Detroit – They’re getting points, game by game, but will it be enough?
For the second consecutive game the Detroit Red Wings were able to secure one point – but not that crucial second one.
The New York Rangers defeated the Red Wings 1-0 when J.T. Miller scored at 1 minute, 56 seconds of overtime, finally ending a defensive struggle Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.
It was the fourth time this season Detroit has been shutout in a 1-0 loss, a new franchise record.
For the fifth consecutive game the Red Wings earned points for themselves (3-0-2) – getting eight of 10 points overall.
But not getting that extra point in overtime these last two games (Friday was a 3-2 loss in Buffalo) could ultimately hurt in the tightly-bunched standings.
“We’re getting results but we have to take that next step,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “Play the same level but find ways to get more two-point (games), not just one.
“We have to keep grinding.”
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21 Red Wings shots to earn the shutout for New York, while Jared Coreau stopped 18 Rangers shots in a game that lacked offensive sizzle.
“Two teams that play good systems, not a lot of shots on net,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “It was pretty even. It was a good effort, again. Came out and played pretty good from the start.”
Red Wings coach talks about the defensive struggle against the Rangers in Sunday's 1-0 overtime loss. Ted Kulfan, The Detroit News
A negative for the Red Wings was losing Thomas Vanek in the final seconds of the first period with a lower-body injury. Vanek was battling for position in the slot when he was struck by an Andreas Athanasiou shot, possibly around the groin area.
Vanek crumbled to the ground and had a difficult time getting up, gingerly skating off the ice, and hobbling to the locker room.
“I don’t think it’s any long-term (injury),” said Blashill, who didn’t seem overly concerned after the game. “I’ll know his availability (Monday).”
Offense was hard to come by Sunday, with only 40 total shots (21 by the Red Wings), and the teams failed on seven combined power plays (three for the Red Wings).
“We defended well,” Blashill said. “We didn’t give up a whole bunch and they didn’t either. It was a tight game out there.”
Coreau and Lundqvist were good in net, although they weren’t asked to make tremendous saves.
Some of the best chances came early in the game, although Lundqvist had to be sharp late.
“Jared was solid, but for both goalies it was a good effort in front of them,” Blashill said. “Both teams made it hard to create chances. There were a lot of shots outside, but when Jared needed to be, he was solid.”
Kronwall talks team's performance in Sunday's 1-0 overtime loss in what he called an "even game." Ted Kulfan, The Detroit News
Lundquvist’s most challenging stop was late in the third period when he got his stick on Zetterberg’s one-timer in the slot.
Niklas Kronwall, who returned to the Red Wings’ lineup after missing eight games with a groin injury, was not surprised by Lundqvist’s performance.
“He competes like crazy,” said Kronwall, who has played with Lundqvist on several Swedish national teams. “He finds ways to make those saves. He plays different than most goalies, plays a lot deeper than most goalies, he’s almost on the goal line.
“But he reacts so quick. He’s able to make some big saves, especially in the third period on Hank, it easily could have been in, but he made the big save.”