Detroit Red Wings snap skid with 3-0 road win over woeful New Jersey Devils


The Detroit Red Wings head into the final week of their season with a victory against a team that has struggled more than they have.

Sunday’s outing against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center was a slow, grinding affair. The Devils went more than 20 minutes without a shot in the first half of the game, and the Wings came away with a 3-0 victory.

Alex Nedeljkovic faced just 17 shots. Oskar Sundqvist scored among the Wings’ 22 shots on Andrew Hammond. Tyler Bertuzzi scored into an empty net with 2:09 to play, putting him at 29 goals. Michael Rasmussen followed up with an empty net goal with 13 seconds on the clock.

Detroit Red Wings center Oskar Sundqvist (70) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Newark, NJ

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The Wings were unsuccessful on three power plays against the Devils, who are 10 points behind Detroit in the standings.

The Wings (31-39-10) play at the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday and are back at the Devils for the season finale Friday.

Sundqvist’s contribution

Sundqvist scored for the fourth time since being acquired from St. Louis at the March 21 trade deadline. Devils forward Andreas Johnsson had the puck deep in his own zone and rather than go up the boards, he attempted to go towards the middle. Bertuzzi and Rasmussen applied pressure, and Johnson lost the puck. Sundqvist swept in and swiped the puck on net, making it 1-0 at 15:48 of the first period.

New Jersey Devils center Janne Kuokkanen (59) skates with the puck while Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (39) defends his net during the second period at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on Sunday, April 24, 2022.

New Jersey Devils center Janne Kuokkanen (59) skates with the puck while Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (39) defends his net during the second period at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on Sunday, April 24, 2022.

Juolevi readears

Defenseman Olli Juolevi got back into the lineup for the first time since March 27. (That was the 11-2 loss at Pittsburgh. Juolevi played 16:47 that day and was the only Wings player besides Sam Gagner to emerge with an even rating. The Wings claimed the 23-year-old off waivers March 6, adding a defenseman in anticipation of the trade deadline, when they moved blueliners Nick Leddy and Troy Stecher. Sunday was only Juolevi’s sixth game in a Wings uniform. He has struggled to impress and is unlikely to be retained.

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Blueline bullets

The Wings’ defense projects to get a major boost next season with the expected inclusion of 2021 No. 6 overall pick Simon Edvinsson. The 19-year-old signed the standard three-year entry-level contract Sunday. He’s coming off a terrific season in the Swedish Hockey League, where he had 19 points in 44 games for Frölunda HC and was a finalist for SHL rookie of the year. (Fellow Wings prospect William Wallinder, drafted No. 32 overall in 2020, was named Swedish junior player of the year earlier this month, ahead of Edvinsson). Edvinsson may be better off starting his NHL career partnered with a veteran, but down the road, the Wings could have a formidable pairing on defense in the 6-foot-5, 205-pound Edvinsson and the 6-4, 197-pound Moritz Seider.

Contact James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings snap skid with 3-0 road win over New Jersey Devils





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