On a night with an old-school tribute to Dylan Larkin for being named captain of the Detroit Red Wings last season, Larkin brought an equally old-school vibe when he was ejected for punching Tampa Bay Lightning player Mathieu Joseph.
Larkin, who opened the scoring for the Wings against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champs, was checked into the boards in the Tampa Bay zone by Joseph late in the second period, with the Wings leading 3-1.
He immediately leapt up and swung at an approaching Joseph, connecting with Joseph’s throat and face. Tampa Bay’s Jan Rutta then hit Larkin, sending him to the ice as the other players on the ice began to brawl. Thursday’s game was Larkin’s first regular-season appearance since a cross-check to the neck by Dallas’ Jamie Benn ended his 2020-21 season in April.
2021-22 HOPES: ‘We are going to write our own history’
After a lengthy review, Larkin received a match penalty — ending his night — and the Lightning received two minor penalties: one for Joseph and one for Rutta. Oddly enough, both teams took advantage of the penalties.
In the 4-on-3 situation, Tyler Bertuzzi scored his third goal of the night to make it 4-1 and bring a flurry of hats onto the ice. After the cleanup,Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos scored twice in 72 seconds to get the Lightning within one goal with about five minutes remaining in the second period.
The teams went into the second intermission with the Wings leading, 4-3.
Larkin was honored prior to the game by nearly five decades of Red Wings captains, then scored the Wings’ first goal of the season 14 minutes into the first period.
In addition to Bertuzzi’s goals, rookies Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider both picked up assists in their NHL debuts.
Contact Ryan Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @theford. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin ejected after check, throwing punch