DET-nyr 04:05:24

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings lost out on a chance to gain ground in a tightly contested Eastern Conference wild-card race, falling to the NHL-leading New York Rangers, 4-3, at Little Caesars Arena on Friday night.

“We played hard,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said. "We played good enough to get a point, get two points tonight. I think when you get to this time of year, every time you drop a game it feels like an opportunity missed.”

Goalie Alex Lyon made 34 saves for Detroit (37-31-8; 82 points), which remained tied with the Washington Capitals (36-30-10; 82 points) one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers (36-30-11; 83 points) for the East’s second wild-card spot. The Capitals and Flyers both lost on Friday.

Moving three points ahead of the Boston Bruins (45-17-15; 105 points) in the quest for home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the Rangers (52-21-4; 108 points) were backstopped by netminder Jonathan Quick’s 31-save night.

"Everyone was up against it tonight with the competition and who they were playing," Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde said. "We did get some help around the league, but we got to take care of it ourselves."

Will Cuylle took advantage of a turnover in the offensive zone, sending a shot from the left face-off circle through the five hole of Lyon to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead 5:58 into the game.

Seconds after a shot by Larkin hit the post, Andrew Copp took Joe Veleno’s feed and scored a backhand at 7:11 of the first period for his 13th goal of the season to tie it 1-1. The secondary assist went to Moritz Seider, who has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his last 13 games.

New York moved ahead 2-1 with 29 seconds remaining in the first period when Barclay Goodrow buried a bouncing puck in front for first goal of the night.

J.T. Compher got Detroit even just 1:24 into the second period, redirecting Jeff Petry’s pass off his skate and past Quick to make it 2-2. David Perron also collected an assist on Compher’s 17th goal of the season.

Larkin gave the Red Wings a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal at 13:19 of the second period. Shayne Gostisbehere fed the puck across the high slot to David Perron, who fired a shot that hit the post and the rebound fell to Larkin.

With his team-leading 30th goal of the season, Larkin became the first Detroit player with three consecutive 30-goal campaigns since former Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg. Larkin also extended his point streak to three straight games.

Quickly responding for the Rangers, Goodrow scored his second goal of the game just 25 seconds after Larkin’s tally to knot things up 3-3.

At 10:14 of the third period, Chris Kreider cleaned up a one-timer by Mika Zibanejad on the power play to put New York back in front 4-3.

"You give (the Rangers) three looks on the power play, it's just too good of a power play," Lalonde said. "Unfortunately we took that one in the third (period) and they cashed in."

Detroit pulled Lyon for an extra skater late in the third period, but couldn't net the equalizer.

“It’s tight the whole way," Copp said. "Plays that happen in the first period are magnified throughout. It’s not just the push at the end. It’s that time of year when everything gets magnified.”

NEXT UP: The Red Wings will conclude their season series against the Buffalo Sabres at Little Caesars Arena on Sunday afternoon.


Lalonde on if Friday's loss stings

"Of course it's going to sting. Every game is so magnified right now, but we're right back at it on Sunday. Six (regular-season games) left. We got to keep at it. A little bit of a missed opportunity tonight."

Lalonde on his assessment of Detroit's play against New York

“Good, certainly not perfect. Certainly frustrating in that you could play a perfect game and lose to a team of that caliber. I don’t think we did that. I think we gave them a little bit too much. If you would have told me we would have kept their top six off the board 5-on-5, I would have liked our chances. A couple plays out there that ended up costing us. That’s the time of year.”

Larkin on if he views this loss as a missed opportunity

“It’s been hard. The hockey has been hard and tight. We’ve been talking about every play and making sure you make every play. We left a couple out there tonight, which makes it hurt more. This time of year, everyone is in or not. I think that is what has made us strong all year is our depth. Copper’s line was really good tonight. Al gave us a chance to win, so we’re right there. It is frustrating not to get two points.”

Larkin on the Red Wings' special teams

“We’ve gone through a gauntlet of power plays in the last week and a half. We thought we’ve done a really good job of giving ourselves a chance to win through special teams. Tonight was no different. It would have been nice to get one there on the power play at the end, but we just didn’t convert. We had some looks.”