Red Wings fade late, fall in overtime to Islanders in exhibition
Detroit — A disappointing finish for the Red Wings, exhibition season or not.
Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier forced overtime with a late goal, then won it 32 seconds into overtime, giving the Islanders a 4-3 victory.
Beauvillier one-timed a shot in the slot from Brock Nelson's pass to beat goaltender Jimmy Howard.
Filip Hronek scored a power-play goal off a nice feed from Adam Erne at 10 minutes, 52 seconds of the third period, giving the Wings a 3-2 lead.
But the Beauvillier tied it at 3 at the 18:26 mark to force overtime.
Islanders forward Derick Brassard broke a 1-1 tie at 5:03 of the third period, but Anthony Mantha quickly tied it again at 2.
Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou and Islanders defenseman Devon Toews (power play) traded goals through two periods.
Howard stopped 22 shots.
Here are other highlights from Friday's exhibition:
►In his first game of the preseason, Athanasiou showed his ability to break open a game.
Athanasiou blazed around Islanders defenseman Seth Helgeson, cut through the slot, and had enough on the shot as the puck trickled past goalie Semyon Varlamov.
Coach Jeff Blashill had wanted to wait until Dylan Larkin (heel) was healthy and play Athanasiou, Larkin, and Mantha together. But Larkin is still a few days away from playing, and Athanasiou and Mantha needed to get game action.
Mantha blistered a shot past goalie Christopher Gibson in the third period, a terrific shot off the rush.
“First game back, just maybe a half-second late,” Mantha said of how he felt. “Bert (Tyler Bertuzzi, also playing his first game) and I talked about getting the momentum. It took a couple of shifts.”
►The Wings view Erne as the type of guy who can provide a physical edge but also supply some offense.
Erne continued to show his physical prowess, being credited with five hits against the Islanders. He had a big one late in the second period, upending Islanders forward Matt Martin.
On Detroit's final goal, Erne made a slick feed to Hronek to show his savvy around the net.
Erne played both power play and penalty kill, and has the ability to be used effectively up and down the lineup in a variety of roles.
“That was a real good play, good pass, and he has the ability to tip pucks,” Blashill said of Erne’s net-front presence. “He showed fairly well tonight. He brings some energy, has a physicality to his game and has good hands around the net.
“If he can keep doing that, that’s a positive.”
►Regarding some of the Wings who were making their home debut in the preseason, it was a mixed bag — but largely disappointing.
Defensemen Moritz Seider (19:18) and Oliwer Kaski (16:39) both played extensive minutes but Kaski, in particular, in his first game seemed to struggle with the speed and quickness.
Seider, too, struggled at times.
“It’s part of it, the ups and downs,” Blashill said. “He doesn’t look like a guy that’s super out of place, but he made a few more mistakes than he probably has (in previous games).”
Filiip Zadina had three shots in 16:42, but continues to press, not having scored a goal through the prospects tournament (four games) and now two preseason games.
“It’s hockey life,” Zadina said. “I’m pretty young but I’ve been through it a couple of times, what I’m going through right now. I just want to be patient, it’s not about the goals. I just want to play hockey, have fun and win the games.”
Blashill and general manager Steve Yzerman talked after the game about Zadina utilizing more give-and-go's and trying to do too much himself.
“It’s super hard in this league to self create,” Blashill said. “Sometimes Filip wants to score so bad that he’s trying to do all himself at times.
“He’s somebody that wants to have success. There were a lot of expectations going into his draft year, he played as a young player in the American League. He just has to relax and work on his game and understand it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
►Forward Frans Nielsen only played three shifts for a total of 1:53 before exiting with what the team announced was a lower body injury.
Blashill said he wasn’t sure how long Nielsen would be out, but there was no concern of Nielsen missing the regular-season opener on Oct. 5 in Nashville.
Blashill said after Friday's morning skate Larkin (foot/heel) could make his preseason debut either Sunday or Monday. Justin Abdelkader, who along with Larkin is yet to play in the exhibition season, is expected to return at some point next week.
►Interesting sequence late in the second period. One of the criticisms and frustrations regarding Valtteri Filppula in his first tour of duty with the Wings was his reluctance to shoot the puck, sometimes passing too much to a fault.
Filppula appeared to have a good scoring opportunity but passed to Michael Rasmussen, who may not have been expecting the puck, and foiled the scoring chance.
“It’s something we’ll talk about,” Blashill said. “He’s a great passer of the puck, he’s a real good player with a lots of ability. We’ll keep working on his shooting the puck more.”