NEW YORK – It’s Hockey Day in America and the Red Wings are playing in the greatest arena in the world tonight.
There are 11 American players suited up for this game, the first meeting of the season for the Original Six rivals. The U.S.-born Red Wings are Justin Abdelkader, Luke Glendening, Danny DeKeyser, Dylan Larkin and Jimmy Howard.
The Wings have lost five straight road decisions now for the first time since they dropped seven straight (0-5-2) in March 2012.
As a result of Pittsburgh’s 4-3 win at Buffalo this afternoon, Detroit begins the evening in the second wild card position with 68 points in the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay also started the day with 68 points, but is in third place in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning plays at Carolina tonight.
Two nights in a row Abdelkader has accounted for the Red Wings’ first shot on goal, though he probably wishes they were a little sooner in the game.
For the second straight night the Wings have gone more than 6 ½ minutes before registering a shot. On Saturday, Abdelkader’s 75-footer from the neutral zone was the first shot on Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson.
Tonight, the Rangers had seven shots on Howard before Abdelkader’s 51-foot wrist shot was stopped by Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist at 7:51 of the opening period.
The Wings turned things around in the second half of the period, out-shooting the Rangers, 9-5.
Howard had to be sharp on a couple of occasions, especially in the finals minutes when J.T. Miler tried scoring on a wrap-around attempt.
DETROIT 0, NY RANGERS 0
PENALTIES: 1. DET, Ouellet (tripping), 1:11; 2. NYR , Yandle (hooking), 4:48.
SHOTS: Detroit 10, New York 12.
The period got a little chippy early when Darren Helm caught the Rangers’ Miller up high with a hit in the neutral zone with 16:35 left on the clock. The hit left Miller in a heap at center ice. Miller went after Helm, but the only result was a holding penalty assessed to Derick Brassard.
The Wings had an awesome scoring chance created by the speed of Andreas Athanasiou, but Lundqvist made the save and stopped Teemu Pulkkinen’s second-chance opportunity on the rebound.
With roughly nine periods left, Henrik Zetterberg may have been the closest to breaking the scoreless deadlock when his shot hit the left post.
Moments after Zetterberg’s near goal, the Rangers came close to getting the game’s first goal when Chris Kreider was left along in front of Howard. But the Wings’ netminder came up with a big save.
New York had two power play chances when Kyle Quincey picked up a pair of tripping penalties in the period. The Rangers mustered a total of four shots during the two separate man advantages, but Howard stopped them all.
DETROIT 0, NY RANGERS 0
PENALTIES: 1. NYR, Brassard (holding), 3:31; 2. DET, Quincey (tripping), 7:34; 3. DET, Quincey (tripping), 12:37.
SHOTS: Detroit 7 (17), New York 9 (21).
The Rangers had a goal disallowed and didn’t connect on a penalty shot in the final period of regulation.
Howard was outstanding as he was called upon throughout the period to make one heady save after another. The first came early in the frame after Viktor Stalberg raced into the zone and set up Oscar Lindberg, who was streaking down the slot. Howard stood big in the crease to make a save on Lindberg’s redirection.
A few minutes later a scramble in front of the Wings’ crease resulted in a controversial goal by the Rangers. Lindberg tripped over Howard’s stick and as the Rangers’ center fell forward his left skate kicked Howard in the head as Kevin Hayes fired a shot from a bad angle that went in off the goalie’s arm.
As the Madison Square Garden faithful cheered, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill challenged the validity of the goal. The play was reviewed in Toronto and overturned.
With 5:25 left, the Rangers were given a penalty shot when Jesper Fast was taken down by Mike Green. Howard, who has played perhaps his best game of the season made an outstanding blocker save on Fast.
Howard made another spectacular save after the Wings made turnover deep in their zone. DeKeyser fell giving the Rangers a 3 on 1 against Howard. Fast set up near the left post and one-timed a pass but the goalie slid across the crease in time to make the save.
DETROIT 0, NY RANGERS 0SCORING:
1. NYR, Glass (hooking), 2:49; 2. DET, DeKeyser (interference), 7:27; 3. DET, Glendening (high-sticking), 8:02; 4. NYR, Yandle (interference), 8:02; 5. NYR, Girardi (elbowing), 10:10.SHOTS
: Detroit 3 (20), New York 7 (28).
Gustav Nyquist nearly won it for the Wings with a shot that slipped behind Lundqvist, who for a moment lost sight of the puck. Kreider scoped the puck out of the crease and started the Rangers’ rush which ended with Kevin Klein’s goal at 1:59.
Hayes slid a backhand pass over Brendan Smith’s stick, which sent Klein in a lone down the slot and the Rangers’ defenseman fired a shot behind Howard.
The Wings are the last team to suffer a shutout loss this season.NY RANGERS 1, DETROIT 0SCORING:
1. NYR, Klein (Hayes, Kreider), 1:59.PENALTIES:
Detroit 2 (22), New York 2 (30).