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Key Play Breakdown: Dylan Larkin Staves off the Shootout

NHL: New York Rangers at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Wings have won two straight after defeating the Rangers in an unsurprising one-goal game. The new twist to this one was that we got not one but TWO goals that were damn sexy to watch. The first one by Athanasiou was really good, but I’m more excited about the Larkin goal that ended OT just before the shootout.

(Also, it’s not like the Abdelkader goal wasn’t sexy, but the AA and Larkin goals were way more-pretty)

The Setup

The shift starts with the Wings controlling off an offensive zone faceoff with 40 seconds left where the puck is cleared but Detroit regains the zone and creates a solid opportunity thanks to Green and AA. The Rangers finally collect the puck with about 20 seconds to go as Zibanejad goes around the boards to Shattenkirk to relieve pressure. Shattenkirk flips the puck up ice in a play that’s probably him thinking he’s just killing the rest of the period because it’s not a particularly good choice.

Instead of getting all the way down ice, Mike Green knocks the puck down on a bounce just inside his own blue line with 11 seconds to go and starts the puck immediately back up ice to Athanasiou waiting at the Rangers’ blue line

The Finish

From the zone entry, AA pulls back to make space and threads a beautiful pass to the front of the net where he finds Dylan Larkin streaking after having come off the bench for Nielsen. Larkin pokes the puck over Lundqvist who’s caught between trying to poke the puck out and staying back. The game ends with Larkin’s hands in the air and Lundqvist’s stick in disrepair.

Credit Where Credit is Due

Jimmy Howard: Was on the ice in OT and this is largely due to the credit he deserves earning the team’s way to this point. Hooray Jimmy!

Frans Nielsen: Wasn’t on the ice, having just changed, but came off a good shift that helped set things up and deserves some credit for solid OT play.

Andreas Athanasiou: He had a good shift trying to drive the play to the middle throughout this shift, but really shines in controlling the pass from Green to get into the zone as it bounces and also responsibly pushes far enough in to keep Shattenkirk honest and help essentially catch the Rangers in a bad change. The last gif shows that this is basically a 2-on-1 rush thanks to AA. The pass is gorgeously-placed to catch Lundqvist.

Dylan Larkin: The late-comer to the play, there’s not really a ton of credit to the guy who actually finishes the goal, but not trying to get too fancy here is the right decision and this blurb gives me the opportunity to say what a great game Larkin had overall. His hustle all over in this one was huge.

Mike Green: The Wings’ defender overcame a tough start to finish strong, but knocking down the bouncing puck and immediately getting it back up ice to AA to take advantage of a real bad play by Shattenkirk was a good play. It’s good hand-eye from the knock-down to the pass that hits AA.