Even the Thomas Greiss Madison Square Garden magic was not enough to save the Detroit Red Wings Saturday afternoon in New York.
Greiss came into the game with a 4-0 record and .931 save percentage in nine previous appearances against the New York Rangers at MSG. Greiss beat the Rangers 3-2 in a shootout in New York on Feb. 17. He played another quality game at the historic arena Saturday. However, the Red Wings couldn’t generate any offense and fell 4-0 to the Rangers.
This is the first time Greiss has lost to the Rangers in regulation. He was 6-0-1 vs. New York in his career coming into this game.
“Greiss gave us a chance for sure,” Coach Jeff Blashill said. “He was really good. He’s played real solid hockey in the last little bit .”
The New York Rangers took charge of the game and never gave it up. In the second period, the Red Wings started to generate some shots. Otherwise, this game belonged to the Rangers.
The Rangers had a 17-3 shot advantage at one point and 24-5 at another. The final shot disparity was 37-20.
“We didn’t seem to have enough jump all game,” Blashill said. “They had good jump. We defended all right through last parts of it but we just defended so much. It never helps to take two over-the-glass penalties in the first period. I got the crowd going a little bit. I thought the building was great. They had a lot of energy off it. But you’re 2-0 through large parts of the game. I thought we got impatient on the second goal against. The third goal against we got impatient.”
Rare Penalty Double
Greiss was called for delay of game for shooting the the puck out of play. While killing the penalty, Sam Gagner also drove the puck into the stands on a clearing attempt. That drew a second delay of game penalty. You don’t see that happen often.
Twenty-five seconds later, Mika Zibanejad scored to give the Rangers a 1-0.
Even though the Red Wings were being outplayed, they were hanging on until that point. Most of the time, delay of game penalties are simply bad luck.
“It never helps to take two over-the-glass penalties in the first period,” Blashill said. “I got the crowd going a little bit. I thought the building was great. They had a lot of energy off it. But you’re 2-0 through large
parts of the game. I thought we got impatient on the second goal against. The third goal against we got impatient.”
More Ugly Coming
This was only game two of the Red Wings’ murderer’s row stretch. After facing Carolina and the Rangers, they play at home against Florida Easter Sunday and then at Tampa Bay Tuesday and at Florida Thursday. Then, they have the Pittsburgh Penguins coming in next Saturday.
The Red Wings could lose all of those contests if they don’t play with more effectiveness than they showed against the Rangers.
“We didn’t really create enough (against the Rangers),” Captain Dylan Larkin said. “We tried to play defense and chip
pucks in and they just kept coming at us, so we had to get on the offense more and we didn’t tonight..”
No Legs, No Hope
The Red Wings couldn’t get out of their end for most of their game. When they did get into the Rangers’ zone, they couldn’t sustain any pressure.
This isn’t new.
“If you spend 30 seconds in your end and if you can’t get it in you’re going to have to change, just the reality,” Blashill said. “Do I think we could have had more pressure on them? Yes. Do I think we put them under enough pressure? No. We didn’t seem to have much jump in our legs tonight. We haven’t been a real good team when we haven’t had our skating lets. Just all year long that’s been a thing. When we have our skating legs we can pressure teams, but we didn’t have them tonight and didn’t cause enough pressure.”
Chase Pearson played his second NHL game after being called up to replace the ailing forward Oskar Sundqvist.
He only played 6:42.
Blashill said he didn’t know whether Sundqvist would play Easter Sunday.
“He’s got a lingering kind of injury like a number of our guys,” Blashill said. “We got a number of guys sick and then we got some guys fighting through some injuries. I guess the trust sense is day to day.”