Game Recap: Rangers 3 at Red Wings 2 (OT)

Leon Halip

Three Rangers players score their first goals of the season to take two points home from Detroit.

The 2-6 Rangers improved to 3-6 after coming to Detroit for an Original Six matchup which culminated the Rangers' 9-game road trip to start the season. Detroit would squander two leads before surrendering the game winner to Derick Brassard.

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A first period broken up by lots of whistles and special teams play eventually settled in. A Ranger turnover at their own blue line sprang Drew Miller with Jordin Tootoo for a 2-on-1 which Miller buried short side on Cam Talbot. But the Red Wings' second period problems continued. Jimmy Howard kept the Rangers off the scoreboard; unfortunately, he couldn't prevent Kyle Quincey from shoving Derek Stepan for an interference penalty. On the ensuing power play, a shot from the half wall led to a mad scramble in front. Across the crease, the puck found an open Benoit Pouliot who backhanded it in. A few minutes later, Taylor Pyatt literally wanted to get a feel for rookie Tomas Tatar and got sent off for holding. After a great block on a clearing attempt, Pavel Datsyuk fed Daniel Alfredsson in the slot for a one-timer with 11 seconds left for a 2-1 lead heading to the second intermission. That lead disappeared quickly in the third as 2:18 in, Marc Staal fired a point shot off Howard, and Mats Zuccarello beat Joakim Andersson to the rebound for a tie game. Neither team finished its later third period chances, forcing overtime. With 12.9 seconds left, Pouliot poked the puck past a pinching Quincey to center ice. Pouliot poked the puck again past Danny DeKeyser who switched to cover for Quincey but left Derick Brassard open for a breakaway which sealed the victory for the Rangers.

Knee-jerk

  • Babcock's line blender split up Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, putting Stephen Weiss on the third line with Dan Cleary and Justin Abdelkader. The new lines worked pretty well through the first period, so it makes perfect sense that the fourth line scored the Red Wings' first goal of the night.
  • The power play sucked early on and got progressively better. Once the shots stopped going through the point and the Red Wings looked to the slot, Daniel Alfredsson got open for a one-timer past Talbot.
  • The New York Rangers offense going into tonight was impotent at best. They were missing the likes of Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan. The rookie in net was starting his second NHL game. So of course the Red Wings scored only two goals and let three Rangers players get their first goals of the season. At least they weren't first career goals.
  • Brian Lashoff on two occasions lost a puck battle which led directly to chances against. Truthfully, those are the only two plays of his which stand out in my memory, so while those two plays were bad, if he was quiet the rest of the night, that's fine with me.
  • I wish I could tell you (and Mike Babcock and the rest of the Red Wings) how to play hockey in the second period. The scoreboard shows 1-1 in goals, but the Red Wings spent too much time in their own zone, and when they did manage to skate over the Rangers' blue line, it never felt they threatened the Rangers and Talbot in any way.

After Review

  • Part of the reason I liked the line blender at the beginning of the game was that more of the team was getting involved in the offense and spending good time in the offensive zone and generating chances. When the third period started and the Euro Train line of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Alfredsson reunited, the Red Wings fell back to the same offensive impotence that's plagued the team this week. I know the second period was terrible, but it was terrible with the old line combinations too; I would like to see this team let the players play through their struggles instead of wonder who's going out with them on the ice next.
  • Jimmy Howard gave up a terrible rebound on Zuccarello's goal, but aside from that play, he was great in goal and made some ten-bell saves, including on Ryan McDonagh, Brian Boyle, and Chris Kreider. When the Red Wings suffered their usual second period woes, Howard stood tall and gave his team more than enough time to try to get play going the other way. Howard is your Player of the Game.
  • Kyle Quincey had some great plays in this game. It's unfortunate he's become one of the scapegoats for this team, and it's even worse that he made a bad decision which led to the game winning goal. It also doesn't help that he took two penalties, one of which was pretty undisciplined. But still, I present to you from Jgraham:

  • The Red Wings were outshot 40-34 in this game. I don't have the Corsi/ Fenwick numbers available right now, but the eye test in terms of zone time tells me the Red Wings lost that battle, especially in the second period. I will happily be wrong if the numbers shake out differently, but it's incredibly disconcerting how often the Red Wings have been outshot this season, especially after getting used to the idea of the Red Wings firing 40-50 shots and scoring only 1-2 goals.

The Red Wings took 2 out of a possible 6 points on a three-game home stand, with both points coming in overtime losses. Going back to the game in Phoenix, the Red Wings have been outscored 14-5 in 4 games. It's only 12 games into the season, but these numbers are not good trends to see. They fly out to western Canada searching for offense starting Wednesday night in Vancouver.

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