The Detroit Red Wings performed respectably, which was a step forward after their prior outing.
They kept Wednesday’s game at Little Caesars Arena against the playoff-positioned New York Rangers competitive, losing, 5-4, in overtime.
The Wings needed to redeem themselves after the embarrassment of losing 11-2 in their previous outing and were aided by regaining the stabilizing presences of veteran defensemen Marc Staal and Danny DeKeyser. DeKeyser had a hand in Michael Rasmussen’s goal, which came shortly after the Rangers had scored the first goal.
Jakub Vrana and Tyler Bertuzzi scored during power plays, and Adam Erne provided a go-ahead goal in the third period. Alex Nedeljkovic made 29 saves in regulation.
Gustav Lindstrom had a rough night; While he was in the penalty box for a second time, Chris Kreider scored to make it 4-4 with 3:38 to play. Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor) ended the game 1:34 into overtime.
The Wings (26-32-9) next play Friday against the Ottawa Senators.
The Rangers went up a goal 3:23 into the first period, scoring on their second shot on net. Ryan Reaves pounced on a loose puck near the Wings bench and played it into the offensive zone. Filip Hronek got the tip of his blade on the puck but was unable to corral it and clear it, and the puck slipped stick-side on Nedeljkovic. Given their recent struggles, it was key for the Wings to not let it snowball. Rasmussen responded with a goal at the midway point, firing a shot from the left circle that hit Alexander Georgiev and went in.
Vrana scored his third power play goal since making his season debut March 8. Moritz Seider wired a pass to Vrana, who got the puck on his stick and ripped a shot from the right circle. That was at 17:23, with three seconds left on a man advantage. But this is how it’s going for the Wings right now: 2020 No. 1 overall pick Alexis Lafreniere won a draw against Pius Suter and the puck went back to former Wings defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who fired a shot from the blueline that Filip Chytil tipped to make it 2-2, 11 seconds after Vrana had provided a measure of momentum.
Special teams push
Bertuzzi converted on a power play 29 seconds into the second period when he took a pass from Seider and aimed a slap shot from the high slot. The Wings hadn’t gotten much off their power play in previous games, failing to convert during 1:41 with a two-man advantage in the Islanders game and going scoreless on five power plays against the Lightning. Their penalty kill came through near the end of the second period, when Gustav Lindstrom was called for hooking Lafreniere.
Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.