Red Wings have emotional rematch with Senators before break

League: NHL

Posted on: 31 Jan, 2024 at 12:01 AM

Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Dylan Larkin has mixed emotions about the upcoming All-Star break. While the rest will be welcome, the Detroit Red Wings' captain doesn't want anything to slow down his team's momentum.

"The break is going to be good for us, but the way we're feeling right now, I'd love to keep it going," Larkin said.

The Red Wings will look to finish off a productive month with a home win over Ottawa on Wednesday.

Detroit is 9-2-1 during January, including a 5-2 victory over Vegas on Saturday. The Red Wings currently hold one of the wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference.

"Yeah, we do. It's important we do," Larkin said of checking the standings. "We have to keep our foot on the gas."

Larkin scored two goals in the win over the Golden Knights -- the 200th and 201st goals of his career.

"It's huge. Pretty honored to do it at home," he said. "Something that you can look back and be proud of."

Detroit's last game against Ottawa brings back painful memories for Larkin and his teammates. Larkin was knocked unconscious from a hit by Mathieu Joseph on Dec. 9. David Perron retaliated with a cross-check on Artem Zub and was handed a six-game suspension by the league.

The Senators won that game 5-1, sending the Red Wings into a tailspin the rest of the month.

"I think the message is going to be manage your emotions," Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said of the rematch. "Obviously, pushback and (don't) take anything like that personal. It's about winning the game and getting the two points. That was a very, very emotional game that even hung with us there for a while. Obviously, we did a good job of getting past it. (This is) another hockey game that we want to compete in at a high level and that's it."

The Senators have posted a 5-7-2 record this month, though their last game was uplifting. They trailed Nashville by three goals after the first period, then tied it by the end of the second period. Claude Giroux scored the game-winner in overtime for a 4-3 victory on Monday.

"It's great to see how we responded," Giroux said. "We didn't change our game, we didn't try to do too much, we just let the game come to us and when we had the chance, we were able to score. This one feels pretty good."

Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist in the comeback. He leads Ottawa with 21 goals.

"We showed our maturity from all the lessons that we've learned," Tkachuk said. "In the past, it could've gotten away from us, but we stuck to it, stuck to our game and really emphasized doing it as a team, versus trying to do it individually."

Despite winning in Detroit last month, the Senators have the conference's worst road record at 6-13-0. The Red Wings are eager to get another shot at them.

"It's a big game, it's a division game, the last game before break," Larkin said. "We've got to keep our focus. Our crowds have been awesome. We've got to come out and perform for them."

--Field Level Media