New York, N.Y. — Thomas Greiss has been a thorn in the New York Rangers’ side throughout his career, and Thursday proved to be once more.
Greiss stopped 37 shots as the Red Wings went into Madison Square Garden and earned a 3-2 shootout victory, with Greiss being a key reason why.
“I like playing here, it’s a good building, it’s a good atmosphere, it’s always fun,” Greiss said. “It’s a good team obviously. It was a fun game today.”
Greiss raised his career record to 6-0-1 against the Rangers, while earning his second consecutive victory in six days, frustrating the Rangers throughout the evening.
In the shootout, Pius Suter scored on his first-ever attempt in the extra session to clinch a 2-1 edge for the Wings, with Lucas Raymond scoring the other goal.
“I felt good last game (Saturday’s victory over Philadelphia) and felt good this game,” Greiss said. “I worked hard in practice and (developed) good habits and felt good with it.”
Both teams had glorious chances in overtime, only be thwarted by the goaltending of Greiss and the Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin (31 saves), and individual efforts.
Dylan Larkin came back down the ice and broke up a potential Artemi Panarin breakaway, then returned on the other end, only to be stopped in the waning seconds of overtime.
“The best play of the game for me was Dylan on the backcheck at the end,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He was gassed for sure, and found another gear and that’s desire to win. I didn’t think based on where he was (on the ice) and he played a lot of minutes, and I was real surprised he was able to go and catch him and that’s great compete, and that’s what he has, great compete.”
Larkin and Troy Stecher had Red Wings regulation-time goals.
The Rangers tied it 2-2 on Mika Zibajenad’s power-play goal in the third period.
After the Wings failed on a power play attempt — they were goal-less on three attempts Thursday — Robby Fabbri penalized to nullify to final 14 seconds, the Rangers quickly tied it. Reigning Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox found Zibajenad alone near the dot, and Zibajenad blasted a one-timer past Greiss for his 19th goal.
Shesterkin made a big glove save with just under a minute left in regulation time on Larkin, who scored earlier in the game, to force overtime.
The Wings evened their record to 1-1-0 while in the midst of playing seven of the top eight teams in the NHL’s overall standings.
“It’s huge (to win), it’s a tough stretch for us and getting a win here early, and (two wins) against Philadelphia, it gave us confidence, and hopefully we get a couple more,” Greiss said. “It huge for us (to win) on the road. We haven’t been that good this year (away from Little Caesars Arena) and it’s definitely something we have to work on. It’s a big win and a big step as a team here. Good to see.”
K’Andre Miller added the other Rangers goal.
Larkin answered Miller’s goal, just 90 seconds after the big Rangers defenseman had tied the game 1-1.
Miller received the puck from Barclay Goodrow and skated all the way around the net, before sneaking the puck between the post and Greiss for Miller’s fourth goal, at 12:18.
But the Wings roared back.
Danny DeKeyser had the puck at the point and lifted a shot off the end board that rebounded directly to Larkin near the low circle. Larkin quickly snapped a shot that Shesterkin couldn’t get back fast enough on, restoring the Wings lead at 13:48.
“There’s a lot of things we can get better at, but to come on the road and find ways to win, we did that against a real good team, in a great environment, and we’ll take the two points and learn and we’ll get better,” Blashill said.