3 Takeaways From Red Wings’ 5-3 Loss to Rangers

The Hockey Writers

Coming off one of their best performances of the season against the Boston Bruins on Saturday (Nov. 4), the Detroit Red Wings looked to build off it when they matched up with the New York Rangers. But they were unable to keep any momentum rolling into a win streak, losing 5-3.

Red Wings Sleep Walk Through First Two Periods

The Rangers badly outplayed the Red Wings in the opening two periods of the game and it led to a 5-0 deficit through 40 minutes of play. The Red Wings seemed to be stuck in the mud with how they played the first two periods and looked probably the worst that they have all season.

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Between the offense not being able to sustain any kind of pressure in the Rangers’ zone and the defensive play in their own zone not being much help to goalie Ville Husso, it made for quite the disappointment for Red Wings fans the first two periods. There were times throughout the game when it looked like the communication between the players on the ice just was not there. There were numerous instances where it seemed like two players looked at each other and thought “Are you taking it or am I taking it?” While Husso did not get much defensive support, he also struggled in the net throughout the first two periods and continues to lack any sort of consistency (much like the rest of the team).

Red Wings’ Big Guns & Special Teams Stay Quiet

Over the last few games, the top line of Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Larkin, and Lucas Raymond has been pretty quiet on the scoresheet, and that continued against the Rangers. While they got a few scoring chances, they were unable to cash in on any of them. Tied in with their struggles in the offensive zone is the fact that they were ice cold on the powerplay against the Rangers, going 0-for-6 on the man advantage.

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The top powerplay unit that included the above-mentioned top line mixed in with Shayne Gostisbehere and David Perron seemed to force passes and plays that led to missed chances to either get back into the game or take an early lead in the game. The Rangers’ penalty kill ended up with almost as many scoring chances as the Red Wings on the night.

Shayne Gostisbehere Detroit Red Wings
Shayne Gostisbehere, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Coming into the game the Rangers had the league’s second-best powerplay and it got put to work three times against the Red Wings thanks to more untimely penalties. While the Red Wings killed off the third and final penalty they took, the Rangers cashed in on the first two powerplay opportunities that came no more than a minute apart from each other. The continued untimely penalties contributed to the hole the Red Wings had to dig themselves out of, as the game went from a 1-0 Rangers lead to a 3-0 Rangers lead within a minute of powerplay time and two penalties.

Resilient Play in Third By Red Wings

While there are plenty of negatives to take out of the loss to the Rangers, the play in the third period can be taken as a positive for the Red Wings. In years past, when the team would fall behind they would just seemingly give up and accept their fate. But this season when they fall behind in a game, the team has shown the resiliency to fight back and try and make their way back into a competitive game. Against the Rangers that ended up being no different.

The surprising part of it all is the fact that it was not the top line leading the way for a potential comeback, as it was the fourth line of offseason acquisitions Klim Kostin and Christian Fischer along with Michael Rasmussen. The trio got the Red Wings on the board just about halfway through the third period when Rasmussen beat Jonathan Quick to finally break the shutout he had going. Less than a minute later, the trio brought the Red Wings within three with a nice-looking play by Kostin off a dump-in by Fischer leading to Kostin with the puck out front and beating the former Los Angeles King Quick yet again.

Klim Kostin Detroit Red Wings
Klim Kostin, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

While the Red Wings got themselves back within two thanks to an eventual goal by Andrew Copp, the comeback would fall short. The resiliency the team has shown while playing from behind is encouraging but is something that many fans would rather not have to consistently watch and hope for throughout the season. Playing a full 60-minute game is something that should continue to be preached by head coach Derek Lalonde.

Other Game Notes

  • Defenseman Jeff Petry continues to struggle in the defensive zone since being acquired in the offseason. While he showed a willingness to jump into the play in the offensive zone, he is proving to be a detriment for the team in their zone. His play continues to lead to fans calling for GM Steve Yzerman to call up prospect Simon Edvinsson from Grand Rapids.
  • Turnovers in the defensive zone continue to be a problem for the Red Wings as well, helping lead to the Rangers getting numerous extra scoring chances throughout the game.

What’s Next For the Red Wings

The Red Wings return home to play the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 9 before welcoming in the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 11.

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