Here we go, after a couple days, the Red Wings are back in action at the PizzArena.
The Rangers come into this game winning the most games since the end of October. Henrik Lundqvist is at the center of that, but the Red Wings came in with, while inconsistent, a ton of tenacity and drive to the net.
Here’s your recap of Friday night’s game..
The Red Wings got an early chance on the power-play, which was drawn by Tyler Bertuzzi. The unit was very zig-zaggy, and Bertuzzi didn’t get a fair chance to sit in front of the net. Gustav Nyquist picked up a clear breakaway chance on the power-play. He tried to go over the pad of Henrik Lundqvist, but caught couldn’t get it past him. Big heads up play by Niklas Kronwall to hit Nyquist tape-to-tape with the outlet.
The Nyquist-Zetterberg-Bertuzzi line was swarming in the opening minutes of the game. For a minute, it seemed like they never left the ice. Very tenacious play.
The Rangers opened the scoring — Dylan Larkin won a defensive zone face-off, and Danny DeKeyser made a very ugly no-look play that was intended to go back to Larkin, but the Rangers intercepted and turned the puck right in front of Jimmy Howard, with two men left completely uncovered. Awful defensive play by DeKeyser.
The Rangers closed out the period with the last eight shots.. The Red Wings, completely flat in the final 10 minutes.
The Rangers came out with the slight edge in the second period. It was more of a chess match approach — aside from Jonathan Ericsson making a really poor play to give the Rangers a high-danger chance. Shortly after that, the Wigns were called two minutes for delay of game because Jimmy Howard was trying to make a save. Thankfully, the Red Wings killed it off.
Close to the halfway point of the game, Dylan Larkin made a great, and I mean great, spring-pass play, to spring Andreas Athanasiou on a favorable edge rush on a slow NYR defensive pair. He ended at an awkward angle, but ripped it past Lundqvist to tie it up:
Athanasiou using that great speed to burn Holden to tie it up at one a piece. pic.twitter.com/Ksa2N41MDa— Kyle M. (@KyleWIIM) December 30, 2017
Following his goal, Athanasiou seemed to have shifted into a different gear. I recall at least two or three chances he had using his speed.
The Red Wings definitely bounced back following a dip in the first and second periods. Games tied, shots are tied.
The Red Wings were caught playing with fire yet again to start the third period, and it ended up with a go-ahead goal against. Vinni Lettieri, in his first-ever NHL game scores his first-ever NHL goal, because of course. This comes from a good play by Boo Nieves, a former Michigan Wolverine.
You’d think the Red Wings would try to bounce back after letting up that goal, but they seemed a bit complacent, in my opinion. Jimmy Howard made a handful of big saves to keep them within one goal. An all-around poor effort.
But wait! The team wasn’t out of it yet. The Wings were able to tie the game on an incredible play made by Gustav Nyquist.. But the best part was Henrik Zetterberg’s second effort to knot it all up:
Despite a strong effort from the Wings, the game would move on to overtime, as it usually does when it comes to the Rangers and Red Wings.
A back-and-forth three-on-three would lead up to a penalty shot for the Rangers. Brady Skjei went in on Howard, but was brought down gifted the all-alone shot. Jimmy Howard continued his excellence by closing the door on him.
The game would end in a shootout, and your hero, and player of the game is:
The Red Wings win their second in their last five.
A strong effort from players like Dylan Larkin, Henrik Zetterberg, Gustav Nyquist, and Andreas Athanasiou drove the scoring — but Jimmy Howard shut the door when the team needed it.
The Rangers have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL since Halloween, so lets call this a step forward.