Newark, N.J. — All the travel issues from the day before, the difficulty of getting from snowy Ottawa to snowier New Jersey, it all didn’t seem to matter.
At least later on, as the Red Wings overcame another slow start — and again rallied, defeating the New Jersey Devils 3-2.
Dylan Larkin scored with 50.3 seconds left in overtime, converting on a nifty pass from Anthony Mantha, on a 2-on-1 rush.
“I was taken aback by their set up in overtime on the draw,” Larkin said. “I just told Mo I’m going to try to get the puck to the left side, to you, and I did and we ended up on a 2-on-1.
“Mo threw me off, too, he slipped it (puck) over last minute and I had the whole net there. It was a great play by him.”
As the season reached the quarter-pole, essentially, on Saturday, the Wings have turned their fortunes around.
They’re 9-9-2, but when you look inside the numbers, they’ve gone from 1-7-2 in their first 10 games, to 8-2 in their last 10.
“After our start everyone was counting us out,” Larkin said. “Here we are, the last 10 games, we’ve showed not only the league and our fans but ourselves, that we can play with every team on a nightly basis.
“We’re winning games and we’re having fun and we’re rolling. We need to keep this going.”
The Wings have won five of their last six, rallying from two-goal deficits on the last four wins.
“We just stayed with it and our group is believing in themselves and having fun doing it,” coach Jeff Blashill said.
Michael Rasmussen tied it at 2 at 13:37 of the third period with his fifth goal, deflecting Mike Green’s shot through goaltender Keith Kinkaid. The Devils challenged for goalie interference on Luke Glendening — who was battling near the crease — but it was ruled a goal.
Coach Jeff Blashill talks about the Red Wings believing in themselves after Saturday's OT victory. The Detroit News
Glendening cut New Jersey’s lead to 2-1 late in the second period, shortly after Devils forward Blake Coleman scored shorthanded.
“Huge,” Blashill said of Glendening’s goal. “The longer you’re down 2-0, the better chance it goes to 3-0 and that’s tough. You have to keep it within striking distance. That goal was huge.”
The travel issues Friday may have had an effect on a slow start — the Wings were out-shot 15-4 in the first period — but Glendening said the team persevered.
“It might have been a long day (Friday) but when I was playing for Toledo (in the minor leagues), that was basically every game day,” Glendening said. “Basically nothing new. We battled through it.”
The Wings lost Darren Helm early in the first period with an apparent right wrist or shoulder injury when he was checked into the boards awkwardly by Devils forward Travis Zajac, with all of Helm’s weight falling onto his wrist.
Blashill said the Wings would know more about Helm’s condition Monday, but said Helm would be out of action “for some time.”