Red Wings will be without Larkin for weekend

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

The Red Wings were without Dylan Larkin for Saturday's victory and Sunday's game in Chicago.

Coach Jeff Blashill said Saturday in his pregame media chat Saturday that Larkin hurt himself during Thursday’s game against Nashville.

“I would say he’s day to day,” Blashill said.

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Saturday in his pregame media chat Saturday that Dylan Larkin hurt himself during Thursday’s game against Nashville.

Larkin was involved in a collision with Nashville defenseman Ben Harpur toward the end of the second period, and missed an early shift the next period. Larkin appeared to be favoring his left arm, maybe the elbow area, as he was skating off the ice after the collision.

The Wings are calling Larkin’s injury an upper-body injury.

It's a big loss for a Wings team that has been offensively challenged all season. Larkin (four goals, seven assists) was tied for the team lead in points (11) with Bobby Ryan before Saturday's game (Ryan moved with a goal in the 5-3 win over Chicago).

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“It’s a good player out, our captain, and he’s a guy that takes up lots of minutes,” Blashill said. “Certainly five-on-five he’s been a big factor, but in the end, we have to win as a team. We’re not going to win as one individual, or two individuals.

“We’re stronger with all of our individuals in (the lineup), we understand that for sure, but ultimately we have to win as a team and we need a whole bunch of our guys playing at their best.”

The Red Wings called up forwards Frans Nielsen and Evgeny Svechnikov from the taxi squad — and both scored goals in Saturday's victory.

Bernier on a roll

Goaltender Jonathan Bernier continued his recent roll with 33 saves in Saturday's victory.

Bernier raised his record to 6-3-0, with a 2.63 goals-against average and .918 save percentage, as he's taken over the bulk of playing time in net from Thomas Greiss.

From December 2019, Blashill said, Bernier has been among the best goaltenders in the NHL.

"We didn't do it with good defense last year and he kept on playing good," Blashill said. "This year we've played better defensively and he's played strong. He's strong in the crease area and works hard at it. He's a winning type of person, I've been impressed with him since the first day I met him.

"Through the ups and downs, and we've had trials for sure, and he's done nothing but continue to work hard and get better every day."

Special night

Svechnikov scored a goal and had an assist on Nielsen's goal in Svechnikov's first game of the season.

Svechnikov was hurt in training camp, was waived but went unclaimed around the NHL, and then sent to Grand Rapids for three games before getting his chance Saturday.

"He did a good job," Blashill said. "I have a lot of time for him as a person, he's a great human being. He works so hard."

Svechnikov was a close friend of Sergei Tchekmarev, 65, the Wings' long-time masseur who recently died.

Many Wings attended Friday's memorial for Tchekmarev, and to play and score a goal Saturday was special for Svechnikov.

"He was close to Cheekah," Blashill said. "It meant a lot to  him. It was important for him."

Red Wings at Blackhawks 

Faceoff: 7 p.m. Sunday, United Center

TV/radio: NBCSN/97.1

Outlook: The Red Wings (7-13-3) won their first game over Chicago (11-7-4) this season in five games. … It was also the first time this season the Wings have won two consecutive games. ... The Blackhawks have won eight of their last 11 games.

Twitter: @tkulfan