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Senators tip Red Wings 5-1, Larkin injured on hit from behind

Ottawa Senators right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) celebrates his goal with Mathieu Joseph (21) in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — Claude Giroux and Vladimir Tarasenko each had a goal and an assist and the Ottawa Senators beat Detroit 5-1 on Saturday night in a game overshadowed by a hit from behind that left Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin unconscious on the ice.

Larkin was down for about a minute after being cross-checked in the back of the head and neck by Ottawa’s Mathieu Joseph. Eventually, Larkin was able to stand up after regaining consciousness. He was hunched over as he was assisted to the locker room. 

The team released a statement during the game that Larkin was being evaluated by the medical staff. Coach Derek Lalonde didn't have a further update afterward.

“Obviously, very concerned,” Lalonde said. “That’s a really tough look, seeing him passed out on the ice, unconscious.”

Standing near the Ottawa goal during a first-period power play, Larkin took the hit from Joseph and fell into the Senators’ Parker Kelly, who also hit him.

Joseph and Kelly were assessed roughing penalties on the play with 6:10 left in the period. Detroit’s David Perron was given a match penalty for intent to injure for cross-checking Artem Zub as the Ottawa defenceman stood next to the prone Larkin. 

“It’s scary for everyone in the rink when you see someone unconscious,” Red Wings defenceman Ben Chiarot said. “Hard to watch, especially when it’s your friend and captain. Scary for his family, when you see someone down like that. Lot of emotions.”

Detroit’s Christian Fischer and Joseph dropped the gloves early in the third period.

“That’s the captain of our team,” Fischer said. “Every guy in the locker room would have stuck up for him.”

Nine-time All-Star Patrick Kane scored his first goal of the season in his second game with Detroit. He signed a one-year contract Nov. 28 as a free agent.

Dominik Kubalik, Tim Stutzle and Jake Sanderson also scored for Ottawa. Joonas Korpisalo made 30 saves for his 100th regular-season victory.

“I forgot about it — it took me a while to get there,” Korpisalo said about the milestone. “I think we’re doing a really good job of controlling games, and tonight we had good penalty kills and good power plays.”

Larkin's injury and Perron's ejection left Detroit, which dressed seven defencemen, with only nine forwards. 

Detroit goalie Alex Lyon was pulled after two periods. Lyon and James Reimer combined for 32 saves.

Giroux scored on a power play less than two minutes into the game, shovelling in a rebound of Jakob Chychrun's shot.

During a 4-on-3 power play a minute after Larkin's injury, Kane scored on a wrister from the right circle that beat Korpisalo on his glove side.

Ottawa took a 4-1 lead in the second period. Tarasenko scored the go-ahead goal at 3:36 on a power play. Kubalik, who played for the Red Wings last season, then beat Lyon with a slap shot. Stutzle scored with 1:04 remaining in the period.

“I thought we played our best second period in a long time against one of the better second-period teams in the league,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said.

Sanderson added an empty-net goal in the third.


Senators: Host Carolina on Tuesday night.

Wings: At Dallas on Monday night.



Dana Gauruder, The Associated Press

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