Wings' Moritz Seider scores OT winner to beat Isles, win streak at five games
Detroit — The Red Wings' rookies keep making an impact — and the team keeps winning.
Defenseman Moritz Seider scored his third goal of the season - and second overtime game-winner Saturday - leading the Wings to a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders.
Seider's one-timer from the left dot at 3 minutes, 33 seconds of overtime extended the Red Wings' (13-9-3) win streak to five games - and they've earned points in six games (5-0-1).
"It wasn't our best game but we have that swagger now and that confidence and our ability to stick together and win those games," Seider said.
Maybe it was the skates that Seider wore that spurred that overtime goal?
"Actually I just tried them out this morning and they felt pretty good, so I was feeling it a little bit," said Seider, who played a career- and season-high 27 minutes, 19 seconds.
Seider became the first rookie defenseman in franchise history, and the fifth rookie blueliner in NHL history, to net multiple overtime goals in a single season. Seider is also the only rookie in the NHL this season with multiple overtime winners.
"Nobody wants to go to overtime," Seider said. "But it's always nice to get a little more time and space on the ice and you play against the best players, so it's always a treat to be out there."
Said coach Jeff Blashill of Seider: "He has a belief in himself and he has a real good skill set. He's been a big piece of the infusion of talent here and that's been a big reason we have been able to find ways to win games."
The five-game win streak is the longest the Wings have had since a six-game run from March 23 to April 2, 2019.
"I don't think there's any doubt when you win and you're successful you gain confidence," Blashill said. "Just like an individual player that gets points, you get confidence. The thing I would say, in this league, confidence is fleeting, so we have to keep earning it every game."
The Wings appear to be maturing and learning how to win games in a variety of ways, but especially tight games.
Five of the Wings' last six games have been decided by one goal (5-0-1) - and the Wings are 7-1-3 in one-goal games this season.
"(We're) finding ways to win," Blashill said. "By no means have these been perfect games. There have been a lot of areas we have to keep getting better at, but we have found ways to win and part of that is you can compete yourself past mistakes at times."
Filip Hronek, Sam Gagner and Givani Smith had the other Wings goals and goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 20 shots to earn the victory.
Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom scored his second power-play goal of the night (and seventh goal) at 12:33 of the third period, tying the game 3-3.
Smith's goal broke a 2-2 tie, his second goal of the season. Smith held the puck on a 2-on-1 rush, got to the dot, and blasted a shot past Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin, just after Wahlstrom had tied it on the power play.
"He's (Smith) been up and down with his play, but tonight may have been his most complete game," Blashill said. "If he keeps playing like that, you start getting more minutes."
Hronek and Gagner scored 2:19 apart midway in the first period, erasing a 1-0 Islanders lead.
Hronek lifted a shot from the point that flew by Sorokin's glove at 5:18, Hronek's second goal, tying the game 1-1.
The Wings took the lead on Gagner's third goal, at 7:37. Carter Rowney caused a turnover deep, Smith pushed the puck to Gagner near the net, and from just below the goal line, Gagner banked a shot off Sorokin's back into the net.
The Wings allowed a season-low 23 shots and limited the Islanders to only three first-period shots.
"One of the things we did a good job tonight, and there's a lot of areas we're getting better, is we made a conscious effort to defend on the inside of the ice," Blashill said. "If you defend well, you're rewarded the offense. That's what we want to aspire to be, a team who wins the right way - defend, and you get your chances off defending."
The Wings lost defenseman Gustav Lindstrom with a lower body injury. Blashill had no further report after the game as to the severity of the injury.
Cal Clutterbuck (shorthanded) opened the Islanders scoring. The Islanders (5-10-4) are winless in 10 games (0-8-2).