The New York Rangers did not play well at all this afternoon, and as a result, they were defeated 3-2 by the Detroit Red Wings in overtime. Being that the Rangers had a tough outing this afternoon, they really didn't even deserve scraping a point out of this game. Thankfully, the return of Henrik Lundqvist went as expected, and he completely stood on his head throughout the entire game. Given how well he played today, he probably deserved better fate, but the Rangers just couldn't find a way to close out the game.
As it usually goes with these afternoon games, the Rangers fail to show up after the opening puck drop, and that happened once again today. The Red Wings completely dominated the first period of play and wound up out-shooting the Rangers to the tune of 15-7. A majority of those seven shots came nearing the end of the period for the Rangers, and somehow they grabbed the game's first goal.
Derek Stepan made a great play on the backcheck to strip the puck from Danny DeKeyser, and he quickly turned the puck back towards the net. After Chris Kreider's stuff attempted failed, the puck kicked right back out to Stepan, and he buried it into the yawning net. With the Rangers coming out completely flat during the first 20 minutes, they really didn't deserve the lead they carried into the second period.
Thankfully, the Rangers woke up a bit in the second period, and were much more poised with the puck at both ends of the ice. Unfortunately, neither team was able to find a goal during the middle frame, and the game remained in favor of the Rangers with a 1-0 lead. However, that lead would only last until the 4:28 mark of the third period as the Red Wings finally found a way to get one past Henrik Lundqvist.
Darren Helm was able to collect the loose puck coming into the offensive zone, and quickly shoveled the puck over Lundqvist's shoulder. The Red Wings continued to pressure the Rangers late in the game, but they wound up getting too aggressive, and Justin Abdelkader went off for goaltender interference. That gave the Rangers their third power play of the afternoon, and a big opportunity to take back the lead.
Sure enough, the Rangers were able to take advantage of the opportunity, and Chris Kreider restored the one goal lead late in the third period. Derek Stepan did an excellent job of keeping the puck in at the blue line, which set up the ensuing goal. Keith Yandle also deserve a ton of praise for stepping into a blast at the blue line, and putting the puck in a perfect spot for Chris Kreider to deflect.
Petr Mrazek never even saw the shot once it left Yandle's stick and with about five minutes remaining in regulation, the Rangers held a 2-1 lead. Much like went for the Rangers, the Red Wings got their own power play opportunity with a little over two minutes left in the game. Brad Richards wound up catching a fortunate bounce off to the right of the net, and he slammed home the tying goal with under 30 seconds remaining.
The goal came mere seconds after the Rangers whiffed on two shots towards the empty net, once of which clanked off the post. Richards' late goal sent this game to overtime, where the Red Wings would eventually end the game at the 3:03 mark of the extra period. Pavel Datsyuk made an excellent move to open up a shooting lane around Kevin Hayes, and he fired a quick wrist shot on net.
Henrik Lundqvist was in perfect position to save the shot, but it deflected off of Darren Helm's leg and into the back of the net. As previously stated, given that the Rangers played poorly for most of the afternoon, they were fortunate enough to grab at least a point out of this game. They will need to be much better tomorrow afternoon, when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden.