DETROIT | Getting badly outplayed by the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday was enough for Dale Hunter to shift his lineup around entirely and make a couple of curious calls with his healthy scratches.
Out Monday night at the Detroit Red Wings are right wing Joel Ward and defenseman Dmitry Orlov, replaced by Jeff Halpern and Roman Hamrlik.
Ward did not appear to have a bad game in Chicago, but he played just under 11 minutes. Ward has not scored with a goalie in the net in his past 34 games.
The 31-year-old has never been an offensive powerhouse, though his defensive game has been strong in recent weeks.
“It’s just the way I’ve been playing my whole life, basically. I get pucks out,” Ward said recently. “For me, I know what I got to do and that’s just play well defensively and to make plays whenever I can. Defense-first, I’ve always done that. And it’s just a matter of getting opportunity and repetitions.”
The expectations are higher thanks to a four-year, $12 million contract.
Orlov was burned by Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg for a goal Sunday and made some questionable decisions with the puck. But it’s hard to argue the 20-year-old was the worst defenseman on the ice, given the performances turned in by Jeff Schultz and John Carlson.
The lines are all shook up, too:
Alex Ovechkin - Brooks Laich - Troy Brouwer
Marcus Johansson - Keith Aucoin - Alexander Semin
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Jeff Halpern
Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Mike Knuble
Karl Alzner- Dennis Wideman
Roman Hamrlik - Mike Green
Jeff Schultz- John Carlson