Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde ejected for tantrum against Penguins
Detroit Red Wings fans would be forgiven for thinking the Tigers were back in town when coach Derek Lalonde was ejected from Tuesday’s home game against Pittsburgh.
Penguins forward Jeff Carter tossed a loose puck into the Wings goal after teammate Jason Zucker caught the stick in the pads of Detroit goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, knocking him off balance in his crease.
Lalonde contested the goal; When officials ruled Nedeljkovic was unimpeded on the play, erasing a 3-0 Red Wings lead, the coach went ballistic.
The former Lightning assistant appeared to curse the referees for several moments before being ejected midway through the second period.
If Lalonde intended to fire his team by firing him as baseball managers so often do, it worked. The teams tied again at 4-4 before two goals from striker David Perron and an empty net from Dylan Larkin won for the Red Wings.
Former Panthers and Sharks coach Bob Boughner took over the bench for the Red Wings after Lalonde’s departure. Boughner goes 148-147-45 as NHL head coach.
The 7-4 win at Detroit takes the team down to .500 after a 1-5 slump dropped them below the mark for the first time this season.
The Penguins, meanwhile, are on a cold streak themselves. Mike Sullivan’s men are 4-6 in their last 10 games and keep an equally lackluster Panthers team in the hunt for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
The Red Wings will hope rookie NHL head coach Lalonde lasts the game when they host the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.