Wings Post-Game: A Bite Out Of the Big Apple

Coming off a big win in their home opener on Monday, the Detroit Red Wings were looking to build off that momentum in The Big Apple. Their rivals, the New York Rangers, have had a speedy start to the season and entered tonight’s game with a 2-1-0 record. In their last game, they romped the Western Conference Champion San Jose Sharks in a 7-4 victory.

Jimmy Howard was given the starting goaltender duties. He entered tonight’s game with a surprisingly good record against the New York Rangers. How did it hold up? Let’s find out.

The Rundown

The first period got off to a bad start. Only 1:09 into the game, Mika Zibanejad tipped in a point shot from Ryan McDonagh.

From there, it got a little better. Both teams played at a good pace and the Red Wings got a couple of good shots out of Dylan Larkin and Tomas Tatar. That being said, the momentum in the latter half of the period belonged to the Rangers. Kevin Hayes had two good scoring chances, Jimmy Vesey hit the post on a breakaway and Brady Skjei redirected a point shot into the post. As the period came to a close, the Red Wings found themselves outshot 14-7 and only 24% in the faceoff circle.

The second period didn’t get off on much of a better foot. Despite getting a powerplay in the first minute of the period, the Red Wings gave up two breakaways in the first two minutes! They would fix their powerplay, though, a mere four minutes later when Clendening would sit for hooking. On that powerplay, Detroit converted. Thomas Vanek tipped in a pass from the point that came from Frans Nielsen. This was Vanek’s third goal of the season. That contract ain’t lookin’ too bad right now.

After the tying goal, the Red Wings took a slew of penalties, spending a total of 1:02 down two men. Fortunately for them, their goalie was on fire in this period and kept them in the game. He turned away 13 more shots from the Rangers while the Red Wings were once again held to a mere 7.

The third period did get off on the right foot as Drew Miller tapped the puck into an open net at the :59 second mark of the period. The pass came from Luke Glendening behind the net.

Detroit then took a penalty for hooking five minutes into the period, giving the Rangers their fourth powerplay of the evening. Once again, the penalty was killed off. There was lots of back and forth action before the Rangers took some penalties of their own, giving the Red Wings a long 1:23 with a 5-on-3. Wasn’t enough time for Detroit to convert, though.

Then, late in the third period, there was a goal scare as Jesper Fast deflected a puck into the Red Wings net. The goal was waved off immediately, though, and ruled a high stick. It was the last good chance the Rangers would get as the Red Wings closed out the game with the 2-1 victory. They were outshot 33-18.

The Stats

game graph

What a terrifying looking graph. The Rangers clearly controlled the play in this game and, if it weren’t for Jimmy Howard, would have had at least five goals.

If the Red Wings want to be a dominant team in this league, then they have to dominate the play much better. They can’t continue to be outplayed and outshot if they want to make a twenty-sixth consecutive playoff berth.

Motor City MVP

Jimmy Howard. 32 saves on 33 shots and a .970 SV%… The only answer to this is Jimmy Howard.

Up Next

Next on the schedule, the Red Wings return home for a 3-game homestand. The first game will be Friday night against the P.K. Subban and the Nashville Predators. Puck drop is at 7:30 PM EST and the game can be viewed on NHLN-US and FSD.