Recap: Scoring zero goals makes winning harder

1-0 Rangers

Val Filppula one thousand game celebration intro! Meanwhile the guy who gave up his number so Flip could be 51 again had to miss this one due to an “upper-body” injury. Brendan Perlini draws back in.

First Period

Flip takes the opening faceoff and Bernier makes the opening save a minute in. The first real dangerous chance is from the grinders as a turnover inside the Rangers’ zone leads to a shot and a spinaround attempt by Glendening that Lundqvist is lucky to trap under his pad. A minute later, Larkin springs Zadina for a not-quite-breakaway where he’s able to freeze the goalie but can’t connect on the cross-ice pass attempt.  We get more than five minutes of play with the Red Wings controlling the pace and I gotta tell you I kinda like it.

The middle portion of the period between commercial breaks was the Rangers trying to push back but mostly failing to connect on their passes and the Wings either icing or going offside. The lone difference continued to be Larkin’s line (a welcome change from last night where they seemed to spend the entire game underwater).

Just before that 2nd break, Christoffer Ehn gets lit up in the neutral zone by Jacob Trouba. Justin Abdelkader takes offense and starts a little dustup that puts the wings shorthanded. It’s one of those “fighting after a clean hit” things that I complain about a lot.

On the ensuing power play, Zibanejad makes it 1-0 Rangers. Filip Hronek misses a clear, Chris Kreider makes a neat redirection pass across the crease, and Jonathan Bernier can’t get all of Zibanejad’s shot.

The next TV timeout is also a pending penalty. This time it’s against the Rangers for an offensive zone trip by Pavel Buchnevich. The top unit goes to work immediately with Hronek blasting a shot that bounces right to Larkin, but he can’t get the rebound shot off cleanly and the puck gets frozen in the crease. The next chance happens as Robby Fabbri throws the puck away and nearly gives up a shorthanded breakaway. Buchnevich skates out of the box with no harm done.

The Wings play well through the remainder of the period but can’t solve Lundqvist.

The Score: 1-0 Rangers
The Shots: 11-6 Red Wings
Standout Players:  Filppula, Fabbri, Zadina
The Period All Summed Up: Sometimes you play well and still trail.

Second Period

We spend the first 90 seconds of the period with two icings and a lovely conversation between Ken and Mick explaining how the draft lottery works. Then the Wings get an up-ice rush stopped by a whistle due to Chris Kreider having been kneed in the head by Mika Zibanejad in the corner behind Bernier.

After play restarts, Luke Glendening takes a hooking call created by a play that happened because Nemeth got hooked just prior.  Detroit is able to kill this one off with no real danger.

Things settle for a while from here, but the Rangers get a flurry of dangerous chances around the 8 minute mark. Good work from the defenders turns this tide and the Wings continue to enjoy a shot advantage through the midway point.

Biega turns the puck over to Panarin for a backhand shot just outside the crease that Bernier stops.

The next interesting thing is that Brett Howden steps into some tussle in front of Bernier on a stoppage with under seven to play and Jonathan Ericsson plants him ass-first for the winter harvest.

The Wings ALMOST tie it in the 16th minute off a turnover in the neutral zone. Bowey breaks in and feeds Filppula, who holds past a sprawling Lundqvist but hits the post with the first shit and then shoves it through the crease and out the far end on the follow-up chance.

I’m reduced to sharing gifs of almost goals now.

Out of all that fun, Greg McKegg takes a holding call and the Wings get their 2nd power play of the night. Zadina bombs a shot wide, nobody can find space, and another Fabbri turnover nearly creates a goal for the Rangers as McKegg comes out of the box to join a rush that he can’t finish due to a missed crossing pass.

In the final ten seconds, Zadina makes an INSANE backhand pass off a turnover just inside the blue line. Larkin freezes Lundqvist, but then slides the puck right into him.

The Score: 1-0 Rangers
The Shots: 21-20 Red Wings (10-14)
Standout Players: Zadina, Filppula
The Period All Summed Up: Horseshoes and hand grenades.

Third Period

We learn during the intermission that Kreider will miss the rest of the game. Hoping it’s not too bad.

The first line comes out playing in front of Hronek and Cholowski, but they’re also against Panarin and Zibanejad, end up playing much of the shift in their own end. Filppula comes out with Fabbri and create yet another almost goal that Lunqvist saves. Then Trouba boards Abdelkader, drawing the ire of Givani Smith. The two of them scuffle and both end up taking penalties, giving us some 4-on-4 hockey.

Lundqvist robs Patrik Nemeth on a feed from Larkin. Bernier shrugs off a Panarin shot. The game opens up for those two minutes, but both players skate free with no scoring.

Adam Erne gets crushed in the neutral zone by McKegg, but nobody fights for him.

Bernier makes a huge stop on a Zibanejad one-timer taking advantage of (gasp) a momentary lapse in coverage.

Right around 15 minutes in, Detroit catches the Rangers on a bad change. Givani Smith bounces a shot off Lundqvist straight to Abdelkader who puts the heel of his stick on the puck and can’t get the rebound on net. The Wings are playing strong and fast but just can’t put things together for the finish.

Bernier comes up huge to stop Howden from right in front with 2:30 left and then leaves the ice himself a minute later for the extra skater.

Fabbri gets a chance at a rebound that goes over his stick and the Wings buzz for the last minute but the lack of caps lock here will tell you as much as you need to know about how this one ends.

Final Score: 1-0 Rangers
The Shots: 33-31 Red Wings (12-11)
Standout Players: Smith, Larkin, Hronek

Next up: at least we get Sunday off. Back at it on Monday against the Flyers