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Rangers vs. Red Wings Recap: Despite Strong Play, Rangers Fall Short in Detroit

The New York Rangers played a strong game tonight, but unfortunately, a late third period penalty cost them in the extra frame.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers may have lost tonight's game 2-1 in overtime against the Detroit Red Wings, but they certainly deserved a better outcome. Even though the scoreboard didn't favor them, the Rangers controlled a majority of the play, and if not for Jimmy Howard, this game was probably lopsided in the other direction. Not to mention, if the Rangers keep playing that kind of hockey over the next few games, they will be more than fine.

For as much flack as we give Cam Talbot, he quieted us all tonight by putting up one of his more dominating performances in between the pipes. He turned away 29 of the 31 shots he faced, and made several key saves late in the game which allowed the Rangers to grab a point. The game winning goal that slipped behind him in overtime was about as unlucky as it gets, and there's not a whole lot anyone could have done to prevent it.

The opening few minutes of this game were where the Rangers fell behind a bit, and just six minutes in, they found themselves in an early 1-0 hole. Ryan McDonagh was unable to clear the puck through the middle of the ice, and the puck bounced right out to Jonathan Ericsson standing at the blue line. With pressure quickly closing in, Ericsson wound up whiffing on the initial shot, but it was enough to slide the puck down to Henrik Zetterberg.

Zetterberg showed a tremendous amount of patience on the play, and waited for Talbot to slide across to cut down the angle. Unfortunately, Talbot would up sliding out just a tad bit too far, and Zetterberg tapped the puck back across to Justin Abdelkader who slammed it home. Dan Girardi probably could have made a better read on the play, as he was beaten pretty badly in the corner which led to Abdelkader being wide open in front. It definitely wasn't a great opening few minutes for the Rangers, but once they found their legs, the took over the game.

After whiffing on their first power play attempt, the Rangers were handed another opportunity late in the period to even up the score. The Rangers generated a ton of puck movement on the ensuing power play, and finally, at the 17:02 they broke through.  The play all started with a bomb of a shot from Dan Boyle, followed my Mats Zuccarello making a diving attempt to swat at the rebound.

The puck eventually made its way over to Rick Nash, and he shoveled a quick shot on Howard from a strange angle. Howard wasn't able to hang onto the rebound, and Dan Girardi also took a diving swat at the puck that finally knocked the puck over the goal line. It was a ton of hard work from the power play unit, and they were able to claw their way back after falling behind early.

Heading into the second period, you expected that both teams were going to settle in a bit more, and sure enough, the second period resulted in zero goals being scored. Both teams really locked it down in all three zones, and there wasn't a whole lot of room to make a play. The Rangers wound up out-shooting the Red Wings 27-16 through two periods with a big third period on the horizon.

After only calling two penalties during the prior two periods, the officials decided to bring out the whistles for the third period, which eventually led to the game winning goal in overtime. After a slew of penalties on both sides, Derek Stepan was caught late in the third period which gave the Red Wings a late 4-on-3 advantage. Both Justin Abdelkader, and Derick Brassard were already off serving their matching minors, which left the Rangers with two center heading into the penalty kill.

Despite a ton of late pressure from the Red Wings, the Rangers and Cam Talbot were able to survive, and snagged a point heading into overtime. However, it didn't take very long at all for the Red Wings to capitalize in overtime. Just 1:09 into the extra frame, Marek Zidlicky slapped at a loose puck caught up in traffic, and the puck wound up flipping up in the air. With Talbot unable to locate the puck, it flipped up over his head, and rolled down his back. Dan Girardi attempted to knock the puck out the air as it came in, but he was just a second to late.

Even though the Rangers weren't able to grab the second point in this one, it's certainly not a loss they should hang their heads about. They left everything out on the ice heading into the extended break, and it should allow them to get some much needed before they continue to the road trip. They will have yet another tough test coming up this weekend as they take on the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday evening.