Red Wings take Rangers into OT, but ex-Wolverine Copp scores winner
Detroit — The Red Wings were better, but that much needed victory proved elusive.
After getting embarrassed over the weekend in Pittsburgh, and with rumors about coach Jeff Blashill's job security building, the Wings came out Wednesday and took the New York Rangers into overtime before losing 5-4.
At this point, after such a disappointing weekend, the Wings felt good about taking some positive steps.
"Just more of the same feeling (losing a game) but there were positive out of this," captain Dylan Larkin said. "Our work ethic and compete, we had those. It was very important (to battle hard).
"The last game, obviously, it was not even close (to acceptable) and there was a lot of discussion in our locker room, a lot of guys thinking about that last game, and we came out and played hard and had a good response."
Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor/Michigan) converted a two-on-one rush with Artemi Panarin giving the Rangers the victory at 1 minute, 34 seconds of overtime.
The Rangers tied the game 4-4 on Chris Kreider's 46th goal of the season, on the power play, at 16:22.
Kreider got a pass near the goal line and snapped a shot that bounded off the skate of Moritz Seider and past goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (29 saves).
"We've been in that spot a couple of times, with Tampa (Saturday) and these guys (the Rangers) and we have the lead and we have to find a way to kill that penalty," coach Jeff Blashill said. "It's the same thing against Tampa. We have to find a way to kill that penalty, that's the reality of it and right now we're not doing a good enough job of it."
Adam Erne had broken a 3-3 tie in the third period, but it was a lead the Wings couldn't keep.
Erne inadvertently blocked a shot from Marc Staal near the hashmarks. But Erne gathered the puck, skated into the slot, and backhanded a shot through a maze in front of Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev at 5:56 of the third period.
It was only Erne's fifth goal and ended a 24-game, goal-scoring drought for Erne.
The Red Wings (26-32-9) saw their winless streak extend to four games.
MIchael Rasmussen, Jakub Vrana (power play) and Tyler Bertuzzi (power play) added Wings goals, while the Wings got a boost defensively from the return of defensemen Staal and Danny DeKeyser, and a stout defensive game out of the Pius Suter line (with Erne and Oskar Sundqvist).
"We gave up four (goals) in regulation, that's not perfect, but we were better in a lot of ways defensively, way better than Sunday," Blashill said. "That was no good. But we were way better in a lot of ways and in the third period especially, Ned was great. We played closer to the type of hockey to be successful."
Ryan Reaves, Filip Chytil, and Panarin answered with Rangers (44-19-5) goals.
Bertuzzi gave the Wings a 3-2 lead to open the second period with his 26th goal.
Seider fed Bertuzzi in the high slot, and Bertuzzi' slap shot beat goalie Georgiev just 29 seconds into the period.
But the Rangers answered later in the period with Panarin's 18th goal.
Frank Vatrano got possession of the puck behind the net, and found Panarin racing toward the net. Panarin fired top corner past Nedeljkovic at 12:15, tying the game at 3-3.
The Wings averted trouble late in the period with the Rangers on the power play. Panarin had a chance for a one-timer from the dot, but mishandled a pass.
The Wings were two-for-three on the power play after struggling in recent games.
"If you go back over the last couple of months, the power play has been around 20 plus (percent), it's been working at a fairly good rate," Blashill said. "We found ways to execute plays. We won some face offs, which is a big factor, we kept puck in the zone and spent more time in the zone."
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