and Dylan Larkin each scored a goal and an assist for Detroit (16-16-7). Goalie Ville Husso had 32 saves.
“Thank God for him tonight,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said of Seider. “I like that we scored and I like that we won the game, but that might have been our worst performance of the year.”
The Wings scored on their first shot when Jake Walman beat Hellebuyck at 1:16 of the first.
Jonatan Berggren made it 2-0 at 7:21, and Sundqvist gave the Red Wings a 3-0 lead at 15:27 off a nice pass from Seider.
Defenseman Neal Pionk cut it to 3-1 at 17:17.
“We’ve talked a lot about being better off the start,” Jets forward Sam Gagner said. “That has to be an area of growth moving forward.”
Pionk, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Mark Scheifele each scored a goal and an assist for Winnipeg (26-14-1), who had won five games in a row. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyuk allowed six goals on 22 shots.
“Connor is our guy, we all know that,” Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness said. “He’s won a lot of games for us for this year, and he’ll win a lot more. We could have scored enough goals to win this game, but we didn’t get there.”
Dominik Kubalik made it 4-1 on a 2-on-1 with Sundqvist at 2:57 of the second period.
Gagner trim it to 4-2 at 9:46, and Nate Schmidt cut the lead to 4-3 at the 12:08 mark.
Seider got his fourth assist when Dylan Larkin gave the Wings a 5-3 lead during a 5-on-3 power play at 17:38.
“Our penalty kill has been amazing all year and we’ve been pretty disciplined,” Gagner said. “That’s just one of those things that happens, and it came just as we were gathering momentum.”
Robby Fabbri redirected a shot from Gustav Lindstrom to make it 6-4 at the 1:52 mark.
Scheifele cut it to 6-5 on a power play at 14:55, and Pionk hit the side of the post with 3:13 remaining.
Raymond scored an empty-net goal with 1:20 left for the final score.
“When we got it to 6-5, I think everyone on the bench thought we were going to tie the game,” Schmidt said. “We hadn’t played our best game, and we’d given up so many good chances, but we still had a chance to win the game.
“You just can’t put yourself in a spot where the whole game is uphill.”
Despite the circumstances, Winnipeg still thoroughly outplayed the Wings at even-strength, so it’s not a complete loss to the team.
Detroit will host the Maple Leafs on Thursday, Jan. 12 for a 7:00 P.M. start time.