Madison Bowey's heroics, Dylan Larkin's debut highlight Red Wings' exhibition win

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Penguins center Zach Aston-Reese (46) defends against Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (71) during the first period on Sunday.

Detroit — Dylan Larkin made an impact Sunday, but Madison Bowey’s was even more impressive.

Playing his first game of the preseason, Larkin set up the winning goal — by Bowey, who had three points on the night — in overtime, giving the Red Wings a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh.

Larkin won a faceoff, sprinted down the ice, and fed Bowey for the winner at 2 minutes, 58 seconds into overtime.

BOX SCORE: Red Wings 3, Penguins 2 (OT) 

“On the faceoff I told Bowes (Bowey) to take him (centerman) and I’m going to try to jump forward and push the puck to the boards,” Larkin said of the winning goal. “I was lucky I got a piece of it and chipped it and got some speed going. A couple guys came to me and Bowes was in offensive position and in a perfect spot.”

Said Bowey: “Larks did a great job moving the puck up the ice and he drew a couple guys to him in the offensive zone. I was lucky enough to find open ice and he made great play. I just had to finish it up.”

Bowey had a goal and two assists and was plus-3 in just under 23 minutes of ice time (22:56).

“He has a good skill set for sure,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s big, he can skate and he can pass and shoot it. We’ll keep watching. He’ll get a number of games, so we’ll keep watching.”

Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha also scored for the Wings. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 32 shots.

Brian Dumoulin and Jared McCann (power play) had goals for the Penguins.

The Wings continue the exhibition season Monday at the New York Islanders.

Larkin returns

Larkin has been idled with a nagging foot injury this exhibition season.

But he returned Sunday and played a team-high 22:57, with two assists, a plus-2 rating, and a team-high four shots (tied with Mantha).

Timing was Larkin’s biggest issue, but it got better as the game went along.

“Pucks on the board, guys coming at you, even though you battle in practice, it’s a lot of moving parts out there,” Larkin said. “It’s just timing and it’ll come. I felt better as the game went on. It was fun to be out there again.”

The foot ailment that’s been bothering Larkin felt fine.

“It settled down,” Larkin said. “It needed a couple of days and we took that time and after playing a full game, it feels good.”

Blashill felt Larkin got stronger as the night progressed.

“Better and better as the game went along,” Blashill said. “Obviously it was an unreal play at the end. He practices so hard, it doesn’t surprise me he can hit the ground running before not playing much before this game. It was good to have him back out there.”

Defense first

Bowey has been known as more of an offensive defenseman thus far in his career, but he’s concentrating on defense this camp.

“The main focus for me right now is to be solid defensively and the past few games have been just that, and it’s giving me an opportunity to jump into the play and help out a little bit more offensively,” Bowey said.

Blashill feels Bowey will benefit from concentrating on defense right now, bringing offense back into his game afterward, and earning the trust of the coaching staff.

“You earn that trust by not giving up a whole bunch and then slowly start to add your offense into your game,” Blashill said.

Ice chip

Blashill likes where the goaltending duo of Bernier and Jimmy Howard are at this point in the preseason.

“Bernie was real sharp and he’s been sharp from day one,” Blashill said. “Howie was super sharp the other night. Both goalies have done a real good job of getting themselves ready and they both look like they’re in a good spot right now.”

Red Wings at Islanders

Faceoff: 7 p.m. Monday, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New York

TV/radio: No TV/97.1

Outlook: The Wings and Islanders play for the second time this preseason…The Islanders won Friday, 4-3, in overtime…This is the first of five games this week to close out the preseason for the Wings.

Twitter: @tkulfan