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The Rangers Outlast Detroit In Original Six Tilt Thanks To Resiliency

These two organizations met just a few weeks ago, yet tonight’s Original Six tilt has a little more meaning to it. New York and Detroit have had great starts in the first 20 games of the season. In their last matchup, the Rangers outlasted the Red Wings in a 5-3 battle. Fast forward 22 days and Detroit is in the news for something other than their recent form of play.

The “Showtime Sweepstakes” are over and one of the greatest American hockey players is Motown bound. It was announced on Wednesday morning that Detroit signed free agent forward Patrick Kane. After all of the speculation, Derek Lalonde lands the hottest free agent in hockey. Kane recently underwent hip replacement surgery. Despite all of the setbacks that come with the surgery, Kane is destined for a dramatic restart of his historic career.

New York Rangers Takeaways Against Detroit

First Period Takeaway: Adam Fox Has Not Missed A Beat

For the first time since November 2, Adam Fox found his name back on Peter Laviolette’s lineup card. Fox, who suffered a lower-body injury earlier in the month, is back both on the first pair and on the first powerplay unit. The opening 20 minutes showed promise to New York and also revealed how much the former Norris Trophy winner was missed by his teammates and coaches.

New York earned two powerplays in the period. Although no goals came of them, the unit is back to normal with Fox back in his quarterback role. No disrespect to Erik Gustafsson, who did an exceptional job filling in for Fox, but this role truly belongs to the Jericho, NY native when healthy.

New York’s man advantage now sits at third best in the league, and rightly so. The way that they moved the puck around the perimeter of Detroit’s zone continues to be impeccable. Zibanejad continues to be lethal from his “office”, but Detroit’s Ville Husso kept the biscuit out of the net for the time being. The Rangers continued to press despite Husso being the hot hand.

Second Period Takeaway: A Fair Share Of Goals

No Original Six tilt is complete without goals, and the second period had three of them. New York had the quicker jump in the first period, so it was only fitting that one of the hottest players in the league would kick off the scoring spree.

Capitalizing on a Detroit turnover, Alexis Lafrenière’s cross-crease pass found the stick of Artemi Panarin who notched his twelfth goal of the season. Even when Filip Chytil returns from injury, this duo cannot split up. Playing with Panarin has turned Lafrenière into the offensive threat that he was projected to be. Whether it’s Vincent Trocheck up the middle or a healthy Chytil these two continue to thrive under the pressure.

One goal would not be enough thanks to their lingering lack of discipline. Young stud defenceman Moritz Seider got the scoring going for Detroit on a screened shot from the blue line.

23 seconds later, frustrating puck-watching from the Blueshirts led to Robby Fabbri ripping an uncontested shot from the slot past Igor Shesterkin. The Red Wings would take their first lead of the contest into the final period.

Third Period Takeaway: No Quit In New York

That catchphrase might have run its course, but it is the perfect way to describe New York’s final 20 minutes. New York was hungry for a chance to tie it, throwing anything and everything at Husso. The only problem with that was Detroit was on a shot-blocking parade, tallying 25 in total tonight.

The tying goal would come off of a one-time from K’andre Miller, scoring his third of the season. The play was courtesy of Mika Zibanejad who, like Panarin, can just turn into a magician when on the puck. Now you see it on his blade, now you don’t because it is in the back of the net.

The fight would not stop at Miller would not stop there. Six minutes later Jimmy Vesey batted a Lafrenière rebound out of mid-air, finding twine. With MLB free agency opening up this week, Vesey could give both the Mets and Yankees another bat off of the bench with this one.

Although New York would escape with all two points, the lack of discipline is just appalling for a team as talented as the Rangers. Detroit played the final 1:56 of the game thanks to a lazy tripping penalty on Trocheck. Thank goodness Jacob Trouba eats pucks for a living and Trocheck was bailed out once again.

New York will hit the road for the first leg of back-to-back tilts this weekend. Saturday’s contest takes the Rangers to Music City for a matchup with the Nashville Predators. Last time out, Nashville outplayed New York for 60 minutes back on October 19, coming out on top 4-1.

Puck drop for Saturday is scheduled for 4 p.m. EST from Bridgestone Arena.

Main Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


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