By @StefanKubus –
If Foreigner plays at Little Caesars Arena during a Red Wings game, it certainly marks a special night in Detroit.
On Thursday night, in the season opener against Columbus, rookie defenseman Dennis Cholowski triggered the hit song, “Feels Like The First Time,” as he potted his first career NHL goal.
The only problem, of course, was that the Red Wings weren’t on top at the end.
Tyler Bertuzzi also scored his first of the season, while Dylan Larkin and Gustav Nyquist each picked up a pair of helpers, but the Detroit lost to the Blue Jackets 3-2 in overtime to spoil the party in Hockeytown. Artemi Panarin won the game for Columbus with his OT winner.
Photos by Michael Caples/MiHockey
Detroit sent Columbus to the power play six times over the course of the game, and despite killing off all but one, it was far too often for head coach Jeff Blashill.
“We’ve got to stay out of the box, I thought it killed us in a lot of different ways,” Blashill said. “We didn’t establish much of a forecheck throughout the game, but I thought we actually had a forecheck early, had a little bit of momentum, took a penalty, they score and then after that I thought they had the momentum. And when we crawled back into it or started to build up al little momentum, we took another penalty.”
Cam Atkinson made the Wings pay, as he opened the scoring at 5:12 of the first period with a power-play marker, beating Howard on a one-timer from the right circle.
At 7:46 of the middle frame, Cholowski struck to put the Wings on the board.
“It was kind of just a blur, I hardly remember it to be honest,” Cholowski said. “It just kind of happened so fast, just a wave of excitement.
“I saw (Larkin) look over his shoulder, I just yelled as loud as I could for the puck. I was wide open, he made a great pass, thankful that he made the pass.”
Josh Anderson gave his team the lead once again minutes later after Cholowski got caught in the Columbus zone looking for the perfect shot. But it was simply part of the learning curve according to his head coach. Blashill said he felt Cholowski played a strong game overall.
“To me, it’s a little bit of a young mistake,” Blashill said. “It’s just not understanding the clock, the guy’s coming out of the box. And a little bit of what we tried to do too much tonight where we were trying to look for a better shot. I mean he had a shot, I thought he should’ve taken the shot he had, but that’s just part of the reality of growth of young players. I think mental toughness is a big deal, and it didn’t affect him. He just kept going.”
Bertuzzi struck back to even things up heading into the third period. And in overtime, it was the ever-dangerous Panarin that capped it off to seal the game.