Weiss records 400th point, pair of goals in Red Wings win

Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey
Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey


By @SKubus

DETROIT – It was a long time coming for Stephen Weiss.

In just his second game of the season, the former Plymouth Whalers star scored a pair of goals – one of which counted as his 400th career NHL point – to lead Detroit to a 4-3 win over Ottawa at Joe Louis Arena Monday night.

“It was a good win for our team, we had lots of good players, and it was really good for Stephen Weiss and that’s really good for us because not everyone can score,” head coach Mike Babcock said. “Weiss found a way to chip it in twice. Lots of guys can play lots of games and be in lots of spots and never get it in the net, but he’s capable.

“He’s got to go home and breathe and feel good about himself. We don’t give this stuff away for free… He’s got to earn what he gets, and tonight I thought he took a huge step. I thought him, Helm and Jurco were a real good line for us.”

Weiss said building momentum is all he can hope for at this point after an injury-riddled career as of late, not only for his own game, but for the betterment of the team.

“I never lost confidence,” Weiss said. “When you haven’t played in so long, the coach has a tough time putting you in in situations you’ve always played, and rightfully so. So even in practice, you’re not playing power play, not getting those reps I’ve done all my career. It’s just a matter of sticking with it, and hopefully getting a break here and there to where you can maybe stick in the lineup for a couple games, build some momentum and off you go.

“It felt good to be in the lineup, nice to get the win, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan also scored for a Detroit team that peppered Ottawa starter Craig Anderson with 43 shots. On the other end, Jimmy Howard turned away 23 of 26 shots.

Weiss skated in two games with Grand Rapids this past weekend and scored in each of them. In two games this season, he now has two goals.

“That’s awesome to see, well-deserved,” Nyquist said of Weiss’ performance. “He’s worked so hard to come back, been practicing real hard for a couple months. It must be tough for him, but you never see him with negative energy. He’s always happy when he’s at the rink, and we’re real happy for him to have him back and to see him score two goals.”

The Red Wings dug themselves in a hole early on, taking back-to-back penalties to set up a Sens’ 5-on-3. Kyle Turris’ slap shot beat Howard at 4:15 of the opening frame to start the scoring with Detroit down two men. But Nyquist responded with a rebound goal on the power play for the Red Wings after receiving a 5-on-3 of their own; Ottawa killed off the first minor, but did not survive the second one.

Sheahan continued his hot play of late, with a power play rebound goal at 2:23 of the second period. Anderson gave up a juicy rebound after a Tomas Tatar slap shot from the left side, allowing Sheahan to deposit his fourth of the season into the net from the right side.

Near the halfway point of the middle frame, Detroit held an astounding 25-8 shot advantage, but Anderson was playing that strongly for the Sens.

Weiss scored his first goal since Oct. 14, 2013 and first of the year, banging home rebound right in front of Anderson amidst two tangled pairs of players at 13:34. He wasn’t done there. scoring another rebound goal just 4:18 later for the 400th point of his career.

Just 2:43 into the third period, Senators all-star rearguard Erik Karlsson lit the lamp to cut the Red Wings’ lead to two. And with 34.3 seconds remaining, Chris Neil found the back of the net to make it a 4-3 game. Despite the defensive hiccup, Detroit managed to hold on for the win.

“I thought we played well,” Babcock said. “You know the game is always going to be on the line. That’s just the way it is in the league. Karlsson’s slippery, he can get the puck to the net. It’s amazing to me.”