Rangers lose a two goal lead to Detroit; Nash scores 17th of the season
For the eighth time this season, the New York Rangers (11-10-4) gave up a lead, allowing the Detroit Red Wings (16-6-5) to score three straight goals, dropping their second consecutive game.
Rick Nash scored his 17th goal of the season, bringing his point streak to seven games. Nash now has 27 points (17-10-27) in the team’s first 25 games.
Cam Talbot allowed 3 goals on 34 shots, with the first two coming just 1:01 apart. Talbot had his shutout streak snapped at over 159 minutes. Talbot’s record fell to 2-3-1 with the loss.
After scoring on the power play in four consecutive games, the man advantage for the Rangers was atrocious. The Rangers were 0-7, and could not score on two separate five-on-three advantages, totaling almost 2:40. The ineptitude of the power play really hurt the Rangers tonight.
The first period was actually a very good one for the Rangers. Early on, Carl Hagelin was sent off for high sticking, a double minor. In the next four minutes, the Blueshirts did a fantastic job killing off the penalty, holding them to just one shot and blocking numerous others. Kevin Klein had three blocked shots himself on the penalty kill.
New York used the momentum from the kill, and wound up scoring a few minutes later. Kevin Klein scored his fifth goal of the season, a new career high for him.
Kevin Hayes took the puck behind the net, and made a spinning, centering pass. Klein got it on his forehand, transitioned it to his back hand, and slid it past Howard to put the Rangers up by one. The assists went to Kevin Hayes and Carl Hagelin.
The Rangers would score just a few minutes later, as Rick Nash buried one in the back of the net for his 17th goal of the season. Brassard picked up the only assist, giving him 13 this season.
Brassard made a nice defensive play in the Rangers zone, and then placed a perfect saucer pass right on the stick of Nash, who fired it past Howard on a breakaway, giving New York a very quick two goal lead.
Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard was under fire for the remainder of the period, stopping chances from Hunwick, Stempniak, and Kreider to keep the deficit at two. The period would end with both goalies making 10 saves and the Rangers with a two goal lead.
The second period started out with an early power play opportunity for the Red Wings. Although they didn’t score, it set up the tone for the rest of the period.
Talbot continued to make some big saves early on in the period, like he did in the first, keeping the Rangers lead at two. But Detroit kept pressuring, and eventually broke through.
Kevin Klein’s stick broke while taking a shot, and the Red Wings went on a rush. Chris Kreider left Riley Sheahan open in front, and he connected on a spinning backhand to bring Detroit within one. The assists went to Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen.
The Red Wings continued the high pressure, and scored on Talbot again, just over a minute later. Drew Miller brought the puck down the wing, and was able to send it at Talbot with one hand. The puck bounced around the crease, where Luke Glendening was able to tap it in to tie the game at two.
The Red Wings went into the locker room brimming with confidence, after controlling a large part of the second period and making the comeback.
After killing off a penalty in the third period, Detroit continued where they left off. Darren Helm scored the Red Wings third straight goal, giving them a 3-2 lead 7:40 into the period.
The Rangers had a ton of chances in the third, including eight total penalty minutes in the last half of the period. The Rangers had two separate five-on-three opportunities, totaling over 2:30 of ice time on the two man advantage. Martin St. Louis and Derick Brassard would hit the post twice but would not score.
When the horn sounded, the Rangers suffered yet another disappointing loss. It was the eighth game in which the Rangers surrendered a lead, which translates to 13 lost points in the standings. The Blueshirts haven’t played with any urgency, which is something that really needs to change.
Kevin Hayes also turned in another good game. Hayes had the primary assist on Klein’s goal, making a nice centering pass to him in front. Hayes now has nine points this season (3-6-9), and has improved at the center position throughout the season.
Yet again, Rick Nash provided the scoring for the Rangers. Nash extended the point streak to seven games, and now has 27 points this season (17-10-27). He has been the best player for the Rangers every single game and carries the team most nights.
Kevin Klein has been one of the biggest surprises for the Rangers this season. Klein scored the first goal of the game, giving him five this season, which is a new career-high for him. He also had three blocked shots on the Red Wings four minute power play, and may be the Rangers best defenseman this season.
Derick Brassard had the lone assist on Rick Nash’s goal, making a nice defensive play and an even better pass to Nash. The two have such great chemistry, and Brassard now has 17 points in his last 17 games, giving him 21 (8-13-21) this season. Brassard has continued to prove that he can play the number one center role.
The problem with the Rangers is that they don’t get consistent contributions from all over the ice. So far, Nash, Brassard, Stepan, St. Louis, Hayes, and Klein are the only Rangers that have put out a consistent effort night in and night out. The rest of the team plays on some nights and looks lackadaisical on others.
Players like Chris Kreider, who hasn’t scored in 10 games, Mats Zuccarello, and the Rangers top defenseman, like Dan Giradi, Marc Staal, and Ryan McDonagh, need to come out and play better every night in order for the Blueshirts to win. It takes a consistent effort from all over the ice, and that isn’t something that has been present every game.
It’s time for the team to wake up, realize that they are out of a playoff spot, and play with urgency. Because playing passively and accepting losses and blown leads will certainly not help when this team is making a playoff push at the end of the season.
The next game for the Rangers will be on Monday night, when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden.
1) Kevin Klein – 1 Goal, 4 Blocked Shots, two hits
2) Rick Nash – 1 Goal, 19:35 TOT
3) Kevin Hayes – 1 Assist
Posted on December 7, 2014, in Game Recaps and tagged Alain Vigneault, Anthony Duclair, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Dominic Moore, Evgeni Malkin, Henrik Lundqvist, Jesper Fast, Jimmy Howard, John Moore, JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Klein, King Henrik, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Hunwick, MSG, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NY Rangers, NYR, Pavel Datsyuk, Pittsburgh Penguins, Rangers Nation, Rangerstown, Red WIngs, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Sidney Crosby, Tanner Glass, The Duke, The Ranger Zone. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.