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Red Wings end road woes, take down Rangers in OT

The Red Wings are flying high heading to the legendary Madison Square Garden as they are set to take on the New York Rangers. Detroit is riding a two-game win streak, each at home, coming against the Rangers’ Metro Division mates in the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders.

However, it’s the road where the Red Wings have struggled this year as they come into tonight’s game with just a 1-2-1 record on the road, losing their past three straight. That one road win does come from tonight’s netminder, Alex Nedeljkovic, who has started to take more of a backup role to Ville Husso, gets the start tonight looking to get back on track. He has a GAA nearly touching 5.00, but his opposing netminder hasn’t had too much of a better year.

Jaroslav Halak starts for New York coming in with a 0-3-0 record, a 3.69 GAA and .867 save %. He’s definitely not reigning Vezina winner Igor Shesterkin, and gives the Red Wings a much better chance of breaking the road losing streak. They’ll rely on their first line who comes into this game red-hot.

Dylan Larkin comes into this game with six points in his past four games. Linemate and fellow co-leading scorer Dominik Kubalik has three points in his past two games and Lucas Raymond, who started off this season cold, now has four goals in his past four games. The Red Wings will rely on them as the rest of their depth continues to fall to injury.

Filip Zadina was put on IR after blocking a shot in the win against the Islanders. He will be replaced in the lineup by Austin Czarnik who got the call-up from Grand Rapids. Czarnik has ten points in eight games so far in the AHL, and one would hope he could provide a spark to the Red Wings depth lines who have struggled offensively as of late. Coming into this game, no one else has more than half of the 14 points that Larkin and Kubalik have. That’s something that’ll need to be fixed against a solid Rangers team.

1st Period

After a slow first couple of minutes, the Red Wings get the first big chance of the game. Adam Erne goes to take the puck behind the net but instead puts a backwards pass to Czarnik who takes the shot on Halak who makes a nice save. Just 45 seconds later, the Rangers have a rush up the ice and Filip Hronek picks up a slashing call to send out a dangerous power play for the first time.

They get that first chance quickly as Mika Zibanejad, who has five power-play goals already, rips a one-timer from the left circle but Nedeljkovic comes up big. He gets another chance later on, but this one hits Nedeljkovic in the chest. The Red Wings zone defense gets a bit better and prevents any one-timers the rest of the way, but they do get a quick chance in the slot that Nedeljkovic once again stops.

The Rangers power play comes up empty, and immediately Jacob Trouba picks up a holding minor sending the Red Wings on their first power play. It’s Seider who gets the first chance as he takes a shot from the point but Halak makes a nice blocker save. They then follow that up with two fantastic chances as Kubalik gets stopped backdoor by Halak. Then a Perron shot finds the post but comes up empty.

The Red Wings power play ends with those few chances, but right after the Rangers pick up a few chances. Vincent Trocheck ends up open in the slot and fires a shot, but Nedeljkovic once again comes up big. However, shortly after, the Rangers would hit the scoreboard.

Kaapo Kakko comes out of the corner untouched into the slot and then absolutely snipes Nedeljkovic over his glove side to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead just shy of the ten-minute mark of the first period. It’s a goal that looks straight out of an NHL video game’s Be a Pro mode. (Just me?) Shortly after, we head to the first commercial break with the Rangers still leading 1-0. Because of that first one coming after the ten-minute mark, we get another one almost immediately after with very little happening.

After an extremely action-packed first ten minutes, the next five slow down a bit as neither team gets any high-quality chances. The Rangers finally pick one up as Kreider receives a pass on a two-on-one but can only muster a backhand that Nedeljkovic is easily able to block away. We head into the final media break with the score still 1-0 in favor of the Rangers.

Coming out of the break, the Rangers have control in Red Wings territory. With the puck down in the corner, Ben Chiarot cross-checks a Ranger and picks up an interference minor, sending the Rangers back on the power play. They pick up the first chance as a shot from the point gets deflected just off-target by Panarin. Then, Panarin fires a no-look pass to the ever-dangerous Zibanejad in the left circle who one-times it past Nedeljkovic for his sixth power-play goal of the season and gives the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

Much like the last Rangers power play, New York immediately picks up a penalty as Filip Chytl heads to the box for hooking with 2:30 left in the first. The Red Wings get their best chance of the period early as they pull off an incredible passing play for Kubalik to set up Raymond backdoor. However, Raymond fails to elevate the puck and puts it right into Halak’s pad to keep the game at 2-0. After that, the Red Wings consistently are finding looks from outside with a couple hitting Halak and a few missing the target.

Their power play comes to an end and shortly after, the period ends with the score 2-0 in favor of the Rangers. Shots were 14-11 in favor of Detroit, and they had plenty of chances. Frankly, they should be on the scoreboard if Raymond had elevated the puck but he didn’t and the goose egg remains on the board.

The biggest key for the rest of the game is to stay out of the box. The Rangers first line thrives on the power play but has been struggling at even strength. Stay out of the box and you give yourself a much better chance to get yourself back into this game.

2nd Period

It’s a quiet start to the period with a lot of movement and not many chances. However, a couple minutes into the period, Soderblom makes a pass to Seider who makes a pass across the point to Chiarot. Chiarot fires a wrist shot that’s well wide but MATT LUFF DEFLECTS IT TOWARDS THE NET OVER THE SHOULDER OF HALAK!!! THE RED WINGS CUT THE LEAD TO 2-1 ON LUFF’S FIRST AS A RED WING!!!

He won’t get an assist on the play, but a massive shoutout to Söderblom whose incredible patience on the rush is what set up the play to begin with. Chiarot and Seider do pick up the assists on the goal. That’s also three points in his last four games for Seider, who had just one in his first eight games this season. We head into the first media timeout with the game will at 2-1.

Coming out of the break, the Red Wings end up on a three-on-two rush with Pius Suter, Filip Hronek and Larkin. Larkin gets the shot and Hronek grabs the rebound and puts it into Halak’s pads. The rebound heads over to Suter WHO BURIES IT PAST HALAK!!! WE ARE TIED UP AT 2-2 ON SUTER’S THIRD OF THE SEASON!!! Larkin picks up his 15th point of the season with the assist on the goal and Hronek also grabs an assist.

Very shortly after, the Rangers pick up another penalty sending the Red Wings power play back on the ice. They get a few decent chances early on, but nothing seriously threatens Halak. Once the second power-play unit gets out there, the offensive momentum stutters. Nothing threatens Halak at all and the power play comes to an end.

Shots at this point are 8-3 in favor of Detroit this period as they have completely controlled the play. As I was typing that up, the Rangers finally get their first big chance of the second after a turnover in the defensive end, but Nedeljkovic comes up big as we head into the second media timeout.

The game slows down a bit after the ten-minute mark for the second straight period. A lot of puck movement and some shots from distance, but nothing super threatening heading to the final media timeout. Around the 3:30 mark of the period, the Red Wings get another odd-man rush with Larkin, Suter and Raymond leading the way. Raymond tries to make a return pass to Larkin, but a great defensive play from Kakko keeps Larkin from receiving the pass.

The final two minutes come up and the Red Wings only have one shot since their power play expired. Thankfully, they’ve also limited the Rangers chances as Nedeljkovic still has only really been threatened once this period. That will stay true as we reach the end of the second period. Shots on goal in the second were 10-7 in favor of Detroit for a two-period total of 24-18. After a three-game stretch where Nedeljkovic was averaging 39 shots against him per game, it’s great to see the team put up a solid defensive performance in front of him.

3rd Period

The first five minutes of the period are extremely slow with a lot of control by the Rangers but very little in terms of actual scoring chances. Each team picks up a few shots, but neither netminder is truly threatened. We head into the first media timeout with shots 3-2 Detroit so far, but it oddly looks like each team is trying to play like they have the lead rather than trying to take the lead.

The first real chance for either team of the third comes at the 12:30 mark as the Rangers get a rush up the ice that sends Trocheck in behind Hronek. However, Hronek gets close enough that he’s forced to shoot from the circle and Nedeljkovic makes the save. The Rangers get another nice chance about a minute later as a puck ends up on the stick of Jimmy Vesey off a rebound in front but Nedeljkovic makes a nice pad save.

The Rangers are really starting to get the majority of the shots as we head into the last ten minutes of regulation. They’ve nearly caught the Red Wings in shots for the game as it’s now 27-26 after being down 27-20 just five minutes ago. Detroit is gonna have to step up as it looks like they’re playing for OT rather than playing for the lead.

Three more minutes pass and still, neither team is looking super threatening. However, the Rangers have grabbed two more shots and the Red Wings still haven’t had one in over ten minutes. There are six minutes to play and once again, the Red Wings look like they’re playing for overtime. The Red Wings finally break their shotless streak with a Filip Hronek blast from the point while walking into the zone. That leads us into the final TV timeout with it still 2-2.

Coming out of the break, the Rangers get extended possession. They do get one shot to make it through to Nedeljkovic, but nothing threatening. Then, the Red Wings get their first big chance of the third. Gustav Lindstrom finds a streaking Kubalik and he goes in all alone on Halak. He rifles a shot but Halak makes a nice save that ends up in the netting.

This allows the Red Wings to finally get extended possession in the offensive zone for the first time all period. However, much like the Rangers in their recent possession, they’re unable to get much through to Halak. The next couple of minutes is just a bunch of dumping in with neither team getting extended possession and not a single shot going on net.

It’s in the final minute that the Red Wings get the best chance for either team in the period. rifles a pass backdoor to Hronek from the corner but Halak makes a phenomenal save to keep the game tied. That was the last chance for either team as we are headed to overtime. Shots in that period were 11-8 in favor of the Rangers for a 32-29 Red Wings lead after regulation.


The Red Wings get the first bit of control. Chiarot ends up being the one who attempts the first shot, but puts it into the side of the net allowing New York to get temporary control. When it looks like they’re gonna keep it, Perron makes a fantastic defensive play on K’Andre Miller, drawing a penalty in the process for holding the stick. Even after the penalty was drawn, Perron makes a fantastic move to get a backhand chance but Halak comes up big to send the Red Wings on the power play with 3:16 remaining.

It’s Larkin, Perron, Kubalik and Seider on the power play for Detroit. The puck movement is really solid, but the collapsing Rangers penalty kill is making it difficult to get much in terms of quality chances. Seider finds Perron over in the right circle. He sees Kubalik backdoor  wide open, but is patient to make sure he gets the pass through. And sure enough, he does. He rifles the pass backdoor AND KUBALIK BURIES IT HOME!!! THIS ONE IS OVER, 3-2 IN OVERTIME!!!

Or is it? The officials gather to review whether the play was offside thanks to an automatic review. However, the play is ruled onside AND THAT DOES IT!!! 3-2 RED WINGS IN OVERTIME FOR THEIR THIRD STRAIGHT WIN AND FIRST ON THE ROAD SINCE OCTOBER 15TH!!!

Final Thoughts

What a finish to that game. An absolutely fantastic power play after a great play by Perron to draw the penalty. Then it’s Perron who made the perfect pass to Kubalik to win the game. A great team performance that Nedeljkovic hasn’t seen in nearly a month. He finally got the help he needed and comes away with a win and also allows just the two first-period goals.  A great confidence boost for the Red Wings netminder who desperately needed it.

Some other shoutouts, a fantastic game for Moritz Seider who played a game-high 27:44 tonight. That was nearly three minutes more than any other player on either team. He also had two assists including one on the game-winner putting him at four assists in his past four games. Definitely one of the best Red Wings on the ice tonight as he continues to grow from his early-season struggles.

The Red Wings are continuing their best start to the season in seven years. They’ll look to continue it against a struggling Canadiens team at home on Tuesday night who will also be down one of their better players to a suspension in Josh Anderson. The Red Wings hype continues to grow and let’s hope that hype ends up keeping up through the season.

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