Detroit Red Wings fight back from 4-goal deficit, beat Pittsburgh Penguins, 5-4

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. At least, it works if you’re the Detroit Red Wings, who blistered Pittsburgh goalie Casey DeSmith with 46 shots — their sixth game with at least 40 shots this season — and rallied from an early four-goal deficit to force overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night at PPG Paints Arena.

The Wings outshot the Penguins by 15 in regulation (44-29), but Pittsburgh got most of its offense in the first period — four goals past Detroit netminder Ville Husso, who didn’t make it to the first intermission.

Jake Walman scored in overtime to give the Wings perhaps their most unlikely win of the season; just for the Wings to get one was unlikely considering how the first period went. David Perron evened the game for the Wings with 3:08 left in the third, picking up a point for the fourth straight game. Magnus Hellberg, who entered with 36 seconds remaining in the first period, stopped all 17 shots he faced in regulation, plus two more in OT, to keep the Wings in the game long enough to make their comeback.

The Penguins' Drew O'Connor, center, celebrates his goal against the Red Wings during the first period in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022.
The Penguins' Drew O'Connor, center, celebrates his goal against the Red Wings during the first period in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022.

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Four-lorn Wings

The Penguins opened the scoring on a shot by Drew O’Connor, who fired a wrister past Husso on the right side less than three minutes in. O’Connor took a feed from Kasperi Kapanen at the top of the circle and fired quickly for his team’s first shot of the game — and its first goal.

The Penguins padded their lead with a power play goal — the 11th time in 12 games they’ve scored with the extra man — 10:15 into the first as Jeff Carter took the puck from a scrum in front of Husso and wristed it in on the right side from a couple feet outside the crease. Carter’s goal was the ninth of his 18-year career against the Wings, who are one of just seven teams to hold him to single digits in goals. (The others: the Los Angeles Kings, with four; the New York Rangers, with nine; the Philadelphia Flyers, with three; the Seattle Kraken, with two; the St. Louis Blues, with nine; and the Vegas Golden Knights, with eight.)

Zucker’s zaps

Less than five minutes later, Jason Zucker made it a three-goal lead for the Pens, converting a turnover by Jake Walman into an unassisted goal with 5:45 remaining in the first period. Zucker took an attempted clearing pass around the boards straight to the net, where he skated across the crease and put a backhand past Husso’s left pad. At that point, the Penguins had as many goals as Husso had saves, while the Wings had been blanked on 12 shots by Pittsburgh goalie Casey DeSmith.

Zucker potted his second goal of the game, and his eighth of the season, on a power play late in the first period by tapping in a rebound of a poke by Carter, which was itself a rebound off a slapshot from Kapanen. Husso covered up the puck, but not before — as a goal review determined — it crossed the line off Zucker’s stick with 36 seconds before intermission. That was it for Husso, who finished with eight saves on 12 shots and was replaced with Magnus Hellberg.

Red Wings center Dylan Larkin takes the ice to warm up before the game against the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022.
Red Wings center Dylan Larkin takes the ice to warm up before the game against the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022.

Second effort

With Hellberg staunching the flow of Penguins goals, the Wings climbed back into the game in the second period. Dylan Larkin wristed a rebound over DeSmith’s right shoulder on the power play to get the Wings on the board 7:17 into the period. Lucas Raymond started the scoring play with a slapshot that went high and wide and bounced off the glass right to Larkin in the slot, and he picked up his team-high 13th goal of the season.

About seven minutes later, the Wings cut their deficit to two. With Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby missing his stick, Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot walked the puck past him and toward the net before sliding it to a waiting Joe Veleno in the slot. Veleno one-timed it past DeSmith with 5:28 remaining in the second period.

Berggren breaks through

Rookie Jonatan Berggren made it a one-goal game in the third period with his snipe from outside the right circle off an accidental feed from fellow rookie Elmer Söderblom. The 6-foot-8 Swede, standing in the slot, redirected a pass from Chiarot while spinning, straight to Berggren who sent it past DeSmith five minutes into the period.

Game on in Buffalo

After several days of doubt as Buffalo dug out from a winter storm over the weekend, with a driving ban in place through Wednesday, it appears the Wings will be able to take on the Sabres after all on Thursday night.

The Buffalo News reported Wednesday the impending lifting of the driving ban at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, with Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams scheduled to address the media at 10 a.m. ahead of the team’s morning skate. The Sabres haven’t been able to practice as a team since the end of the NHL’s holiday break; their road game Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets was postponed, and only the players who live near downtown’s KeyBank Center have been able to walk to the arena. Other Sabres who live in the suburbs, according to the paper, have skated in Amherst, New York — about 10 minutes from the arena.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings fight back from 4-goals down, beat Penguins, 5-4(OT)