Red Wings-Rangers wrap-up: sometimes hope is relentless

The Detroit Red Wings defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 in overtime on Sunday night, and the Red Wings are now only 5 points out of a playoff spot. Scary, eh?

The Red Wings did not play their best 60-minute effort, with a team playing 2 games in 2 nights, 4 in 6 and a total of 10 over the course of 18 afternoons and evenings wilting considerably in the 3rd period…

But Jimmy Howard was excellent in goal, the Wings were able to “win the race to two” goals, and Daley delivered in OT.

Our friends from New York are only 3 points behind the Red Wings, but the story for the Rangers is very different.

After losing their seventh straight game, Henrik Lundqvist summarized the Rangers’ stead, as the New York Daily News’s Justin Tasch noted:

This Trade Deadline Eve was long and eventful before the puck even dropped Sunday night at the Garden, with Rick Nash shipped to Boston in the morning and Jean Ratelle’s No. 19 raised to the rafters to begin the evening.

There was still a game to play, and though the Blueshirts came out buzzing after they all warmed up in Ratelle jerseys, they lost in overtime to Detroit, 3-2. The misery continues to the tune of seven consecutive losses, 11 losses in their last 13 and 17 losses in their last 22 matches. All of those previous losses were in regulation.

Trevor Daley scored with 5.6 seconds remaining in overtime.

“We just can’t catch a break right now,” Henrik Lundqvist said. “We’re getting some good looks and creating some good chances to win in this game. I don’t know what else to say – the good thing is that I think it was a step forward for us, the way we played the game. We need to learn from our mistakes. A lot of guys now are playing their first five, 10 games. They need to understand when to go forward and when to stay back so we don’t give up these odd-man rushes that have been hurting us in a few games, but it’s a learning experience. As long as we analyze every game the right way we’re going to get better here each game. I thought today was a step in the right direction.”

The Rangers felt that luck was not on their side, as they told’s Matt Calamia…

“We give ourselves a chance to win. It was a pretty hard-fought game and we had a lot of looks,” said J.T. Miller, who’s second period power play goal got the Rangers to within 2-1 after Detroit scored the game’s first two goals. “Just coming up on the wrong side of things lately.”

The Rangers found themselves playing from behind again Sunday after Andreas Athanasiou opened the scoring with 6.7 seconds remaining in the first period. It was the third straight game and seventh time in the last eight games New York failed to score the game’s first goal.

Darren Helm doubled the lead after John Gilmour lost his balance at the Detroit blueline, allowing Helm to break in and beat Henrik Lundqvist on the breakaway 4:31 into the second.

Miller’s goal at 7:51 brought the Rangers to within a goal, and Jesper Fast evened the score when he buried a rebound off a Kevin Hayes shot at 11:16 of the third.

Ryan Spooner, who was acquired from Boston in part of the Nash deal, picked up assists on both goals, but said coming out on the wrong side of the result tarnishes more of the positive feeling from his individual performance.

“At the end, it’s important to win,” said Spooner, who finished with 16:31 of ice time. “That’s the goal of each game. That didn’t happen. There’s a couple plays tonight that I thought I could have been a little harder on, but I thought as a whole, I thought it was a good game. It would have been nice to win but it just didn’t happen tonight.”

But as its gone for the Rangers as of late, a bounce proved to be the difference between victory and defeat, as Chris Kreider hit the crossbar in overtime, leaving open the chance for Daley to redirect a Frans Nielsen pass in the slot in the dying seconds to send the Rangers home frustrated.

“We can’t catch a break right now,” said Lundqvist, who finished with 31 saves. “We’re hitting iron, we’re getting some good looks and create some good chances to win this game. I don’t know what else to say.”

The Rangers’ defacto captain was blunt both before and after the game, as the New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis noted

“I love this franchise. Everything they do, everything they do for players, everything they do over my 13 years here. I just can’t see myself anywhere else. I really can’t,” Lundqvist said before he was beaten by a Trevor Daley tip with 5.6 seconds left in the three-on-three overtime to lose to the Red Wings, 3-2, on Sunday night at the Garden.

It was Lundqvist’s first game action in a week following two straight games sitting while rookie Alexandar Georgiev got back-to-back starts in as many days. The Rangers (27-30-6) played one of their best games in weeks Sunday, and broke a streak of six straight losses in regulation behind goals from J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast, outshooting Detroit 19-10 in the third period.

But after, Lundqvist said his team “can’t catch a break,” and it’s been like that since management publicly announced its sell-off leading up to Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. They have since moved Nick Holden, Michael Grabner and Rick Nash, with more moves still possible.

“I hope this is something that I will learn from, and the rest of us will learn from — what we’re going through right now,” said Lundqvist, who will turn 36 years old on Friday and has three more years left on his contract that carries an annual salary-cap hit of $8.5 million “Then I hope we’ll be a very competitive team real soon.”’s Dan Rosen’s recap will serve as our pivot point between the Rangers and Red Wings’ perspectives:

The Red Wings (26-26-10), who also defeated the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, are tied for fourth in the Atlantic Division with the Florida Panthers and are five points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

“We knew all along that this team is a good team in here,” Daley said. “We’re good, we just haven’t gotten the results. When you’re not getting the results, you’re questioning what’s going on, but we’ve stuck with it, we’re sticking with it, and it’s paying dividends right now. It’s in our control. If we win our games, who knows what can happen.”

The Red Wings have won back-to-back games nine times this season, but have extended their winning streak to three games once (four in a row from Dec. 29-Jan. 5).

“I don’t like using the word desperate, but that’s probably the situation we’re in,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We need wins now. I prefer urgent. It was good to come out here and get a win in overtime.”

The Rangers (27-30-6) haven’t won since Feb. 11. They have now lost seven consecutive games (0-6-1) and they’re 3-13-1 since Jan. 20. They’re last in the Metropolitan Division and seven points behind the Blue Jackets for the second wild card.

Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves and J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast each scored. Ryan Spooner, who was acquired from the Boston Bruins on Sunday in the trade that sent Rick Nash to Boston, had assists on both goals.

“We just can’t catch a break right now,” Lundqvist said. “We’re getting some good looks and creating some good chances to win in this game. I don’t know what else to say. The good thing is that I think it was a step forward for us, the way we played the game.”

As the Associated Press’s recap noted, Daley’s goal came from some significant encouragement from the Red Wings’ bench…

With time winding down in overtime, Trevor Daley knew he needed to get in position in front of the net.

Daley was in the right spot and tipped in Frans Nielsen‘s pass with 5.6 seconds showing on the clock to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the rebuilding New York Rangers on Sunday night.

“I heard the bench saying there was only 10 seconds left so I knew we had to get it to the net,” Daley said. “I went to the net and Nielsen made a great play. I just got lucky and put my stick on it and it went in.”

Andreas Athanasiou and Darren Helm also scored for the Red Wings, and Jimmy Howard stopped 36 shots. Detroit improved to 5-3-2 in its last 10 games and pulled into a tie with Florida five points behind Columbus for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

“We know we’re in desperation hockey,” Daley said. “We know we’ve got to win, we’ve got to win now. Tonight was just another desperate game on a back-to-back.”

The Red Wings are, for better or worse, athletes that are individually and collectively wired to try to go out and win hockey games, as Henrik Zetterberg told the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan…

The latest surge comes as Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline looms when management is expected to search for deals to build for the Red Wings’ future.

“We, in the locker room here, do what we need to do, and they do what they need to do,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said.

“I like the team we have here, we have an awesome group of guys,” Daley said.  “We, in here, feel that we’re a good team. I don’t make those decisions, though. We just do what we can do on the ice.”

And they’ve done a good job of it, lately.

“That’s out of our control,” said coach Jeff Blashill of management’s trade deadline plans. “All we can do is focus on trying to win hockey games. Our team has done a good job of focusing on what we can control.”

If the Red Wings are playing with a chip on their shoulder, said Blashill, that’s a good thing.

“We should,” Blashill said. “From the beginning of the year, we’ve talked about that a little bit. We think we’ve been in position to do this type of thing, to go on runs, to be a playoff team. We haven’t done it enough. It doesn’t matter what you think, it matters what you prove, but we believe a lot in this team. We’ve grown as a team through the course of the year. We’ve got to keep winning hockey games.”

Jimmy Howard agreed with his coach, as he told the Free Press’s Helene St. James:

“We’re still there,” Jimmy Howard said after starring in his favorite road arena with a 36-save performance. “We haven’t been put away yet and we are going to continue to try to grind out wins.  There’s no quit in this room no matter what’s going on. We want to perform well and we want to win games.”

The front office can’t say it publicly, but the organization is best served by missing the playoffs and getting into the draft lottery. To that end, management is looking to make moves – be in by Monday, or around draft time in June – and acquire draft picks or prospects. Their top trade asset, defenseman Mike Green, accompanied the team on the trip to New York but in all likelihood will be gone by Monday’s 3 p.m. deadline. He missed a sixth straight game because of a sore neck but he skated Sunday morning and coach Jeff Blashill said Green, “is getting real close, but he’s still day-to-day.”

Players are aware of what general manager Ken Holland could have in store.

“It’s hard not to know what’s going on but that’s not in our control,” Daley said. “We can control what we do on the ice. We know we’re in desperation hockey right now and we know we need wins. I like the team we have here. We have an awesome group of guys and we in here feel we are a good team. We just do what we can on the ice.”


Highlights: posted a 4:37 highlight clip…

And an 8:59 “condensed game”:

 Post-game: The Rangers’ website posted clips of J.T. Miller, Ryan Spooner, Henrik Lundqvist and coach Alain Vigneault’s post-game comments;

MSG Network posted clips of Spooner and Lundqvist’s comments, as well as the MSG studio dudes’ takes on Ryan Spooner’s game;

Fox Sports Detroit posted post-game comments from Trevor Daley…

Henrik Zetterberg…

And coach Jeff Blashill’s post-game interview with Trevor Thompson:

The Free Press’s Helene St. James posted a clip of Jimmy Howard, Trevor Daley and coach Blashill’s remarks…

The Red Wings posted a clip of Zetterberg, Andreas Athanasiou, Howard, Daley and coach Blashill’s remarks:


Photos: The Free Press posted a 21-image gallery;

The Detroit News posted a 12-image gallery;

ESPN posted a 35-image gallery;

And and the Red Wings‘ website posted 59-image galleries.


Here’s the Game Summary

And the Event Summary:

The final shot attempts were 75-61 New York on the Rangers’ 38-34 shot advantage. Detroit blocked 17 shots.

Red Wings notebooks and also of Red Wings-related note: The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan took note of the Wings’ offense from defense in a notebook penned prior to the Wings-Rangers game:

The defense is helping provide the offense again for the Red Wings. In Saturday’s victory over Carolina, defensemen Danny DeKeyser and Trevor Daley both scored goals in the 3-1 victory.

For DeKeyser it was his fifth goal of the season, which already surpassed his season total of four last season. Daley’s goal was sixth — he had five with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.

“Anytime you get a chance to chip in on the offensive side, it’s always a bonus, especially on a night we get two points (in the standings),” Daley said.

After the All-Star break, coach Jeff Blashill and his staff made it a point to get the defensemen more involved in the offensive attack.

For much of the schedule, at that juncture, Red Wings’ defensemen had struggled to put up any sort of offensive numbers.

“Coming out of the All-Star break it was just a real point of emphasis, not to say we didn’t talk about it early, but we looked at our scoring and from a defensive standpoint our points were one of the lowest totals in the league,” Blashill said. “We were looking for ways to produce more offense and that screams (defensemen).”

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.