Rangers spoil Red Wings’ dramatic comeback bid

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The Detroit Red Wings overcame two New York Rangers leads, but in the end the Rangers still earned a 4-3 victory in overtime.

Detroit will at least walk away with one point though thanks to a Tomas Tatar’s goal with just 7.7 seconds left in regulation time.

Derick Brassard spoiled the Red Wings comeback though with a power-play overtime marker. With that, the Red Wings have now lost three straight games, although they managed to pick up a point in two of those contests. The Rangers have needed more than 60 minutes to settle their last three games, but this is their first win over that stretch.

It initially looked like this game might be more one-sided as a shot from Brassard bounced off what appeared to be Rick Nash’s gluteus maximus to gave the Rangers an early lead. Although that marker was a case of Nash parking himself in the right place at the right time, he has been on fire this season with 10 goals in just 12 games. Martin St. Louis padded the Rangers’ lead in the second frame.

Nash nearly got his second goal of the night towards the end of the second period, but Jonas Gustavsson made a huge save that kept the Red Wings’ in the contest.

Perhaps more troubling than the loss itself is the fact that Gustavsson might have been hurt himself on the final play of the game. A trainer attended to him after the deciding goal and he appeared to be in pain as he skated off the ice, per MLive’s Ansar Khan.

Jakub Kindl and Daniel Cleary, who was making his season debut, each chipped in his first goal of the season.

Get your game notes: Red Wings at Rangers

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the New York Rangers hosting the Detroit Red Wings at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• NYR has lost its past two games, both in shootouts (1-0 vs. WPG last Saturday and 4-3 on Monday against STL). The Rangers have several key absences to their blueline, as 4 of their 6 opening night defensemen were out of the lineup for Monday’s game against STL.

• Captain D Ryan McDonagh separated his shoulder in last Saturday’s loss to WPG. He is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

• Veteran D Dan Boyle broke his hand in the first game of the season and remains sidelined.

• D Kevin Klein was also injured in the Jets game. Klein suffered a foot contusion blocking a shot and is considered day-to-day.

• D John Moore will serve the 3rd game of his 5-game suspension after last week’s illegal hit on MIN F Erik Haula.

• This has forced many NYR defensemen into new roles:

— D Conor Allen, 24, was recalled from Hartford (AHL) on Nov. 2 and played in his 4th career NHL game on Monday, logging 13:03 TOI. Allen signed as an undrafted free agent in 2013 following his career at the University of Massachusetts.

— D Dylan McIlrath, 22, was also recalled last Sunday, and played 8:02 against STL – his 3rd career game. He was NYR’s 1st round pick (10th overall) in the 2010 Entry Draft.

— D Mike Kostka has more NHL experience (66 career GP), but also began the season in the AHL. Kostka also played at UMass, and is now on his 4th NHL team in his 3rd season.

— D Matt Hunwick began the season as the Rangers’ 7th defensemen, but has played over 24 minutes in each of NYR’s last two games. This is Hunwick’s 8th NHL season – and his 1st in NYR – after stints in BOS and COL.

• DET will be playing on back-to-back nights following last night’s 3-1 loss in Ottawa.

• Like NYR, the Red Wings have dropped their past two games – 3-2 (SO) to BUF on Nov. 2 and 3-1 to OTT yesterday. DET has not lost three straight games or two consecutive regulation games yet this season.

• G Jimmy Howard stopped 29 of 31 shots last night, but lost his second straight start. The Red Wings will turn to backup G Jonas Gustavsson for tonight’s game against NYR.

• Gustavsson shut out TOR in his first start on Oct. 18 but gave up 3 goals on 16 shots in his only other start, a 4-2 DET loss in PHI on Oct. 25.

QUICK HITS

• 579th regular-season meeting

• 1st of 3 meetings this season. Final 2 games (Dec. 6 and Mar. 4) are in DET.

• Last season, NYR went 3-0-0 against DET, including shutouts in both games at MSG (1-0, 3-0).

• The Rangers have won 4 straight overall against DET. They have not won 5 straight against DET since the 1983 and 1984 seasons.

• DET last win at NYR: 3-1 on Dec. 6, 2009 (0-2-1 since).

•NYR has held DET scoreless for the past 144:58 dating back to last season.

• NYR: D Matt Hunwick is a Warren, MI native and played 4 seasons in the NCAA for the Michigan Wolverines.

STANDOUT STATS

• Both DET and NYR enter tonight on 2-game losing streaks.

• DET: 17-7-6 record in back-to-back games last season (7-5-3 in the 2nd game of back to backs).

• NYR: Including playoffs, the Rangers have sold out 138 consecutive games at MSG.
MILESTONE TRACKER

• NYR: Head Coach Alain Vigneault will be coaching his 900th career game tonight.

NOTABLE INJURIES

• DET: D Kyle Quincey (ankle) has missed two straight games and is day-to-day.

• NYR: Captain D Ryan McDonagh (separated shoulder) will be out for 3-4 weeks.

• NYR: C Derek Stepan (broken leg) has been IR all season. He has been cleared for contact but has yet to participate in a contact practice.

• NYR: D Dan Boyle (hand) was injured on opening night and is now skating in a non-contact jersey.

HEAD TO HEAD

• DET: C Pavel Datsyuk has 3 goals, 5 assists, and a +3 rating in 10 career games vs. NYR.

• DET: LW Henrik Zetterberg, RW Johan Franzen, RW Gustav Nyquist, and Datsyuk all went scoreless against NYR last season.

• NYR: G Henrik Lundqvist had shutout victories in both of his starts against DET last season.

• NYR: LW Rick Nash has 25 goals and 47 points in 55 career games vs. DET. His 25 goals are tied for the most he has against any other NHL team (w/ CHI).

DETROIT TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• The Red Wings’ first line of Captain LW Henrik Zetterberg (15 points), C Pavel Datsyuk (10 points), and RW Justin Abdelkader (10 points) are the top 3 scorers for DET this season.

• Datsyuk began the season on injured reserve with a separated shoulder, but has put up 5 goals and 5 assists in 7 games since rejoining the lineup. His 5 goals and 10 points are both T-2nd on DET.

• Datsyuk had opened his season with points in 6 straight games before being held off the score sheet on Tuesday in the loss to Ottawa.

• Zetterberg has 4 goals and 11 assists through 12 games. His 11 assists and 15 points are tops on the Red Wings, and he is currently T-5th in NHL scoring.

• Abdelkader has benefitted from time alongside Datsyuk and Zetterberg; the 27-year old has never scored more than 10 goals or 28 points in an NHL season, but already has 5 goals and10 points through 12 games.

• RW Gustav Nyquist leads DET with 7 goals this season. He has also scored 4 of the Red Wings’ 5 PPG this season.

• Last season, Nyquist led DET with 28 goals despite only playing 57 games.

• G Jonas Gustavsson (1-1-0, 1.45 GAA, .935 SV%, 1 SO ) is scheduled to make his third start of the season for DET.

NEW YORK TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

•  Like Detroit, the Rangers’ top line of LW Rick Nash (12 points), C Derick Brassard (9 points), and RW Martin St. Louis (8 points) are also 1-2-3 in scoring on the team so far this season.

• Nash leads NYR in goals (9) and points (12). He is 2nd in the NHL in goals, trailing only Corey Perry’s 11.

• Nash started with 8 goals through his first 7 games, but has just 1 goal in his past 4 games.

• All of Nash’s 9 goals have come at even strength, tops in the NHL.

• Nash is the only NHL player with an active streak of 10 straight 20-goal seasons.

• D Dan Girardi has been counted on for extra minutes while the NYR defense remains injured. Girardi played at least 32:58 in each of the Rangers’ last two games.

• The last Ranger to log at least 30 minutes of ice time in 3 consecutive games was Brian Leetch, who did so in 8 straight games in Dec. of 2000.

• G Henrik Lundqvist (5-3-1, 2.85 GAA, .902 SV%, 2 SO) has all 5 Ranger wins in net. While Lundqvist already has 2 shutouts this season, he has also given up 3+ goals 5 times in his first 9 games.

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Red Wings try to rebound on Rivalry Night

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the New York Rangers host the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

It may be an odd thing to think about, but at this pace, the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings may end up jockeying for one of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spots.

Tough times for both teams

As of this moment, the Red Wings (6-3-3, 15 points) would make the postseason while the Rangers (5-4-2, 12 points) would be on the outside looking in. Considering the fact that both squads are on two-game losing streaks and have generally been stumbling as often as they’ve been striding in 2014-15, their three-game season series could end up having a lot of meaning.

Despite being lower in the standings, the Rangers may be a little bit happier with their more recent play than Detroit. While leaving two points on the table stings, both of their losses came via shootouts. Meanwhile, the Red Wings only managed one shootout point in losses to Ottawa and Buffalo.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $15,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $1,400. Starts Wednesday at 7:30pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

One interesting factor may be fatigue.

Normally, the rest advantage would be in New York’s corner. The Red Wings played last night and will visit the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

It might be more of a draw when you consider context, however. New York’s defensive depth has been besieged by injuries, forcing New York to press players into uncomfortable situations and consider less-than-ideal options. Maybe the extra day between games makes enough of a difference for the Rangers to get the early jump or wear the Red Wings out over time, yet it’s reasonable to argue that these teams are basically on even footing.

Both squads are quite familiar with injuries at this point, yet each might be approaching better health:

Plenty of star power

Even with Derek Stepan out and Mats Zuccarello doubtful, both teams bring plenty of talent to the table. Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis have enjoyed strong starts to the season while Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are looking relatively healthy (which means they’re off to hot starts, too).

Wednesday’s Rivalry Night matchup presents the first meeting between the two “Original Six” franchises this season. Could one of these teams start to turn things around this evening?

Related

Babcock blasts Detroit’s efforts on Tuesday

Rangers lean on Girardi and Staal

Desperate times: Rangers to give Kaberle a look

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The New York Rangers are going to kick the tires on defenseman Tomas Kaberle, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Kaberle has not signed, but will apparently skate/practice with the Rangers, whose blue line has been absolutely decimated by injuries to Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Klein, and Dan Boyle, as well as the five-game suspension of John Moore.

Kaberle, 36, hasn’t played an NHL game since March of 2013, soon after which he was bought out by the Montreal Canadiens. But a solid showing in the 2014 Winter Olympics earned him a tryout with the Devils.

A decent puck-mover when he was in his prime, Kaberle could theoretically help a team that too often found itself hemmed in its own zone last night against the Blues.

“Couldn’t get it out,” said forward Rick Nash, per the New York Post. “They came at us hard and kept us pinned in. We have to do a better job there.”

The problem, of course, is that Kaberle is no longer in his prime.

Still, Rangers brass may feel he’s a better option than, say, Dylan McIlrath.

The Rangers host the Red Wings tomorrow (on NBCSN).

Another big night for Tarasenko leads Blues over Rangers in SO

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After claiming the first start of the week, St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko wasted no time in quest to claim that honor again. He was the difference in tonight’s 4-3 shootout victory over the New York Rangers.

The Blues limped out of the gate, but the Rangers couldn’t make the most of their early game dominance. New York was up just 1-0 going into the first intermission and that lead was erased by Tarasenko’s highlight reel goal 7:18 minutes into the second frame.

Tarasenko later added an assist to give him 13 points in 11 games this season. Given how he’s played lately, it was appropriate that he was the Blues’ third player in the shootout so that he could end the night in St. Louis’ favor.

Although he was the hero tonight, this was far from a one-sided game. The lead changed hands four times and Martin St. Louis deserves credit for helping the Rangers come away with one point. He scored twice in the third period, although he had plenty of help from Rick Nash on his second goal.

The Rangers have now lost back-to-back games in shootouts while St. Louis has triumphed in the skills competition in each of its last two contests.