Rangers Survive Late Scare and Hold On to Beat the Red Wings

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Jaroslav Halak #41 of the New York Rangers reacts after giving up the game winning goal to Dominik Kubalik #81 of the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2022 in New York City. The Red Wings defeated the Rangers 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Jaroslav Halak #41 of the New York Rangers reacts after giving up the game winning goal to Dominik Kubalik #81 of the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2022 in New York City. The Red Wings defeated the Rangers 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 06: Jaroslav Halak #41 of the New York Rangers reacts after giving up the game-winning goal to Dominik Kubalik #81 of the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2022 in New York City. The Red Wings defeated the Rangers 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 06: Jaroslav Halak #41 of the New York Rangers reacts after giving up the game-winning goal to Dominik Kubalik #81 of the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2022 in New York City. The Red Wings defeated the Rangers 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

I am not a fan of how close some of these games have gotten recently. But, the New York Rangers defeated the Detroit Red Wings by a final score of 5-3. It looked like the Rangers could blow their “Original Six” rival out of the building until that third period when the Rangers defense sans its superstar started to bend, but it didn’t break, allowing the Blueshirts to walk out with two points.

It started in the first period when Erik Gustafsson found a beautiful pass to set up Vincent Trocheck for the first goal, allowing the Rangers to seize control 1:40 into the game. New York continued to try to build a period with the lead, but there was just nothing to do for the team outside of the Trocheck marker with 18:20 left in the first frame.

In the second, the Rangers would score a powerplay goal. Artemi Panarin would keep his streak alive by finding Gustafsson, whose shot was tipped. By default, the goal was awarded to Chris Kreider, who scored his ninth of the season, making it 2-0 Rangers. With most of the second period still to go, the Rangers had the momentum and started to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

Trocheck would net his second of the game when Kreider picked out Mika Zibanejad at the bottom of the circle, who found a Pittsburgher all alone in the slot. Vinny wouldn’t miss from there, making it a three-goal lead for the Rangers. At this point, Blueshirts faithful worldwide could sense what was coming, and the Red Wings seemed to fear it. The rout was on.

Alexis Lafreniere would grab himself an assist by setting up the breadman to make it 4-0. Lafreniere’s second assist of the season for Panarin’s second point of the night for what would turn out to be the game-winning goal, but at the time, this felt like the Rangers could have gotten seven or eight.

Before the end of the period, Braden Schneider would play a pass across the blueline to Zac Jones. Jones let it fly, and Will Cuylle, out in front, tipped the puck past Ville Husso to make it a five-goal lead. With more than five minutes left in the second period, the Rangers were trying to make it look like an NFL score.

Then, in the third period, the choking started. Jeff Petry played a pass to Ben Chiarot, who set up Michael Rasmussen to ruin Jonathan Quick’s shutout bid. Eight minutes into the third period, it was a four-goal lead. There was nothing to fear for the Blueshirts faithful. Indeed, this couldn’t become a nervous game from a five-goal lead, right? This, children, is called foreshadowing.

Christian Fischer would combine with Chiarot to set up Klim Kostin to make it 5-2. Still, nothing to worry about. It was suddenly not the blowout we expected. Then Andrew Copp scored from J.T. Compher and Ville Husso. It’s 5-3, with 6 minutes left. Suddenly, the New York Rangers, coming off the back of a blown 3-goal lead in Minnesota, are having deja vu.

Fortunately, that would be the end of the scoring, and the Blueshirts would earn boyhood Rangers fan Jonathan Quick his first win at Madison Square Garden in the blue of the team he loved as a kid. It was not a conventional win by the Rangers, but in the end, it was indeed enough.